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 Posted: Wed Jan 23rd, 2019 05:24 am
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Mark Wallin
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So I have a Westinghouse 1381357 fan from the 50s that has oilite bearings.  They will not come out without damaging the motor housing. They have felt around them, and are held in with a s teeo playe steaked into a potmetal housing.  I'm sure you guys know exactly what I'm talking about. 
I've read a lot about cleaning putting them in vacuum Chambers heating them up etc etc, but I'm not sure what the best way is to service them. These are definitely dry. what is the best way to read impregnate these with oil when you cannot remove them from the housing.  I cleaned them with some brake cleaner and filled the area around the bearing with the wool with oil, the zoom spout lube I use on my older fans.  Does it make sense to plug one end and fill the area where the shaft goes?

Also this fan only has one oiling hole on the front bearing.  The rear with the gearbox has no oiling hole.  I'm not sure how your supposed to keep the rest bearing oiled.  Thoughts and suggestions?  I've only done a few fans so far, this is the first with oilite bearings.  

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 Posted: Wed Jan 23rd, 2019 06:35 am
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Don Tener
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I have never had to deal with it but i have thought about it. How I would do it is totally submerge them in oil and boil them in it. After about a half hour or so take it off  the heat and let it cool with everything still in the oil. As it cools and contracts I think the oil will impregnate the bushing again. Just be sure not to catch the oil on fire lol.

Last edited on Wed Jan 23rd, 2019 06:36 am by Don Tener

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 Posted: Wed Jan 23rd, 2019 04:18 pm
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Richard Daugird
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I believe, as the fan runs and gets warm, the grease in the gearbox gets soft and melts a bit, lubricating the bearing.

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 Posted: Wed Jan 23rd, 2019 10:20 pm
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Mark Wallin
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Ok, after some more research seems the best way not being able to get the bearing out is to submerse the bearing in oil and put it in a vacuum.

I can do that for rear bearing easily, even being non removable. But im concerned about the front bearing since its in the actual painted housing. How porus is potmetal? I can soak the rear section, no issues as there is no paint on it. But if the potmetal is porus, then putting it in a vacuum will pull oil into the casting and Ill never be able to get a good coat of paint on it. I may try to plug one end of the bearing and fill the center and felt insulated outer section with oil, then put it in a vacuum, and refill as necessary till I can get it as oiled up as I can.

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 Posted: Wed Jan 23rd, 2019 10:52 pm
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Don Tener
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Mark Wallin wrote: Ok, after some more research seems the best way not being able to get the bearing out is to submerse the bearing in oil and put it in a vacuum.

I can do that for rear bearing easily, even being non removable. But im concerned about the front bearing since its in the actual painted housing. How porus is potmetal? I can soak the rear section, no issues as there is no paint on it. But if the potmetal is porus, then putting it in a vacuum will pull oil into the casting and Ill never be able to get a good coat of paint on it. I may try to plug one end of the bearing and fill the center and felt insulated outer section with oil, then put it in a vacuum, and refill as necessary till I can get it as oiled up as I can.
Yes a vacuum is best but most people don't have one. I still think you will get good results boiling it in oil and leaving it in while it cools. As it gets hot it will expand and hopefully drive out any air. as it cools while still in the oil it will suck it into the bearing. It will not hurt it to do that so why not try it?

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 Posted: Thu Jan 24th, 2019 01:25 pm
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John McComas
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Vacuum may be great for the bearing itself, but old pot metal is notorious for porosity and crumbling,
and just general disintegration!  Several of the guys here have learned the hard way about:
NOT touching pot metal unless you have to...
Happy Fanning!

