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Index 645 Lubrication Question - Sight glass?

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zaaephod

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Hello again everyone,

I now have a manual ($75!) for my Wells-Index 645, which has a section on lubrication with no photos, only descriptions of where to lubricate, which is a bit annoying. There is a portion that discusses the spindle power feed gear box, but it does not mention a sight glass. Most of the bearings say they are permanently lubricated. The only part I see that hints at it is this: "Older models are filled with Mobil Vactra Oil HH which may be changed over to Mobilplex EP No. 0 when new parts are installed" - This mill was sold in 1962.

When I got the mill, I noticed that there was oil hanging on the lower portion of the gear box, I presume the gasket is leaking. I don't see anything in the sight glass. The gearbox does work, though I've refrained from using it since it's likely low on oil.

I did some digging, but haven't found that oil, or an alternative.

Any thoughts or suggestions on this?
Thanks!
Z

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T. J.

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It is only the upper portion of the gear box that has oil in it. The lower portion will have grease. It's probably worth opening the gear box to clean out the old grease and replace with new. I chose to go ahead and use grease on my upper gear box as the manual suggested. I used a silicone type gasket material to seal it, which has not leaked so far.

Here's a photo of mine right after I cracked it open. The oil had water in it, causing the green discoloration.

IMG_0451.JPG
 

zaaephod

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It is only the upper portion of the gear box that has oil in it. The lower portion will have grease. It's probably worth opening the gear box to clean out the old grease and replace with new. I chose to go ahead and use grease on my upper gear box as the manual suggested. I used a silicone type gasket material to seal it, which has not leaked so far.

Here's a photo of mine right after I cracked it open. The oil had water in it, causing the green discoloration.
Yucky, I bet that was an unpleasant find. I wonder where the water got in?
Thanks for the info and photo, I'll have more confidence when I find time to tear into it.
Do you recall which grease you used?

Thanks,
Z
 

Bob Korves

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The data shows HH as a heavy lubricating oil in the link that francist posted. Get something like it, a heavy lubricating oil, but not hypoid gear oil. In the meantime, any oil is better than no oil...

Address any leak issues while you have it apart.
 

zaaephod

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Just an update on this, I found time to crack open the case, and as it turns out, someone was already in there and replaced the oil in the upper section with thick grease, and the same stuff in the lower portion. I'm not sure what it is, but it's nice and clean, and sticks well to the gears, so I opted to leave it. I see no damage, and no glitter in the grease. For the amount of use this feature of the machine will be seeing during the time I own it, I'm sure it'll be fine.

Thanks again for the info.
Z
 
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