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Thread: Redwood's Retriever Rebuilding Secrets

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Thanked 231 Times in 121 Posts


    Quote Originally Posted by Redwood View Post
    We've all been there when the retriever on our drum machine stops working and it takes that nice easy job sitting on a bucket and all of a sudden you actually have to work hard for a change...

    Yea cleaning them and keeping them greased is important and keeps them going nice for a while but the bearings in the retriever will always let you down one day at the worst possible time.

    I have 3 tricks I'm going to share with you that will make your retriever last a lot longer between rebuilds and not let you down nearly as often. The stuff in the drain line will eventually take its toll on anything but following these tips your retriever will last much longer between rebuilds.

    Grease is very important to having the bearings last. Make sure the grease you select is waterproof. I buy mine at the local West Marine store where they sell a grease used to pump into boat trailer wheel bearings. They use this stuff on boat trailers that back into the ocean with its salt water and sit with the wheel bearings submerged for at least 10 to 15 minutes while they load the boat on the trailer. This grease is good stuff!

    The next trick is to find alternative bearings to use in your retriever. This is a bit tough but once you figure out what part number you need its easy to order them. You will need to get your hands on a digital or a dial caliper to measure the bearings used in your retriever. You need the outside diameter of the bearing, the inside diameter of the center hole on the bearing and the width of the bearing. After that comes the hard part. looking through catalogs to find matching shielded stainless steel ball bearings. MSC Direct, McMaster Carr, and WW Grainger are all good places to check. Using shielded stainless steel ball bearings instead of the OEM steel ball bearings add phenomenal life to your rebuild.

    The last trick is to get a grease needle nozzle to put on your grease gun and use it to inject grease behind the shield on the bearing to fill it with grease.

    If you follow these tips you will spend more time relaxing on the bucket and a lot less time fighting with a retriever that quit when you needed it most like on a job when you are out at the end of the second cable on your extra drum...

    Thanks for the tips. Now, this might be greedy, but can you list the machines you use? The bearing, center hole sizes, and any part numbers?

    Too greedy?



  2. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Thanked 1,020 Times in 517 Posts


    I took a old bearing to the local bearing shop, they measured it and ordered me in the same size only in a better heavy duty bearing and for much less money than the autofeed mfgr was selling the replacements for.
    I notice If I pay more attention to how much cable I have left in the drum my bearings last allot longer....but ill start bullshitin with the home owner and next thing i know ive ran the anchor cable splice through the bearings....the sound of that is worse than nails on the chalkboard !
    I have the part numbers for gorlitz autofeed and for duracable auto feeed, the both look idntical like they came from Gorlitz but they run 2 different size bearings or maybe just a new model upgrade ??

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to rhinorooter For This Useful Post:

    ChrisConnor (12-29-2011)

  4. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Thanked 4,019 Times in 2,351 Posts


    Here this link will make it easy...
    If I order by 7PM I'll have them the next morning with ground shipping rates...
    But they are in NJ and I'm in CT...
    "99% of Being Smart...
    Is Knowing What You're Dumb At"

    411 Plumb | Click Here For A Free Internet Plumbing Directory Listing | Plumb 411

  5. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Peoria, Illinois
    Thanked 951 Times in 429 Posts


    You inspire me, Redwood.
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  6. The Following User Says Thank You to Colgar For This Useful Post:

    Redwood (01-02-2012)

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