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 Post subject: Garrard RC 88/4 maintenance and lube questions
PostPosted: Nov Sun 08, 2009 3:35 am 
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Joined: Nov Sat 07, 2009 11:22 pm
Posts: 3
I am trying to resurrect an old Garrard RC 88/4 record changer to play a pile of old 78 records. It has the GE VRII cardtridge with a dual stylus (LP and 78 ). After inspecting the stylus in a microscope, I think the 78 stylus looks like it may actually be useable, the LP stylus is pretty corroded and mangled.

I cleaned up the idler wheel and turntable rim and did some lubrication where appropriate, but the changer is not quite cycling. When I set it to manual, it still wants to go through the whole changer cycle (check for a disk on the spindle, push the disk off the spindle, etc.) and clicks off when the little pusher arm doesn't see any more records on the spindle. Is "manual" still supposed to do this, but just allow you to hand place the tone arm? Or should it skip the "disk on spindle check" and just spin the turntable and allow you to place the record on manually?

What is the best lubricant to use on all the sliding cams and pivots? I was think maybe some moly bearing lube? Even at 78 speed, the turntable gets bogged down trying to drive the changer mechanism and can't keep spinning without an assist until the changer cycle is done, then it seems to spin fine. I don't have a strobe disc handy to check the speed.

There are some spots where the deck is showing some corrosion bubbling through the paint, so the unit has been exposed to some corrosive atmosphere, but all in all it is in remarkably good condition for how old it is. It seems to be from the mid 50's or so, judging from family photos.

Has anyone ever seen a PDF or something of a strobe disk for 16/33/45/78 that I could download, print, and cut out?

Any other suggestions?

Thanks!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Nov Tue 17, 2009 4:09 am 
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Joined: Nov Tue 17, 2009 1:13 am
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Location: Norway
I found some interesting info on the Garrard RC88 on a different forum "vinylengine". There's a Garrard room and several threads on RC88 and other models, restorations included. Perhaps someone can help you there.

I am also looking for a 1950's Garrard that restores well and that plug into an old stereo valve radio I have. The RC 88 is suppose to have been a top model then.


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 Post subject: Listening to 78s!
PostPosted: Nov Tue 17, 2009 4:32 am 
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Joined: Nov Sat 07, 2009 11:22 pm
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I got the old Garrard RC88/4 working. It just required a lot of cleaning up, some lube on all the mechanism points, and I went ahead and got a new stylus from the stereoneedleslady on ebay:

http://stores.ebay.com/CAROLES-NEEDLES?_rdc=1

I had quite a bit of difficulty getting the turntable platter off, after removing the circlip ring it was still stuck, but I finally discovered a way to gently tap it free from the spindle sleeve. I gently pulled up on the platter while tapping on the center spindle sleeve and after a few taps it came unstuck.

I found a manual for it from John Hamm at analogalley@sunflower.com for $10.

Part of the lubrication challenge is that you need to get the lubrication to work its way into all the bearing surfaces, while at the same time keeping it out of the idler drive surfaces. This is a bit easier said than done. At the end of the day, I think one of the best things is to just play it a lot. Once you've lubricated all the bearing surfaces you can -- sparingly -- you need to just cycle it a few hundred times to get that to spread to all the nooks and crannies that need to get lubricated, and to wear off any rough corrosion from sitting for a long time.

Oh darn! That means you have to play a bunch of 78's and listen to Big Bands and Swing and Jazz and such!

One thing I learned that helps, with a changer like this, while you are getting run in after years of being idle: With two or three disks on the platter, the momentum of these heavy older disks tends to help the mechanism spin through a changer cycle. With only one disk on the platter, the changer will sometimes stall during the disk change cycle. So now I try to keep two or three disks on the platter all the time, or be prepared to give the platter a nudge when it stalls during the change cycle.

Bottom line: The best thing to get these changers working more smoothly: Use them a lot!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Nov Tue 17, 2009 7:48 pm 
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Joined: Nov Tue 17, 2009 1:13 am
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Location: Norway
Sounds like a fun project. I hear from old people who remember these record players when they where new, that even then the changing mechanism didn't always work perfectly; sometimes dropping more than one record at the time or getting stuck. However Garrard was suppose to be of the best ones.

I just read that even experts use plain WD 40 or CRC 5-56 to loosen up the old stuck grease and then use different lubricants after every thing cleaned. The WD an CRC have the ability to penetrate, loosen and remove all rust over time, better than most products. If there's no rust I wonder how pure alcohol would work? It leaves no residue.