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 Posted: Thu Jan 24th, 2019 05:16 pm
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Mark Wallin
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I cannot heat the bearing as I stated I cant get it out of the housing without potentially destroying it.  And submersion is not a good idea as I suspected.  So I think what ill do it plug one end of the bearing and fill it with oil then put it in a vacuum canister.  And I dont have one, Ill just make one.  I have an A/C vacuum pump I can use, Just have to get a glass container with a lid and put a nipple on it for a hose.
Ive had oil sitting on that one bearing for 3 days now, it hasnt soaked into the felt at all, so either its saturated with something else or its not gonna soak anything up.   I figure with oil in teh bearing and on the wick like it is, that it would get sucked in with a vacuum pump.  If someone thinks otherwise please tell me.  Only thing I can think of to remove that is to carefully pry out the retainer and on reassembly try to resteak it, but more likely epoxy the retainer back in.





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 Posted: Thu Jan 24th, 2019 10:58 pm
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Don Tener
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Mark Wallin wrote: I cannot heat the bearing as I stated I cant get it out of the housing without potentially destroying it.  And submersion is not a good idea as I suspected.  So I think what ill do it plug one end of the bearing and fill it with oil then put it in a vacuum canister.  And I dont have one, Ill just make one.  I have an A/C vacuum pump I can use, Just have to get a glass container with a lid and put a nipple on it for a hose.
Ive had oil sitting on that one bearing for 3 days now, it hasnt soaked into the felt at all, so either its saturated with something else or its not gonna soak anything up.   I figure with oil in teh bearing and on the wick like it is, that it would get sucked in with a vacuum pump.  If someone thinks otherwise please tell me.  Only thing I can think of to remove that is to carefully pry out the retainer and on reassembly try to resteak it, but more likely epoxy the retainer back in.





Just stick the whole housing in the pot of oil. It shouldn't hurt any part of it.

Last edited on Thu Jan 24th, 2019 10:59 pm by Don Tener

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 Posted: Thu Jan 24th, 2019 11:50 pm
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Mark Wallin
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You don't think ill have an issue painting the motor housing after submersing that in oil with a vacuum?  Only thing I don't wanna do is pull oil into the motor housing.  Also seems 30wt is the oil of choice for these bearings, sound right?

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 Posted: Thu Jan 24th, 2019 11:55 pm
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Don Tener
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Mark Wallin wrote: You don't think ill have an issue painting the motor housing after submersing that in oil with a vacuum?  Only thing I don't wanna do is pull oil into the motor housing.  Also seems 30wt is the oil of choice for these bearings, sound right?That I can't say. I really don't know

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 Posted: Fri Jan 25th, 2019 12:03 am
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Levi Mevis
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Sir, you're overthinking things, just drop oil in and around the opening around the bearings and the wicking material will absorb the oil and the bearing will be oiled for a good several months. I've dealt with fans that had bearing assemblies just like this before and its just as simple as dropping oil in between the openings between the bearings and the bearing retainer and letting the wicking material absorb the oil. 

Also those bearings aren't oilite bearings they are regular bronze sleeve bearings which are porous and absorb oil from the surrounding wicking material pretty easily.

Hope this helps.

Last edited on Fri Jan 25th, 2019 12:05 am by Levi Mevis

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 Posted: Fri Jan 25th, 2019 03:46 am
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Mark Wallin
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I am overthinking it cause this is gonna be a gift for my brother, and I wanna be sure I do my job restoring it correctly and being sure he knows how to maintain it properly. Front bearing has a hole, no issues there, rear bearing with the gearbox not so much. Am I to understand with the greease in the box I don't have to worry bout oil as much?

And I've seen wicks dry up and not absorb anything, sure I don't have to worry about this here?

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 Posted: Fri Jan 25th, 2019 04:22 am
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Levi Mevis
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What I'm saying is that the wick material in these types of bearing setups have to have a lot of oil in them in order for them to be able to not dry out right away, like I said I've dealt with fans that have similar bearing setups as your fan and you basically have to more or less soak the wick to the point that the the wick is dripping oil out of the bearing assembly, otherwise the wicking material WILL dry up right away because the wicking material they used on these lower end bearing assemblies was basically like the same material that cotton balls are made out of and as you know Cotton Balls dry out pretty quickly unless you soak them to the bone so to speak. 
Cotton based wicking material isn't nearly as absorbant as Wool packing material is, so because of that it rquires more oil than wool based packing material does. 

