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I Need Someone's Ears

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  • I Need Someone's Ears



    Hey yall'. I got my new Howard Industriesmotor today and installed it *has a manufacturer's date of December 1961 on it but has been refurbished*..... turned on the L-103 and, "ggrrrrrrrrrrrrrrRRRRRRRRRRRRWhooooooo!". It's making a horrible noise and after a closer inspection underneath the generator I'm seeing one set of wheels not turning as fast as the rest. I'm almostcompletely deaf and can't hear anything above350-400Hz or so.... so maybe someonecan... lend an ear. I made a short video of the problem with the noise. In the meantime I'm going to have to stop myself from using 3-in-1 and order some REAL oil.... IF that's the problem. Does this sound like a non-lubrication issue? I've taken the motor off and ran it by itself and it's almost totally silent *as far as I can hear which isn't saying much*... but I KNOW for a fact that it's something with the wheels.. perhaps someone has had the same problem.</P>
    <P mce_keep="true"> Click Here-------&gt;L-103 Tonewheel Generator Problem&lt;-------Click Here</P>
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  • #2
    Re: I Need Someone's Ears



    First de-couple the motor and see if the shafts turn freely. 3-in-1??? No way... You must use the Hammond approved lubricant. If you put 3-in-1 in there, then it may take weeks to get the real oil into the bearings through the wicks... 3-in-1 is too light an oil for this... Also check the vibrato scanner... everything should turn free...</P>


    Some shafts turn at different speeds... I hope the noise is not from gears slipping... Check the teeth for any signs of distress... Don't run this until the problem is fixed... it could be/probably istearing up something...</P>
    <P mce_keep="true"></P>
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    • #3
      Re: I Need Someone's Ears



      Goodness, what a racket! Sounds awful and I sure wouldn't let it run with that going on. Are you sure there's not something down in there that's touching some spinning part somewhere? I guess it could be a bunch of dry bearings, but I've never heard one make such a sound.</P>


      This always starts a fight, and I may be proven wrong someday,but I personally approve 3 in 1 oil and have used it for decades in scores of Hammonds without a problem. There is so much mythology out there about "Hammond oil" -- but in reality it's just a common lubricant than can be bought in 55 gallon drums and is virtually identical to 3 in 1, far as I can determine after considerable research. Backwhen Hammond's were invented they had to market a special oil to be sure people didn't use motor oil or some paraffin-based lubricant. Nowadays we all should know better than that.But if the "real thing" appeals to you, get you a tube of it.</P>


      When a Hammond is really dry and screams endlessly, I use another "non-approved" lubricant -- WD-40. Look at the generator from the bottom, as you show us in the video. See the dozens and dozens ofbronzebearing surfaces -- every place a shaft goes through the frame. Shoot tiny squirts ofWD-40 into each and every bearing until the noise stops. Then oil it up generously in the normal way. The oil will take a week or two to reach the bearings via the cotton threads, but the WD0-40 will keep it lubed and quiet until the oil can get there.</P>


      If lubrication doesn't stop this racket, you have some other problem and it is serious. But this is just a mechanical device and you should be able to spot the problem if you look carefully.</P>


      John</P>
      <P mce_keep="true"></P>
      John
      ----------
      *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!

      https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

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      • #4
        Re: I Need Someone's Ears



        You have some dry bearings. First, put in some Hammond oil. I would fill the cups several times. Remember, it will take a week for that oil to get where it's going. Second, from under the generator, carefully spray some WD40 directly on the wheel bearings. I usually run it and spray where wheels are squealing or not turning. You should be able to stop all the noise within 5 minutes or less. If not, don't run it too long while it's squealing. </p>

        George
        </p>

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        • #5
          Re: I Need Someone's Ears



