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GE Fan Restoration/Repair  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Sat Jun 27th, 2020 12:47 am
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Mike Brown
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Hello,
I stumbled upon this site while looking for general guidance on the steps to restore a fan.  I’m an antique car and radio restoration guy, so fans are not my forte. I’ve had this fan sitting on a shelf next to a Philco for 20 or more years.  I don’t know if this is a rare/collectors fan or just an average mass-produced model, but my objective is to clean it up and use it in my shop. I’d appreciate it if you could share your knowledge about this fan. Because of the hole on the underside of the base, my wild guess is that might be mounted on a wall in tollbooth or something similar.  J
 
I was planning on disassembling it, give it a good cleaning and the use this “kit” to replace the bad power cord, wicks and grommets (if I sound like I know what I’m doing, don’t be fooled.)  Here is the URL to the kit;  https://vintagewireandsupply.com/antique-fan-restoration-kit/
 
Appreciate your thoughts/comments to help me get started. I’ve read some forum posts and repair tips posted on this site but I think I’ll need some additional help.
And, the photos appear rotated 90 degrees in the preview to this post. ??? They are just fine on my computer.  :?
Thanks,
-Mike34







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 Posted: Sat Jun 27th, 2020 01:19 am
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Alex Rushing
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Congrats on getting perhaps one of the easiest ones to work on!
Should be a fun project for you! Order the deluxe kit if they still have it, and replace the fiber spacers with ones out of this set.
600pc fiber washer set.

You'll only need one of the sizes for that fan, but the others come in handy one the fan bug has bitten!

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 Posted: Sat Jun 27th, 2020 03:17 am
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Mike Brown
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"Easy"...music to my ears. But as far as catching the fan bug, curse you Red Barron!  I have too many projects to finish before starting a new hobby.  I did see a deluxe kit on the site.  But as far as a 600 piece fiber washer set...that would make me feel obligated to get more fans. :shock:  I'll send you a nickel for the one I need.  😀Thanks, I'll order the deluxe kit.
-Mike34





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 Posted: Sat Jun 27th, 2020 03:21 am
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Alex Rushing
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If you pull on the blade(from the center hub), how far do you reckon it moves in and out?

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 Posted: Sat Jun 27th, 2020 02:01 pm
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Mike Brown
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Alex,Absolutely zero in/out movement.  Also, the blade doesn't spin freely, but it only takes gentle pressure with a finger to rotate the blade. I'm guessing that the motor is gunked up?

-Mike

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 Posted: Sat Jun 27th, 2020 04:05 pm
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David Kilnapp
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It will be helpful to see pictures of the rear and side of the fan. As to the sideways pictures; your computer automatically rights the orientation for viewing but not for sending. Use a software like paintshop pro or Adobe Photo shop to open the picture, rotate it 90 degrees and save it and you will be good to go. These GE's are very easy to work on but you will likely have to disassemble it to clean the rotor and replace the grease in the gears (if it is an oscillating fan) to get it to rotate freely. Cleaning the rotor spindle, replacing the wick in the oil pot(s) and putting fresh oil in the oil pots will help too.

Last edited on Sat Jun 27th, 2020 04:06 pm by David Kilnapp

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 Posted: Sat Jun 27th, 2020 04:33 pm
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Alex Rushing
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Mike Brown wrote: Alex,Absolutely zero in/out movement.  Also, the blade doesn't spin freely, but it only takes gentle pressure with a finger to rotate the blade. I'm guessing that the motor is gunked up?

-Mike
Might be lucky enough, to when you clean in there as David suggested; you can remove one fiber spacer. It should have a 1/32"-1/16" in and out movement.I do not believe GE ever made a 6" Oscillator (may be wrong though), so if you can remove the cage, blade set screw, pull off the blades, and open the motor case; you should be able to clean and check the fiber spacing alignment.
On a non-oscillating fan, I usually remove one fiber spacer from the front of the rotor, since the air force provides the push back on the rotor.

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 Posted: Sat Jun 27th, 2020 04:47 pm
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Steve Stephens
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There are no oil cups on these little GEs, just a small hole over each bearing, front and rear, which I think you should be able to see in this photo.    I've never had one of these apart to guide you further.



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 Posted: Sat Jun 27th, 2020 04:50 pm
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David Kilnapp
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A drop of oil in the oil holes will help.

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 Posted: Sun Jun 28th, 2020 11:24 pm
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Mike Brown
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I oiled the shaft through the front & rear holes and after some spinning, it eventually spun quite freely. The shaft moved in and out about 1/16 inch. I opened up the housing and there doesn't appear to be a fiber washer, except for what looks like a crumbling rubber grommet. (Left side of photo.) It fell out of the back of the motor case. Each end of the shaft has several brass washers.I've cleaned up the motor per tips on this site. Looks much better.




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 Posted: Mon Jun 29th, 2020 11:57 pm
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Mike Brown
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I have a couple of questions and I'm looking for guidance.
a. I've read a few posts that have said to minimize the amount that you cut into the bundle when repairing a broken wire. How concerned do I need to be? One wire is broken and the 2nd has broken strands. I'm going to have to unwrap part of it.

b. In my 1st post, the 2nd photo shows 6 rubber feet on the bottom of the base. The rubber is rock hard. Before I start messing with them, does anyone know if they glued on or do they have a nipple that is pushed into a hole? And, does anyone reproduce them? 

