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Possible Grizzly DF-1237G Restoration, Oil Seals?

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kb58

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In the late 1990s, I bought a then-used Grizzly DF-1237G (apparently the same as a G1003) 12 x 37 lathe. It's served me well, but now a few things have evolved such that I'm considering rebuilding it - if I can find the parts - or selling it and moving on. The main problem is that the gearbox oil seals have always leaked, dumping the entire gearbox contents into the stand over a period of just a few weeks. The worry is accelerated bearing due to insufficient oil around the head bearings. Unfortunately, Grizzly no longer stocks the oil seals. I know bearing part numbers are universal and can be cross-sourced, but I don't think that applies to oil seals.

Has anyone found compatible oil seals for this lathe?
 
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kb58

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Thanks, it may be more straightforward than I realized. Funny that the Timken seal catalog you referenced has a Russia link!
 

pdentrem

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The Grizzly owners manual list seals and their sizes. For example the two spindle seals - 62A as 80mm ID 100mm OD and 12mm thick and 62B as 60mm ID 80mm OD and 12mm thick. These are double lip seals and regular rubber or even Viton Hitemp rubber will not matter. Just about any bearing supplyhouse and some auto parts places can look these up and order if so.

You have to note that there are 2 o-rings on the outboard side of the spindle. There is a sleeve #29 that the o-rings are used to seal against lost of the oil for that bearing. Number 66A and B

 

Ulma Doctor

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just a point of information...

you can get the seals online too from ebay, amazon, motion industries, Kaman Bearing, Applied Industrial Technologies , etc.

don't get too wrapped up in the thickness of the seal, sometimes replacement seals are made to different specifications.
as long as you ID and OD are correct, the thickness of the seal is rarely a cause for concern.
so long as the dimensions of a thicker seal would not interfere with other accouterments, it's just fine to use a thicker seal.
but usually that is not the case.
usually you will receive a seal that is thinner than the OEM.
in that case, install the seal to seat flush. don't push the seal past the housing , and you'll be just fine.
lube the seal lips before installation with the fluid to be used in the gearbox,
or try some STP oil treatment, it works well too ;)

single lip seals wear the shaft the least, but leak easier
double lip seals seal better, but wear the shaft in a wider path- in time
 

kb58

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Thank you very much; looks like I'll be checking into getting some new seals. It's funny the Amazon pricing - somewhere between a couple dollars and ~$270, for one!

I wonder what's involved in disassembling the lathe to the point that the seals can be replaced, guess we'll see!
 

Dabbler

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This lathe had bad seals until around 1986 when they finally fixed the problem. Please post your dissassembly if you manage it, there's a bunch of us who would benefit!
 

Dabbler

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OK you are gonna love this. You have a very late model 12X37, from the late 90s perhaps. They didn't make the stand until about 1990 or 1991.

Use way oil on the ways. Use anything in the apron (carriage) such as AW32 or 68. In the headstock try aw32 (have fun getting it in the little holes)! If that leaks out due to bad seals, you are in the same boat as us, and stay tuned...

Mine is from '81, still straight and tight as a drum with very little backlash - of course I'm the original owner, and I've cared for it. The ways are hardened and it was made in Taiwan, so your chucks should be superb. My 3 and 4 jaw are both about 8" and as tight as a drum. You should rebuild and relube your chucks (use grease on the scroll and a very light film of oil every where else in the chucks)..

Alignment is tricky because of how light it is, but you have to level your bed in both planes, and you will find it has superb ways - large for a lathe in its class.
 

kb58

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Are you responding to me (the OP) or to Dabbler? Either way, I have the same stand as he does, but mine leaks like a sieve.

UPDATE: I have all the oil seals and both of the spindle bearings, which Grizzly still stocks. I also ordered new labels, "just because."
 

TonyBen

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On my Grizzly, if I have to change directions on my cross slide, I have to turn my cross slide wheel about one full revolution before it takes up the slack and begins to move the opposite direction. You can hear the gears going CLACK-CLACK-CLACK when it moves. It's not quiet at all. On my apron, the dial reads about 0.012" before slack takes up and begins to move. The movement on the apron is smooth though.

