CLA Connect Open Forum

Topic: How to make your bearings last a LIFETIME??? 

1.  How to make your bearings last a LIFETIME???

Posted 9 days ago
Ok....In my never-ending each for solutions to recurring laundromat problems, I once again called on the automotive industry.

This guy claims that the key to making bearings last a lifetime is to use Synthetic Grease.  This makes sense to me because we all know that synthetic oil in your car engine will last twice as long as regular organic oil.

So what this guy does is to pack synthetic grease into his brand new bearings before he installs them.
Synthetic grease wins out over regular grease in high or low temperatures, high speeds, and outdoor & harsh environments.

They do NOT recommend mixing greases as the mechanic in this video is doing, so I would first soak the opened bearing in mineral spirits or even acetone to dissolve the existing grease, shake it out, and then pack in the synthetic grease.

Now he shows how he removes the rubber dust guards on the bearing with a pick. The metal shields (guards) on some bearings are either removable with a retaining ring, or non-removable. I haven't tried to remove a non-removable metal guard. I imagine that they would be near impossible to put back properly. Perhaps someone here knows a way.

Without bearings, all machinery comes to a halt. They knew this during WWII so that allies specifically targeted Germany's ball bearing factories as a strategy to bring the war to a quicker end.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lf_sttobyyY

http://www.machinerylubrication.com/Read/1012/synthetic-greases

How to remove a bearing guard with an exacto knife:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6Jx-LIfZu8



------------------------------
Paulie B
Owner/Operator
Mr Machine
New York City, NY
------------------------------


2.  RE: How to make your bearings last a LIFETIME???

Posted 8 days ago
Dryer bearings wear out because dust / dirt gets inside the bearing.  Washer bearings fail because they get wet, due to seal failure. The wetness (along with soap and bleach) contaminates the grease. The wet bearings will also rust.  The best grease to repack with would be waterproof trailer bearing grease (pale green color). It may be waterproof with water that a trailer would encounter, but probably not with detergent and water. And no bearing that has become wet with washing machine water will last very long.

Conclusion:  A "lifetime" washer bearing will only be possible when there is a "lifetime" shaft seal design.

------------------------------
- Winston
Store Owner/ Employee
------------------------------



3.  RE: How to make your bearings last a LIFETIME???

Posted 8 days ago
Hi Winston,

While I definitely agree with you about water being a bad culprit for washer bearings, one has to wonder how they get bearings on ships, outboard engines and submarines to last. I mean you are dealing with highly corrosive salt water. There must be rust-proof bearings out there....either stainless steel or ceramic, but I imagine they are very expensive, and may have other drawbacks.

As far as dryer bearings, or electric motor bearings, the hardness of the metal inside a bearing would pulverize any small amount of lint that could get in past the bearing seal.

The cause of dryer and motor bearings is that the grease inside eventually dries out and no longer lubricates.
This is especially true for any bearing that is exposed to the heat of the dryer, which is why the dryer bearing closest to the heat is always the one that dries out first and seizes up, which in turn wears down the spyder shaft.

This is why I installed grease nipples on my dryer bearing housings. You only have to grease them once a year, or even once every two years with a grease gun. Once I started doing that, my dryer bearing jobs disappeared,

I also have a way to extend washer motor bearings.
I have NOT come up with a way of permanently keeping the water out of tub bearings though. Anyone who figures that out, is a genius!
I've tried widening the weep holes, installing high quality bearings & seals....nothing really helps much.

------------------------------
Paulie B
Owner/Operator
Mr Machine
New York City, NY
------------------------------



4.  RE: How to make your bearings last a LIFETIME???

Posted 8 days ago
Paulie,
If you use a generous amount of Dow 111 when you install those seals you will be amazed at how much longer they will last.

------------------------------
Curt Harrington

------------------------------



5.  RE: How to make your bearings last a LIFETIME???

Posted 8 days ago
Curt,

Really! That's a great tip! Thanks!

------------------------------
Paulie B
Owner/Operator
Mr Machine
New York City, NY
------------------------------



6.  RE: How to make your bearings last a LIFETIME???

Posted 7 days ago
Edited by - Winston 7 days ago
The seal on frontload washers acts more as a wiper on the shaft rather than a true seal. Normally the water level is well below the shaft and it's seal.  Any water that reaches the seal is splashed to that location... unless the washer malfunctions and the water level reaches the shaft and seal.  Severe over-sudsing could in theory create a greater water load on the seal than normal, which could hasten bearing failure.

As for dryer bearings on dryers that are not entirely supported by a single shaft, but instead have a rear bearing and two front rollers, I have found a way to save the bearings.  If ANY noise comes from the bearing, remove the protective plate that is bolted to cover the bearing assembly. Then force some grease into the bearing. I have used spray lithium grease, which becomes a gel after it's sprayed.  Doing this has prevented the bearing from failing, coming apart and damaging the trunion shaft. Of course the bearing should be replaced fairly soon after the emergency lubrication, at a more convenient time.

------------------------------
- Winston
Store Owner/ Employee
------------------------------



7.  RE: How to make your bearings last a LIFETIME???

Posted 7 days ago
Also...on some machines you can install an additional seal. Yes it does fit. Barely, but it never hurts to have that extra seal.

------------------------------
Curt Harrington

------------------------------



8.  RE: How to make your bearings last a LIFETIME???

Posted 7 days ago
The extra (3rd) seal Curt refers to is a good thing,
Just be sure it doesn't cover the weep hole.

