I like the machine for many reasons, but (from the buzz online) this bearing problem is a real problem. I don't think we're doing anything wrong--the machine is level and I'm using Staber detergent (and only 1/2 oz per load, which is 1/2 of the Staber-recommended amount).
So, where to go from here?
A) I could buy the Staber bearing replacement kit ($150) which includes all seals, shafts, O-rings, etc to do the job. That's the replacement I did before, and I can't see why I should expect the bearings to last longer this time. No, thanks.
B ) Use the Staber bearing supports and replace the parts that really need replacing--probably the O-rings and the actual ball bearing assemblies. That will be a lot cheaper, and it offers the chance to make some improvements in bearing type, O-ring material, etc. And more tinkering.
So, some questions:
1) Any idea what is causing these failures? It seems to be a recuring problem, and not just with my machine I'm thankful that the bearings are replaceable at all (hey, it's a Staber), but why do they fail? From those who have serviced these machines, what's up? Material failure of bearing seals? Of O-rings? Design flaws in the way the bearing is protected from water intrusion?
2) How can I make a more permanent fix? I now have 2 sets of Staber bearing support assemblies (their part number 817239). One set has the grease fittings, one doesn't (for use with "permanently lubricated" bearings). So, I have some options.
-- Replace the current sealed chrome-steel bearings (which I think are type 6203-2RS, like this) with sealed stainless steel bearings (type S6203-2RS, like these). I'd use the bearing supports without the lube ports. If some water splashes into the bearing I suppose it still might wash out the lube, but at least the bearings wont rust, which think might pronlong their life a lot.
-- Replace current bearings with "dry lube" bearings (they have a dry polymer lubricant that is supposed to be resistant to washingout.
-- Use the old-style bearing suports (with the lube ports) and install open stainless steel bearings. This way I can keep the bearings lubricated (hopefully) and the bearings wont rust if water does splash in.
Thoughts? Other ways to make these bearings last in regular use?
I know Staber is popular with the Sensei and all us followers. Maybe we can find a way to make a very good product better for others who are on the enlightened Staber path.
Edited by Mark24, 02 August 2012 - 03:37 PM.