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Vintage ROBBINS MYERS B3400  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Fri Jan 1st, 2016 02:37 am
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Jeff Heilman
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I have the Robbins Myers B3400 window fan that my grandparents gave my parents to cool the 3rd floor apartment when I was born (1952). For sentimental reasons I will probably pay the $345 to have it rewound. But I would still like to know what it is worth. Any ideas?

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 Posted: Fri Jan 1st, 2016 04:58 pm
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Luke Skelnik
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Hi Jeff, what makes you think it needs rewound?

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 Posted: Fri Jan 1st, 2016 05:57 pm
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Jeff Heilman
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Some years ago I over lubricated it with wd40. After that the motor didn't work. I took it to the local electrical motor shop, who did some tests and said there was a short in the windings and it needed to be rewound.
Be rewound.

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 Posted: Fri Jan 1st, 2016 07:02 pm
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Greg Miller
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Well, it's pretty safe to say that it isn't a $350 window fan. Not many are.

How about a picture of it- someone here might have a good motor they'd part with for A LOT less than $345.

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 Posted: Fri Jan 1st, 2016 08:35 pm
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Steve Sherwood
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Jeff Heilman wrote: Some years ago I over lubricated it with wd40. After that the motor didn't work. I took it to the local electrical motor shop, who did some tests and said there was a short in the windings and it needed to be rewound.
Be rewound.
I say this wd40 is not a good lubricant.  Light weight oil is what should be used. 

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 Posted: Fri Jan 1st, 2016 09:54 pm
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Jeff Heilman
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Here is a link to the exact fan I have, except mine is in pieces at the moment.

http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/vintage-robbins-myers-b3400-mid-292031724

I would be most appreciative for any help in getting this fan working by May or so.

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 Posted: Fri Jan 1st, 2016 10:04 pm
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Greg Mahley
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Hi Jeff welcome to the forum. The fan that you have is a great fan, and I personally would have it rewound, or as Greg Miller said someone on here may have a motor for it. You never want to use WD40 to lubricate a motor. The best oil to use is "Zoom Spout" or 3 in 1 in the BLUE can. You may want to check with The Fan Man, there is a link on this site for him. He is in Texas and if you contact him he would likely be able to help you out. Best of luck and keep us informed on the progress on your fan.

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 Posted: Fri Jan 1st, 2016 11:04 pm
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Charlie Forster
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do a ohms test on the windings yourself and see if it is shorted.

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 Posted: Sat Jan 2nd, 2016 01:01 am
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David Northam
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Those are great fans. I have the 18-inch Hunter version. As others have said, it is not worth $345, BUT, in your situation it might be worth spending the money to have THE fan that belonged to your parents since new working again. Assuming it is good condition otherwise, I can understand wanting to have it brought back to life.

Attached Image (viewed 906 times):

Hunter front.JPG

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 Posted: Sat Jan 2nd, 2016 11:27 pm
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Jeff Heilman
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OK. I'll have to read about how to do this test and then decide about the rewind. I am sentimental, but really I just want to move some air.

Staying on the practical side, where can I find a window fan that will perform? And where is the link to The Fan Man?


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 Posted: Sat Jan 2nd, 2016 11:32 pm
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Raymond Lowry
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I had a motor for it but sold it a couple months back. I dont think the 18 inch motor will work on it, they are not the same.  i have a spare motor for the 18 inch somewhere.

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 Posted: Sun Jan 3rd, 2016 06:22 am
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David Northam
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Where are you located? Region of the country might help us point you in the right direction.

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 Posted: Sun Jan 3rd, 2016 01:04 pm
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Jeff Heilman
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I am in Lebanon, PA. And I found the 2012 selling price of the fan pictured above. $120. So I am going to hold off on the rewind and keep looking for a motor or another fan like it. Or perhaps there is a nearby shop that will do the job for less than Eurton in California.

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 Posted: Sun Jan 3rd, 2016 10:15 pm
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Greg Mahley
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Jeff, can you post a pic of your fan? Even if it is in pieces it would still be neat to see it. We will get you back in business one way or another.

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 Posted: Mon Jan 4th, 2016 04:08 am
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David Northam
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Well, Jeff... you have some options.....

Every May we have a regional fan meet near Allentown, PA. There are usually a variety of window fans for sale there.

Also, I have an 18-inch Vornado window fan I'd be willing to sell. It moves a LOT of air very quietly. I will have to post photos later. I travel to both Philly and Harrisburg for work somewhat frequently and could deliver close by.

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 Posted: Mon Jan 4th, 2016 09:59 am
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Greg Mahley
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As David said, we meet near Allentown in May. Join our association, we would love to have you. If you come to the fan meet in May bring your fan with you, even in pieces. There will be several people there that could check your motor out for you, there may even be a parts fan for sale like yours and in that case we could do a motor transplant and you would leave with your fan in one piece and working well again!