The newer "press-fit" kits from Alliance have a ledge on the seal collar (the part that is closest to the drum, and often needs grinding to remove)
Image result for wascomat washer shaft collar
Image result for shaded v-ringImage result for shaded v-ring
A "shaded V-Ring is placed before this ledge.
The thicker side is against the raise lip / ledge.
The ledge, or raised lip holds the v-ring from falling off at the drum end of the shaft.
The thin lip of the Shaded V-Ring rides on the cleaned area on the back of the drum around the seal hole.
This v-ring helps keep the water, etc away from the seals, making it easier for the seals to keep the water away from the bearings and grease.

I have been looking into a way of adding this v-ring to a standard seal shaft.
I think I may have found a way, but want to test it a couple more times first.

I would then be able to add that to my Special Alliance Bearing Replacement Tool Set, and offer it to all of you owners and techs. No need to rent the huge distributor's tool kits.
By the way my tool set cuts the bearing replacement down to under 3 hours.
My fastest time has been 1 hour 45 minutes, front panel off, to front panel back on.

Perhaps this v-ring will cut bearing replacement Need to every 15 years or more?

------------------------------
DAVID CHAMLEE
Service Technician since 1986
and sometimes Laundromat Owner
CCR
Santa Barbara, CA
------------------------------



9.  RE: How to make your bearings last a LIFETIME???

Posted 7 days ago
Curt & David,

On that forcing & benefitting from an extra seal ... could that somehow also apply to Wasco Gen4s?

------------------------------
Michael Walsh www.kingkoin.com
Store Owner/ Employee
King Koin Laundry, Car n Dog Wash
Bismarck ND
------------------------------



10.  RE: How to make your bearings last a LIFETIME???

Posted 7 days ago
Wascomat Gen 4 & 5's come with 3 seals. 1 at the back to the grease & bearing area, and 2 at the front, to seal against the water. A 3rd on in the front would work, but it comes Very close to covering the weep hole.

I have seen in my Bearings and Belts Catalog, but never ordered, a 'Slim' Seal, which retains the same inner seal lip configuration, but is only half the sidewall height (5mm vs 10mm), or outer edge thickness, allowing for two sealing lips in the space of one normal seal.

It's something I may order in the future just to compare.
The prices are about the same, so the extra seal would increase the price, but if it extends the service life of the bearings it would be well worth it.

I assemble my own bearing kits for Wasco and SQ/Huebsch.
I find it cheaper, plus I can get better bearings, (and no counterfeit SKF's like some suppliers are using).

The only trick is the seal rider collar and the outer rim gasket.
I have two different solutions for the collar.
Order the right size from the bearing company, or shaft savers.
I prefer the shaft savers.
They are SS and 'slip on' over the old collar, without changing the seal size.
The Wasco outer rim gasket, I use bulk o-ring material. Comes on a roll, cut off what you need, Heat shrink tube the ends & place the seam at the top.
SQ, I use triple groove weather striping material.

Never had a leak yet.

Also looking into the V-ring concept, discussed above, for the Wasco as well.


------------------------------
DAVID CHAMLEE
Service Technician since 1986
and sometimes Laundromat Owner
CCR
Santa Barbara, CA
------------------------------



11.  RE: How to make your bearings last a LIFETIME???

Posted 7 days ago
Where do you get your shaft savers from? Is it for the part of the shaft where the bearing rides or the seals?

------------------------------
Chris Mirisciotta
Store Owner/ Employee
Canon Coin Laundry
Canonsburg PA
------------------------------



12.  RE: How to make your bearings last a LIFETIME???

Posted 6 days ago
The shaft saver I use goes on the seal collar.

If the shaft is worn then I use one of 3 companies out here to "spray weld" the shaft, then use a large vertical lathe to trim it down to the required size.

I will need to find my supplier. It been a couple years since I ordered them. I always make a bigger order for savings.
However I will need to locate the supplier again.
Paperwork gone in the fire.

Instruction to install are;
Clean the collar smooth and even with a flap wheel on a grinder.
Warm the saver up on a hot plate.
You don't want it more than super warm, not overly hot.
Slide the saver over the collar quickly before the warmth goes away.
Using the packaging that the saver came in, tap the saver into it's final position.
You want it only where the seals ride and no lower,
Peel away the install lip before installing into the seal / bearing housing.
Great product. Saver lots of time. Works as good as replacing the entire collar.

Now where did I find the info for them? hmmm.....

I'm considering that the install lip, which can be left in place for many applications, might be good to hold that shaded V-Ring I mentioned earlier

------------------------------
DAVID CHAMLEE
Service Technician since 1986
and sometimes Laundromat Owner
CCR
Santa Barbara, CA
------------------------------



13.  RE: How to make your bearings last a LIFETIME???

Posted 7 days ago
So Paulie,
Just how did you install your grease fittings?  I have done the same on some industrial HVAC shafts? Did you use self tapping Zerk fittings or tap your own threads? Was it done in place or when you tear down the unit and then have more working space?
Karl

------------------------------
karl greenblatt
Store Owner/ Employee
Orange CA
------------------------------



14.  RE: How to make your bearings last a LIFETIME???

Posted 7 days ago
Karl,

I did it on my ADC-330's.
Strangely, most but not all, came with the holes already threaded so all I had to do was to buy a bunch of zerk fittings (grease nipples), and I just screwed them in place. Easy peasy.

However, some units, of the same run in serial numbers, did NOT have the threaded holes there.
So I just waited them out. When the shafts on those units blew out after a few years, I installed new bearings/housings with the zerk fittings already attached.

On my ADC-285's they already came with the zerk fittings attached! I grease them all every 2 years. You may even be able to get away with every 3 years, but I didn't want to push my luck, lol.

------------------------------
Paulie B
Owner/Operator
Mr Machine
New York City, NY
------------------------------