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Fans and lubrication.

Posted on 2002-07-08
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Last Modified: 2013-11-10
Those cheap E-Machine fans(CPU and PS) really bug me as they apparently are of the pin-bearing type as opposed to the ball-bearing type.
Anyway, can these fans be lubricated to mitigate failure?
After blowing with compressed air, can I use WD-40 and NOT fry the system? Is WD-40 SAFE to use in a computer?
Do I have other lubricating options?

Thanks!

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Question by:pallidin
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:magarity
ID: 7139132
WD-40 is HIGHLY flammable.  The inside of the power supply has large contacts that spark slightly when turning on and off.  You now have enough clues to figure that one out.

As for the cheap fans, your local computer parts shop will stock the good ones for a few dollars each.  It is relatively easy to replace the cheap ones with good ones.
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by:sorgie
ID: 7139138
sewing machine oil! comes in small tubes great for fans and even ceiling fans.
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by:sorgie
ID: 7139139
check where they sell machines or try a cloth supply area in a dept store.
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:rayt333
ID: 7139372
Replacement is better idea, since fans are really a cheap replacement item.
If you over lub the sleeve (or even a ball) bearing the excess oil will be blown around inside the case and anywhere it lands will become a dust magnet and cause more problems down the road. Also the excess oil can be blown into areas that can cause a short possibly.
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Accepted Solution

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rid earned 800 total points
ID: 7139447
Fans are relatively cheap, but most can be lubricated. If the rotor isn't really loose (bearing worn beyond reasonable limits), the fan may give a few months extra service with some oil in the right place. Usually, oil can be applied on the bearing found under a label on the rotating side of the fan - I've used a syringe with sewing machine oil to prick the label and give it a shot (mind you, not a large amount of oil). Sometimes the bearing is accessed from the stationary side. You can feel the label for a small depression in the center area.

Regards
/RID
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Expert Comment

by:1cell
ID: 7139517
ray beat me to it and take it from somebody who had the unfortunate job of researching problems on emachines systems.  replace the powersupply (note below), cpu fan, and any case fans.  it'll cost you less than $50US if you shop well and you will have  decent manufactured system compared to the budget PC you have now.  other than that, if you dial up to the internet change the modem as well.  the emachines modems are very scaled conexant and lucent ( on the older ones ) winmodems with horrible drivers and they are just plain annoying.  Spend $50 on a hardware modem and you'll be happy.

the power supplies on emachines systems are notoriously bad.  And I will say now that my job doesn;t rely on it, emachines knows and wont be doing anything about it.  when I worked for their service dept, they had a line of PIII's on 120watt power supplies that actually proved to provide less than 100watts to a system who's components measured a 135watt pull. that's not even talking voltage, just the basic wattage of the p.s., or in this case, p.o.s.

even if it's off the subject, trust me, replace the powersupply
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Expert Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 7140178
WD-40 is mostly kerosene.  

Kerosene is used in jet engines and Coleman lanterns because it burns well.  Nuff said.
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:engeltje
ID: 7143038
I use ball bearing grease for years now, for pin brearing and ball bearing coolers. Never one has failed for now.

Before, I used silicone oil, but the coolers seemed te run dry after a while. So the use of grease (a tip from a industrial machine repairman) does the job.
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:engeltje
ID: 7143043
Regarding the comments, even e expensive model of cooler can run dry. The most expensive models after 2-3 years.
I have greased models running for 6 years without any failure.
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Author Comment

by:pallidin
ID: 7158182
Thanks, rid. I also appreciate the warnings from other's!
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