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 Posted: Mon Jan 4th, 2016 02:32 pm
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Tom Zapf
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Lebanon PA isn't far, I get out to Harrisburg once in awhile. WD40 is a current-conductor and can short windings and other connections out. If you came to the Allentown fan-meet usually in May there might be one there. I have one of the earlier ones I restored and it came out pretty good. Mike Heffernan sold 2 at last year's meet and jeff rusnak might have one too, we are all in north NJ . someone might have a rusted one with a good motor. BUT I will tell you once you start messing around with transplanting a motor the head wires from switch to motor are often very brittle

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 Posted: Tue Jan 5th, 2016 12:06 am
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Geoff Dunaway
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I have a Westinghouse Sidewinder Jr ceiling fan that suffered an over oiling accident and quit running for 5 years. Then one hot summer day year 6 I snapped the switch and it came right up to speed. What about gently baking the windings at about 225-250 degrees for about 30-45 minutes. That should dry out any WD-40 sleazing around between turns of winding wire. Might be worth a try & you certainly have naught to lose at this point. Just a thought from a happy fan collector.

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 Posted: Tue Jan 5th, 2016 03:52 pm
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Jeff Heilman
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Thank you for all the help. Here is a photo of my fan in pieces. I will bring it to the meeting in May. In the meantime, I'll try heating the motor.

I will need some help getting it wired correctly. I should have photographed the black cylinder and switches before I took it apart!

Attached Image (viewed 792 times):

IMG_3363.JPG

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 Posted: Tue Jan 5th, 2016 04:04 pm
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Andrew Block
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Are you sure the capacitor wasn't just bad?

If you want to move some air, this Berns is local to you and cheap.

https://harrisburg.craigslist.org/atq/5358143177.html

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 Posted: Wed Jan 6th, 2016 01:52 am
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Greg Mahley
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Jeff, that fan looks like it is in nice shape. Can't wait to see it in May.

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 Posted: Wed Jan 6th, 2016 10:04 am
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Lane Shirey
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That Berns is mine, I'd give you a deal if you're interested, it just needs rewired, but is variable speed. Let me know if interested. I'll be bringing it to Robins in May if it doesn't sell before. 
Good luck on your restore! 

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 Posted: Wed Jan 6th, 2016 02:15 pm
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Tom Zapf
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a motor for a 22" is going to be harder than an 18" but we had several at Allentown last year, I think Mike Heffernan bought them both , one motor was seized up so maybe you can get a combination of your rotor and motor ends and one of mike's and get it working. Send Mike a private message if you can . MY bbq in north jersey is looking to be july 30 if you can make it

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 Posted: Wed Jan 6th, 2016 11:36 pm
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Jeff Heilman
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Hi Lane! I just bought your fan. I should have asked you about collecting. I would have liked to see what else was keeping your wife's car out of the garage. Funny thing is, I don't know what I'm going to do with the Berns, as it is much too small to fill the shoes of the Robbins.

I guess I'm a collector!

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 Posted: Thu Jan 7th, 2016 12:56 am
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Greg Mahley
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Jeff, I would say fix the B3400 and also keep the Berns. You are officially a fan collector!! Welcome to the Association!

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 Posted: Thu Jan 7th, 2016 01:07 am
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Lane Shirey
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Jeff, my bad, I didn't put 2 and 2 together. I would have gladly shown you some other stuff. It didn't occur to me that it was you. I'm so sorry.   I hope you enjoy the Berns. It's a neat fan. I unfortunately have too many projects at present. I'm glad it's been a mild winter so far and the wife's car hasn't needed to get in the garage so far. Lol! 

Best of luck restoring her! Post pics when it's finished! 

Regards, Lane. 

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 Posted: Thu Jan 7th, 2016 01:26 pm
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Jeff Heilman
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I'm preparing to do an ohm test pre and post baking the motor as suggested. Any tips?

I've striped the ends of the leads and I've got a Radioshack 22-802 multimeter (just needs batteries)  Is that good enough or should I shop for a better instrument? The ohm readings should be very high across all leads, correct?

Just remembered why I went on my WD40 rampage, could have been 8 years ago now The fan wouldn't start easily. I would have to use a stick to push the blades around a bit and then it would take off. It seemed hard to push so I thought it must be gunked up. That's why I thought to flush it out good. But maybe there was a winding problem to begin with?

And lastly, does anyone know of a shop that rewinds motors. I found Eurton Electric online. They quoted me $345. I have no idea if that's a good price.

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 Posted: Thu Jan 7th, 2016 03:02 pm
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Raymond Lowry
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They come up on Ebay from time to time, most in bad shape but you just need the motor. I will keep an eye out for you, i go to a lot of fle markets and estate sales.

