Dillon 550B lubrication

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by GioaJack, Feb 11, 2010.

  1. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

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    When Little Stevie was up here last weekend he pointed out to me that my 550B wasn't working right because I had never lubricated it.

    He also pointed out that I was an idiot... a psychological evaluation I really didn't need since all those pesky ex-wives use to point out the same thing... on a frequent basis.

    After a good deal of work tearing down the machine, lubricating all the parts and reassembling it to miraculous working order he showed me the VERY small lubrication points and made me swear, under penalty of kicking my cane out from under me, that I would lubricate said piece of machinery on a regular basis.

    I swore... and then I promised. He suggested I get I get a small 'needle' type grease gun that would squirt grease into those tiny little holes... he even told me what he used. Said he got it at a bicycle shop. (I think he lied.)

    After spending $150 on diesel driving around Denver looking for said tool and having store employees staring at me like I was an alien when I described what I needed I gave up and went home with my tail between my legs. (That tail can be very embarrassing during social interactions... apparently not everyone has one. Who knew.)

    Once home I went into the loading room and stared at the machine, wondering what to do when suddenly I had an epiphany. (Ya know, it's like when a cartoon character has one of those bubbles over his head with a light bulb in it. Yea, that.)

    I scrounged around and finally found my chain saw bar grease gun. It's just a small spring activated plunger with a very, very small ball bearing at the tip.

    With my new found lubricating implement in hand I lined the tip up with one of the little small holes and pushed on the end of the plunger. Lo and behold grease was forced onto the enclosed bearing with no fuss and no muss.

    Had all the lube points done within 30 seconds. The machine continues to run like a... well, like a well oiled machine.

    The gun I use is made by Oregon chain saw supplies but I imagine many companies. They are readily available at places like Lowe's, Home Depot, Ace or anywhere that sells chain saw equipment. I don't remember exactly but they're somewhere around a $10 item.

    For being an idiot I stumbled upon something that works pretty well. :supergrin:

    Jack
     
  2. NW-Warlord

    NW-Warlord

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    I have to get me one of those. I have been using the stupid syringe that comes in the spare parts kit Dillon sells. The seals on the syringe have long ago been destroyed and now leaks grease back into the plunger something fierce.
     

  3. Sandman_NC

    Sandman_NC

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    Great info Jack! Any idea of the lube name Little Stevie used? I gotta head out to Lowe's to see if I can find that grease gun.
     
  4. RustySocket

    RustySocket

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    I got a needle oiler from the sewing machine department at sears.... 2.97
     
  5. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

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    I lubed it by hand as I assembled it using the Lube Jack had on hand. My lube gun has some old bicycle lube in it. I doubt it matters much at all.
     
  6. Sandman_NC

    Sandman_NC

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    Roger that. I use to use this stuff for my paintball needs. Just wondered if it was the same.
     
  7. robin303

    robin303 Helicopter Nut

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    Jack, I swear you crack me up daily.:rofl:
     
  8. BK63

    BK63

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    I usually clean it between caliber changes and a little oil on the shaft and pivot points. I never noticed any little holes. I'll have to dig out the book unless somebody has a picture?
     
  9. BigDog[RE]

    BigDog[RE] NRA Member

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  10. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

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    BK...:

    Lubing the 550 is very analogous to life in general. When you're young 'holes' that need to be lubed seem to be everywhere and are easy to find and service... as you get older they seem to become more elusive, and when you do finally find them you don't always have the energy, or inclination to do anything about it. Nature's way I guess but as I found out it can result in neglected holes and a rusty shaft. :crying:

    Follow the handle down to where it screws into the linkage. Right next to the handle you'll see the long link, (surprisingly enough, it's blue) that surrounds the lower bearing and runs up to connect the upper bearing. There is one link on each side of the machine.

    On the front of each end of the link, directly over the bearing, you'll see a tiny little lube hole, a total of 4 of them.

    Force grease into these holes, activate your handle a few times to spread the grease along the interior surface of the bearing then repeat the process until the lube points won't accept any more grease.

    If Little Stevie hadn't pointed them out to me I never would have seen 'em and I've had my 550 for the better part of 2 decades. I guess I should have read the manual.

    When Steve took my machine apart the bearings were so galled we thought we'd have to call Dillon to replace them. (That wouldn't have worked 'cause I never would have gotten the machine back together by myself. I would have had a better chance of reading a Korean newspaper.)

    While Stevie was doing his magic I used a Dremel tool with a buffing wheel and jewelers rouge to smooth out the galling. (Not perfect but they ended up pretty good.)

    I'll now keep those little holes serviced on a regular basis... why not... it doesn't involve the help of any expensive pharmaceuticals. :whistling:

    Jack
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2010
  11. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

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    6 Total. Two more on the center shaft connecting those bottom links.:wavey:
     
  12. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

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    HA! You didn't show me those... just trying to get me to screw up so I'd have to buy another LNL and give you my trashed 550.

    You're going to make someone a fine ex-wife... you've already perfected the sneaky part of it.

    I gotta go find the newly mentioned holes.

    Jack
     
  13. Hoser

    Hoser Ninja

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  14. vtducrider

    vtducrider

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    hadn't touched my 550B for years... When I finally re-started again, the machine was quite seized up. Lubed those tiny holes, and brought it back to life, working like a champ. I borrowed a grease gun with a needle nose and a seal from my mechanic friend, and it worked fine. That was about 6 months ago, probably should do it again soon.
     
  15. tlafrance

    tlafrance Missing AZ

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    Interestingly enough, my original 550 from 1989 has NO lube holes and has never been serviced. However, my 2nd 550 from 1999 has lube holes, I lube them regularly, yet it's been factory serviced 2x because of binding/galling. Next time it hangs up. I plan to tap and install grease fittings to make the job easier. BTW, order the alignment tool from Dillon to re-calibrate after the teardown.

    Tom
     
  16. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

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    I think it's something about the blind horse, water, drinking. I forget how it goes.


    ;)
     
  17. sig2009

    sig2009

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    Spoke to Dillon at the Shot Show. Thet are going to begin installing grease zerks on the presses.
     
  18. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

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    Guess they must have bought a LNL and took a close look at it.

    Maybe not. :whistling:

    Jack
     
  19. Bob2223

    Bob2223 Jack's buddy!

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    Wow, kinda like a Hornady upgrade for Dillons,, :whistling:


    Bob :supergrin:
     
  20. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

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    MODERATOR... Bob's trying to start trouble. Ban him.

    Jack