Best lubrication for annular platter thrust bearings in stacker/changers?

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empireboy
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Best lubrication for annular platter thrust bearings in stacker/changers?

Post by empireboy » 14 Mar 2019 04:27

Annular platter thrust bearings (multiple ball bearings in a race sandwiched between two washers) are ubiquitous with stacker / changers due to the center stacking spindle architecture.

Some of the better performing higher end changers from Elac, Dual, Garrard, VOM (and others) are worthy of restoration.

But with their multiple ball bearings spinning in a metal sandwich, annular bearing stackers can be much more challenging to tame thrust-bearing-induced rumble and whine vs. transcription idlers with only a single ball bearing.

Has anyone experimented and determined what lubrications work best with annular platter bearings from a standpoint of a.) minimizing audible platter bearing noise / rumble and b.) longevity of the lubricant/s?

High pressure grease? Mix with oil? Synthetics? I would love to hear what specific products and lubrication viscosities / properties you guys are utilizing and what kind of results you are getting with respect to minimizing thrust bearing noise. (Yes, I know there are other items to address in changers, including refreshed idler wheels and motor mounts etc, but I just want to focus on platter bearing lubrication in this thread.)

Also, I assume that only the sides of the two washers that face/sandwich the balls/race should have lubrication and that the opposite sides of each washer that face away from the race should remain dry. Is that a correct assumption?
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nat
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Re: Best lubrication for annular platter thrust bearings in stacker/changers?

Post by nat » 14 Mar 2019 21:19

On the better tables (at least on Garrard's better tables) the thrust plates were lapped, and even the best I could do in a hurry without proper equipment job I did on a 95 improved the rumble considerably. I couldn't find the right size balls so I left them alone, but under a microscope you could see pitting on them, so replacements might have improved the results even more.
I don't think it really matters whether you keep the opposite sides of the plates free from lubricant - it will end up on them anyway.
I don't have any insight into what lubricants are the best - all the makers specify greases and so on, so if you can find the same grease that was used 50 years ago, it's probably the best, but I'm not sure using the exact grease will have too much effect compared to something similar.

Doug G.
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Re: Best lubrication for annular platter thrust bearings in stacker/changers?

Post by Doug G. » 15 Mar 2019 05:31

I have used 20 - 30 weight motor oil for over 40 years with great results. In my oldest BIC 980, the washers have no sign of wear, nor do the ball bearings. The table is as silent as when it was new.

Doug

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Re: Best lubrication for annular platter thrust bearings in stacker/changers?

Post by Solist » 15 Mar 2019 11:34

Correct, you put the lube only on the inside part of the washer, where the ball grooves are. As far as lube it really depends on the weight of the platter and the motor torque.

In regard to the lubes, the longest spin down time of the platter should indicate that there is the smallest amount of friction being produced which means low friction/vibrations being generated. Some will say that a higher viscosity will be better at damping vibrations being produced. How much of that is true idk.

I used light grease made for thrust bearings for the platter bearing and then some Pakelo 68 viscosity oil for the shaft. You could also try and use oil for the bearing but, best to look at the service manual and try to look for modern replacements. The main thing is to get the viscosity just right, so that it gets in between the ball and washer creating a protective coating which will prevent damage and absorb the load. Using too thick of a lube will cause metal to metal contact. Too thin and it might not be enough to protect the bearings.

Same with the shaft. The pakelo was designed to be used for sliding bearings, has good adhesive properties and it does not stick. It is also safe to be used with colored metals. It is also a light oil which will make sure to get in between the rather tight tolerances of the shaft. These are the properties you should look for when buying.

abs1
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Re: Best lubrication for annular platter thrust bearings in stacker/changers?

Post by abs1 » 15 Mar 2019 15:47

Phil Woods Bicycle Grease.

nat
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Re: Best lubrication for annular platter thrust bearings in stacker/changers?

Post by nat » 15 Mar 2019 21:13

Doug G knows what he is talking about, and it may be that BICs, which were later designs, which as belt drives didn't need as heavy platters, and used different lubricants than the Garrards I've been working on, don't suffer from bearing wear. The wear I saw on the races and balls was only visible under a microscope (at least to my old eyes), but it was distinctly audible.

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Re: Best lubrication for annular platter thrust bearings in stacker/changers?

Post by smee4 » 16 Mar 2019 00:24

I have used teflon grease as well as just normal heavy grease.

One thing I might mention. Some (many) designs had a cushioning rubber o-ring under and/or over, the bearing washers to help reduce rumble. It is often missing or gone hard.

Doug G.
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Re: Best lubrication for annular platter thrust bearings in stacker/changers?

Post by Doug G. » 16 Mar 2019 04:00

Put the lubricant on all surfaces. Any piece having a chance of moving/rotating needs to have lubricant in case it does. That includes both surfaces of the washers. As nat says, the lubrication is going to migrate to there anyway.

nat, I wonder if too light a lubricant was used on the Garrards. The pitting/wear kind of sounds like it. That's why I have never bought into using light oils like sewing machine oil. I just don't think they have to body to support the weight/keep the parts separated.

Doug

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Re: Best lubrication for annular platter thrust bearings in stacker/changers?

Post by 62vauxhall » 16 Mar 2019 04:34

I'm with Doug G....motor oil.

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