I can't find a manufacture date on the headstock, but the electric motor has a manufacture date of 1988. Admittedly, I haven't leveled the feet since installing it. I suppose I should do that before checking the tailstock alignment. I did disassemble the 3-jaw chuck but have yet to clean it and re-assemble it to see if the runout improves. It was quite dirty.

Can anyone point me to where I can order way oil?

Tony.
 

Dabbler

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Are you responding to me (the OP) or to Dabbler?
KB58 - I was trying to date TonyBen's lathe. TonyBen's lathe is definitely from the 90s, no matter when the motor was made - as I said the stand didn't become available until that time. I was also answering the question about lubrication that was posed.

also to kb58 - Glad you have the seals. Let us know how it was to disassemble the headstock, as many of us have the same problem.

to TonyBen: Your carriage and Apron need to be taken apart, adjusted, lubed (maybe some small repairs) and reassembled. Sounds like yoiur backlash adjustment isn't right, and your main carriage gear is slipping out of contact. Both can be fixed easily.

General: Unless you have a very large reserve of $$$, you will have to bite the bullet and disassemble, clean, adjust and sometimes repair your lathe or milling machine. Some guys avoid this by buying new, but after 30 or so years, they still need maintenance. In the case of the OP and TonyBen, their need is a little more urgent than most.

TonyBen you have a fantastic hobby machine - don't let it go! You have some hours of pesky maintenance, sounds like long overdue, but I've done very accurate work, both large and small on my 12X37. My only beef is with the thread-on spindle. i strongly prefer the d1-4 spindle, hence the new lathe. Personally I wish I had the factory stand, despite the fact I made a very surviceable stand for mine.

{rumour has it that I also like to repair machines and get them back to factory condition...}
 

Richard King 2

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I hope someone hasn't already said this as I didn't read everything. I used to do a lot of service work for Jet and MSC and many of those asian machines had oil seal leaks. The reason was the shafts had razor sharp ends. The builder never chamfered the edges. I would do that plus when I slid the shaft through the seals I would wrap some brass or plastic shim stock around the shaft when I slid the shafts into the seals so they wouldn't get cut. I also wore leather gloves when I took them apart as most of the castings, guards were sharp. I figure many workers in those asian countries had cuts galore on their hands and fingers.
 

Dabbler

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humm... mine started leaking after 16 years. sounds plausible.
 

Richard King 2

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On my Grizzly, if I have to change directions on my cross slide, I have to turn my cross slide wheel about one full revolution before it takes up the slack and begins to move the opposite direction. You can hear the gears going CLACK-CLACK-CLACK when it moves. It's not quiet at all. On my apron, the dial reads about 0.012" before slack takes up and begins to move. The movement on the apron is smooth though.

I can't find a manufacture date on the headstock, but the electric motor has a manufacture date of 1988. Admittedly, I haven't leveled the feet since installing it. I suppose I should do that before checking the tailstock alignment. I did disassemble the 3-jaw chuck but have yet to clean it and re-assemble it to see if the runout improves. It was quite dirty.

Can anyone point me to where I can order way oil?

Tony.
When you engage the apron feed does it make the clack clack sound? or only when you turn on the feed to the cross-slide. No matter what you discover As Dabbler said you need to remove the saddle and repair it before it gets worse. If you grab onto the tool post and pull it to and fro does the feed dial and crank move? Or does the cross-slide only move? If the cross slide only moves then crank the cross-slide out as far as it go so you can see the bronze cross-feed nut and from the drawing there is a cap screw you can tighten to spread the treads to eliminate the wear. https://cdn0.grizzly.com/manuals/g0750g_m.pdf figure 116 page 70. It will still get loose in the middle because the screw is probably worn too. https://cdn0.grizzly.com/partslists/g0750g_pl.pdf page 99 part 608 I suspect the clack noise has something to do with the fed clutch gears, page 97 part 573 - 574 - 575. If the noise comes from the quick change many of the machines have a safety clutch that slips and it makes a grawling noise. page 94 part 325 possibly. With-out being there it's hard to trouble shoot. One thing for certain, fix it before it gets worse. I would not run it until you repair it.
 