I hope this helps. 

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 Posted: Fri Jan 25th, 2019 01:32 pm
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Mark Wallin
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That's great info and just what I needed to know. Ill soak em up, but a little on the stator shaft on assembly and let it ride. I wish there was an online hole on the rear bearing though, I don't know how that's supposed to he maintained

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 Posted: Thu Mar 14th, 2019 11:53 pm
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Mark Wallin
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Well I got it together, ran it for a day...seemed to be ok, end of the day the blade stopped faster than I thought it should.  Next day, wouldnt start, blade was fairly stiff...spun it a bit by hand and it seemd to be better, but I dont think there is enough lubrication in there.  Is there a chance that the wicking material in there isnt absorbing oil?  I need to take it apart to see which end started locking up.  There is an oil hole on the front, and I put a fair amount of oil in it, so I doubt its that.  But Ill know more when its apart,

The pic is the wrong direction i know, haha

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 Posted: Fri Mar 15th, 2019 04:32 am
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Don Tener
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Mark Wallin wrote: Well I got it together, ran it for a day...seemed to be ok, end of the day the blade stopped faster than I thought it should.  Next day, wouldnt start, blade was fairly stiff...spun it a bit by hand and it seemd to be better, but I dont think there is enough lubrication in there.  Is there a chance that the wicking material in there isnt absorbing oil?  I need to take it apart to see which end started locking up.  There is an oil hole on the front, and I put a fair amount of oil in it, so I doubt its that.  But Ill know more when its apart,

The pic is the wrong direction i know, haha

Okay this is an older fan. Like most of us here have experienced with older fans the old oil gets very hard like wax. I think that your olite bushing is clogged with old oil and can not get any new oil into it until it is cleaned. I still say to boil it oil for about 30 to 45 minutes. Just make sure you use a thermometer to check how hot the oil is because it will not actually boil. I don't think I would get it much hotter than 250 degrees if there is any potmetal there. I don't know how that will affect that nice paint job but that is what I would do. Just remember if you do this let it cool down IN the oil. As it cools it will pull the new oil into the bearing.

Last edited on Fri Mar 15th, 2019 04:34 am by Don Tener

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 Posted: Fri Mar 15th, 2019 01:06 pm
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John McComas
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Sometimes, when you run a fan, it gets hot enough, the fiber washers on the rotor work like clutch discs
and friction lock the rotor.  (Happened to me several times when trying to reduce rotor end play.)
When cold, end play should be between 1/32nd to 1/16th inch.  Fix:  Remove one fiber washer.
Just a thought.
Happy Fanning

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 Posted: Fri Mar 15th, 2019 08:43 pm
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Mark Wallin
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I was told it wasn't an oillite bearing, just a bronze bearing with the cotton wick behind it. Unfortunately its not coming out of the motor case either. Its in there with a centering plate staked into the potmetal housing. Im afraid if I heat that whole housing potmetal and all it will cause issues when trying to repaint it. So I soaked the bearing wick with oil for about a week, not much seemd to soak in so I said we will see what happens.

Im gonna try to get to the rear bearing on my break see if thats the one that bound up on me.

John, First thing I did was grab the bade after running it all day to be sure I had forward back clearance, it was good, probably closer to 1/8 actually.

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 Posted: Fri Mar 15th, 2019 10:07 pm
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Don Tener
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Mark Wallin wrote: I was told it wasn't an oillite bearing, just a bronze bearing with the cotton wick behind it. Unfortunately its not coming out of the motor case either. Its in there with a centering plate staked into the potmetal housing. Im afraid if I heat that whole housing potmetal and all it will cause issues when trying to repaint it. So I soaked the bearing wick with oil for about a week, not much seemd to soak in so I said we will see what happens.

Im gonna try to get to the rear bearing on my break see if thats the one that bound up on me.

