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No. 6435


No.6435  Overview  Starting Line  Arrival  Deconstruction  Beneath Decks  First Night's Spin

Listening to Plinths  Motor  System: The Tonearm  Tweaks  Articles  Bookshelf  Transit  ***



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.                                                                                              
The grease I've chosen as replacement is an assemblage of negatives--- that is, there's no PTFE, no Teflon, no Moly, no additives. Pure black petroleum distillate --- plain and unimproved is what I was after. The idea I've gotten from researching this --and will go with-- is that the lubes used herein should contain nothing that similar weights of lube wouldn't contain back in 1955, when this was manufactured. Use nothing that could possibly do harm.

 THERE IS NO BEARING (ball) in a grease bearing.

... I 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.

Most intriguing, though, is the lack of any thrust-ball arrangement below the central spindle. The super-polished base of the spindle shaft sits squarely (roundly ?) on a small phosphor-bronze thrust-pad and rotates on that surface, flat-base on flat-pad, courtesy of the pressurized grease surrounding and submersing the whole column.


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.....

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