Flushing Timken Roller Bearings in place
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  1. #1
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    Default Flushing Timken Roller Bearings in place

    I'm considering flushing my metal lathe spindle bearings* with acetone from the top of the bearings and letting it drain from filler hole; applying it with an small artist brush to control where it goes. This lathe was recently purchased and is need of a good clean up.


    There is no upper fill point or separate drain point. The Gits oil cup screws into the casting towards the bottom of the bearing seat. Acetone is my first choice because it would completely flashes off. The plan is to flush until the discharge looks clean. The bearings move smoothly at present.

    Does this sound like a reasonable approach to flushing the bearings in place? Should I use another solvent?

    Photo Labels:
    1. oil seal
    2. adjustable tapered roller bearing
    3.double-sided bearing cup
    4. fixed tapered roller bearing
    5. bearing cap face flange
    The Gits fill hole is in the shadow in the lower right of the picture, unlabeled..





    *Bamford-Chase Engine Lathe

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    Acetone melts many plastic and rubber products. I would flush with a light oil or even the regular oil you use. I always force oil into my lathe lube points until the excess is coming out clear.
    In your case you might have a wick feed which might not like pressure flushing and acetone may damage the wicks. Regular stoddard solvent or varsol ( mineral spirit) might be a safer bet.

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    i don't recall if acetone dissolves oil.

    Try gasoline or if you want something cleaner.. try white gas, brake cleaner, WD-40.. etc
    Depends on the grease too. i stumbled across some grease the other day that did not dissolve in diesel.

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    Tractor Supply stores sell a cleaner for their parts washers that works well and is not too expensive. Acetone will evaporate very quickly and may not flush it out well enough..

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    I have white gas on hand and will try that. I know it evaporates quickly without a residue. Thanks.

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    NO-NO_no!!! Don't use any of those methods to clean the bearing out!!!!!

    Don't use Acetone!
    Don't use gasoline! Or white gas! Do you want to burn down your shop?
    Don't use WD-40!

    Hobbyman has the best method. Just flush with a light mineral oil or ISO 46 hydraulic oil. Nothing else!

    Your asking for trouble flushing with cleaners or cleaner substitutes! These could knock curd loose and get into the bearing itself and the next thing you know, you have a bad bearing.

    The only proper method is to take the spindle assembly completely apart and clean.

    Best to leave it alone!

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4GSR View Post
    NO-NO_no!!! Don't use any of those methods to clean the bearing out!!!!!

    Don't use Acetone!
    Don't use gasoline! Or white gas! Do you want to burn down your shop?
    Don't use WD-40!

    Hobbyman has the best method. Just flush with a light mineral oil or ISO 46 hydraulic oil. Nothing else!

    Your asking for trouble flushing with cleaners or cleaner substitutes! These could knock curd loose and get into the bearing itself and the next thing you know, you have a bad bearing.

    The only proper method is to take the spindle assembly completely apart and clean.

    Best to leave it alone!
    I feel pretty much the same way. If you must clean it the best way is to dump in some light oil and run the lathe at low speed for a few minutes. Drain the oil and do it a couple more times if you want to...

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    Quote Originally Posted by LKeithR View Post
    I feel pretty much the same way. If you must clean it the best way is to dump in some light oil and run the lathe at low speed for a few minutes. Drain the oil and do it a couple more times if you want to...
    Got it, nothing but oil. Been cleaning the shop since last visit, so no harm done.

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    I removed the oil seals and double roller bearings from left side of the spindle. The bearings are engraved with a service date of '93 and a job number. The oil seals are a modern Chicago Rawhide single lip rubber oil seal. Some one has been in this headstock before.

    The removed assembly included the drive gear, spacer with oil seal that on its OD, lock nut, tongue washer, left bearing cone, bearing cup, right bearing cone, and oil seal, in that order.

    I know the roller bearings are designed to be adjusted for wear, but it seems odd to me that they and the spacer the oil seal rides on slipped off the spindle without any effort. Is this suppose to be the correct fit for this type of bearing on a spindle?. I expected the bearing to be at least an interference fit on the spindle.

    I'll to press the cone pulley off before can get to the right side bearings and seals.

