Pro-Ject Xpression III belt/lubricant question

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Leviethan, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. Leviethan

    Leviethan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    My Pro-Ject Xpression III motor makes a weird little creak/groan sound when it starts to spin, or spins down. I'm wondering if this means it needs oil, or if I need a new belt? I know Pro-ject sells "grease it" but they have no instructions on their website or TT manual.

    I have 3 in 1 oil, but I've read conflicting opinions about using it on turntables. Any thoughts?
     
  2. I get the same little groan on my DebutIII. I haven't investigated it yet.

    I would be very hesitant to put something like 3 in 1 on a TT belt (or any oil / lube) without knowing the implications. I don't know what the belt is made from nor the impact of the oil on the material. Some lubes will 'eat' rubber belts & o-rings.
     
  3. Leviethan

    Leviethan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    I didn't mean oil the belt itself. Just the motor.
     
  4. jim tavegia

    jim tavegia Forum Resident

    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    This is my experience and what I did on my old, Dual 502 I refurbished.

    After i worked on everything else I pulled the platter that has the bearing spindle attached. I fully cleaned out the bearing well and looked at a number of "oils" that might work. I noticed that when I pulled the platter and spindle that it was pretty dry, yet when I cleaned out the bearing tube it was dirty, but considering how old it was that is not surprising. I did not find a ball in the bottom and the tip of the bearing spindle was very smooth, so there was no damage to it.

    I decided that I really wanted to lubricant to remain top to bottom on the spindle shaft, but felt that oil wound eventually drop to the bottom of the bearing well, if only over time. I decided to lubricate the bearing tube bottom and walls with bearing grease and then added a light coating the full length of the spindle shaft with a little added at the very tip where it would seat at the bottom. Not a very elaborate process, but I will tell you that made a huge improvement in platter noise that was transmitted to the stylus that I could hear between songs in the transitions. I could also hear less noise at the lead out groves at the end of sides.

    Prior to pulling the belt over the motor pulley the platter spun as freely as I had ever seen it. I now do this once a year just to keep everything clean and well lubricated. Probably overkill, but it only takes about 20 minutes. Your mileage may very.
     
  5. Leviethan

    Leviethan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Just to be clear, are you referring to platter where the record sits? The noise in my TT is coming from the motor that pulls the belt around the platter. And when I take off the acrylic platter that the record sits on, this noise is gone. I'm wondering if the motor is in need of lube, or whether I need a new belt? I've never owned a belt drive TT before, and I bought this one used, so I'm just not sure when it's time to replace the belt.
     
  6. ggergm

    ggergm Forum Resident

    Location:
    Minnesota
    I've got to agree with the above feeling that oil and a turntable belt should be kept many feet apart. I wouldn't oil the motor.

    Have you thought about buying a new belt? If it is a bit stretched, you might get a squeak as everything starts spinning. The belt might be slipping for a fraction of a second on the pulley. A stretched belt would explain why the squeak goes away when you take the platter off. Without its mass, there is less stress on the belt. I can't see why you'd get a similar squeak as things slow down, though.

    You may have owned a car where the fan belt squeaked when you first started the engine. Same thing.

    A new belt should be cheap and is always a good investment with a belt drive turntable.
     
  7. Bob_in_OKC

    Bob_in_OKC Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    The only way to get a lubricant in the motor would be to pop it open...which I wouldn't recommend. I also wouldn't recommend 3-in-1 oil on a turntable. I wonder if maybe the pulley is loose and chatters against the motor spindle while it is gaining traction at startup and losing friction as it spins down.
     
  8. jim tavegia

    jim tavegia Forum Resident

    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    It almost sounds like the motor under load has issues. Do not open the motor up at this point.

    There was another thread about the motor issue, but I think I would drop a note to the Project rep, Sumiko and just ask them. You MIGHT? need a new motor and through them it might be a better buy, or it may be something else all together. These kinds of problems can drive you crazy, but I do think there is a solution. http://www.sumikoaudio.net/

    Drop them a note or call on Wed.
     
  9. Leviethan

    Leviethan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Thanks for all the info. I'll try a new belt, and if that doesn't help, I'll get in touch with Pro-Ject.
     
  10. Bob_in_OKC

    Bob_in_OKC Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    I'd also suggest checking to see if the pulley is screwed on tight. There's a headless set screw on the side.
     

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