Motor Oil? Really?

I was just reading the manual (thank you Carl) for the new to me (ancient) HF lathe and it says to fill the head stock with heavy weight motor oil. I
would think something like 80-90 gear oil would be better rather than a motor oil. What do you think?
P.S. There is about an inch of oil in the bottom of the gear case. Probably hasn't been full in a very long time.
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I think you should pay attention to the requirements in the manual.
Most of those have slingers instead of seals. If the oil viscosity is too high OR if it's too full, you'll be running oil like a faucet out around the spindle.
Second, most of those are splash oiled. If so, they should only 'dip', not run immersed. There should be only enough oil so that when the thing is running (and thus, the oil level in the sump is lowest), there's still just enough to get a full tooth dip on the bottom-most gears.
Let us know what happens if you fill it full with 90W gear lube <G>.
LLoyd
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Bob La Londe wrote:

I dutifully changed the oil in my Sheldon R15-6, which has a HUGE D1-6 spindle. The chuck-end bearings are quite large, maybe 5-6" diameter ball bearings. The lube plate and manual said to use Vactra heavy, but as soon as I ran it, the bearings started running quite hot. After some online consultation, it became apparent it was a typo, and they meant VELOCITE heavy, not Vactra! I put some Velocite #2 in it that I had on hand, and was the specified lube for the high-speed spindle, and it is working fine.
So, if your lathe has fairly large bearings, and is capable or running at 1000 RPM or more, then you really want to use a light lube to keep the bearings from running hot.
Jon
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So then motor oil as in the manual might actually be the reccomended oil. Interesting. Wonder what they mean by "heavy" 30 weight? 40 weight? Multi-vis? LOL.
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On Sun, 27 Nov 2011 21:20:25 -0800 (PST), the renowned Bob La Londe

My Grizzly (2400 RPM maximum spindle) recommends Mobil DTE Heavy-Medium for the gearbox.
http://www.mobil.com/USA-English/Lubes/PDS/GLXXENINDMOMobil_DTE_Named.aspx
Comparing viscosities, to me it looks similar to SAE20 or SAE30 crankcase oil, or 80W gear oil.
http://www.audizine.com/forum/showthread.php/383410-Audi-oil-reference-all-you-ever-wanted-to-know
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On Sun, 27 Nov 2011 21:20:25 -0800 (PST), Bob La Londe

If it is a "Chinglich" or '"Indiglish" manual they likely mean "heavy duty' 30 weight oil. That's 30 weight oil with extreme pressure additives, like zinc, added. You don't want multi-grade because you are running a lot of shear, which would degrade the viscosity improvers very quickly.
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I'm trying to imagine something that needs ball bearings that are five to six inches in diameter.
Elijah ------ guessing HUGE would cover it
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On 02/12/2011 06:23, Eli the Bearded wrote:

Slewing rings for big cranes, for a start. There are usually pictures in SKF publicity literature, so try the web site.
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Ok... How full to fill... Some simple observation answered this problem. After setting up and starting a job on the Taig I was drawn over to the 31316 lathe again. I pulled the spindle gear box cover off and looked at it. Turns out what I originally though was a drain is actually a sight glass. Problem solved I think. Fill to the middle of the sight glass. Can't see through it anymore, but you have to have the top open to fill it anyway, and the manual recommends changing the oil regularly anyway. I filled it with 30W motor oil for now. I'll see what it looks like after its had some hours on it.
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