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[TowerTalk] US Tower Winter Winch Oil

To: <>
Subject: [TowerTalk] US Tower Winter Winch Oil
From: (Rick Mainhart)
Date: Sun, 12 Dec 1999 20:36:52 -0800
Dick (and the reflector),

At the risk of sounding crabby (while I can be, I currently AM NOT!) ...

Call your local oil and lubricants distributer, and give them the
technical specifications on your needs. Ask them to recommend a suitable
product, and enquire on minimum purchase requirements. If they distribute
in bulk, they may be willing to provide you with a gallon (I suspect you
might have to bring your own bottle) ... but some may be unwilling to
discuss or deal with you at all, more due to liabilities (insurance, EPA,
OSHA and the like). Or, they may only have 55 gallon drums and don't want
to have a partial drum hanging around for the next 50 years! If you're
nice to them, they might mention who they do sell bulk quantities of what
you need, and maybe even a contact name and number. Can't hurt to ask

If this doesn't work, check the local industrial distribution houses ...
the ones that handle power transmission equipment (gearboxes, pulleys,
belts, sprockets, gears ... that kind of transmission equipment). Often,
they will have suitable lubricants on hand for custom-assembled boxes,
service and sales. They will be more willing to provide smaller
quantities, but usually at a bit of a price markup (industrial customers
tend to need things Right Now).

Pay their price without carping on what it is costing you (I include this
comment, not for you, but for the seven others who will eventually read
the archives and follow this step by step). Most of these people don't
have the time, nor the interest in haggling over the price of a gallon of
lube. Easy to see why some places won't deal with individuals at all.

Good luck with your lubricant hunt. I can tell many stories from first
hand knowledge how the proper lubricant will keep a gearbox (and
production) on-line. By the way, the lifespan on a dry gearbox under full
load is something like 24 hours before it comes apart! I didn't need to
lecture on filling gearboxes in the future with the crew that did that


Rick, WB3EXR

On Fri, 10 Dec 1999 19:27:01 -0800 Dick Flanagan <>
>Well, I received the write-up from US Tower regarding the use of
>synthetic oils in their motorized winch gear boxes (thanks, Shana).  
>is a specification sheet from Hub City, apparently the manufacture of
>the gear box.
>The sheet lists three recommended lubricants available from the
>manufacturer.  The first two are non-synthetics:
>1.  Ambient Temp: 15 to 60 deg F
>2.  Ambient Temp: 30 to 125 deg F
>"...heavy duty industrial gear lubricants containing sulfur 
>antiwear additives. [Substitutes] must be compatible with bronze gear
>materials and nitrile rubber seals."
>The third lubricant is an "all temperature" synthetic:
>"...recommended [for] low start up temperature and/or high operating
>temperatures.  This lubricant can be operated at temperatures
>considerably above 225 deg F."  But no mention is made of a low temp
>limit or range.
>So here's my question.  I love in a small town within driving 
>of a medium city.  A typical cold winter morning here will drop to 
>deg F.  Several years ago it dropped to 20 below, but zero is a more
>normal lower limit.
>Without special ordering something, what kind of oil should I look 
>A standard synthetic automobile motor oil?  A non-automotive gear 
>I don't want to make a winter project out of finding this stuff, but 
>would like to find something suitable for this particular 
>Thanks to all you engineers out there.  :)
>73, Dick
>Dick Flanagan W6OLD CFII Minden, Nevada DM09db (South of Reno)
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