Richard King 2

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humm... mine started leaking after 16 years. sounds plausible.
It was on some of the machines and not all. The one I remember the most was when Jet sold a 12 x 36 to a rendering plant in Blue Earth MN and it leaked oil. It was still under warrantee as it leaked since day one. Sure enough the person who assembled it at the factory did not use shim stock to assemble the shaft thru the rubber seal and cut the seal. Easy fix....but it was 100 F out and the stink was horrible, flies everywhere. I pulled apart and fixed it in record time...lol.
 

TonyBen

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When you engage the apron feed does it make the clack clack sound? or only when you turn on the feed to the cross-slide. No matter what you discover As Dabbler said you need to remove the saddle and repair it before it gets worse. If you grab onto the tool post and pull it to and fro does the feed dial and crank move? Or does the cross-slide only move? If the cross slide only moves then crank the cross-slide out as far as it go so you can see the bronze cross-feed nut and from the drawing there is a cap screw you can tighten to spread the treads to eliminate the wear. https://cdn0.grizzly.com/manuals/g0750g_m.pdf figure 116 page 70. It will still get loose in the middle because the screw is probably worn too. https://cdn0.grizzly.com/partslists/g0750g_pl.pdf page 99 part 608 I suspect the clack noise has something to do with the fed clutch gears, page 97 part 573 - 574 - 575. If the noise comes from the quick change many of the machines have a safety clutch that slips and it makes a grawling noise. page 94 part 325 possibly. With-out being there it's hard to trouble shoot. One thing for certain, fix it before it gets worse. I would not run it until you repair it.
I actually disassembled the entire cross slide over the weekend and gave the gear that's directly connected to the hand crank a healthy dose of grease and the clacking noise completely disappeared. The clacking was only when engaging the cross slide. Since rebuilding, there's only about 0.004" of slop when changing directions in the cross slide. It's much more smooth and responsive than when I first started.

A side note is that since cleaning and lubing the ways and cross slide, when I loosen and tighten the big nut on my Aloris tool post to change the tool post angle, the whole apron will move and the feed handle turns. This did not happen before.

I will eventually need to fabricate a new bronze feed nut. Maybe out of a mild steel. One of the tasks I may have to perform is rolling the shoulder on gun barrel receiver threads to get them to time earlier on receivers which will require putting stress on the cross slide nut.

This is done with a knurling wheel which has the knurls removed and is just a smooth wheel.

Tony.
 

TonyBen

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I forgot to include a picture of my cross-feed nut. It was a little marred. I packed it full of grease too as well as the lead screw.



Tony.
 

Richard King 2

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You may want to check with Grizzy and buy a new shaft and nut or contact these guys and have TPI and diameter. http://www.greenbaymfgco.com/ACME-nuts.php They sell bronze nuts that you can machine down to size. Years ago I cut my own after I cut the screw pitch so it was the same width of the treads and then grind my IF tool to fit the undersized thread. Today I would buy a new set from Grizzly or Green bay. Grease is not the cure all as chips and dirt gets stuck in it as it acts like lapping compound. That's why the factory uses oil.
 

TonyBen

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The nut was discontinued and redesigned. It’s not available for purchase from Grizzly anymore.

Hopefully, this will get me by for a while until I can afford a better lathe.

Tony.
 
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Dabbler

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With the cross feed nut being loose, it encourages you to be careful in a way that will serve you well in all machining tasks. It can be used -if used carefully - until the bronze nut is almost gone. I've used a machine with .080 slop in the cross feed and did reasonable work on it.

Nice thing about cross feed screws: they are all very similar in design. as long as you get a matching nut and screw, and the diameter of the thrust bearing and screw are close, a very nice replacement can be accomplished, even if it means shortening the screw, or making a bushing for the rear contact, etc.
 

pdentrem

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Stay with a bronze nut. It will wear out before the more expensive lead screw, and just replace the nut with another bronze one 20 years from now.;)
 

denwhit

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I'm wondering what the Grizzly DF-1237G is worth these days? It does have a nice Aloris tool holder.
 

astjp2

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I'm wondering what the Grizzly DF-1237G is worth these days? It does have a nice Aloris tool holder.
with problems? scrap prices to some, the cost of an aloris tool post to others. If its a good lathe, $1500 locally here in Utah.
 
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