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Rescued an M3. Minimal organ knowledge. Where do I start?

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  • Rescued an M3. Minimal organ knowledge. Where do I start?

    Hello! First post and not much understanding of organs or terminology so please bare with me. I found a non-working M3 at a garage sale a few weeks ago for just a few dollars. I am somewhat of a tinkerer, had enough trunk space, and I play guitar and have always been interested in that classic rock sound so I thought "why not?"

    When I plugged it in and learned how to start it, there was a noise similar to the one in the video I linked below, but nothing was moving, no organ noise or anything. The only thing I have done so far is adding oil. After being stuck, I was able to get the flywheel turning. Also, there is a thread that has been detached to the right of the oil tub above the run motor. From a video on yourtube it said I could oil the bearing to the left of the flywheel directly if this was missing, so I did.

    Here is a video of where I am currently at. The wheel stops turning when I engage the run switch and let go of the start switch :

    Do I need to oil it further or oil parts directly? Has the run motor gone bad? Is this organ save-able? Do I need to take it to a professional?

    Any helpful information on what to try next, videos, or links would be greatly appreciated. I can provide more videos or pictures if needed Thanks!

  • #2
    I think your run motor is OK, it looks like the bearings are just too dry and the generator cannot reach operating speed. The good part is that it actually does spin 8) If you gave it a good dose of oil it may just need to marinate for a few days, or even longer. I just recently got one going that was completely stuck, and stuck hard. I became too impatient to wait so I just sprayed WD-40 up underneath the generator on all the gazillion bearings and it was running in just a couple of minutes. You can prop up the 'back' (the side close to you) of the generator with some blocks of some sort, then you can get at the bearings with the spray. You will need to remove the lockdown bolts and unhook the rear suspension springs. Use caution with the spray nozzle, there are oil threads up under there and you don't want to hook them with the plastic spray tube.
    Tom in Tulsa

    Fooling with: 1969 E100, 1955 M3, 1963 M100, Leslie 720


    • #3
      Congrats and thanks for giving another chance to this organ, M3's are awesome.
      I never had a similar problem but I think tpappano's advice is good. You might also want to read about "naphta flush", I think people do this with stuck tone generators. Good luck!
      A100, X77, M3, M100, E100
      Leslie 147, 145, homemade road Leslie
      My youtube channel


      • #4
        I have an M3 as well. I've learned a lot on this forum and these sites: