Zebbo wrote:Oh mate, that doesn't sound good I'm afraid. I replaced a bearing assembly on my later Export and it cost me £180! I'm not sure that the early bearings are even available. You might be down to looking out for a good used one but Tim might know better. Don't know if it's possible to fit a later type bearing to an early deck or not. The jewel is very difficult to see at the best of times, (they're not all blue and sparkly, more like a browny colour), it would be worth giving the assembly a thorough clean out with something like a WD40 spray to remove any old oil and crud, dry it all off then apply a little oil to the shaft and try again.
The bearings are basically compatible, but some of the earlier bearings were slightly (0.5mm or so) narrower than the later/modern ones, so a modern bearing will not fit straight into the hole in the platter. One I replaced was like this, so I had to slightly enlarge the hole in the platter - I wrapped some coarse emery paper around my forefinger and spun the platter round it, checking if I could just slide the bearing into the platter every 20 seconds or so...
And yes, the early bearings were red rubies.
Good luck Z_m - if you get anywhere with the repairs, there will be a queue of people with busted bearings knocking on your cyber-door!