Central Lubrication of a Heidelberg Windmill

Just getting a machine up and running that’s been sitting in someone’s garage for a few years. Would like to flush the oil reservoir instead of just topping it off with fresh/clean lubricant but can’t find any reference materials on-line. Anybody have any ideas or advice? I appreciate any input. Thanks in advance. — Matt

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I’ve never heard of anyone doing this, so I am shooting from the hip. When you oil something, you are doing 2 things. Lubricating a joint and clearing out any dirt that may have gotten in there. With that in mind, what if you removed the old oil from the resevior, refilled it with new and started pumping the new oil through the system, adding oil as needed, essentially forcing all the old oil out of the press and replacing it with new. It would be a mess I’m sure, but I don’t know of any other way of getting the old oil out of the lines.
Don’t do this until some other people weigh in on it. This may be bad advice.
Bill Cook
Are we related?

Matt- flushing and cleaning an oiling system is indeed a messy proposition. I got the honor of such a task years ago whilst first learning the trade. I can’t tell you the text-book way of doing it, but i can share what I learned from experience. Please note though that my experience was not on a Windmill, so some details might be different.

If the oil is not contaminated with grit/dirt/crud, and is not going gummy, you probably don’t need to clean and flush it.

If it IS gummy or gritty then it has already contaminated the bearings, and you have more work ahead of you than you realize. One thing you absolutely do NOT want to do is pump gritty/gummy oil through the bearings in an attempt to change it.

Now… assuming that you are JUST going to flush the lines and aren’t going to clean / reset all of the bearings, then it’s not too big a deal. The easiest way I’ve found is to loosen the fitting where the metal line goes into each bearing and slip on a little piece of rubber or plastic hose, leading down to a pan or bucket. Then using the manual pump on the oil system, simply pump out all of the oil through the lines.

Do NOT simply pump the oil out through the bearings. Youll be fighting oilly paper and contaminated inking systems for months.

Next, fill the tank with a good thin oil like Marvel Mystery Oil and pump it through. Then fill the tank with with you regular oil whatever it might be. (I always used 30wgt motor oil… but it’s probably not the right stuff) Pump it through until it just fills all of the lines. Finally, hook the oil lines back up.

It seems easy, and it is…. in theory. In real life it’s a pain in the backside since getting TO the lines is not easy.

DISCLAIMER: All of the above assumes that you have a manual pump. If it’s a fully automatic system, I have no idea what the best way to clean it out might be. It also assumes that you have flared compression fittings on your lines. I have seem some presses that have metal pressed-in lines. I’m not sure how you loosen those type since I’ve never done it.