My wife uses her elliptical machine every day while watching TV. It gets a lot of low intensity use.
It’s also a consumer-grade product, so not the best design and construction.
I’ve replaced bushings on the arms a few times, had it apart MANY times to fix the squeaks and creeks that inevitably happen.
The arms on the machine have joints that swing about 30 degrees, like a pendulum. They are steel bushings that are mounted to steel shafts.
I’ve tried various greases from the tool box, lately white lithium grease, but nothing lasts more than a few months before the noises start. There is noticeable wear on one of the arm shafts and I can’t get a replacement part for that like the bushings and other bits that I’ve been able to order.
So question for the chain wax/zero friction cycling experts: Can an imersion wax work on something like this? If I prep, clean and wax the bushings (they can be pulled out and I have new ones as well) they can go in the wax pot. Using MSW wax…
Are you sure the bushings are steel? Often what look like steel bushings are steel backed sintered bearings, usually of bronze or soft iron.
Do not use wax or grease on a sintered bearing.
I only assumed they were steel since a magnet stuck to them, so they could be sintered.
If they’re sintered bearings, then what can be used to stop squeaks? It sounds like a bird chirping.
The elliptical is maybe 10 years old, and I’ve replaced bushings and some axles a couple times now as they wear down after a while. I’ve tried ultrasonic cleaning followed by lithium grease, other greases, and it works for a few months, then the squeaking starts all over again.
Update on the wax; worked for about 30 minutes. Going back to lithium grease for now.
Can the bushings be re-soaked in oil?
Reloading sintered bearings is possible but it’s beyond the reach of DIY for most.
In any case it isn’t likely to solve the problem: oscillating motion is notorious for causing early failure in plain bearings.
I would try to find a high pressure, low speed grease like this McMaster-Carr. These tend to stay put better. There are many varieties and package sizes.
Wax isn’t exactly a longevity champion from what I understand. One of the secondary benefits on chains is that because it stays solid it is slowly worked out of the chain as flakes, which helps to clear any contamination out of the metal to metal interfaces. But if you apply it and forget it you most likely will be metal on metal in 20 hours of use.
It’s possible that lightweight chain lubes would not fare much better with similar neglect, but of course those lines won’t last in your application either.
A picture might assist in offering solutions.
I would strongly consider ordering a replacement bushing. You probably won’t be able to find the exact part number, but if it’s the replaceable sleeve I’m imagining just googling some dimensions should get you started. Consider some sort of slippery, wear resistant plastic if you can find something suitable. Teflon is the first thing that comes to mind.