The following material was sent by John Van Gardner, retyped and HTML-ized by Ed Thelen
and stresses the importance of lubrication in the 1403 Printer !!
- added comments from D. Resor, Jan 2022
IBM Standard Lubricating Oils
The standard IBM oils are given in Table 1. The oils 3, 6, 7, 10, and 12 are highly refined turbine or hydraulic quality oils. These oils are deeply extracted, dewaxed, treated with highly reactive clay, neutralized and filtered through diatomaceous earth. They are then compounded with anti-oxidants and/or rust inhibitors, pour-point depressants and, usually, a few ppm of a silicone fluid. The oils are refined and compounded in this manner to reduce the emulsibility with water (for steam turbine applications) and air entrapment (for hydraulic systems). IBM #3 is used in the 1403 printer hydraulic system. A superclean version of IBM #6 is used in the 1301 Disc File hydraulic system.
Table 1 - Typical Properties
GENERAL DESCRIPTION AND APPLICATION SAE SSU oF INDEX TEMP
3 A very low viscosity general purpose petroleum oil with excellent oxidation stability, good rust inhibition and low gum forming tendencies. For use in light hydraulic systems, very light mechanisms and instruments. Flash point 340oF (171oC), Pour point 25oF (-4oC). - 80 @ 100
37 @ 210
140 25 - 175
(-4 - 80)
4 A light synthetic oil for applications where carbonization of oil is likely to occur, e.g. near arcing contacts (leaves no residue). Will react with most paints. Flash point 360oF (182oC), Pour point -35oF (-37oC). - 170 @ 100
48 @ 210
144 -20 - 200
(-29 - 93)
6 A LOW VISCOSITY GENERAL PURPOSE PETROLEUM OIL, FOR USE ON LIGHT MECHANISMS, E.G., SMALL JOURNALS, LINKAGES, SLIDING BEARINGS. GOOD OXIDATION RESISTANCE AND WETTABILITY. CONTAINS A RUST INHIBITOR. Flash point 400oF (204oC), Pour point 20oF (-7oC). 10 150 @ 100
44 @ 210
100 32 - 175
(0 - 80)
7 A medium viscosity petroleum oil with qualities similar to IBM 3 and 6. For use as a heavy hydraulic oil. Flash point 440oF (226oC), Pour point 10oF (-10oC). 20 316 @ 100
53 @ 210
95 10 - 200
(-12 - 93)
9 A medium viscosity petroleum oil. Contains a tackiness agent for improved adhesion to metals, but restricts its use to applications where a sticky residue is not objectionable. Flash point 360oF (182oC). Pour point -15oF (-26oC) 20 400 @ 100
80 0 - 225
(18 - 107)
10 A medium viscosity petroleum oil, for medium loads with qualities similar to IBM 3, 6, and 7. Slightly higher viscosity than IBM 9, but no tackiness agent. Flash point 460oF (236oC). Pour point 10oF (-12oC). 30 500 @ 100
60 @ 210
95 20 - 225
(-7 - 107)
12 A high viscosity petroleum oil for use at high temperatures and heavy loads. Used for circulating oil systems and closed gear cases. Contains anti-oxidants, antifoaming agents and rust inhibitors. Flash point 500oF (260oC), Pour point 15oF (-9oC). 50 920 @ 100
88 @ 210
100 15 - 250
(-9 - 121)
Although most of the IBM applications do not require the properties of turbine and hydraulic oils, the light color, good oxidation stability (Low tendency to form gums and lacquers), odor characteristics and field performance have proven that these oils are satisfactory for IBM applications. The reason for having five different oils of the same general composition in our standards is to cover the range in viscosities needed by engineering. This is illustrated in Table 2.
OIL VISCOSITY-SS/100oF 3 80 6 150 7 316 10 500 12 920
The viscosity of the oil selected for a specific application is determined by the speed and bearing size. The definition of viscosity and a explanation of how lubricants are selected will be given in subsequent sections of this report.
IBM #4 and #9 are special types of lubricants. IBM #4 is a polyalkylene glycol which is recommended for contacts. This oil does not leave as much residue and petroleum oils near arcing contacts. IBM #9 contains polyisobutylene, which is a tackiness agent. This oil is limited to applications where greater adhesion to metal is required and a sticky residue is not objectionable.