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 Post subject: lubrication
PostPosted: Nov Tue 17, 2009 10:19 pm 
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Joined: Nov Sat 07, 2009 11:22 pm
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I have some thick bodied industrial silicone oil which is amazingly slippery and penetrates real well. You just have to be careful to use it sparingly so it does not get into the platter drive. But most of the bearing surfaces are not rotating fast.

I was playing some more records last night and it has now worked in enough that it will play through the whole changer cycle without stalling even with just one record on the platter. It works better and better the more I use it. I have to say the Garrard changer mechanism is pretty flawless at dropping each record one at a time.

One tip: I was having trouble with the stylus skipping back occasionally until I realized that the tonearm pivot was stiff; a bit of silicone oil seems to have completely cured that now.

Alcohol is a good degreasing cleaner, but it doesn't lubricate. If you get typical 70% stuff, it is 30% water and could promote corrosion. I use it to clean the idler roller and the platten inner rim where the roller runs.

WD40 is a long subject. The name stands for "water displacement, 40th formulation." Not bad for penetrating, but it will evaporate and leave little lubrication. WD-40 often leads to corrosion where people mistake it for a long life lubricant, which it is not.

The Garrard manual which I bought suggests a thin grease like vaseline petroleum jelly, which was pretty good in that time, but we have a lot better lubricants today. I take that as a guide for the thickness required, but the distillates in vaseline will evaporate away and leave it too thick (which the old stuff has done).

This weekend we found another whole box of old 78s among my parents stuff. Some really great stuff. Oklahoma from the stage play, George Gershwin, some Russian classical works from the 40s, some childrens albums, just all kinds of fun stuff. About a 2 foot stack in hard bound albums.

I grew up with 33 1/3 rpm 12 inch vinyl records in elaborate sleeves (60's - 70's), often with liner notes and lots of photos, but it never occurred to me before why records were called "record albums." It just occurred to me going through these it was obviously because in the days of 78s, records were one cut per side, so a release of 8 tunes required four platters in a book, a record "album." We just found an entire box of these "albums." A few platters were broken, these are as brittle as clay, but most are fine. Many of these clean up very nicely and are surprisingly quiet.


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 Post subject: Re: Garrard RC 88/4 maintenance and lube questions
PostPosted: Feb Thu 18, 2016 3:59 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 6569
Location: Freeport, LI, New York 11520
Hi Guys..;...

Another penetrant you might want to check out is Aerokroil. Similiar to WD-40 (which is my goto stuff on the boat) Aerokroil is not a water displacement. However, it will disolve crusty grease and oil very well. Has a light lube action which works well on linkages and operating surfaces. Kinda expensive....$20.00 for a 16.5 ounce spray can w/ applicator tube included.
And, it smells better!
Been using it for nearly 35 years.
...Jim

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"Resistance may be futile but capacitance has potential"


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 Post subject: Re: Garrard RC 88/4 maintenance and lube questions
PostPosted: Feb Thu 18, 2016 11:15 pm 
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Joined: Jan Wed 16, 2013 12:04 am
Posts: 1536
Location: 77001
RE: strobe disc patterns
http://www.vinylengine.com/strobe-discs.shtml

edit: just noted this is a very old thread, but maybe someone can use the info:
Hotwax


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 Post subject: Re: Garrard RC 88/4 maintenance and lube questions
PostPosted: Oct Mon 08, 2018 4:53 pm 
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Joined: Jul Mon 28, 2008 2:14 pm
Posts: 42
I just bought some Deoxit D5 to clean out POTs can I use it to also clean out and lubricate everything in this unit. If not, it's not clear to me in this post exactly what type of lubricant should be used. I would assume that D5 is ok for the motor since it's designed for electronics but what about other stuff? should I clean out with something like WD40 then add a lubricant? or will the D5 suffice? Thanks.

Jeff


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 Post subject: Re: Garrard RC 88/4 maintenance and lube questions
PostPosted: Oct Mon 08, 2018 5:31 pm 
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Joined: Aug Tue 24, 2010 8:56 pm
Posts: 5661
Location: Northeast Florida
I clean with alcohol, lube with Zoomspout oil. If you have sewing machine oil, that will work too. Don't use Deoxit, that's strictly for controls

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 Post subject: Re: Garrard RC 88/4 maintenance and lube questions
PostPosted: Oct Tue 09, 2018 8:59 pm 
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Joined: Jul Mon 28, 2008 2:14 pm
Posts: 42
@trscott

Which Stylus did you get? and what weight did you re-calibrate it to? did it work fine after that? I was under the impression that newer records need lighter pressure, and this tone arm and original stylus might have trouble working with that low pressure. I've also heard a stereo stylus is required to listen to stereo albums. Not sure if this is the case or not. I'd like to be able to play modern records with the unit.

Jeff


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