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BP Quill getting tight

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geckocycles

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The quill is getting tight on my BP J head Mil
lbridgeport.jpg.

Well oiled and little used. Is there anything I can do. It is tightest at the top of the travel. It used to be so smooth with great feel. THen all in one day it started to tighten up.

bridgeport.jpg
 

JimDawson

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I have had this happen before. Check for some galling where the clamp contacts quill. Make sure the clamp is releasing correctly, remove the clamp system and make sure the plungers are free in the bore. The other thing I have seen is some galling on the nut on the bottom of the quill. Another possibility is that it may be dry in some spots, try a light oil and work the quill up and down and see if it frees up.

You may have to pull the quill out and inspect the entire quill and bore. It's not much of a job to pull the quill, about 15 minutes.
 

Holescreek

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I have a similar issue with one of my BPMs but know what the problem is with mine, it's the quill return spring. I've messed with it a couple of times but the problem comes back. I haven't tried replacing it, just "repairing" it. In my case the tab was broken off of the end of the spring so I shortened it enough to make a new tab.
 

Holescreek

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There are several sites that have the manuals in pdf format for free, google it. Does your return spring work at all?
 

OldMachinist

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Very common problem on a Bridgeport, the nuts for swiveling the head are only supposed to be torqued to 25 ft lbs first and then 50 ft lbs. using a diagonal pattern. Over torqueing will distort the casting and cause the quill to be tight.
 

geckocycles

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THX once again. I am not sure about the return spring as it is probably too tight to be effective. I should have some time today to look at it closer.
 

sanddan

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Very common problem on a Bridgeport, the nuts for swiveling the head are only supposed to be torqued to 25 ft lbs first and then 50 ft lbs. using a diagonal pattern. Over torqueing will distort the casting and cause the quill to be tight.
I know this is a old post but I have this same problem on a jet BP clone. If the nuts are too tight will just loosening them up and re-torqueing in the correct fashion fix this?

I'm going to try adjusting the quill spring also. It does work somewhat but only when the quill is fully extended. It slows to a stop about half way back up due to the tightness/drag on the quill.
 

JimDawson

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You could try loosening and retorquing the swivel lock bolts, it might work. Check the quill travel with the bolts loose.

I have been through this a few times, these are the problems that I have found.

Don't try to adjust the quill return spring until you get the stiff quill issue fixed. You will snap the end off of of the spring if you get it too tight. It should be adjusted to just barely return the quill to the top when everything is free.

Check your quill lock, make sure the clamps are free to move in the bore. With the quill extended, look for gauling in the area the the clamps contact the quill. Then oil the he!! out of the quill with light oil, Marvel Mystery Oil or sewing machine oil works well for this. If that frees it up then oil with something heavier. To get a lot of oil in there, you can pull the power down feed engage lever out of the head. Just two socket head cap screws to remove and it pulls out. Much faster than oiling by the oil cup on the right rear. The oil goes to the same place.

Also check that the nut on the bottom of the quill does not have a burr on it. That can score the bore a bit, right at the bottom and cause tightness. If all else fails, then drop the quill out and inspect it and the bore for burrs.

Good luck!
 

sanddan

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You could try loosening and retorquing the swivel lock bolts, it might work. Check the quill travel with the bolts loose.

I have been through this a few times, these are the problems that I have found.

Don't try to adjust the quill return spring until you get the stiff quill issue fixed. You will snap the end off of of the spring if you get it too tight. It should be adjusted to just barely return the quill to the top when everything is free.

Check your quill lock, make sure the clamps are free to move in the bore. With the quill extended, look for gauling in the area the the clamps contact the quill. Then oil the he!! out of the quill with light oil, Marvel Mystery Oil or sewing machine oil works well for this. If that frees it up then oil with something heavier. To get a lot of oil in there, you can pull the power down feed engage lever out of the head. Just two socket head cap screws to remove and it pulls out. Much faster than oiling by the oil cup on the right rear. The oil goes to the same place.

Also check that the nut on the bottom of the quill does not have a burr on it. That can score the bore a bit, right at the bottom and cause tightness. If all else fails, then drop the quill out and inspect it and the bore for burrs.

Good luck!
I checked the bolt torques, they weren't over tightened, didn't make a difference.

The quill lock clamps do not appear to be the problem. Not stuck and no galling seen anywhere on the quill.

I just happened to have some marvel mystery oil (25 years old) and after flooding the quill and running it up and down it did get slightly better. Didn't try to adjust the return spring yet.

After doing these items I had to go over to the sellers house to pickup the manuals and while chatting he mentioned he oiled the quill (though the oil cup) using way oil. BINGO. I think it's just gummed up with the heaver, stickier oil. I am tempted to try flushing some kerosene through to see if that frees it up any.

I don't know how the quill is removed. It looks like a threaded collar is on the bottom of the quill. There are two holes on the underside, maybe for a spanner type of wrench but with two pins?

Thanks for the help Jim.
 

JimDawson

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I don't know how the quill is removed. It looks like a threaded collar is on the bottom of the quill. There are two holes on the underside, maybe for a spanner type of wrench but with two pins?

Thanks for the help Jim.
Nope, that's how the spindle comes out after you remove the quill. No need to loosen the nut. The quill does come out the bottom.

