Lube for pillow block sleeve bearing?

Our whole-house fan is mounted in a gable wall near the roof peak. I.e., not readily accessible and irregularly maintained. So, 50 years
after its installation and maybe 30-40 years after its last lube, one of its bearings seized. It was one of the pillow block bearings holding the fan shaft. It's a brass or bronze sleeve bearing with oil grooves in it. The oil in there had been baked solid and immune to various solvents and to a lye soak. It had to be chipped out with a pick.
Once cleaned out and reassembled, my first choice for its oil refill was 10W. It ran right through! OK - I tried 30W: it, to, ran out. So, the bearings are either so worn that they aren't going to hold any oil, or I'm using the wrong oil. They definitely do not seem worn - they slide on readily, but without any noticeable play.
I'm inclined to try gear oil, but I thought I'd collect RCM thoughts on it first.
Thanks, Bob
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Bob Engelhardt wrote:

I'd consider some way lube , or another "sticky" oil , like maybe summer-weight bar & chain oil . Or maybe a mix of gear oil and moly grease , that's what I use on my lathe gears .
--
Snag



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I'd more naturally assume that _either_ they were made of oilite to begin with, and the grooves were just for maintenance oiling, where the oil is expected to run out after having created a film, OR that they were intended to be greased.
When such a sleeve is intended to be oiled instead of greased, there's usually a felt washer on the ends or a wick in the oil hole to soak up and re-feed oil into the gap as necessary.
LLoyd
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"Lloyd E. Sponenburgh" <lloydspinsidemindspring.com> wrote in

If it was made of Oilite bronze, the pores are now unrecoverably blocked so you will have to go with grease anyway, or replace the bearings. If you want a long, trouble free life with the existing bearings, a remote greaser would be a good idea. Clean out the other bearings and plumb the kit to all of them and the only maintenance the bearings will need for the forseeable future would be a turn on the greaser handle evey few months.
OTOH if you replace them with modern bearings, they may well run long enough with no maintenance to become sombody else's problem
--
Ian Malcolm. London, ENGLAND. (NEWSGROUP REPLY PREFERRED)
ianm[at]the[dash]malcolms[dot]freeserve[dot]co[dot]uk
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"Ian Malcolm" wrote in message

If it was made of Oilite bronze, the pores are now unrecoverably blocked so you will have to go with grease anyway, or replace the bearings. If you want a long, trouble free life with the existing bearings, a remote greaser would be a good idea. Clean out the other bearings and plumb the kit to all of them and the only maintenance the bearings will need for the forseeable future would be a turn on the greaser handle evey few months.
OTOH if you replace them with modern bearings, they may well run long enough with no maintenance to become sombody else's problem
--
Ian Malcolm. London, ENGLAND. (NEWSGROUP REPLY PREFERRED)
ianm[at]the[dash]malcolms[dot]freeserve[dot]co[dot]uk
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Which is great if the unit is accessable and you dont mind servicing it twice a year. I've got a Magicook 2500W fan heater from the '50s that lives on that maintenance program. It pre-dates me and will probaby out- last me!
However the O.P.'s bearings are in a very awkward and inaccessable location, hence my recommendation for remote lubrication. The 0.P. has already stated that light oil wont stay in the bearing. Heavy oil would be an option but if there are problems with the remote lube system it would make a big mess and get everywhere. A remote greaser however is fairly cheap and easy to install and easy to use.
--
Ian Malcolm. London, ENGLAND. (NEWSGROUP REPLY PREFERRED)
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"Ian Malcolm" wrote in message

Which is great if the unit is accessable and you dont mind servicing it twice a year. I've got a Magicook 2500W fan heater from the '50s that lives on that maintenance program. It pre-dates me and will probaby out- last me!
However the O.P.'s bearings are in a very awkward and inaccessable location, hence my recommendation for remote lubrication. The 0.P. has already stated that light oil wont stay in the bearing. Heavy oil would be an option but if there are problems with the remote lube system it would make a big mess and get everywhere. A remote greaser however is fairly cheap and easy to install and easy to use.
--
Ian Malcolm. London, ENGLAND. (NEWSGROUP REPLY PREFERRED)
ianm[at]the[dash]malcolms[dot]freeserve[dot]co[dot]uk
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"Ed Huntress" wrote:

<snip>

I'm lucky. The motor shaft and bearing face can be reached through the rear vent with a bent piece of copper capillary tube. No dismantling required.
P.S. please snip everyone's sigs (from and including the -- <space>) before replying. You have a news reader problem that is messing up the quoting and that's the simplest wrokaround.
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Ian Malcolm. London, ENGLAND. (NEWSGROUP REPLY PREFERRED)
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"Ian Malcolm" wrote in message
"Ed Huntress" wrote:

