Garrard 401 - Problems oiling top bearing of motor - diyAudio
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Old 1st April 2012, 03:20 PM   #1
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Default Garrard 401 - Problems oiling top bearing of motor

Hey there,

My garrard 401 has a problem stabilizing its speed, taking about 25 minutes to stabilize from a cold start. I know it should take some time but... It's too much.

I was lubing the points indicated in the manual and after lubing the top bearing of the motor through one of the three holes of the eddy disc my garrard 401 is completely crazy. The speed (judging from the stroboscope markings) is just the same as before but now the tonearm keeps trembling which makes crazy noises through the loudspeaker that are periodic and seem like a slow heart beat... The sound is also noticeably distorted.

Also, I don't know if it did rattle before, but now I can also notice an occasional rattling that is not audible through the speaker.

What did I do wrong?

Thanks for your help.
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Old 1st April 2012, 03:38 PM   #2
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Has the motor ever been worked on before? If not, one of the standard maintenance routines for a motor that old is to take the motor apart and clean the bearings, and replace the old oil. After forty years, especially if it had any time in storage without being used, motor oil gets gunked up and thick, sometimes hardening into something like wax. I have a Thorens which behaved like you describe before I took the motor apart and cleaned and relubricated the bearings, and replaced the felt oil-retaining pads inside. Took immediate care of the slow starting. But it also can be a pain to get the bearings aligned perfectly. Seems like if you are getting rattling at your tonearm, then the motor is vibrating way too much too, an indication that the motor is misaligned. The fresh oiling you just gave it may have flooded the motor too, and if the eddy brake has gotten oil on it, that too will be malfunctioning. Anyone near you knows how to service a 401 properly? I would have a pro look at it if you can. Anyway, my 401 is my favorite turntable and you should be careful to get the motor operating well. Replacing a burned out motor is not a happy task.
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Old 1st April 2012, 05:42 PM   #3
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I don't think it has been serviced. I just stripped out my garrard from the plinth and cleaned the spindle. The old oil was black and a bit thick.

Now I'll service the motor by myself. I'm not that scared! I'll try to put some pictures later but maybe I won't finish this today.

Quote:
Originally Posted by midwifecrisis View Post
Has the motor ever been worked on before? If not, one of the standard maintenance routines for a motor that old is to take the motor apart and clean the bearings, and replace the old oil. After forty years, especially if it had any time in storage without being used, motor oil gets gunked up and thick, sometimes hardening into something like wax. I have a Thorens which behaved like you describe before I took the motor apart and cleaned and relubricated the bearings, and replaced the felt oil-retaining pads inside. Took immediate care of the slow starting. But it also can be a pain to get the bearings aligned perfectly. Seems like if you are getting rattling at your tonearm, then the motor is vibrating way too much too, an indication that the motor is misaligned. The fresh oiling you just gave it may have flooded the motor too, and if the eddy brake has gotten oil on it, that too will be malfunctioning. Anyone near you knows how to service a 401 properly? I would have a pro look at it if you can. Anyway, my 401 is my favorite turntable and you should be careful to get the motor operating well. Replacing a burned out motor is not a happy task.
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Old 1st April 2012, 06:03 PM   #4
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Yes, I forgot this is a DIY site, so of course this should be something to take care of yourself.

There are many guides on the web for this service and it's a pretty straightforward process. If the oil in your spindle was black, I'd guess the motor will look the same or worse. A cleaning and alignment will make all the difference.

Good luck!
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Old 1st April 2012, 06:08 PM   #5
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Here's a page with some instructions and links to other pages showing the motor service. Might be useful to have a look through here a bit first.

Cheers

Turntable Forum • 301 Motor
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Old 1st April 2012, 10:54 PM   #6
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Ok, I just serviced the motor. Now I'll wait 24h for the oil to infiltrate the top and bottom bearings.

Both bearings didn't seem to have any oil at all. They were a bit stuck and the bottom bearing made some noise when moving it with the rotor shaft, that was probably the issue causing some occasional rattling.

Thanks for your tips.
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Old 3rd April 2012, 12:51 PM   #7
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After servicing the motor and main bearing, the garrard TT seems to stabilize in much less time. From the cold start the strobe markings can be held still setting the eddy magnet to 3 marks clockwise from the center of the knob. After about 10/15 minutes, it stabilizes at 1 mark clockwise from the center. I suppose this is normal for this TT, right?
I used Redline 5W30 motor oil in all bearings. Now it seems to have less background noise, and the sound seems even fuller.

Funny thing is that the crazy noises I was talking about at the beginning of this thread, were related to my valve amplifier that is actually a mono prototype (fully designed by me), and not to the TT. This issue just came as a big coincidence. My amplifier was making tremolo like sounds. After moving one of the wires of the power amplifier PSU it stopped. Crazy thing...

Last edited by tidalweapon; 3rd April 2012 at 12:58 PM.
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Old 3rd April 2012, 04:29 PM   #8
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Glad the 401 is sorted out. Sounds like you have a serious stability issue with your power amplifier design. Did you use grid stoppers placed close to all grids in the amplifier? Good lead dress? Post to tubes/valve forum for more input..
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Old 3rd April 2012, 05:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinkr View Post
Glad the 401 is sorted out. Sounds like you have a serious stability issue with your power amplifier design. Did you use grid stoppers placed close to all grids in the amplifier? Good lead dress? Post to tubes/valve forum for more input..
It is the first time that it ever happened in probably 100 or more hours of use... I have an 1K grid stopper at the first stage and 10K resistors at the output stage really close to the grid pins.
I think the problem has to do with some bad solder joint or some loose connector/cable. One thing that I noticed, was a strange and fast noise very similar to litting a match when connecting the power unit. This issue never happened as well.
At this moment the heaters and HV are connected at the same time (so no pre-heating mechanism).

I'll check my amp and if it comes again to that issue I'll repost in a new thread.
Thank you for your help.
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