    I have included a link to short video of this fit issue.


    dissembled spindle parts (in order)


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    Have you mic'ed the shaft where the bearings fit? With that double bearing the area between the cones should not have seen wear and up near the front seal shoulder. It appears as if the cones spun on the shaft from the pictures. I would also suspect they were a slight press from the factory and from running a bit loose over the years they slipped and wore. If somone else has been inside the head they may have polished the spindle down so they could slide the spindle in easier. I recall working with a Cinc. Factory rep once and we had to assemble a transmission on a Hydrotel and he had me polish or sand down a shaft for a tight running fit for easier assembly. So not all who did that were back yard mechanics. It as been years since I removed a South Bend Spindle, so hopefully one of the other experts can help. There are a few remedies to repair the shaft, but lets wait until the other chime in. Rich
    Last edited by Richard King; 11-13-2014 at 10:45 AM.

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    It's been too many years to remember details about fits without going back and researching. But I recall that Timken recommended for spindle assemblies similar to this where you had TRB at each end of the spindle, the first bearing on the spindle was a interference fit. The last bearing on was a snug fit, small interference to about .0005" loose. this pretty much followed on any spindle assembly similar to this, rather it was two single roll bearings used or two double roll bearings used at each end of the spindle.
    Ken

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    I.D. the cone and the cup.
    The cone has two identification numbers.
    1) A multidigit number, this identifies the bearing
    2) The class number, this is a single digit that identifies the class of precision. Specifically the cone bore tolerance. Look for 4, 2, 3, 0, 00.
    Cone bore tolerance for 4, 2,3, 0, is -.0000" to +.0005"
    Cone bore tolerance for 00 is -.0000" to +.0003"

    The cup may have a similar number and the same or different class of tolerance.

    The front bearings are held, the rear set is loose. That is normal. Get the shaft and bearing bore dimensions and compare that to the tolerance for your class of bearing. If the shaft is out of tolerance Locktite makes a filler, not red or blue.

    The cup looks pristine from the photo. Be sure to reassemble each cone to the original race in the cup.
    How clean can you get the bearing? Sitting on that piece of floor mat.....

    John

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    I like to use electrical contact cleaner in aerosol spray cans. It does flush and flashes off leaving no unwanted film.
    However, you will have no sure idea of the inside looks of your bearings and related parts. Chips and other swarf could be loosened and be flushed into the roller path, as noted earlier. Possible some got into the assembly which won't be flushed out while assembled.
    When I was new to Harleys it was acceptable by most to flush out engine cases assembled if debris was introduced (part failure, foreign particles, etc.). I learned it isn't the best way for being certain of having a clean assembly. Better to look inside and find loose but hiding debris. If no,t a complete tear down may be needed later, possibly consuming much more $$$!

  17. #14
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    Hey Folks here are some part numbers and measurements taken with dial caliper:

    Inner side:
    Shaft OD: 1.995"
    Bearing ID: 1.998
    Bearing cone marked: Timken NA 3780 IA ( or 1A) Made in USA
    Bearing cup marked 3729-D

    Outer side:
    Shaft OD: 1.994"
    Bearing ID: 1.996
    Bearing cone marked: Timken NA 3780 IE (or 1E) Made in USA
    Bearing cup marked 3729-D

    I believe these are "standard" grade bearing, nothing fancy. There are no 4,3,2,0,nor 00 markings. The cups show no wear marks. The rollers on the inner cone show wear (darker band), while the outer cone's rollers appear even colored and slightly brighter.

    The inner bore of both cones show a wear band and some spotty staining that could be the worn remnants an of earlier retaining compound (reddish black colored and evenly distributed around the bore. No pitting, lines or grooves though in either bore, just shinny and duller wear bands.

    Which Loctite or similar product should I use to retain the inner bearing: 609, 638,648, or something else?

    Thanks again.
    Last edited by C_Stebbins; 11-14-2014 at 10:40 AM.

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    Measurements taken with a dial caliper!!!???

    If you don't have mikes, you better get some!

    The measurements you took don't tell us anything. There are meaningless taken with dial calipers!

    Don't to mean to be so harsh, but we are trying to help here. Can you give us some miked dimensions?

  19. #16
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    If you don't have mikes, you better get some!
    Point well taken. I'll get you some better measurements in a week or so.

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    This looks like the beginnings of "Curiosity killed the lathe".

    Why are we disassembling and/or trying to flush these bearings?

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