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RCBS case tumbler motor is going belly up!

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by magnatecman, Jan 7, 2018.

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  1. magnatecman

    magnatecman Member

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    My tumbler has been giving me fits lately, it starts up but seems to run at about half speed. It's slow enough that it won't actually vibrate enough to turn over the media. Then if I let it try for long enough and use my Fonzie tricks I can get it going but not at full speed like it used to.

    Can I buy a motor and just replace that?

    RCBS seems to not be too proud of the product, I can't even find it on their website.

    I know many are moving towards wet tumbling, and maybe I should as well, but then again, you still have a motor that can fail.

    Any suggestions, or fixes for this?
     
  2. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

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    I would contact RCBS. Most reloading equipment manufactures are very generous and they may repair it for you for little or no cost.
     
  3. frogfurr

    frogfurr Member

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    Although I think RCBS reloading equipment is some of the best out there I did own one of their media tumblers and will never buy another one.
     
  4. higgite

    higgite Member

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  5. magnatecman

    magnatecman Member

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    Thanks higgite, I just found that on their site. It is more than 2 years old, so out of warranty. I guess it may be time to try something new?
     
  6. NeuseRvrRat

    NeuseRvrRat Member

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    Vibration is tough on cheap little electric motors like these. Rotary tumblers have motors that can fail, but they aren't subjected to the intense vibration. I like my rotary tumbler. I wet and dry tumble with it. I have a Thumler's, but I think if I was buying today, I'd probably get the Frankford Arsenal unit.
     
  7. frogfurr

    frogfurr Member

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    I bought a Thumler's UV-10. It cost a lot more than the RCBS it replaced, is a lot quieter, and as of now has out lasted the RCBS by three times.
     
    Rule3 likes this.
  8. cadet3

    cadet3 Member

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    My RCBS tumbler didn't last very long. Only 2 years before it began to slow down and finally died around year 3. I still have a blue Midway USA tumbler that's been running since the late 90's, I'm still waiting on that thing to give up the ghost.
     
  9. mokin

    mokin Member

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    Contact RCBS first. My experience with them has been very good. That being said, none of what I've needed replacing has involved electronics.

    When my Frankford Arsenal tumbler died several years back I took it apart and considered fixing it. There are other motors available for a lot less than a new tumbler. Getting one that will fit your machine and produce acceptable results is the trick. I decided it was more worth my while to replace my tumbler. That was before rotary tumblers were on the scene. Maybe when this machine goes I'll get one of those.
     
  10. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    How much does it cost to call them?
     
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  11. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    In my work many years ago we had vibrating screens for separating crystal ammonium sulfate. The screens were a terrible maintenance headache and required major maintenance during each of our monthly maintenance outages.

    So, short life of vibrating cleaners is not to be unexpected. Vibrations is just plane hard on equipment.

    The inexpensive motors on the vibrating case cleaners are hit and miss on their availability. If you can get one, great. Maybe RCBS can provide a source for one.

    In my experience, the Berry tumbler, which is also available as a private label unit from several sources, last fairly well. It is reasonably priced. I have one in service currently. But, when it fails, it will be discarded and replaced with another.

    I have a Dillon vibrating tumbler in use right, I have two tumblers in use, and it has been reliable for a couple years. But it is pricy.

    The rotary tumblers will last longer as the motors are not subjected to the vibration and will last longer. The rotary tumblers are more expensive though.
     
  12. JimKirk

    JimKirk Member

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    Turn the thing over and extract the motor out of it ... search for a replacement motor on one of the electric motor site all around the internet ... or your nearby electrical supply house ... most likely a common type motor ... should be a plate on the motor itself showing the size and model number ... if not there are ways to "backwoods" engineer" one that would work ...
     
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  13. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    FWIW lots of these cheap little motors use sintered bronze bushings. If they are not worn out a drop of oil might make it better. If they are worn (most likely the one on the offset weighted end) the armature is likely rubbing on something slowing it down, and the bushing needs to be replaced.
     
  14. RKRCPA

    RKRCPA Member

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    I had a motor go out on mine. It was well out of warranty and they said send it in. They replaced the motor and it's been trouble free ever since.
     
  15. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Why I asked what a phone call cost. I have never had RCBS turn me away, might have wished I didn’t call in the first place but always seemed to want me to hang up the phone happy with their customer service.
     
  16. hdbiker

    hdbiker Member

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    Give RCBS a call, their customer service is second to none !!!
     
  17. magnatecman

    magnatecman Member

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    Well, I just got off the phone with them and it appears that I am SOL on this. It is out of warranty and they have since upgraded to the newer model from what I had, so no repair parts available.

    Call was free though, so I got that going for me.:)
     
  18. P5 Guy

    P5 Guy Member

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    They are a great company, just buy a new one.
     
  19. Scooter22

    Scooter22 Member

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  20. rsrocket1

    rsrocket1 Member

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    I bought a Harbor Freight vibratory tumbler about 8 years ago and have been using it on the average of twice a week tumbling about 200-300 pistol cases per load. A year ago it finally refused to start up. I bought a replacement, but for grins, took the screen off the bottom, pushed a drill chuck against it and it started up just fine for 2-5 hour sessions without a problem. I later found that I didn't even have to turn the drill on, just pressing the off balance weighted shaft would start it up. The bearing is probably bad but once it starts up, it just keeps going. I'm still using it this way and am using the new one as a shaker for my powder coated bullets.

    The motor is just a cheap bathroom fan motor. If you're handy with electronics, you can find a used bathroom fan, remove the motor and Frankenstein it into your tumbler. Probably not worth it if you count your time in dollars, but it's pretty easy.
     
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  21. Tilos

    Tilos Member

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    This^
    ...and find a replacement motor on ebay:
    https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l1313&_nkw=vent+fan+motor&_sacat=0
    I've built a tumbler using a motor like this...
    :D
     
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  22. NeuseRvrRat

    NeuseRvrRat Member

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    if you're going to build something, build a rotary tumbler
     
  23. ray15

    ray15 Member

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    You can buy brand new bathroom fan assemblies pretty darn cheap down at your local Home Despot or Lowes.
     
    Tilos likes this.
  24. Tilos

    Tilos Member

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  25. Catpop

    Catpop Member

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    Anybody tried the Lyman vibrating case cleaner. I tried the Harbor Freight unit, but the lid screw kept breaking.
    I need another unit but don’t have a clue on next step
     
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