I've had my new IH for awhile now and haven't used it yet.
Took head, spindle, and gearbox apart yesterday. It's never been run by me yet and what a mess! It's either sand or iron, at this point don't care needs to be cleaned and fixed.
All of the trans smaller sealed bearings are shot, and gritty feeling.
If its all clean in there, why should these bearings be the sealed type? Don't you think an open design would be better bathed in oil?
Also thinking of using a heavy gear oil to quiet things down.
One more thing, what's best spindle grease to use?
I use Mobil Heavy Medium Circulating oil in mine presently. A great grease would be a Kluber product, but there are others as well. I'm using the same Timkken product I used on my AC ball screw bearings for now. But right now the spindle is only running at 1600 rpm. That Timkken grease does tend to run a little when the mill head gets hot. Mine gets so hot I can't touch it after running for hours in the summer heat.
If you fight foaming, change the vent by drilling down through it and threading it for a 1/4" ntp hose fitting and run a hose up towards the motor. Thread it far enough down to cover the existing small cross drilled holes. I used to have foaming problems with the oil coming up out of the small vent and running down the mill head, but the change to circulating oil and new vent fixed that.
Don't panic, The grit IS Iron and the bearings should clean up nicely and may not be damaged. Even the gears can grind the iron and not get ruined right away, they are hard enough to resist. The main thing will be to give it a thorough power wash out. The iron has an attraction to it self so will be tenacious and not want to release so it will take at least a good washing with the water hose and a power nozzle. Then dry it out and start checking the bearings. I ran a quality wheel bearing grease for quite a while, the trick is to get a grease that won't get too runny and flow away from the bearings. With a vertical spindle, the grease can all flow down to the bottom and out on your table, Also, expect to change the grease a few times and then set up a maintenance schedule. The bottom of the quill can be sealed to keep it inside but that won't keep the grease at the top bearing. The grease must be willing to hold and stay put, for a period of time. Those little bearings in the bottom of the box, if sealed or shielded, can have them removed, but don't bother, just clean them out with solvent and an air blast till they smooth out, always give them a few drops of oil to test feel them. There are many oils that can be used in the box. Mobil heavy med. / Dexron ATF / motor oil. Gene & Tommy used some motor oil in theirs, I don't recall which one. I've been using Mobil polyrex em grease on my top bearing in spindle for a while now and it stays put for a reasonable time, but, it does eventually get burned and change color to dark as it gets burned. Any grease will !
Thats all I can think of for now. Hope it helps.
If you catch your wash in a basin, drag a magnet through it ! and post a picture !
IH v-3 early model owner