John, First thing I did was grab the bade after running it all day to be sure I had forward back clearance, it was good, probably closer to 1/8 actually.I would think it has to be olite. How does the oil get to the shaft if it is not? does the felt wicking actually touch the rotor shaft? If it does then I would agree with you and say it is solid brass. If the felt only touches the outside of the bearing then it has to be olite so that the oil can flow through the pores in the bushing and reach the shaft.
           There is another thing you can try instead of heating. I use Gunk Carburetor cleaner in the 3 quart can (Not the spray stuff). I use it to clean fan parts all the time and it is potmetal safe. It melts oil hardened oil with ease. The only draw back is it's about $30 a can but you get a lot of uses for your money. It also dissolves paint.










Here are 2 oil cups I cleaned with it. No polishing or any other cleaning. See how it dissolves the old hard oil.



Before





After (Wicks Are New)


 

Last edited on Fri Mar 15th, 2019 10:17 pm by Don Tener

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 Posted: Fri Mar 15th, 2019 11:42 pm
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Mark Wallin
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Levi pointed out farther up this thread that they are not oilite bearings, regular bronze with sicking material on one side of the bearing.  Either way got it apart and the rear bearing was fine, still wet actually.  The front was fry, the one with the oil hole haha.  Guess I didn't get enough in there, so I loaded it up till it spilled out and I'm gonna let it sit all weekend, at least till it doesn't drop the oil level anymore, that way I know the wick is saturated.  And I'm soaking the rear one again just because its all off. 

Either way, no damage done.  The dark spot on the stater shaft cleaned up easily and its still smooth, not galled at all.  Next week Ill put it back together and let my bro know about the oiling.  Pretty much fill the front every 6 months or give it a good squeeze, and pull the rear cover off and squeeze some into the rear area.  Doubt he will run it much, so even a year might be ok.






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 Posted: Mon Mar 18th, 2019 10:42 pm
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Mark Wallin
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The plot thickens.  Since Im pretty sure after some advice from fellow members here and really thinking about the lubrication, they have to be oilite.  Since I want this to be a properly rebuilt fan, they have to come out.  So I carefully used a dremel and cutoff wheel on one side, and had to use a grinding tip on the other side to get the retainers out.  Im glad Im doin this because as I suspected, the cotton wicking material, or wool, what ever it is, while it felt oily, its hard and well pretty gummed up.  So, they are out.

Going back in when this is all said and done, yeah thats gonna be interesting.  I may try stakeing em, but there was more material where they were staked.  I may use some JB weld also, dont went em coming out obviously.  Either way Im not too worried about that.

So..Ive got no issue doing a vacuum setup.  Ive got a vacuum pump at home for HVAC work, just need to make up a small jar with a fitting.  Any tips before hand?  Also what material should I use to repack it when it goes back together?








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 Posted: Sat Apr 13th, 2019 05:46 pm
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Kevin Massey
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I just use a q tip and acetone to clean the bearings. It usually works. I've got a Vornado that worked good but needs attention again. Good luck.

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 Posted: Wed Apr 24th, 2019 03:00 am
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Mark Wallin
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So as I posed in another thread I heated the bearings in oil, 250 deg for a few hours, oil went from clean to I cant see the bearings. (tin cam, inductve stove top) THe bubbled the whole time. Then I let em cool and sit in the oil for a few days. Pulled em out, put em in fresh oil and vacuumed em for a few hours. Bubbled the whole time, towards the end the were bubbeling much less.

Got them back in today, had to epoxy the bearing retainers in, not really much of an option cause they were staked in the potmetal. But they are pretty snug, I dont see em coming out. Also put in some fresh felt washers (McMaster) Cut to fit. Oiled the washers up (soakd em) Got it put back together and so far so good, only ran it in for a few hours

So far she seems much happier than before, Gonna run it in for a few days but I think I can call it a fix!

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 Posted: Wed Apr 24th, 2019 01:57 pm
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John McComas
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Mark Wallin wrote:
So far she seems much happier than before, Gonna run it in for a few days but I think I can call it a fix
Congratulations Mark! 
Sounds like a good Westy fix to me!
Happy Fanning

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