A Large number of other oils are available for special applications. These are listed by part numbers in the IBM Coded Parts List available in the local standards office.
1403 Chain Drive Motor
1403 Printing Cartridge
- Printer Chain Drive Motor - The motor shown in Figure 30 was lubricated originally with a long-fiber sodium-soap grease selected by the manufacturer of the motor. In all bevel gear applications, oil in the preferred lubricant. In this particular application, the unit could not be properly sealed to prevent oil leakage.
The high melting grease selected by the motor vendor did not provide adequate lubrication, and the motors failed prematurely. By replacing the grease with IBM #22 (available as IBM #22 but use is being discouraged for other applications), acceptable performance was achieved. When the gears overheat, a small amount of the grease melts providing adequate lubrication.
- Printing Cartridge - In the development stages of a printer, the type cartridge shown in Figure 31 failed in testing due to poor lubrication. The lubricant used was IBM #6. Oils of both higher and lower viscosities were tested in the early development states. It was found that oils with viscosities above 150 SSU/100oF caused the cartridge temperature to exceed the 140oF in our standards. Oils with lower viscosities generally gave lower operating temperatures, but greater wear. The failure of IBM #6 resulted from lacquer formation on the track. By changing to a 5W-20 engine oil, the problem was eliminated. The principles involved were:
- IBM #6 is a turbine quality oil. The demulsibility requirements for oils of this type preclude the use of surface active agents. When the oil overheats, lacquers are formed. These are preferentially absorbed on the track. As the lacquer deposit builds up, the friction between the type slug and the track increases, the temperature rises again, and eventually a catastrophic failure occurs.
- Multi-viscosity engine oils contain polymeric dispersants and other surface active agents the keep the lacquers from depositing of the track keeping them in suspension. The surface active agents are preferentially absorbed on the track in place of the lacquer. The 5W-20 was selected since its viscosity at 100oF (180 SSU) was nearly equal to that of IBM #6 (150 SSU).
added comments from D. Resor, Jan 2022
My business is repairing church organs, Hammond is one product, both vintage and current digital products. I also service Alhborn-Galanti (an Italian product).
The Hammond organís mechanical tone wheel generator lubricant is SAE 15 turbine oil.
I was researching the types of lubricants referenced in the service manual for the IBM Electronic Typewriter 85. This is how I found your page for while looking for IBM Lubricant #10. What I did not find on your page was information for IBM Lubricant #23 for which I found the chemical make-up here:
Obviously the product hasnít been available in a very long time. On another page I found that the substitute is Mobilgrease #28 Aero Grease.
Seems though that the recommendation of 0W30 Synthetic oil on this page which is for combustion engines is incorrect as this type of oil contains not only rust inhibitors but agents to keep, carbon and wear particles suspended. As far as I know this has never been recommended for use in electric motor bearings.
I was always taught that SAE20 non-detergent oil was actually the correct lubricant for electric motors, even those used in IBM typewriters.
This was verified by someone from the Typewriters user group by explaining they have been using Mobil grease #28 on the Selectric typewriter for eight years with no problems.
The error in the text wasnít seen by me at first, but someone from the Typewriters user group on groups.io pointed it out to me.
Donald R. Resor Jr. T. W. & T. C. Svc. Co.
Hammond USA warranty service
"Most people donít have a sense of humor. They think they do, but they donít." --Jonathan Winters
More from e-mail Jan 15, 2022
As IBM #10 Oil is SAE 30 and suggested for use in electric typewriter motors etc, Jim Petroski of the Typewriters user group gave better insight as to why:
The choice of oil viscosity depends much on the clearance in the bearings (loading being the other primary consideration). The #10 oil / 30W oil for the electric motor bushings indicates it has a fairly large clearance. I have an old bathroom ventilation fan in my home (60+ year old motor). Previous owners didn't lubricate the motor often enough and standard 10W or 20W oil wasn't viscous enough anymore for the worn bearing clearances. One option was to replace the motor or the just the bearings, but the cheaper option was to use 30W oil instead, and that's worked for the 30 years we've lived in the house. The whole house fan I installed gets the regular 20W turbine oil. The same principle works for typewriter motor bearings if they have worn from lack of lubrication; one grade higher viscosity can help.