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Planning bearing lubrication this week on the Thorens

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Hari Iyer

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I am now settled with the setup of my Thorens and may plan lubrication of the spindle bearing this week. Though i do not notice any drag or noise from the spindle, nor there is any drag on the free rotation of the platter. I am not aware about the history of this table and when the spindle bearings were last lubricated and how often does the spindle bearing require lubrication. Search on the web gave me once in 5 years of spindle bearing lubraction.

The TD 145 mk2 is a 1976-`1978 model and assuming it to be with the owner from 1980 - its almost 40 years old. That gives a rough estimate of bearing lubrication 8 times in 40 years on an average. I am not sure which oil to use and many recommend thin oil like sewing machine oil. High viscosity oil will be required to prevent bearing wear. The DIY oil that comes to my mind is the "Parachute Coconut Oil" which works wonders for common lubrication. Any suggestion / advise on the "Parachute Oil" brand. If not then, what oil have you used for the spindle bearings. Advise / suggestion needed.
 

jls001

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See if you can find the service manual for your model from vinylengine. It's best to use the recommended grade of oil instead of experimenting.

For my high torque idler drive TTs I find sewing machine oil too thin. This can be heard by the way it accentuates ticks and pops. Since I'm adventurous:D:p I mixed some quantity of lithium grease to sewing machine oil too thicken the oil, and the ticks and pops were much lesser. Then later I drained off this conviction and have stuck with Mobil 1 5W30 diesel engine oil. It's fully synthetic with a recommended oil change interval of 20kkm.

BTW, grease is not at all recommended if the bearing bushing is sintered bronze which have tiny pores for storing oil. You don't want the pores clogged up by grease.
 
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G401fan

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The Thorens is a belt drive turntable with relatively lower torque as compared with direct drive and idler TTs. A few drops of a light oil would work best in the bearing well. Not more than 3-4 drops. Avoid grease and thick oils as they would put a drag on the motor and cause speed variations. Your best bet is Singer sewing machine oil, which worked very well on my Linn Sondek. Keep far away from coconut oil, which, being organic, will soon get rancid and stink up your TT.

Also do check once again (from the manual downloadable from vinylengine, perhaps) about lubrication scheduling. I used to own a Thorens TD 160 Super That had a bearing well that was not user accessible - it was designed to be lubricated for life.
 

Hari Iyer

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See if you can find the service manual for your model from vinylengine. It's best to use the recommended grade of oil instead of experimenting.

For my high torque idler drive TTs I find sewing machine oil too thin. This can be heard by the way it accentuates ticks and pops. Since I'm adventurous:D:p I mixed some quantity of lithium grease to sewing machine oil too thicken the oil, and the ticks and pops were much lesser. Then later I drained off this conviction and have stuck with Mobil 1 5W30 diesel engine oil. It's fully synthetic with a recommended oil change interval of 20kkm.

BTW, grease is not at all recommended if the bearing bushing is sintered bronze which have tiny pores for storing oil. You don't want the pores clogged up by grease.
How about using fully synthetic engine oil that we use for our diesel engines for lubrication. I have Tutela fully synthetic engine oil that I use for my diesel car. Any particular viscosity to maintain?
 

Hari Iyer

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The Thorens is a belt drive turntable with relatively lower torque as compared with direct drive and idler TTs. A few drops of a light oil would work best in the bearing well. Not more than 3-4 drops. Avoid grease and thick oils as they would put a drag on the motor and cause speed variations. Your best bet is Singer sewing machine oil, which worked very well on my Linn Sondek. Keep far away from coconut oil, which, being organic, will soon get rancid and stink up your TT.

Also do check once again (from the manual downloadable from vinylengine, perhaps) about lubrication scheduling. I used to own a Thorens TD 160 Super That had a bearing well that was not user accessible - it was designed to be lubricated for life.
Thanks for suggesting seeing machine oil in place of coconut oil. In the TD145, there is a plastic catcher that holds the subplatter when the table is been opened from the back. I have glanced the service manual and it does mention lubrication very occasionally for the spindle bearings and motor bearings. Will double confirm today.
 

Hari Iyer

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I checked the relevant Thorens service manual for the spindle lubraction - The factory lubrication last for 4000 hrs of use after which it will require a re-lube. The recommended oil is light machine oil - Mobil DTH or equivalent.
 

Hari Iyer

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Ironically i did some research on the Mobil DTE light lube oil and found the following parameters similar to that of coconut oil

Mobil DTE oil light - viscocity index 102, density kg/l - 0.85

Coconut oil - viscocity index 80-110, density kg/l -0.92
 

Hari Iyer

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Further search on the Viscocity index gave me the below for the oils recommended,

5W30 diesel engine oil - 380

Light Machine Oil - 150

The closest to the recommended oil (Mobil DTE) is the humble coconut oil.
 

kuruvilajacob

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Hari, I have only used sewing machine oil for this purpose except in the case of Garrard 301. Sewing machine oil is meant for lubrication while coconut oil is used for purposes other than industrial purposes. So my advice is to stick with sewing machine oil
 

jls001

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Coconut oil - viscocity index 80-110, density kg/l -0.92

Being organic, won't coconut oil gum up in due course of time? Also, most motor/engine oils are designed to work in high temperature and high pressure environment WITHOUT chemically breaking down or reacting to the surrounding components. Not sure if coconut oil will hold up in the long run.
 

Hari Iyer

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Many articles are suggesting using coconut oil as hydraulic oil. Coconut oil boiling point is 100 Deg and won't breakup due to heat. It does not have any additives too. Though biodegradable it won't gumup like petroleum jelly. It could evaporate much quicker leaving a thin film

I may try few drops ( thanks to bandh today). If it works then will report. It could save plenty of foreign exchange for FMs
 

Hari Iyer

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I have now used around 2ml of coconut oil in the lubewell of the spindle bearing for around 7+ months and I removed the spindle to check the oil condition. Coconut oil has a transparent look when new and this oil now has become yellowish though it still retains the lubrication property. Did not smell bad too. The spindle sits well lubricated and spins without any noise or friction. Also examined for any fatty deposits and found none.

.Will plan and replace the oil this month as it cost me nothing.
 
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