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Old September 15, 2011, 03:17 AM   #1
NWPilgrim
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Have you ever replaced the motor on your vibratory tumbler?

My old Midway tumbler circa 1996 is finally slowing down. It still works but the action is much less vigorous. At first I thought of buying a new machine, but I like being able to fix things. When you disassemble a tumbler it is pretty simple:
- C-frame motor bolted to the base and bowl
- fan and offset weight connected to motor shaft

Pretty simple. The only way it can fail is if the bowl or frame cracks, or the motor dies. If I can figure out how to replace the motor then I could have a lifetime tumbler with occasional motor replacements for half the cost of a cheap tumbler. And I would have the satisfaction of fixing something myself.

My frame and bowl are in good condition so all I need is a replacement motor. I can find similar fan motors for about $25, but none of them have as thick a shaft as this one, and the offset weight would not fit well on a smaller shaft.

For the curious, my motor specs are:
- 120 v, 60HZ, .79A
- Jakel model J238-100-10046 (obsolete, Jakel merged with Fasco)
- 5/16" shaft is 1.25" long with 2.5" 4-blade fan
- attaches to bowl with 4 bolts 1-7/8" apart
- offset weight is 1/4" steel about 2" long with a hex screw to secure to shaft (shaft hole is at one end)

It is hard to tell from some of the incomplete descriptions and occasional product photos, but some motors appear to have similar mounting holes if not the exact bolts.

Two questions:
1) Has anyone replaced their motors successfully and where did you get them and was there any problem mounting them or attaching the offset weight?

2) If I go with a motor that has a thinner drive shaft (1/8" or 3/16", maybe 1/4") how could I adapt the weight to it, or replace it with another piece of steel flat bar? Thinking that I could drill the smaller shaft hole and the side hole for the set screw either at the other end of current steel piece, or cut one up from scrap plate. Then just use a normal screw tap to thread the hole (about 3/8") to the shaft. The benefit of getting a new motor is that I could get a more powerful motor for only a few dollars more.

I would like to hear if anyone else has done this and found it worked OK, or am I missing something. I am so close but not finding any motors exactly the same.

My fallback plan is to find a cheap new tumbler that has a motor in current production and then find a source for it and buy another motor now while it is available for repairs in the future.

Thanks!
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Old September 15, 2011, 10:13 AM   #2
Berry's MfG
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We used to use Jakel motors as well, they are a good motor assy. Just be careful on the change to another c-frame motor. Years ago Midway had a tumbler burn a house down and had a recall:

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Office of Information and Public Affairs Washington, DC 20207
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 27, 1998
Release # 98-088
Company Phone Number: (800) 243-2506
CPSC Consumer Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: Ken Giles, (301) 504-7052
CPSC, Midway Arms Announce Recall of Tumblers
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Midway Arms
Inc. of Columbia, Mo., is recalling tens of thousands of tumblers, used to clean gun cartridge casings for reloading.
The tumbler's motor can overheat, presenting a fire hazard.
Midway Arms has received 13 reports of motors overheating and catching fire. Five of these fires caused minor and
major property damage beyond the tumbler. No injuries have been reported.
Only tumblers sold under the Midway and Past brand names are involved in this recall. The Midway brand tumblers
have a blue top and gray base with the words, "Midway...Model 1292...Tumbler" on a sticker on the base. The Past
brand tumblers have a tan top and brown base with the word, "Past" on a sticker on the base.
Midway catalogs and independent arms distributors and dealers nationwide sold the tumblers from February 1992
through January 1997 for about $45.
Consumers should stop using these tumblers immediately and call Midway Arms at (800) 243-2506 between 8 a.m.
and 5:30 p.m. CST Monday through Friday to make arrangements for returning the tumbler for free repair.
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www.berrysmfg.com/products.aspx?n=57958
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Old September 15, 2011, 12:35 PM   #3
Berry's MfG
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When we had our current motors made the frame and bearing were designed to handle the counterweight. The specs for the bearing was very different than one that just had to drive a fan. We also have a thermo-coupler installed so if the motor does overheat the motor will shut down and not catch fire. I completely understand wanting to do it yourself, but my vote would be to get another unit.
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Old September 15, 2011, 02:35 PM   #4
wncchester
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IF a tumbler motor is "slowing down" it's likely because the oil in the two simple bronze bearings is drying and turning to varnish - if you let it continue, the shaft will seize and burn the motor out, may take your house with it! Take the motor loose so you can get to both bearings and flush them with something like mineral spirts to get the old stuff out. Then re-oil with a high grade light weight oil; I like Automatic Transmission Fluid, cheep at Walmart.

If you wanna use your present tumbler and get a new motor it's easy to drill the counter weight and fan to whatever size hole they need for the new shaft. But a new motor will likely cost about as much as a new tumbler.

IF you wanna buy a new tumbler get a Berry's; good price, 1/4" shaft heavy duty ball bearing motor. (They make an excellant inertia bullet puller too!)

Last edited by wncchester; September 15, 2011 at 02:45 PM.
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Old September 15, 2011, 06:32 PM   #5
langenc
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If it is a Midways call them and ask about a replacement-AFTER you try lubbing the present one as suggested above.
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Old September 16, 2011, 04:41 PM   #6
Sport45
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If I's a Midway 1292, I'd call Midway BEFORE I did anything to it.
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Old September 16, 2011, 05:52 PM   #7
Berry's MfG
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+1 Sport45, and if you liked the tumbler and the way it performed I'd get another one from them.
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Old September 22, 2011, 04:23 PM   #8
NWPilgrim
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Quote:
If I's a Midway 1292, I'd call Midway BEFORE I did anything to it.
It is a #1292. Why is that significant? Do they have a lifetime guarantee on electrical devices? After 15 years I am happy I got so much use out of it, I could hardly expect them to replace it. I'll call them and see what they say.

At any rate, I was at a local gun shop today and they had a Dillon tumbler on display. Of course I had to look up its skirt and see what it had for a motor. WOW!!!! That is one honking, herculean motor. The base and bowl are HUGE. But I had read on their website that the same motor is used in the smaller 750 model. I couldn't resist, I ordered the Dillon 750.

Even with the huge bowl it looks like the motor would handle it easily. With the smaller bowl this should last a few generations! They are expensive compared to most vibratory tumblers, but man that motor looks and sounds incredible.

It will take a week or so to be delivered. Once I pick it up I will take some photos of my old 1292 and the new Dillon and post them. I found it really hard to make any kind of decision from online product info and forum posts because there are no specifics as to size or type of motor, bearings, counterweights, mounting, base and bowl materials, etc. And no specific comparisons of different brands. I'll do my best to compare at least the old economy Midway 1292 and the apparent Cadillac of vibratory tumblers, Dillon 750. Might help to establish a couple of benchmarks to compare other brands/models you encounter.

If I get any replacements for the Midway I will post info about that as well. Thanks for the heads up.

ETA:
I called Midway and they were not real helpful. Mentioned some were recalled (ones with metal plate on bottom?) but seemed confused about my description. I read the label verbatim and they basically said it doesn't sound like anything that is recalled and there is no warranty. About what I expected for a budget electrical appliance many years old. I got my $40 worth long time ago so no problem.
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Last edited by NWPilgrim; September 22, 2011 at 04:33 PM.
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