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CAM Craft Tue 03 June 2008 00:25

Spindle Bearings replacement
Hi. Eventually my oldest Fimec spindle needs new bearings. Not entirely sure how old the spindle is, guessing 2-3years.
Is there a specific company in CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA that services these spindles or supplies the correct bearings? If i manage to get the right bearings, is it easy enough for me to change them out? Has anyone been able to successfully change their own bearings? And do guys have contact email addresses for “English” agents in the states that stock these spindles and bearings?
Any information with regards to my question will be much appreciated since i need to fix this problem as soon as possible.

Gerald D Thu 05 June 2008 03:32

As Sean discovered today, there is a company in Cape Town that has changed bearings in similar spindles before. Viviers Armature Winders in Woodstock.

Once Sean has swopped out the spindles, I will carefully open the old one and see what there is to see inside.......

Gerald D Thu 12 June 2008 11:58

Starting to gather info for when the surgery has to happen . . . . .

HSD gave these numbers for the 18000rpm spindles:

Front bearings:
HSD code Y290400019 – VEX 35/S SQCE1 DD0

Rear Bearings:
HSD code Y290100012 – radial 6002 2RSL C3

Font bearing appears to be according this table:
Rear bearing is fairly common.

Alternative for the SNFA front bearing is the 7007 series from SKF. (about $200 from local stockist)

domino11 Thu 12 June 2008 12:02

Is this a typical rate at when you would need to change bearings in a spindle (2 or 3 years of industrial use)?

sailfl Thu 12 June 2008 12:05


How about some pictures when you open up the spindle? I have decided to wait on purchasing my spindle, which will be a HSD, and go with a router to start with but I plan on buying one in the future and I would like to see what you find.


Gerald D Thu 12 June 2008 12:13

I wouldn't know if 2.5 years is typical or not, have no experience in this field. Of course some pics will be taken.

HSD are not keen to supply bearings, and we only got the numbers because they have no agents out here. They say that most people replace the whole spindle when the bearings go.

smreish Thu 12 June 2008 12:16

Our multicam had a columbo 2.2kw and replaced it after 5 years of really hard use.

Gerald D Thu 12 June 2008 12:44

Bed time reading: Assembly Manual

CAM Craft Thu 12 June 2008 22:19

Then guys remember i never have put in ramps when starting a profile. Just straight down plunges. Hitting clamps every few months won't extend its life either!

Gerald D Thu 12 June 2008 23:53

Originally Posted by CAM Craft View Post
Then guys remember i never have put in ramps when starting a profile. Just straight down plunges. . . . .
Aaaaah, sounds like the lad is starting to hear the lesson that the old man has been preaching. :)

Sean, any words on why you would want to continue using a spindle, even if it might cost you $200 to $400 every 2 to 3 years? There are a number of curious people wondering if a spindle is a good investment.

CAM Craft Fri 13 June 2008 02:15

well i was spending $45 on new bearings every 2months, for my makita 3612C.
and after 4 yrs the housing is all worn. Its extremely noisy as well. I'm tired of having issues on regular basis while running a very busy shop

javeria Fri 13 June 2008 06:53

Sean I have invested on a 3612 C too. but was looking out for a cheaper water cooled chinese spindles. they are around 480USD a piece for 2.2KW. I dont know yet what to go for. Just speculating.

Yup the router makes a hell lot of noise! completely agree with that.


Gerald D Tue 29 July 2008 07:47

Originally Posted by Gerald D View Post
HSD gave these numbers for the 18000rpm spindles:

Front bearings:
HSD code Y290400019 – VEX 35/S SQCE1 DD0
Opened the Fimec spindle (rated 24000rpm) this morning and found a pair of FAG HCS7007-C-T-P4S UL bearings. Will replace with the most economical bearing stocked locally and see what sort of life that gives. (Sean, get ready to fork out R1000, excluding my labour :))

Photos will take a while . . . .

CAM Craft Tue 29 July 2008 22:07

Are these FAG bearings cheaper than what HSD suggested?

Thanks, send me a confirmed price/invoice

Gerald D Wed 30 July 2008 00:10

That model Fimec was 24000 rpm with the ceramic FAG bearings.

HSD is 18000 rpm and they were giving specs on steel bearings.

Neither of the above bearings stocked locally, prices uncertain.

Found some locally stocked NACHI (rhymes with nasty) bearings we can try out and see how long they last.

Port Thu 31 July 2008 12:37

For anything over 6000 rpm you must have P4 bearings. What makes these chaps special is that they are matched to the configuration you need. When bearings are assembled side by side they need to be matched to each other that is why P4 bearings will have lines etched on them to show how they must be assembled, this is to ensure that the balls are running correctly in the race. When a standard bearing is mounted in the same way the balls may not be exactly in the correct position and as a result cannot take the load. Also the cages holding the balls need to be machined to get the higher RPM, which the P4 gives almost always brass. What happens with the standard bearings with steel cages is that on start up the balls will move out of position since the balls are much losser than in the brass cage and as a result damage the raceway hence heat, noise failure.

