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Lubricating drive rails

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  • Bob Applegate
    I m starting to refurb a bunch of early 80s disk drives and was wondering if people put any kind of lubricant on the rails that the head mechanism is mounted
    Message 1 of 6 , Apr 30, 2014
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      I'm starting to refurb a bunch of early 80s disk drives and was wondering if people put any kind of lubricant on the rails that the head mechanism is mounted to. Maybe it's best to just keep them clean and dry without using anything?

      Bob
    • David Riley
      ... Never done it myself, but I hear good things about Dri-Slide for floppy mechanism lubricating. Stay clear of things like 3-in-1 and WD-40. - Dave
      Message 2 of 6 , Apr 30, 2014
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        On Apr 30, 2014, at 19:23, Bob Applegate <bob@...> wrote:

         

        I'm starting to refurb a bunch of early 80s disk drives and was wondering if people put any kind of lubricant on the rails that the head mechanism is mounted to. Maybe it's best to just keep them clean and dry without using anything?

        Never done it myself, but I hear good things about Dri-Slide for floppy mechanism lubricating. Stay clear of things like 3-in-1 and WD-40.

        - Dave
      • David Hayden
        I ve used the teflon lubricant that you get at bike shops on the rails of a nikon film scanner whose factory lubrication turned to goo. Dave
        Message 3 of 6 , Apr 30, 2014
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          I've used the teflon lubricant that you get at bike shops on the rails of a nikon film scanner whose factory lubrication turned to goo.

          Dave

          On 4/30/2014 7:23 PM, Bob Applegate wrote:
           

          I'm starting to refurb a bunch of early 80s disk drives and was wondering if people put any kind of lubricant on the rails that the head mechanism is mounted to. Maybe it's best to just keep them clean and dry without using anything?

          Bob

          _
        • Wesley Furr
          I can t speak generally, but I do know I read in an Apple maintenance/repair document somewhere that you should absolutely not lubricate the mechanism on the
          Message 4 of 6 , Apr 30, 2014
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            I can't speak generally, but I do know I read in an Apple maintenance/repair
            document somewhere that you should absolutely not lubricate the mechanism on
            the 5.25" disk drives...not sure if that wisdom/requirement applies to any
            other brands or not...

            Wesley


            -----Original Message-----


            I'm starting to refurb a bunch of early 80s disk drives and was wondering if
            people put any kind of lubricant on the rails that the head mechanism is
            mounted to. Maybe it's best to just keep them clean and dry without using
            anything?

            Bob
          • joshbensadon
            Hi Bob, I remember fixing rails for 8 drives and printers back in the 90 s. When you oil the rails, dust mixes in and it eventually gets between the carriage
            Message 5 of 6 , Apr 30, 2014
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              Hi Bob,

              I remember fixing rails for 8" drives and printers back in the 90's.

              When you oil the rails, dust mixes in and it eventually gets between the carriage and the rail.
              These rails should run completely dry with a silicone lubricant finish.  ie, rub and dry off some silicone lubricant, dry it off good at least 3 times.

              I would have to take everything apart and clean the parts with a solvent, WD-40 can work as a solvent.
              Then dry it all, give it polish with silicone lubricant, reassemble everything and confiscate the customers 3-in-1 oil.

              Josh Bensadon
            • retro
              ... I agree with my friend and colleague, the rails should be cleaned before lubrication. But some lubrication is I believe required. These drives are decades
              Message 6 of 6 , May 1, 2014
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                On 5/1/2014 1:00 AM, joshbensadon wrote:
                > Hi Bob,
                >
                > I remember fixing rails for 8" drives and printers back in the 90's.
                >
                > When you oil the rails, dust mixes in and it eventually gets between the
                > carriage and the rail.
                > These rails should run completely dry with a silicone lubricant finish.
                > ie, rub and dry off some silicone lubricant, dry it off good at least 3
                > times.

                I agree with my friend and colleague, the rails should be cleaned before
                lubrication. But some lubrication is I believe required. These drives
                are decades old now, and any original lubricants are dissipated, turned
                to goo, dirty. Without cleaning and lubrication, you'll get jamming and
                heat which will cause damage. These drives were not designed for
                multiple decades of use, so strategies for restoration have to make
                different considerations than the designers.

                I myself use sewing machine oil, which is a light-weight oil and in use
                for decades on (obviously) sewing machines, which I also repair. Those
                parts move at speeds comparable to read/write heads. That said, a
                silicone lubricant is also reasonable; a liquid, not a spray.

                > I would have to take everything apart and clean the parts with a
                > solvent, WD-40 can work as a solvent.
                > Then dry it all, give it polish with silicone lubricant, reassemble
                > everything and confiscate the customers 3-in-1 oil.
                >
                > Josh Bensadon

                I agree 3-in-1 oil is bad news. But so is WD-40. WD-40 is prohibited in
                the aircraft industry, because it leaves a residue - do the research.
                The primary solvent in WD-40 is kerosene; if one needs a solvent, obtain
                a solvent.

                Herb JOhnson

                --
                Herbert R. Johnson
                http://www.retrotechnology.com OR .net
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