COMPLETE DISASSEMBLY & stripdown of spindle bearing.
Somewhat easier than it seems ÖÖ From below, the whole grease jet and itís cap must first be removed to allow clearance for the assembly to be extracted through the top deck. This seems intimidating, at first, until you remember that it is a grease bearing, and not filled with oil or anything thatís going to run all over uncontrollably. Even broken-down grease remains pretty manageable.
Something I've gone all-out on
is to mark or note the exact position / orientation of parts that might have two
or more ways to go back together. This is all under the hood, so my little
directional triangles and dots will never show on the finished deck. The
rationale here is that things tend to wear in to a certain mode of
fitting, especially on a fifty-year old unit. I won't be disturbing their style
at this point.
IS NO BEARING (ball) in a grease bearing.
suspected that I'd have to soak the bearing elements in some solvent ( I opted
for plain Zippo lighter fluid (naptha) in this case. I've used it for years on
everything and I know from Lp-cover adhesive removal that it evaporates quickly
and leaves no visable residue of it's own, even on a white Lp cover.)---- but
soon found that the old greases just slid off the HYPER-POLISHED
MIRROR-FINISH hardened steel spindle shaft. This particular part of the
Garrard, along with the interior polished-brass sleeve, is one of the most
highly-finished / precise parts I've ever seen in any field short of aerospace;
certainly blows away any 'record player' elements I've ever seen. A
Zippo-soaked cloth finishes the cleanup of the bearing-shaft interior.
GREASE is the word.
Garrard originally included a tube of their exact specification of bearing grease, nozzle appropriately sized for injecting the bearing periodically. Lacking either the appropriately-nozzled grease-gun or the long-gone accessory tube of Garrard Grease, the best way to cram this thing full of grease was by a longish 'coffee stirrer' stick, the wooden one that's about one-eighth inch wide by five or so inches long. With this implement it's pretty simple to "paint" a thick inner layer all the way through the inside length of the bearing housing. Go over the top a little here, as the object is to eliminate all air once the spindle shaft is re-inserted. The reinsertion is somewhat tantric and takes a few minutes for the shaft to penetrate. This is fine because the side-loader jet and cap may be filled w/ the black stuff and coaxed onboard while the shaft is still coming through. But first check the progress through the port, which actually allows a side-view of the progress as it goes.
Be prepared for the top-deck-side spindle to emerge super-well-gunked, and have the materials on hand for tidying up. Again, simpler than it all sounds, since you can slow the progress of the spindle shaft at any time by leaning more to the horizontal, which causes it to stop pretty quickly. Any apprehension about a grease-bearing changeout is pretty soon dispelled.
With motor unplugged and switch to off, replace platter, and only then switch to on (still unplugged). By manually rotating platter, the grease-blanket inside the
bearing is evening itself out, hopefully sending any air pocket out the top, where you'll find a new, liquid
residue of black grease that has come all the way through the bearing. That's correct. This leaks out of the top . Tighten up a little on the grease-jet on the side of the assembly and more and more of the grease works it's way through, and then out, of the top.
Keep mopping up, replacing platter and repeating manual rotation.
One wants to get grease into every spare millimeter of the interior space of the bearing. All should be reassembled once grease is repacked; note orientation markers & arrows. Do take care to set on off switch accordingly. In "off" the small platter brake is on, but you may place and replace platter gently, again, always favoring rotation toward clockwise. In "on" the brake is off but-- the whole motor / idler assembly is engaged, so be aware that even with power off, there's a lot going on.....