GE Motors on 9" Lathes
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  1. #1
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    Default GE Motors on 9" Lathes

    I am near completion of a 1958 9" SB lathe with horizontal drive. (This is a Model B that I am converting over to a Model A).

    As far as I know, the GE SKC43 type motor is original to this machine...or is it? As many of you know, this motor
    has bushings rather than bearings. On each end of the shaft are small GITS type oiling ports to lubricate a massive
    amount of felts that surround the bushings. However what concerns me is that the motor was mounted in such a way
    that the oil ports/tubes face outward horizontally as opposed to vertically. Clearly, there is little chance of oiling these
    shafts when they are in a horizontal position.

    This is not the first time I've seen this with this particular type of motor. Doing some photo research, I found what appears
    to be an old GE motor on a 9" that has some sort of mounting frame or adapter that holds the motor correctly for these
    oiling ports. I realize that I can loosen the J-hooks and spin the motor somewhat, but it still doesn't come close to
    where it needs to be vertically. (plus the wiring cable fouls against the motor frame)

    The thought also occurred to me to rotate the end plates one-quarter turn which would put the oilers on top, however
    that shifts the wiring access plates away from the wiring terminal which seems a bit extreme to have to do this.

    So did the factory mount these motors? And if so, why do it in such a way that prohibits lubrication to the shaft?
    Are there any other 9" SB lathe owners with this issue on their GE motors? And how did you get around it?
    Just curious and trying to learn.(Yes, I do plan on making an adapter plate.)

    Thank you for your time.

    PMc

    motor-found-callout.jpg ecu-ge-motor-callouts-2.jpg old-ge-correct-mount.jpg cu-oil-felts-1-copy.jpg final-mtr-4.jpg

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  3. #2
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    As long as you can get some oil in there, the felts will wick it to the shaft. It is not a reservoir that needs to be filled to the top.

  4. #3
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    One thing you can do is use right-angle Gits oilers so that the lid is on top the way it should be. Like this one: https://www.mscdirect.com/product/de...42799?fromRR=Y

    NOTE I am not sure that this is the one you want, it is just an example. Extent a piece of tube or pipe out past the end bell if need be.

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    Your 3rd pic of the "correct GE Motor" shows that the end bells were turned 90 degrees to put the oiler vertical. The base is welded to the motor case and cannot be spun. I have had many that this was not the case. It seems to me when the motor was made the vertical oiler up was aligned with the capacitor. As was stated above that is not a well to fill up rather just to soak the felt/cotton waste. You will never fill that gits up because it will run out of the felt and into the motor. Your 3rd pic is a "real" motor. The one you have is the newer washing machine service type motor which allowed almost unlimited mounting capabilities because you could rotate it in the rubber bushings. The rubber bushing will allow for the case to torque on start up. Give it a few squirts of oil and it was good to go. If it wore out you tossed it. I am perfectly aware that when you try to turn the motor your wire input fitting on the motor hits the motor mount. You will see some motors like yours have the the wire bushing on the plate for access to the motor terminals. Running a motor that has an air intake for cooling on the bottom means it should be pointed down for lathe service amongst others. If you want a 3 phase period correct motor that will fit right on that lathe I have one for free. You just have to get a VFD and pay to ship. It will look like the motor in pic three minus the capacitor. It is a real 1/2 HP motor. lol In my honest opinion--Just use what you have. Give it a good oiling before you bolt it on and start making chips!!!! It will last a long time.

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    Thank you all for the input, and Tommy, I appreciate the offer of the motor....but will try to forget that what I
    have is a washing machine motor!

    I appreciate confirmation that this is not a reservoir/fill situation, as lubrication is spelled out on a motor tag (below).
    What a mess it would make if it was.
    I agree that the motor will be fine, and more than likely outlast me. The felts are thoroughly soaked
    and that should be good enough. I won't worry about it. (Part of this was about aesthetics as well.)

    But you know how this forum is; one downturned GITS oiler and you WILL hear about it!
    Too bad that its not original SB supplied.

    Thanks again!

    PMc

    ge-motor-oil-instruct.jpg

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    I have the same 56 frame motor on mine. Just take it off, set it with the oilers up and oil it. The felts hold a ton of oil and I read somewhere that GE stated that the oil supply is good for 20,000 hours. Which I believe is a lot longer than we will use it in our lifetime. *Note that the start/instant reversing switch is obsolete and unavailable anywhere so take care of it. Pop the end cover off and clean it with contact cleaner and give the contacts a very light scuff with 600 or finer grit sandpaper. Don't over oil the motor.

    Your rotted rubber mounts can likely be replaced with these.
    GE 2526 Rubber Mount

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  11. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipss View Post
    I have the same 56 frame motor on mine. Just take it off, set it with the oilers up and oil it. The felts hold a ton of oil and I read somewhere that GE stated that the oil supply is good for 20,000 hours. Which I believe is a lot longer than we will use it in our lifetime. *Note that the start/instant reversing switch is obsolete and unavailable anywhere so take care of it. Pop the end cover off and clean it with contact cleaner and give the contacts a very light scuff with 600 or finer grit sandpaper. Don't over oil the motor. Your rotted rubber mounts can likely be replaced with these.
    GE 2526 Rubber Mount
    Thanks Chipss. If you can't tell, I've completely taken this motor apart, gone through it, and reassembled. I even bead blasted
    the two end plates.

    Yes, I did burnish those contacts with some 600 grit. I also replaced the capacitor with a new
    one from Witmer. The felts are thoroughly soaked and I will not be adding any additional oil in my limited
    lifetime. I also have new rubber rings for the frame supports, but thanks for the link (they seem to be out of stock anyway).
    I will not ever be taking this motor off for the sake of oiling. (It would be easier just to fully lay the horizontal drive backwards)

    Just to pass along some new information:
    The original South Bend Furnas drum switch is a type RSB5. I've been on the phone with Relay & Control Corp of Ronkonkoma, NY
    to determine that the correct replacement drum switch is an RS-1-SH (from Zoro).

    The previous incorrect drum switch I ordered was an RS-1A-SH and the contacts were different (see photo) from the Furnas,
    so I hope this one is correct...we'll see.

    Sorry for bumping this up again.

    PMc

    switches-3-fwd.jpg mod-b-motor-found-1-copy.jpg motor-componenets-b4.jpg final-mtr-2-copy.jpg


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