<snip>

I'm lucky. The motor shaft and bearing face can be reached through the rear vent with a bent piece of copper capillary tube. No dismantling required.
P.S. please snip everyone's sigs (from and including the -- <space>) before replying. You have a news reader problem that is messing up the quoting and that's the simplest wrokaround.
========================================================My newsreader problem is that I'm not supposed to be here, and I ditched my copy of Agent. I thought I'd stop in for one day over the 4th of July weekend just to see what's going on. Then I got myself trapped. <g> So I'm responding with Windows Live Mail, which is a dog for newsgroup messaging, and I'm making a real mess.
All of which serves to remind me that I have to knock this off and get back to work. I'm leaving town tomorrow evening, so that will be a good time to shut it off.
If anyone has something they want to ask or say, I can be reached at FAB Shop Magazine Direct.
--
Ed Huntress


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On Wed, 16 Jul 2014 21:25:04 +0000 (UTC), Ian Malcolm

I'd be rebuilding it using sealed ball bearing blocks instead of the plain bearings. Then it WOULD outlast me.
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I would do the same.
i
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Hi, Ed.
From the Department of Silly Questions: For my mower and chainsaw I add something called Sea Foam which seems to de-gunk the fuel line and carburetor fairly well. Would dripping something like this on an Oilite bushing help dissolve some of the old-and-hardened oil so it would do its job again? Or would you need something stronger to do the job?
Frank McKenney
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with the public, people who do not know the difference between an
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No. If the problem was just 'varnished' oil in the pores, then alternating between soaking in a really agressive solvent (e.g. dichloromethane) then pulling a vacuum (use a compressed air powered vacuum generator as the fumes will probably rapidly kill a good vacuum pump)could clear them out, but if the bearing has seized or squealed, the surface will have been smeared and seriously overheated so most of the pores will be blocked with metal particles or insoluable carbon. Some people report good emergency results from burning out the old oil then relubricating, but you need to immerse it in hot oil and repeatedly pull a vacuum to do a proper job of relubeing.
--
Ian Malcolm. London, ENGLAND. (NEWSGROUP REPLY PREFERRED)
ianm[at]the[dash]malcolms[dot]freeserve[dot]co[dot]uk
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Hi, Ian.
Thanks for responding.

Hm. Rather like using your lungs to suck glass dry after etching it. Ouch!

Ah. Yes. And most anything I could imagine that would remove the metal would also bits of the bearing, which rather defeats the original purpose.

All of which, for the reasons you point out, ought to be done _before_ the bearing screeches at you. ( "We ought to, you ought to, I'll get around to it someday." )
Thanks...
Frank
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(A) Immerse in ketone and place under a pressure of several atmospheres, or as high of a pressure as you can practically attain.
(B) Remove from ketone and pull a vacuum.
(C) Repeat the above until no more oily residue is drawn out, or at least several times if at all possible.
(D) Immerse in oil and again pull a vacuum; when it is released, fresh oil will be drawn in to fill the pores.
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Are you fixing it in place, or can you take it to the shop for major surgery? -jsw
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On 7/16/2014 1:57 PM, Bob Engelhardt wrote:

Thanks for all the suggestions.
Not having way lube, I tried bar & chain. It leaked through also. I had forgotten Terry's suggestion of a mix of grease & oil.
On 7/16/2014 2:36 PM, Lloyd E. Sponenburgh wrote: > I'd more naturally assume that _either_ they were made of oilite to > begin with, and the grooves were just for maintenance oiling, where >the oil is expected to run out after having created a film, OR that >they were intended to be greased.
They're definitely not oilite. They have oil cups, not grease fittings. And the oil grooves are about .04 x .1 and in a criss-cross pattern. I.e., an oil supply network.
> When such a sleeve is intended to be oiled instead of greased, there's > usually a felt washer on the ends or a wick in the oil hole to soak up > and re-feed oil into the gap as necessary.
There were wads of cotton near the top. But there are 4 oil feed holes and a large (1 oz+-) reservoir all around. The cotton doesn't make sense to me.
Replacing them is what I would do now. When I started, I thought that it was a matter of cleaning them & refilling the oil, and I would have the satisfaction of fixing them. When that didn't work, I got caught up in the sunk cost fallacy and didn't want to throw away all the work that I had done chipping out the carbonized oil.
In the end, I greased them and hope that it works.
Bob
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