Removing the belts to check the spindle?
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  1. #1
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    Default Removing the belts to check the spindle?

    As I think about whether broken gear teeth could cause debris to migrate to headstock and spindle bearings, I wonder if removing the belts from the spindle is a useful way to evaluate spindle bearing condition? Especially with unpowered machines.

    For those of you with experience, does that seem like something useful to do? How freely should the spindle turn?

    What does it take to get the belts off? I know there are one or more tensioners. Do you just loosen the tensioner bolt?

    And how about the gearbox cover. What is involved in removing that and taking a look as you go through the threading and power feeds? Is that very involved? Are there any spots you can probe with a magnet for debris?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Glug View Post
    As I think about whether broken gear teeth could cause debris to migrate to headstock and spindle bearings, I wonder if removing the belts from the spindle is a useful way to evaluate spindle bearing condition? Especially with unpowered machines.

    For those of you with experience, does that seem like something useful to do? How freely should the spindle turn?

    What does it take to get the belts off? I know there are one or more tensioners. Do you just loosen the tensioner bolt?

    And how about the gearbox cover. What is involved in removing that and taking a look as you go through the threading and power feeds? Is that very involved? Are there any spots you can probe with a magnet for debris?
    First question, the debris in the QCGB cannot migrate to the inside of the headstock. Debris generated inside the headstock will have a hard time migrating to the spindle bearings.

    Removing belts is useful, a 9/16" wrench is all that is needed to move a tensioner. Then the belts slip off quite easily.

    The spindle should turn very freely when the feed/thread selector is set for feeds, then he only gears in mesh drive the tach.

    The end gear cover needs an allen wrench to remove several screws. The end cover lifts off first, then the belts, then the cover over the end gears.

    Any spots debris would collect in either the QCGB or the headstock would require taking it apart to check.

    The top cover over the spindle needs an allen wrench and maybe a screwdriver to look inside.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Glug View Post
    As I think about whether broken gear teeth could cause debris to migrate to headstock and spindle bearings, I wonder if removing the belts from the spindle is a useful way to evaluate spindle bearing condition? Especially with unpowered machines.
    Of course it is. Debris or no.

    As to magnets? First bite the bullet. Lube is cheap enough and wants drained, flushed, and changed, regardless. Not as if you need multiple gallons of it anyway.

    DRAIN .. well 'everything'. Really.

    Lots of things a strong LED light (on my Samsung phone, even) will let you SEE at least the edge-case evidence of - once the pool of lube is out. Or what a pipe-cleaner or such drags up.

    Busted gear teeth are not as clever as an Octopus. Not likely they've left the case and slithered down a drain. You'll have to fish and drag out the big chunks, flush out the sludge and fine particles.

    The 10EE will stand that. Anywhere on the machine, its bushes, bearings and such are reasonably well compartmentalized and protected.

    Bill

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    The gearbox cover with the window comes off easily so you can peer inside but it does not expose the gear trains on either the input or output ends of the gearbox, they are in separate compartments. Not many sellers are going to be happy with you destroying gasketed joints for your examination, ask for and receive permission before exploratory disassembly.

    I'd be especially suspicious of a machine that managed to shed teeth inside the gearbox. A major crash usually shed gear teeth inside the output end of the gearbox where the highest tooth loads are (you can't see in there without a tear down), it's not where the shifting gears reside in the middle.

    The forces put on the machine during such a ham fisted event likely involved the carriage, look for scars there. It certainly involved the spindle and its bearings, inspect them carefully. Run out, deflection under load, any hint of noise under rotation. A crashing stop on a high speed spindle can destroy rolling element spindle bearings.

    Belts off is good.

    I'd still move on, it's a wounded machine. Good for learning as you point out.

    Good luck on your quest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveE907 View Post
    Not many sellers are going to be happy with you destroying gasketed joints for your examination, ask for and receive permission before exploratory disassembly.
    Sorry, yes. BF on my part. Forgot this was a 'not yet owned' 10EE.

    And JMNSHO? If it NEEDS that level of inspection, best to NOT own it unless.. you already have one (or more) of its mates... are at least somewhat experienced with caring for their needs ...and can justify cost and transport for what might have to become a part-out for lack of time, money, or sustainable motivation.

    If that sounds like I/we are repeating 'find a more appropriate 10EE for your starting point'.

    That, too.

    Bill

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