Do I need to lubricate something in my dust collector?

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Forum topic by danofpaco posted 03-26-2014 09:49 PM 1320 views 1 time favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View danofpaco's profile


118 posts in 1339 days

03-26-2014 09:49 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question dust collector lubrication harbor freight dust collector tool maintenance

This is what my Harbor Freight dust collector sounds like when it’s winding down. Wait until the very end where you hear the screeching sort of sound. Is this normal, or should I be lubricating something?

Thanks for any info!

-- Dan :: Minnesota

20 replies so far

View Wildwood's profile


1854 posts in 1557 days

#1 posted 03-26-2014 10:28 PM

When my HF DC started making noise like that took apart back to the motor cleaned and oiled moving parts. Put it back together using lock tight on all bolts, no problem since. Must have been year or so ago. My unit little over ten years old.

-- Bill

View Woodendeavor's profile


276 posts in 2029 days

#2 posted 03-26-2014 10:28 PM

Failed bearing? Unplug, remove intake hose and try and spin impeller by hand, as bad as it sounds I think you will be able to feel it when you spin it

View OhioMike's profile


73 posts in 1585 days

#3 posted 03-26-2014 10:46 PM

My guess is the centrifugal switch.

Notice that the noise does not begin until you hear the CLICK of the centrifugal switch resetting? The centrifugal switch needs to be lubricated and possibly adjusted. This is inside the motor so you’ll have to decide if you want to do it yourself or not.

You could just ignore it. Eventually, the centrifugal switch will get completely stuck and then the motor will simply hum when you try to start it. This might be years down the road or only weeks. It’s a crap shoot.


View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1295 posts in 1371 days

#4 posted 03-26-2014 11:04 PM

definitely in the switch. It sounds like it is rubbing against something just enough to make a noise

View changeoffocus's profile


457 posts in 1040 days

#5 posted 03-26-2014 11:13 PM

Mine does not sound that way but I’ll sure know where to start looking when it does, good job OhioMike

View danofpaco's profile


118 posts in 1339 days

#6 posted 03-26-2014 11:39 PM

Thanks Mike. I am no motor mechanic, not by a long shot. But I am adventurous and up to the challenge. Is this what I’m looking for?

Where/with what should it be lubricated? How can I determine if it needs an “adjustment?”

Thanks for any help, I’d rather not have to pick up a new unit, and I’m always interested in picking up new skills.

Anything else I should be aware of before starting to disassemble other than unplug the thing?

-- Dan :: Minnesota

View OhioMike's profile


73 posts in 1585 days

#7 posted 03-27-2014 12:37 AM

Yes, that’s it. Lube the bushing so it can slide up and down the shaft easily. Also, operate the switch by hand and observe the spring action, then lightly lube the friction points.

I use 3-in-1 Motor Oil. It’s thicker than regular 3-in-1 oil, but I don’t think it’s that critical. Use whatever oil you’ve got.


View danofpaco's profile


118 posts in 1339 days

#8 posted 03-27-2014 12:40 AM

Thanks for the insight, Mike. I’ll tackle it in the next couple of days and post back. Do I need to be careful about touching capacitors or anything else within the motor that will electrocute me or is this a relatively safe procedure?

-- Dan :: Minnesota

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1295 posts in 1371 days

#9 posted 03-27-2014 01:47 AM

also check the contacts if they are dirty or burnt then clean them up with some fine sandpaper or a file.

View Grandpa's profile


3256 posts in 2098 days

#10 posted 03-27-2014 03:47 AM

3 in 1 oil leaves a film that looks like varnish. Use 10 wt non detergent oil or a good sewing machine oil. These don’t leave the varnish.

View realcowtown_eric's profile


557 posts in 1359 days

#11 posted 03-27-2014 05:26 AM

100% of the time when my DC makes sounds like this, it’s some kinda crap stuck in the impeller.

Take a look at yer impeller, you may have a thin ripping wrapped around one blade.

I wouldn’t be looking at motor stuff until you cleaned the impeller.

a week ago, mine started vibrating…piece of polywrap in the guts….removed and problem solved.

It certainly doesn’t sound like a motor problem-at least to me.


-- Real_cowtown_eric

View danofpaco's profile


118 posts in 1339 days

#12 posted 03-27-2014 05:49 AM

Eric, I will certainly start there, but I’m betting Mike and Shawn are on to something considering the noise isn’t constant – it only starts when the motor is winding down – and only then after you hear the click which I assume to be the centrifugal switch re-engaging.

Listen to me, an hour on Google and you might think I actually knew something about motors.

Thanks all for the input – I’ll keep this thread updated with what I discover.

-- Dan :: Minnesota

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1295 posts in 1371 days

#13 posted 03-27-2014 12:40 PM

realcowtown_eric- has a valid point, but thats along the way since the impeller has to come off any way. So along the way in the teardown you may find something goofy, so keep you eyes peeled. also pix as you disassemble are helpful on the reassemble.

View JAY Made's profile

JAY Made

191 posts in 1467 days

#14 posted 03-27-2014 01:32 PM

Mine does the exact same thing and has done it straight out of the box. I thought It was normal, Dan will you shoot a video of your repairs so I can follow along? Thanks.

-- We all should push ourselves to learn new skills.

View jd53's profile


44 posts in 997 days

#15 posted 03-27-2014 09:03 PM

Just turned mine on for the first time. Makes a very similar sound. Hope its normal.

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