New to me Bridgeport TC22
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  1. #1
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    Default New to me Bridgeport TC22

    During pandemic I bought a few "new" machine tools, including 1997 Bridgeport TC22. I was hoping to tap into some other owners here as I dig through it. I've been slowly working through servicing it and getting it running. Although "fully running", it is an old machine and a number of little things have needed attention before I start running parts on it. Lots of cleaning ancient crud... replacing o-rings and seals.

    I decided I should likely change the gearbox oil as it looked a little low on the sight glass. When I drained it, only about 3/4 of a quart came out. Post draining the sight glass was the same level... ie it was likely lower than it looked. There is a fair bit of red goo around the shot pin actuator (ie it seems to be leaking there). It also looks a bit wet around the base of the motor. The "cavity" around the main spindle belt was certainly filled with a lot of goo. Makes me think the lower seal on the gearbox is likely leaking.

    20210502_104401.jpg20210502_104418.jpg

    Was wondering if folks had any suggestions. I was hoping to NOT have to pull the motor/gearbox... but maybe it is inevitable at this point. Does anyone know offhand about how much gearbox oil these are supposed to take?

    I'll likely have more questions! The list of things I've already done is long, although I feel like I am getting close to chip time!

  2. #2
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    Have been working my way through the machine. Got the pneumatic system all sealed up. Rebuilt the rotary drive and replaced every o-ring in all the nylon hose junctions!

    I redid the lube lines to the head and have oil flowing up there. I cannot figure out how to get to the lubrication manifold under the table though. Is there an access hatch I'm missing? Any TC22 owners have a trick to share? Still cleaning all the swarf off down there too so many areas remain deadly to bare hands!

  3. #3
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    After jogging the table back and forth to get all the side covers removed, and sopping up a lake of old way oil (which had been obscuring the manifold), I uncovered it. It is about 10" in from the side though. I can just barely touch it jamming my arm in there. I suppose I could undo the ends of the ball screw and move that out of the way but that seems like a fair bit of work and maybe take some setup to get it aligned again?

  4. #4
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    I can’t provide any input, but I’m watching this tread. I just bought one of these too, and I’m starting the cleanup too.

  5. #5
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    I ended up removing the X axis thrust bearings and screwing out the ballscrew to give more clearance to remove the lubrication manifold in the table. With that removed it wasn't too bad to remove the lube manifold and clean it all out. All back together now. Getting close to making some more chips with it.

    I ended up making some custom wrenches to remove and reinstall the ball screw nuts. I listed the extras if you need a set: Bridgeport CNC Milling Machine Ballscrew Nut Service Tool Wrench Set TorqueCut | eBay

    Will post some photos of the process later.

  6. #6
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    As long as you're going through it, I would replace the proximity sensors / cables for the tool changer. My first machine was a TC22 and I got it cheap because the tool changer would intermittently fault out...found two cables that were old and brittle and new ones were cheap.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for that tip! Did you just buy the cable from bptparts? I haven't looked at the tool changer much yet other than checking to see if it worked.

  8. #8
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    It doesn't appear that my bijur is lubricating. I can pull the lever and it pumps, but doesn't seem to be running automatically. Is the machine supposed to apply power to the bijur only when the spindle is running or all the time? I don't seem to be seeing power to the power terminals at the pump (even when spindle is on), so maybe the control has a fuse blown or something?

    EDIT: I hooked the pump directly to 115v and confirmed it works fine.

  9. #9
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    After wasting a fair amount of time troubleshooting I realized that the machine only runs the lubrication pump when it is running a program. So it was working perfectly all along! I'm sure I missed this somewhere in the manuals.

  10. #10
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    Spent the last few days running parts on the machine. So far works great! The software is a tad quirky and has a few bugs (like don't press another button after pressing quill up until it is finished raising the quill!) but they are easy enough to work around.

    Only issue I had was that the Z axis way cover caught the table at one point and was damaged. It rolled up during a part of the program where the table was all the way to the rear corner and the rolled up guard caught the table... bent/slid/etc. Not sure I can repair it. I guess this is why many of these machines have this guard cut short. I had just bought and installed a nice nearly new one too. Ugh. I'm not too inclined to invest in another one since it seems like a hokey design. Has anyone fashioned anything better? Maybe some of the standard rubber/fabric way cover bellows that are common on machinery?


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