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Bearing Oil For Thorens TD 125?

Discussion in 'Turntables' started by Bobsblkwax, Oct 12, 2018.

  1. Bobsblkwax

    Bobsblkwax AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    94
    Location:
    Nor Cal
    I just got a TD 125 from Ebay and I'll need to change the bearing oil. I read several older threads about what type to use, and the recommendations seem to vary quite a bit. I was going to use 3 In One SAE 20 for electric motors, but I've had recommendations for sewing maching oil as well as a special grease designed for this purpose. I also have some Linn black bearing oil that I could use.

    This is the first time I've worked on a TD 125, so I would like to know some of your current thoughts on this. I would not imagine that you will damage the bearing using any of the above oils, but maybe there are some newer alternatives out there? I want to do it right the first time.

    Thanks!
     

     

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  2. tnsilver

    tnsilver AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,232
    Location:
    Boston
    you're not going to damage the bearings by using any of the above oils and opinions will vary. SAE 20 oils like 3 in 1 are perfect for electric motors where it heats up in time and becomes less viscous. I think it's a little too viscous for the main 10mm bearing of the 125 but not exaggeratedly so. Sewing machine oil, in my experience, yields better results over constant ambient temperature.

    You need to be aware the bushings inside the bearing well are sintered (porous) bronze (aka oilite/self lubricating). It absorbs whatever oil is in the well and serves as a lubricant bank. Unfortunately, when you buy a jack in the box TT, you don't know what types of junk oils were in there over the years. Best practice is to clean the well with paint thinner (naphtha, turpentine, lighter fluid etc...), wash the well clean with IPA, let it dry, and impregnate the bushings with new fresh oil. The impregnation process can be done by "cooking" to speed it up, or just by filling up the well and letting the bushings absorb (up to 20% by volume) the new oil for a few days.
     
    sp58 and Bobsblkwax like this.
  3. noisefreq

    noisefreq Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    597
    Location:
    Independence
    I've got a TD145 mkII and I use sewing machine oil.

    I use synthetic motor oil in spinster bearings like on my Dual 1229.

    3 in 1 oil may be just fine but it's made to penetrate and remove corrosion and your bearing shouldn't need that.

    Linn Black Oil has graphite suspended in it, which, I believe, is designed for high pressure slow speed.
    Not necessarily what a Thorens bearing needs unless you expect to use a heavy record weight.

    I believe grease should be reserved for sliding parts and kept out of bearings.
     
    Bobsblkwax likes this.
  4. Bobsblkwax

    Bobsblkwax AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    94
    Location:
    Nor Cal
    Thanks for the replies! Does anyone know what type of lubricant Schopper from Switzerland sells? Just curious really.

    I'l probably go with sewing machine oil unless someone has a good reason not to.
     
  5. try1256

    try1256 Super Member

    Messages:
    1,138
    Location:
    Winter Springs Fl
    I purchased a service kit for my TD-160 from Joel Boutreux in Germany. He worked for Thorens and has the specific oil that they used for the bearing and the motor. Dont know if it makes a huge difference but it was not expensive.
     
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  6. Bobsblkwax

    Bobsblkwax AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    94
    Location:
    Nor Cal
    I think I've read about him before. do you happen to have any contact info?

    Not trying to over think this, but I thought it would be an interesting topic anyway.

    Wondering what type of viscosity is correct at this point.
     

     

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  7. try1256

    try1256 Super Member

    Messages:
    1,138
    Location:
    Winter Springs Fl
  8. shelly_d

    shelly_d Not An Audiophool

    Messages:
    6,562
    Location:
    Alameda CA
    Also sewing machine oil on my TD-150.
     
    tnsilver likes this.
  9. ralphfcooke

    ralphfcooke New Member

    Messages:
    25
    I have a few turntables, AR, Dual, Thorens, Technics, Yamaha, and a Clearaudio with CMB bearing ,
    in all of them I use a high grade ATF, (made especially for the ZF 6HP21 gearbox).
    It is an ester based fully synthetic, and is quite low viscosity.
    I have been using this for the past 8+ years and have found no signs of any corrosion or damage on any of the bearings, motor or platter.
     
    Bobsblkwax likes this.
  10. arts

    arts Super Member

    Messages:
    3,615
    Location:
    Qc, Canada
    Most fractional horsepower motors use the same style of oilite bearings used in Thorens turntables.I researched the original oil specified by Thorens many years ago,and the viscosity was equivalent to SAE 20. Been using it in both of my TD-125's for decades now.Absolutely no wear showing.I also use it in my TD-150 & TD-160.
    No snake oil required.No hi-tech required.No bank loan required.Go to the hardware store and buy a can of the ''blue'' 3-In-One Motor Oil. NOT the ''black'' Multi-Purpose type,which contains penetrants etc that are not suitable for this application.

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. WaynerN

    WaynerN AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,231
    Location:
    Minnesota
    I use Slick 50 synthetic for every table I own.
     

     

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  12. arts

    arts Super Member

    Messages:
    3,615
    Location:
    Qc, Canada
  13. Sandstrom

    Sandstrom Seldom turns out the way it does in the song Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,729
    Location:
    Cincinnati
    Some people seem to feel that you need to use some esoteric oils for these kinds of bearings but I will jump on the sewing machine oil bandwagon, Key is to make sure that is inspected, cleaned and refilled once in a while and you should be good!
     
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  14. Bobsblkwax

    Bobsblkwax AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    94
    Location:
    Nor Cal

    Thanks. So you use the same 3 In One for the motor as well?
     
  15. greymatter

    greymatter AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    777
    Location:
    Royal Oak , Michigan
    I use Royal Purple motor oil . Was recommended by Marc Morin when I had him redo the AR- Xa
     
  16. arts

    arts Super Member

    Messages:
    3,615
    Location:
    Qc, Canada
    Oiling is rarely required for these motors,but this is just fine.Use very sparingly though,this is a case where less is better.
     
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  17. johnjhazel

    johnjhazel PhxJohn Subscriber

    Messages:
    466
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    There is quite a selection of turntable bearing oils on eBay. I bought some of the 'Slick Liquid'. I use it with my Garrard Lab 80 and I really like it.
     

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