RL drive lubrication

J Blaser oldcpu at rogerwilco.org
Tue Apr 11 12:46:56 CDT 2006

In a recent acquisition of several 11/23 systems I was fortunate to 
receive four RL01
drives, being two sets of Unit 0 and Unit 1.
One set of these drives were very dirty/dusty, and by the looks of the 
course filters
(which were deteriorating badly in all drives) and the accumulations in 
the power
supply and plenum areas, I have to say this set was used in at least an 
ISO Class 10
Million level (not so) clean room environment!    The other drive set 
was in
pretty good condition, cleanliness wise.  I replaced all four course 
filters, and
checked the absolute filters, which were actually okay even in the dirty 
Because all of these have been powered off for many years, I opened them 
up and
pulled the power supply for a session with my capacitor reformation rig 
cleanup.  With that successfully accomplished, and finding that all 
voltages were in
line, everything was reassembled.  During the wait for the capacitors, I 
cleaned the
interior pretty well with a vacuum and Windex.  As a side note, three of 
the drives
still had the platter brushes installed, and since I already had each 
drive opened
for power supply checkout, I went ahead and removed the brush assemblies.
Fortunately, the 'clean' set of drives are now fully functional, having 
been tested
with one of the 11/23s.
Unfortunately, after mounting and LOADing a known good disk cartridge, 
neither drive
from the 'dirty' set will show READY after spinup.  Though the details 
are a bit
different, each drive emits a very noticeable sound, kind of a 
whining/rumbling sound
(not squealing), that I think is indicative of dry bearings in the 
spindle, the
spindle motor, or both.  I wonder if dragging bearings are preventing 
the drive from
becoming READY due to uneven RPM?
I've scoured the online documents for possible information regarding RL 
lubrication, but I can't come up with anything that suggests 'in the field'
lubrication options.  The RL01/RL02 Maintenance Guide talks about 
disassembly and
Field Replaceable Units, but nothing about lubrication.
So a few questions for those in the know:
Could dragging bearings be the cause of no READY indication?
Has anyone had any experience lubricating the appropriate assemblies in 
an RL drive?
If so, what lubricant is recommended, where is it applied, and how?
Removing the motor for lubrication is no problem, but I wonder if 
removing the
spindle assembly would then necessitate a head alignment once it's back 
in place?  
I'm not sure I'm ready to go through that process just yet!  Still, if I 
need to do
it, I need to do it.
Any advice is welcome.
Assuming I can get this resolved, I'm in the market for a set of (2) RL 
cables and a terminator.  Anyone with some spares that they'd like an 
offer on,
please contact me off-list.

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