Can any bronze be impregnated with oil?
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  1. #1
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    Default Can any bronze be impregnated with oil?

    I purchased some new bronze bushings for a motorcycle e-starter. Manufacturer says they are not oil impregnated, and just use a bit of chain lube. I would like to impregnate them oil, but the manufacturer will not tell me what bronze alloy they used.

    Getting at the starter every few months to oi the bushings is a PIA, so I would like to oil impregnate them.

    Can any type of bronze be impregnated with oil? Should I get out the electron microscope?

    thanks

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    Has to be sintered aka 'porus' metal.
    You could make bushings out of oil impregnated material, or you might find a stock size bushing that will fit or can be modified to work.

    Sae 841 Oil-impregnated Pwdr. Bronze - Online Metal Store

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    d1camero --

    Oil-impregnated bushings are made with a porous material -- essentially itty bitty beads of stuff that is pressed hard enough that the beads sort-of stick together, and then heated hot enough that the beads really stick together ("sintered"). After sintering, the empty spaces between the stuck-together beads are filled with oil.

    I've never encountered porous bushings that aren't lubricated at the factory, but they may be available by special order.

    Solid metal bushings don't have enough space between the molecules for oil filling.

    You might be able to find porous-metal bushings (commonly known by the originator's tradename, Oilite) that are dimensionally identical to the solid-metal bushings you have, but I'd hesitate to do so if the starter manufacturer didn't choose porous-metal bushings in the first place.

    John

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    At least you didn't copy what I wrote word for word.....nearly tho.

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    Visit oilite,may have the bushings you need; Oilite(R) Bearings | Oilite(R) Bushings | Beemer Precision, Inc.

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    thanks for the info guys.

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    Think about it. Solid bronze can be used to seal off pressure up to thousands of PSI. Therefore it is not going to absorb any fluid. A sintered bronze filter will allow fluids to flow through the spaces between the solids chunks.
    Bill D.

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    bronze can have zero porosity as many castings are pressure tested to prove they will not leak. for example a hydraulic system that drips oil even slowly looks bad as it leaves a oil puddle under the leak spots
    .
    to make a bronze part porous they do it on purpose cause normally they are trying very hard not to make a porous part. so in general regular bronze is not porous and cannot be oil impregnated cause they were trying very hard not to make a porous part

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    My experience with Oilite bushings were on non load applications like on cross feed screws, handles on saddles of lathes on the older machines, small hp motors, etc. If your motor bushing has a lot of torque I would suspect it would wear real fast and you would be replacing it often. They seemed to wear faster on Big electric motors where the rotor was heavy. They used them years back before ball bearings were invented I guess. There is a great place in St. Paul that sells only bushings and stock bronze. I am sure you could call them and hear more. www.gobeilco.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by dkmc View Post
    At least you didn't copy what I wrote word for word.....nearly tho.
    dk, I have discovered many time when I am writing an answer someone else was answering the same question and when I hit enter the other guy said about the same thing. It's more of a coincidence then a copy cat in most cases. :-) I see your posts are only 10 minutes apart. One of you must type faster then the other...lol like me AI am a index finger on both hands typist and thank goodness I have Alexa helping me with my spelling. If you don't have her helping I used to have to use online dictionary more often. Now I just say Alexa how do you spell coincidence and she spells it back to me....what a new time with all the technology of today!! Robots that help spell and they talk to you.....amazing

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard King View Post
    My experience with Oilite bushings were on non load applications like on cross feed screws, handles on saddles of lathes on the older machines, small hp motors, etc. If your motor bushing has a lot of torque I would suspect it would wear real fast and you would be replacing it often. They seemed to wear faster on Big electric motors where the rotor was heavy. They used them years back before ball bearings were invented I guess. There is a great place in St. Paul that sells only bushings and stock bronze. I am sure you could call them and hear more. www.gobeilco.com
    .
    dirty industrial areas used bushings with auto oilers feeding a drip of oil per second. the oil leaking out tended to keep dirt from getting in. of course the assumption was somebody was refilling the oilers like weekly. sure some drip oilers had very big reservoirs to last longer. but none i know of are designed to last years. somebody had to check on them and refill. if you had babbit bearings obviously they will not last long without oil but will last a long time if maintained.
    .
    of course modern trend is to not have as many maintenance people going around oiling and greasing stuff. usually equipment is designed for low maintenance
    .
    automatic drip oiler - Google Search

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    This raises a question - can oil-impregnated bushings be used with no further lubrication, ever?

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    Quote Originally Posted by awake View Post
    This raises a question - can oil-impregnated bushings be used with no further lubrication, ever?
    From experience, no. There is a reason why bronze bushes are made, it is a wear part.

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    I have seen bushings made out of Nylatron, Rulon, Devron...check out this amazing web page and they also have engineers who can answer these types of questions. Bearing Manufacturer | Bearing Supplier | TriStar Plastics

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    Quote Originally Posted by d1camero View Post
    I purchased some new bronze bushings for a motorcycle e-starter. Manufacturer says they are not oil impregnated, and just use a bit of chain lube. I would like to impregnate them oil, but the manufacturer will not tell me what bronze alloy they used.

    Getting at the starter every few months to oi the bushings is a PIA, so I would like to oil impregnate them.

    Can any type of bronze be impregnated with oil? Should I get out the electron microscope?

    thanks
    They likely don't actually know what they are made of, just that they fit their product.

    Look the bushings over and see if they look like they were pressed in a mold, or machined from solid. If they look pressed, then drop them in some oil, and put them in tomorrow. If they are small enough, dropping them in to an oil bath and pulling vacuum on them can help get the oil into the pores.

    Use grease if the bushings are machined from solid, instead of machined from Sintered stock.

    Aside from that the solid stock bushings will show obvious machining marks, usually, the sintered ones typically have visible 'grain' structure to them, even if machined, when looked at with a magnifier.

    Quote Originally Posted by awake View Post
    This raises a question - can oil-impregnated bushings be used with no further lubrication, ever?
    Of course they can.

    Lifetime lubricated.

    Sometimes the lifetime is shorter than others. Like when you don't keep them oiled.

    You never REALLY thought a lifetime lubricated anything, meant for YOUR lifetime, did you?

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    Quote Originally Posted by trevj View Post
    Of course they can.

    Lifetime lubricated.

    Sometimes the lifetime is shorter than others. Like when you don't keep them oiled.

    You never REALLY thought a lifetime lubricated anything, meant for YOUR lifetime, did you?
    I stand corrected.

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    My experience has been that "maintenance free" designs require less maintenance in the short term but fail exceptionally well in the long term and are often difficult to service.

    Designs that plan for "cheap" expendable parts may last a short or long while (depending on how they are used and maintained), but with easy parts replacement, they go and go and go.

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    it's a starter bushing come on now are you going to grind
    on the starter for hours at a time,
    a smear of lube and it should last for years.

    you are over thinking it

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