If you run Haas Machines make sure you know what Lubrication you should be using - failure to do so can be expensive.

For a lot of years, we have been selling used Haas CNC Machine Tools at Machinesused.com.  We are the used division of Productivity; they sell and service Haas Machines in 12 states.  Just the other day we ran into an issue I thought would be worth mentioning. We had a spindle go bad on our showroom floor, and we had to replace it.  We were not cutting any materials or running the spindle for any length of time, just running it through some speeds for a while for a customer inspection of the machine.  The machine is a 2012 Haas VF-3SS.  

It was strange the spindle had sounded fine at the facility we purchased it from, and it ran fine here the few minutes we tested it and made videos.  But suddenly it needed replacing. We dug into what might have caused this failure.  We discovered it was a lubrication issue.  The spindle was not getting lube.  We tested the lube delivery to the spindle, and it was not producing any oil.  The oil reservoir was full, the pump seemed to be pumping, but nothing got to where it needed to go.  It was then that we discovered the cause.  The former owner of the machine had added the incorrect oil to the machine oil tank, and it clogged up the delivery system, starving the spindle of lubrication.  

Older Haas machines used Vactra 2 Oil for lubricating the spindle, ballscrews and way systems.  In newer machines the lubrication was divided to an oil system for the spindle, and a grease delivery system for ways and screws.  At some point the oil required for the spindle delivery system was changed from Vactra 2 to a Synthetic Mobil SH 625 lubricating oil.  This Mobil oil is thinner than the Vactra 2 and is to be used for all of these newer Haas machines.

So here is the problem. People with older Haases have a bunch of Vactra 2 oil laying around for the lubrication of their machines. If this Vactra 2 is used in the machines designed for the Synthetic Mobil, the lube system can become clogged and stop delivering oil to the spindle resulting in failure.  Service technicians have told me that the newer Mobil Synthetic oil can be used in the older machines that used Vactra 2 with no problems, but the other way around is not to be done.

So if you have Haas machines spanning the years of manufacture, make sure you avoid putting Vactra 2 into the newer machines.  In fact, perhaps get rid of the Vactra 2 and use the Mobil synthetic in all of them, I am told it is a better lube oil anyway, and then the mistake cannot happen.  I was also told that if you have the two of the oils sitting side by side, unmarked, the Mobil Synthetic appears redder in color and the Vactra 2 - more of an amber brown. 


I hope this message can save a spindle or two.