I think you're on the right track by flushing with kerosene, way oil is much too sticky. I use AW46 hydraulic oil on mine (that's what I have on the shelf:))

Getting the quill out is about a 15 minute job after you've done it once. The first time takes a little longer. In order to pull the quill you have to remove the quill pinion shaft and then the quill literally falls out the bottom so make sure it's supported. It weighs about 20lbs or so. I normally tilt the head over about 45 degrees, this give clearance for it to come out, with splines and all it's about 18 inches long.

To remove the quill;
Move the quill to the top and lock the quill using the quill lock
Remove the drawbar
Loosen the return spring and get the tension off of it. If you don't have the tool, channel locks work for backing it off, you may have to put a screw back in and get another bite. I've used large ''L'' head snap ring pliers also.
Once the spring is loose, remove all of the hardware on that side of the quill. Don't loose the key, they normally fall out on the floor never to be seen again.
On the left side, remove the two socket head cap screws holding the power feed clutch mechanism and remove that.
Reach in and pull out the serrated clutch half unless it came out with the rest of the hardware.
Now you should be able to access the snap ring holding the mating clutch plate. Remove the snap ring, clutch and key(s).
Now you can pull the pinion shaft out from the right side.
Once the pinon shaft is out, the quill is free to come out
Now is the time to tilt the head over.
Now you can unlock the quill and slide it out.
There is a sheet metal sleeve up high in the bore, this is a shield to keep chips out. It should stay in place but take care when reassembling that you don't catch an edge and bend it. It slides up & down with the quill so it will be a bit loose in there.
Assemble in reverse order.

I may have forgotten a small step or two here, I'm just going from memory.

It's always my pleasure to help out where I can.:)
 
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Sendit

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Does the quill get tight on the last 1-1.5 " of travel?

Where exactly is the power down feed engage lever? Can you post a picture please.
 

Sendit

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Ah! you said two screws not three :p

Mine quill gets tight at the end of travel but regardless of position of the quill lever it will not try to return to full up position.

Is there any oil I can try that I can get at auto parts store or Walmart?

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JimDawson

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Power steering fluid is pretty close to AW32 hydraulic oil, should work fine.

As far as not retracting all the way, the quill could be stiff or the return spring may be out of adjustment. But many times you will have to push the quill up the last little bit. The spring should not be so tight that the quill retracts like a drill press. The spring is just a counterbalance.
 

Sendit

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What would make it stuff the last inch of travel? I'm suppose to have a full 5 inches correct?

I'm comparing my machine to ACER clones at school because that's all I have to go on.


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Sendit

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Just pour a bottle in the engage lever and work it back and forth. Will it drain out or will I have to drain it out?


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JimDawson

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Yes, you should have a full 5 inches of travel

I would not pour in a whole bottle. A few squirts with an oil can would be enough. The oil cup just to the rear goes to the same area, it just takes longer to get oil into it.

It could be dry. The other possibility it that the lower head is not aligned with the drive system. I didn't know about this one until I had a really tight quill on reassembly one time.

Loosen the the bolts a little, and work the quill up & down. I think there are 3 bolts. You may have to move things around a bit with a dead blow hammer. The lower case is not pinned to the upper case. There has been some discussion about ''floating'' the head in under power, but I have never tried it.

upload_2016-9-11_8-36-37.png
 

sanddan

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I went through this on my mill as the PO had used way oil in the lube cup and gummed things up. I dumped a bunch of Marvel mystery oil in and let it soak in and loosen things up. It took awhile but it does work. I now use SAE 32 oil, same as I use in the lathe gear box. I fill the oil cup every time I use the mill as it will drain out over time.
 

Sendit

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So the tighten of the quil toward the end of the travel while extending down could be. I do have full travel just the last 1/2 inch or so gets right.

1) no oil, gummed up
2) Head to lower portion is not aligned correctly. Aren't these the boltsthat BP says to never loosen?
3) clock spring on the quil handle
 

JimDawson

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I would start with no oil/gummed up

It is possible that the spring has been ''repaired'' and shortened a bit. That would account for not having full travel. It's not uncommon for them to break and the quick fix is to cut it off and put another notch in it.

2) Head to lower portion is not aligned correctly. Aren't these the boltsthat BP says to never loosen?
I think so. But that never stopped me, but then again I'm half crazy anyway.:grin: It's not that big of a deal to get things lined up. You can feel it when it's right.
 

Sendit

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What if I took the spring assembly off to test if the spring is bad. I'm going to be ordering some parts from H&W/ Bridgeportparts.net in the next few days.

I need a DRO, VFD, Vise
 

JimDawson

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That seems reasonable. A new spring assembly, including a new can, should be around $40
 
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Sendit

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Taking the clock spring out didn't work. The spring looks to be modified because the is pretty bent. Like someone use pliers to taken them. I though I had some P/W fluid but didnt.
 

Sendit

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Should the quil fall down under its own weight with the clock spring removed?


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JimDawson

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Should the quil fall down under its own weight with the clock spring removed?
Yes. I forgot to mention that. Always have the quill locked or supported at the top when working on the spring.
 
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Sendit

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Well it doesn't fall. So something must be causing it not to fall when remove. How hard is it to remove the quil? Can it be done with out removing the top half of the (variable speed control)?
 
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