          Hey Fred, George,and JBird *I think we have something in common there*.... just got done trying to contact one of the greatest Hammond techs of our time... Mr. Steve Leigh of Prokeys. I hope he can find it in his heart to help a po' country boy. No I haven't used the 3-in-1... lol... but I contemplated it... and haven'tfound any concrete.. albeit.. scientific proof thatthe viscositiesbetween3-in-1 and Hammond oilare greatly different.I should flatter my Dad andsee if he can tell the difference *retired geophysicist*...lol. And after pouring for 4 hours over Mr. Leigh's Internet shrine to all things Hammond *among other very interesting stuff*, I've come up with a solution. I'm going to construct a wooden bench mount identical to his *with his permission of course* and flip the generator over and use his method to clean and lube the tonewheels and bearings using a syringe, air compressor, and a ... well.. I'll have to have someone else use the stethoscope to listen for the bearings. Believe it or not... I can actually hear tones from the speakers but very faint and they oscillate pitch with the spinning *or lack thereof* of the generator. If this takes me a year to rebuild.. so be it.... whatever precious knowledge Mr. Leigh decides to pass down to me will be thoroughly used and much appreciated.</P>


          Oh... this particular generator doesn't use a vibrato scanner.... just a simple self-starting motor *which was originally the first problem I had with it*. I have a fondness/passion for these spinet organs... I don't know why... but I'm going to follow it.</P>


          So some of the shafts rotate at different velocities? And this varies from gallery to gallery? That wouldn't surprise me after what I've read about Hammond streamlining the reference design over the years to reduce noise and other acoustic anomolies.. but my God... no wonder Mr. Leigh charges $1,500-$2,000 and up for a generator rebuild... you should see what he does to Leslie amps... instant audiophile orgasm my friends.... you will NOT feel worthy.... hehe ;)</P>


          Good idea to check the teeth on the tonewheels and drive gears... maybe I can even see if the wicks are still intact or not. Who would've thought one could have so much fun and frustration for $50! hahaha!</P>

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          • #6
            Re: I Need Someone's Ears



            Noah,</P>


            Don't pull that generator. That is an act of last resort. Your generator sounds dry, that's all, just dry. I don't hear gears but??? Since you have easy access to the bottom of the generator, get yourself a pinpint oiler with a long needle, fill it with Hammond oil and lube each bushing maunally. Give any tonewheel pairs that are sluggish a spin by hand and they should take right off. You can use a hand mirror to see what you are doing if neccessary. Then lube the generator in a normal manner through the oil cups. You're now done and playing the little devil. (hopefully)</P>


            If in fact you have a mechanical problem and this manual lube job doesn't fix it. Just find another Hammond spinet. They are inexpensive and your current L would be a source of spare parts.</P>


            I have seen techs spray a generator down from the bottom side with WD-40. It will free up a generator. I personally don't like the stuff because it is more a penitrant than lubricant. It seems to dry to a gummy mess. Field guys take this short cut because it is a fast field fix with no waiting for oil to wick to the bushings. </P>


            H101</P>

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            • #7
              Re: I Need Someone's Ears



              You could actually turn the whole organ upside down and easily oil the bearings directly. I've seen Keith Emerson do that in concert!! Heh heh..</p>

              George
              </p>

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              • #8
                Re: I Need Someone's Ears

                I agree--don't remove the TG. Here's what I've done numerous times with unfailing success: Fill the cups a couple times, let that sit for a day or two, turning the shaft by hand a few times a day. After that, feel your way around the bottom of the TG (you're very lucky here--much easier on an L100 than most other Hammonds) give every TW a couple flicks to see how easily they turn. If they seem sticky, give them a drop ot two of Hammond oil. I use an old Zoom Spout bottle with the extendo-tube, filled with Hammond oil. Of course, if you want, hit all the bearings with the oil. Turn it on (better to wait another day or two, but I often don't) and, teeth clenched against the din, again feel every TW--just stop them, one at a time. If some of the noise stops when you stop one--you know that's one of your culprits. I give them all another flick or two in the wrong direction, which works wonders for some reason, and give them another drop of oil. Caution: the TW without teeth are sharp, and you can be merrily slicing your finger unawares. You might wear gloves, or just go easy under there. We've all gone through what you're going through--it's frustrating, and makes for an impatient Hammond owner, but Time is more your friend here than are Money or Drastic Action. Patience, grasshopper.

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