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Reel to Reel - Sites, Articles or tips on lubricating, Sony TC 440
Jenni28
post Jan 24 2011, 00:24
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Looking for site(s), articles on reel to reel maintainence - mainly lubrication. Have a Sony TC 440 & definitely needs lubricating. Inside, built like a brick outhouse.

Also, on FF / rewind, doesn't get up to full speed. Could be belt slip, some shaft and / or bearings need lubrication or other. On Play, speed / consistent pitch seems OK.

Any personal suggestions or links are appreciated.
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Glenn Gundlach
post Jan 24 2011, 09:33
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QUOTE (Jenni28 @ Jan 23 2011, 15:24) *
Looking for site(s), articles on reel to reel maintainence - mainly lubrication. Have a Sony TC 440 & definitely needs lubricating. Inside, built like a brick outhouse.

Also, on FF / rewind, doesn't get up to full speed. Could be belt slip, some shaft and / or bearings need lubrication or other. On Play, speed / consistent pitch seems OK.

Any personal suggestions or links are appreciated.


I don't know about sites for repair know-how but I used to work in consumer audio repair and moved up to broadcast gear. Sony uses dreadful lubricants - the worst in the industry both in their consumer and professional gear. Their 'grease' is a mix of solvents and thickeners to get the right viscosity. The solvents evaporate and the thickeners remain THICK. If you can find a service manual that would be helpful but if not, take lots of photos with your digital camera as its good to know how it was - and should be. The entire machine should be disassembled, cleaned and re-lubricated. I use Nye lubricants for this work. It isn't cheap but is excellent quality. No I don't have any ties to Nye, just a very happy customer for almost 20 years.

When I say disassembled, I mean opening the motors, removing capstans, rollers and anything that turns or slides. Clean off the old gunk and replace with new. For grease I like Nye 368AX-1, a very heavy synthetic grease for metal on metal. For plastic on plastic or metal, Nye 363 (synthetic) is much like Lubriplate in look and feel but doesn't separate or dry out. Nye Oil II is a synthetic light machine oil for high RPM shafts. BTW the Sony Broadcast field service engineers in L.A. would 'stock up' on Nye oil where I worked and not use the Sony oil.

The motors are built with self-aligning sintered bronze bushings and poorly finished steel shafts. The bronze part is a ball in a stamped socket in the end-shell with a cotton pad around the ball and held in place with spring 'fingers'. The cotton pad should be nearly saturated with new oil after removing the old oil. Acetone works well for flushing out the old but if you have some Xylene it works better --- HIGHLY CARCINOGENIC though! A little oil on the shaft before inserting it into the bushing starts the capillary action of the oil pad to bushing to shaft. Pay attention to the orientation of the stator relative to the end caps. If you reverse it the motor will run backwards. Pay attention to any thrust washers in the motors. the order of metal or fiber/plastic is important. More pictures.

It's not difficult but will take some time. It's a good feeling when it's up and running well when you're done.

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Jenni28
post Jan 24 2011, 15:43
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Wow, thanks for helpful reply. You mean a few drops of light oil on moving parts won't cut it? biggrin.gif
Which type of Nye would you suggest for the reel shafts that rotate at higher RPMs - not just sliding parts? BTW, where do you buy it - from mfg or retailer? I found the Nye web site.

Found this video series on general maintenance & lubrication on one brand reel to reel by a "studio engineer." He uses sewing machine oil on motors. Didn't see (yet) about lubricating sliding parts. http://www.ehow.com/video_2369844_lube-mot...e-recorder.html

The "Nye 368AX-1, a very heavy synthetic grease for metal on metal," - it's not too heavy for lightweight, slow moving parts like in electronic devices? Like sliding metal linkages connected to play / record controls?

Fortunately, I've been taking stuff apart & reassembling since I was 9 or 10. Unfortunately, like you said, will take some time. Not something I have a lot of to devote to something like that. Main goal is to digitize the music I have on tapes.

Before I dismantle it, I'll probably try to record a few tracks & digitize to see sound quality - assuming will play at constant speed. I played one tape briefly & sounded OK, but didn't do any extensive comparisons.

The tapes were BASF - one of most expensive could buy in early '70's - least in my moderate sized town. But, they are 37 yrs old. Stored in their plastic cases, inside in AC /
heated area. But, humidity in this area is always high - even w/ AC.

Only other option - aside from buying another working R-R - is buy used / discount remastered CDs of albums I really care about. Time vs $ - ago old dilemma.

Nye's application specs for the "Rheolube" 368AX-1 you mentioned:
QUOTE
General Purpose Gear Greases
.................................... Base Oil Chemistry... Temp Range (°C)...ISO Viscosity Grade..... Base Oil Viscosity @ 40°C. NLGI Grade...... Dropping Point (°C) Consistency
NyoGel® 788 PAO/Polybutene -20 to 125 460 409 1.5 260 Medium/Soft
Rheolube™ 368AX-1* ...............PAO............. -20 to 125................ 220.......................... 259................................. 2...................... 202................. Medium


Here's excerpt from Nye's product line - lubricants for sliding parts:
QUOTE
Greases for Slides, Cams, Detents and Instrument Gear Trains
.............................................................................................. Temp Range (°C).................... NLGI Grade...... Sliding Load............. Application Force
Rheolube™ 719M........................................................................ -65 to 120........................ 2..................... Ultra-light........ Low-temperature instrument grease.
Rheolube™ 723GR -40 to 125 1 Light/Medium General purpose gear train grease.
Rheolube™ 362HM -40 to 125 3-4 Medium Adhering grease for plastic parts.
Rheolube™ 363F -50 to 125 2 Medium General purpose gear train grease; excellent noise-reduction and low torque properties.
Rheolube™ 380* -50 to 130 2 Medium Wide-temperature grease with molybdenum disulfide for moderate to heavy-load gear trains.
NyoGel® 741F -54 to 200 00 Ultra-light Wide-temperature, semi-fluid grease for low-torque, “flea power” applications.
NyoGel® 759T -40 to 125 1 Light Medium viscosity grease to reduce noise, wear, starting torque. Good water resistance.
NyoGel® 779 -40 to 125 2 Medium/Heavy Grease intended for mechanical components that need light level of noise and motion control.
NyoGel® 744F-MS -40 to 125 1 Medium EP-fortified grease with molybdenum disulfide for heavily loaded metal gears.
Fluorocarbon Gel 880 -40 to 200 2 Heavy Wide-temperature, dust and salt-water resistant slide and track lubricant. Good adherence.
UniFlor™ 8512S -50 to 225 1 Medium High-temperature, chemically resistant grease for extreme environments.

* Ester-based oils may adversely affect plastics such as ABS, polycarbonate and polyphenylene oxides.


This post has been edited by Jenni28: Jan 24 2011, 16:07
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