Gerald D Thu 31 July 2008 12:42

What is a P4 bearing?

Port Thu 31 July 2008 12:54

check the bearing no. in post 13 "P4S" tells you that it is a "precision" bearing,
these chaps are the hand selected perfect chaps. One of the most critical areas is the width of the outer race and the inner race, if thay are not exactly the same the balls are pushed out of allignment when assembled causing greater heat and failure.

Gerald D Sat 02 August 2008 02:34

17 Attachment(s)
- Remove the fan cover at the top of the spindle:

- Remove the retaining clip (circlip) that holds the fan to the shaft (important!)

-Remove the 4 capscrews that hold the lower bearing housing to the alu body of the spindle. The only thing that holds the rotor inside the body is the little plastic fan!

- Press the shaft through the fan, causing the fan to pop off, and the rotor to move completely out of the spindle body.

- Hold rotor gently in a padded vice and unscrew the inner retaining nut (normal right-hand thread.....the last one...hereafter all left-hand)

- Slide the shaft out of the back of the bearings. It is a smooth sliding force needed.

Just a curiousity, those circular marks are the ends of the bars of the squirrel cage. (8 bars visible)
(The round hole is one of the balancing drillings)
Attachment 1825

-Hold the bearing housing gently and unscrew the outer bearing retainer (left-hand thread)

- Slide the two main (expensive!) bearings out . . . . . no force needed.

- The lower end of the spindle is now completely disassembled. These are all the parts involved:

- Unscrew the top, small bearing retainer, again left-hand thread

smreish Sat 02 August 2008 05:48 the handmade spanners

Gerald D Sat 02 August 2008 12:54

Spanners? I thought that name was only used this side of the Atlantic and you called them "wrenches"? :)

Have added some commentary above. Is there anything else I should be taking pictures of that anyone might be interested in?

Gerald D Sat 02 August 2008 13:37

That wasn't Loctite, it was packed MDF dust! Scraped it out and bearings came off. The small bearings have no markings.

Gerald D Sat 02 August 2008 22:20

Interesting, the differences between a pin-spanner and a pin-wrench :)

Gerald D Sun 03 August 2008 08:17

2 Attachment(s)
Small things to watch during re-assembly:

The marks on the main bearings must be lined up, facing towards each other:

The gaps in the seal rings must be shifted far apart (not as per this pic!). Similar on small nut at fan end:

paco Sun 03 August 2008 08:30

Great information Gerald! Thanks for taking the time to depict the details with pictures. It look almost too easy; getting the replacement parts being the most complicate part.

Gerald D Sun 03 August 2008 09:14

I have more or less decided to make the first bearing a simple 6007 2Z, and the second a cheap unsealed 7007 bearing, and then to see the life it gives. Maybe I am crazy, but if I don't experiment, I won't know what I am paying for. It is easy enough to change the bearings.

There is a danger though....

If the bearings get so bad that they seize up, they will turn in the housing, or on the shaft and cause irrepairable damage. That same risk also applies to the very expensive bearings. Important point is, the bearings must be replaced when they give their first warnings!

Another observation is that the marked pairs of bearings cannot be guaranteed to stay in line while the assembly is screwed together. There is no way of checking that the markings have not perhaps moved to the worst position, 180 degrees apart.

Gerald D Sun 03 August 2008 11:00

Tonight I opened the bearings and checked them carefully. . . . .

Nothing obvious worn with the big expensive front bearings, but the small back ones are shot. As per the pics above, full of sawdust and outer race turning blue from overheating. Fimec used open bearings there, while HSD say they use the sealed bearing 6002 2RSL C3.

Moral of the story, don't rush to replace the big bearings if the little ones are causing the grief. :o

Now I wonder if I can get the big ones together again . . . . .

javeria Sun 03 August 2008 12:03

Meaning are ya opening up two spindles? did I miss anything in the thread?

did you already assemble and chk and the small bearings failed?

Gerald D Sun 03 August 2008 12:26

Photos are a mix of 2 spindles: first 2 pics are HSD with alu-colour body and the rest of the pics are Fimec with black colour body. Only 1 spindle was actually opened.....the Fimec with the black body. The two spindles are mostly identical. HSD has given us the bearing specs used in their spindles, but I have not seen the bearings inside a HSD for myself. The Fimec has run over 2 years and developed bearing noise, which now appears to have been caused by the small bearings.

Port Wed 06 August 2008 07:48

Gerald rather use ZZ bearings at the top the 2RS will heat up. The markings on the P4 bearings are only there to show which faces must go together, as I said before this ensures that the balls are running in the center of the groove. Think what would happen if the outer race was say 0.5mm narrower than the inner race, once assembled in the spindle (the 2 sets of bearings next to each other) the balls would be forced out of allignment, causing failure. that is what P4 prevents.

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