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 Posted: Sun Aug 7th, 2016 02:13 pm
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Jeff Heilman
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Update: I found a fan just like mine on craigslist in Kentucky for $80. Cleaned it up and installed. Photo to follow. However, after a month or so on duty this fan is starting to run very hot... and has let out a squeal or two. I have lubricated with the blue label 3 in 1 oil. This lasts only a short time. Sometimes it has trouble starting. I guess I'll have to take it apart and clean/lubricate. Any thoughts?

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 Posted: Sun Aug 7th, 2016 02:20 pm
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Jeff Heilman
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Here is the photo. By the way, the window opening leaves a couple inches to be desired. Would this cause problems with unbalanced stress on the bearings? Not much I can do about it, except look for an 18 inch model.

Attached Image (viewed 572 times):

IMG_3536.JPG

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 Posted: Sun Aug 7th, 2016 04:21 pm
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David Northam
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I have the 18-inch Hunter version of the same fan. One time the set-screw of the blades was not as tight as it should have been, but I had no idea. The fan exhibited symptoms of bearing or lubrication problems. I took it apart twice, cleaned and lubricated it - and still the same problem. I was so disheartened. I can't remember how I decided to torque down on the set screw, but that solved the whole problem. Because the screw requires an allen-wrench, it was not easy to get it as tight as needed, but finally managed to do it.

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 Posted: Sun Aug 7th, 2016 04:49 pm
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Charles Tedrick
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If you need a window fan to hold you over until you fix the Hunter I recommend getting a belt drive Homart like this one. Mine has shutters that open when you turn it on and close when it's off. That helps keep the rain out and keeps the thing from rusting.

Attached Image (viewed 556 times):

20160806_094039.jpg

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 Posted: Sun Aug 7th, 2016 04:55 pm
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Charles Tedrick
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Here is a picture of the shutter side

Attached Image (viewed 558 times):

20160806_093940.jpg

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 Posted: Sun Aug 7th, 2016 05:47 pm
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Jeff Heilman
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Thanks. I just took the thing apart, cleaned the bushings and shaft, and applied a thin coat of wheel bearing grease. Also verified that the oiling points were clear. Nothing jumped out at me as a problem. It could be that one of those set screws was less than tight. Everything is running cool and smoothly now. I'll keep an eye on it.

I don't know what anybody thinks about the grease, but I looked on it as an opportunity as long as I was opening things up.

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 Posted: Sun Aug 7th, 2016 06:15 pm
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Jeff Heilman
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Has anyone used an IR thermometer to monitor motor temperature. I've been keeping an eye on this fan by touch. Just now it felt hot, but what does that mean? I took a reading and got 109 F, but what does that mean? Seems to be running smoothly.

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 Posted: Sun Aug 7th, 2016 06:51 pm
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Charles Tedrick
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Jeff Heilman wrote: Thanks. I just took the thing apart, cleaned the bushings and shaft, and applied a thin coat of wheel bearing grease. Also verified that the oiling points were clear. Nothing jumped out at me as a problem. It could be that one of those set screws was less than tight. Everything is running cool and smoothly now. I'll keep an eye on it.

I don't know what anybody thinks about the grease, but I looked on it as an opportunity as long as I was opening things up.
I don't think grease should be used because it will not allow the porous bearings to operate as they should. 109 Fahrenheit is very acceptable for that type of motor. You may need to take it back apart and cleaned the bearings with acetone to get rid of that grease.

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 Posted: Sun Aug 7th, 2016 07:17 pm
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Jeff Heilman
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What exactly are porous bearings? And how will I know if they require cleaning? What would happen?

Thanks

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 Posted: Sun Aug 7th, 2016 07:31 pm
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Duane Burright
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Jeff Heilman wrote: What exactly are porous bearings? And how will I know if they require cleaning? What would happen?

Thanks

The bearings can clog up. Best to remove the grease and apply a thin coat of oil.

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 Posted: Sun Aug 7th, 2016 07:39 pm
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Charles Tedrick
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Jeff Heilman wrote: What exactly are porous bearings? And how will I know if they require cleaning? What would happen?

Thanks
Porous bearings have microscopic holes similar to a sponge to allow oil to seep through and constantly lubricate the shaft. Grease will clog these holes. Other oils with detergents and other additives will also clog the pores. That's why you should only use special non detergent oils designed for electric motors.

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 Posted: Sun Aug 7th, 2016 08:19 pm
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Jeff Heilman
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These look like brass, but they did have a longitudinal groove running along the inside. This groove did not extend to either end but occupied a good portion of the middle. It was about 1/8 inch wide.  So are you saying that there is a reservoir behind that is replenished by way of the oiling points?

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