Thanks, Mike34



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 Posted: Tue Jun 30th, 2020 12:59 am
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Steve Stephens
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Some of these rubber feet are not too squished so you can see the shape when nearly new.   I don't know how they were attached but suspect they are pressed into a small hole.   I've never had a 6" GE apart.



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 Posted: Tue Jun 30th, 2020 01:34 am
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Mike Brown
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Thanks Steve. The rubber feet on your fan look to be in much better condition. The feet on my fan are really worn down.  I'll wait to pry one off until I know whether or not I can get replacements.
Correction to a previous post. I've cleaned the washers and have learned that there is only 1 brass washer on the front and back of the rotor shaft. All other washers are fiber.  Is this "normal construction" or might this fan have been worked on?  I've searched but haven't found a parts breakdown (repair manual.) 



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 Posted: Tue Jun 30th, 2020 02:51 am
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Steve Rockwell
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   Is this any help at all? It's about the limit of what I can do in present circumstances...





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 Posted: Tue Jun 30th, 2020 05:34 am
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Russ Huber
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Steve Stephens wrote: Some of these rubber feet are not too squished so you can see the shape when nearly new.   I don't know how they were attached but suspect they are pressed into a small hole.   I've never had a 6" GE apart.





The old rubber feet dry out and get hard. I used the same rubber feet used on Westinghouse tank motors. You can get the amount you need from Darryl Hudson, or order them in bulk from McMaster Carr. They are known as stem bumpers.




Last edited on Tue Jun 30th, 2020 05:37 am by Russ Huber

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 Posted: Wed Jul 1st, 2020 12:29 am
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Mike Brown
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Russ - Thanks, I've checked out McMaster Carr and based on the photo from Steve S., they have a suitable style that I'll order. I often forget about MC as a source for these types of parts.
Steve R. - The photo helps. In your photo it looks like a) there are multiple fiber washers on each end of the shaft and b) the large diameter is 1st on the shaft and the brass washer is last on the shaft. I think I'll place them in order according to your photo. Thanks.  While cleaning, I accidently broke one washer. I don't have any fiber washers but I do have nylon and teflon ones. I surmise that as long as they are non-magnetic, they should be fine? Yes, no?

I'll keep chipping away!  Thanks all.
-Mike

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 Posted: Sat Jul 11th, 2020 03:02 am
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Mike Brown
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I've been busy and the easy part is done. Now I need some guidance.I disassembled the fan, cleaned every part, stripped the old paint, repainted, replaced the power cord and re-soldered the stator connections.  I plugged it in to an isolation transformer and variac, cautiously brought up the power and it ran!  I turned it off after about 20 seconds.  And that's all she wrote.  Now when I apply power, the rotor spins 1/4 turn and then nothing. The rotor spins very freely by hand, so it's not binding.
I don't know anything about electric motors, so what is my next step?  Do the below resistance measurements shed any light as to the issue?  It was easy and fun until now.

Thanks,
-Mike34




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 Posted: Sat Jul 11th, 2020 10:17 am
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Lane Shirey
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Sounds like a coil has shorted to the core or there’s a short to motor housing on a brush.  I’d say pull it back open and look via an area with bare wires on the armature, brush holders or field coil that you can fix. Otherwise it sadly may need a rewind or replacement of the field coil or armature. .  

If you’re truly getting that low of a resistance to the Armature shaft, that’s not good. 

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 Posted: Mon Jul 27th, 2020 11:47 pm
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Mike Brown
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I finally got back to this fan.I pulled it back apart and found the culprit shorting out on the motor casing. All set as you can see in the photo, infinite ohms.  

The motor runs now but there is an intermittent issue.  Some times it runs smooth and quiet.  But most of the time it sounds like a small Cessna airplane and there are a lot of sparks on the rotor where the contacts rub.  Sorry, but I don't know the proper names of the pieces and parts. 



I have installed the "curved" end toward the rotor, which is how it came apart. See below photo and you can see the sparks coming off the rotor.  But, one out of ten time that I plug it in, it runs beautifully (faster, smooth, quite and no sparks). I'm not a motor guy and therefore, I'm at a loss.




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 Posted: Tue Jul 28th, 2020 12:06 am
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David Kilnapp
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The sparks must be at the point of contact with the brushes. Perhaps replace the brushes and that issue will be resolved. Notice how the end of the brush is curved as it was subject to wear by rubbing on the rotor. When you re-insert the brush, make sure that the curved end conforms to the curve of the rotor, otherwise it will spark. Some sparks are normal for this fan (I believe). Nice paint job! Fun huh?

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 Posted: Wed Jul 29th, 2020 02:28 pm
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Mike Brown
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I've swapped the brushes from left to right and rotated them 180 degrees, always keeping the curved part toward the rotor. The varying degrees of sparking, from the brush contact with the rotor, is fairly consistent.  It's interesting how the motor will at times, go very quiet, without sparks and speed up for perhaps 15 seconds, before slowing back down and reverting to some sparking.  Being my first fan, it's a bit unnerving to see the "fireworks." 
The color is a dark maroon and the contrast to the polished brass is quite nice. It was fun project but I'm hoping that it's not contagious as Alex eluded to when I started this project.

Thanks to all who helped and for the good info shared and posted on this site. Greatly appreciated. I now need to focus on a '42 radio and '34 Ford that yearning for my attention.
Thanks again,
-Mike34


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