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Tim Lofton
03-01-2010, 02:36 PM
Picked up a standard oly barbell and a bunch of plates for $30 off of Craigslist. Nothing special, in fact, they need a little work but it was hard to pass up.

Regarding the bar, I don't know the brand. It has the recessed hex bolt in the ends of the sleeves which, traditionally, has been associated with inferior barbells. It's what I have until I can upgrade. Anyhow, the bar has surface rust but the seller treated with a Rust-O-Leum rust inhibitor and painted the bar with Rust-O-Leum flat black, though it's a pretty thin coat. The sleeves still rotate, one pretty freely, but the other is a bit sticky. The overall integrity of the bar seems to be very good otherwise.

I plan to strip the paint from the sleeves and leave them as bare metal. Should I do the same with the remainder of the bar between the sleeves? Also, should I bother trying to remove the bolts and taking the sleeves apart and doing a proper clean and lube, or should I leave together and hit both sleeve internals with some WD-40, let dry a day or two, then dump some 3-in-1 or motor oil inside and let that sit for a day or so, then clean thoroughly? I'm hoping to get the bar to a point where routine maintenance will keep it in good shape for a while.

Regarding the plates, they are iron and labeled "Standard" and have a machined flat backside. I plan to clean real well and paint either flat black or gray. Is Rust-O-Leum fine for this or is there a better paint that will be more durable? I do not plan to paint the inner hole on the plates. This will all be used indoors too.

Thanks all for any input/suggestions you may have. My 13 year old son is very eager for me to get this taken care of.

Dastardly
03-01-2010, 03:32 PM
Do not put WD40 in the bearings unless you plan to properly strip & regrease the internals.

3in1 does not count as grease, look for silicone or lithium bearing grease in a automotive parts shop.

Putting 3in1 on its own will not damage existing grease, but WD40 will strip any grease away. So if you plan to strip/clean it. Then put some better lube inside.

Stripping of the paint works best with either Nitromors, or auto-gasket-remover spray.

Dastardly
03-01-2010, 03:36 PM
I should add, that there is some value in stripping & servicing it.

If the sleeve/end bits are loose, then there will be lateral movement which will knock & damage the bearing races. If they are too tight, and especially if the grease has dried up, the ends will be extremely stiff.

Greasing it up will allow your to adjust the tightness to the correct amount which will keep the bar working smoothly for a long time.

Tim Lofton
03-01-2010, 03:55 PM
@ Dastardly - Thanks for those comments. Any ideas as to whether the end bolts are secured at a particular torque value? I'm guessing Loctite application would be prudent to help prevent these bolts from backing out? BTW, I have white lithium grease that I used to use for the hubs and crank internals on my road bike; I'm assuming this would work well?

Dastardly
03-01-2010, 04:06 PM
Lithium grease would be fine.

I have never actually serviced a barbell, I am just using common-knowledge gained from being a bike mechanic, moderate study of engineering and general fiddling with mechanical odds & ends.

I severely doubt there will be a specific torque requirement. Just go by feeling. I imagine it would be as tight as you would do a skateboard wheel. Just avoid tightening is so much that the sleeves no longer turn round.

Tiburon
03-01-2010, 04:12 PM
Is Rust-O-Leum fine for this or is there a better paint that will be more durable?

Should be fine, throw on a few coats.

MRP
03-01-2010, 06:31 PM
1/4 turn past hand tight is a good value to not overtighten. I work at a fastener distributor and during our training we did a test of failure values of fasteners. At around 1/2-3/4 turn past hand tight the fastener will reach its ultimate tensile strength and begin elongation. Past that you basically have none of the original tensile strength. Somewhere between 3/4-1-1/4 turn will lead to failure (broken bolt)

Dastardly
03-01-2010, 06:42 PM
Lol.

no matter how much he can squat, he is not going to be able to snap the head of those big ass hex bolts in the end of a barbell.

Even with a tiny socket cap hex bolt, first the hole will round, then the hex (allen) key will bend. And the head of the bolt will break off last.

Before any of this would happen the sleeves will no longer be able to turn and then the bearing races would be pressed down hard (potentially crushed).

MRP
03-01-2010, 06:47 PM
true, true it would be hard to break the SHCS because of the strengh of those alloys anyways......

Tim Lofton
03-01-2010, 08:25 PM
My main concern is having them not back out during a lift. Periodic checks and Loctite will probably help that. Thanks for input so far.

Dastardly
03-01-2010, 08:32 PM
No loctite will be necessary. I have been at gyms where the sleeve parts have had a full inch of lateral play, yet the ends didnt seem like they were about to fall off.

Your really over-thinking this. Do not worry!

Tim Lofton
03-02-2010, 08:51 AM
No loctite will be necessary. I have been at gyms where the sleeve parts have had a full inch of lateral play, yet the ends didnt seem like they were about to fall off.

Your really over-thinking this. Do not worry!

Thanks. I'm trying to not overthink but, instead, make sure I'm complete in knowing what I should do to recondition this bar and properly maintain it as I don't know at what point I will be able to upgrade. Hopefully it won't be necessary for some time. Plus if my kids are to use this eventually, I want to ensure their safety as much as possible.
Haven't seen much response to thoughts on treating the bar itself. Strip down to bare metal or retreat/paint? My inkling is to strip down to bear metal and use like that. Seems like the right thing to do for a barbell.

Jude
03-29-2010, 11:51 AM
I am sorry to cut in and hijack this thread.

I also received a sub-standard Olympic bar as part of a craigslist purchase. In this situation the bearing is missing in one of the sleeves. If I loosen the bolt on the end and remove the sleeve is it possible to replace the bearing? Is this an easy task? What size is the sleeve bearing? Where would I buy a replacement bearing?

This is the only thread I could find that dealt with this topic so please forgive me for cutting in.

LondonTiger
03-29-2010, 01:42 PM
lol my hex nut barbell never even came with those ball bearing things.. raw steel on stel gang bang.. though one person use isn't joing to cane the cheap bar, so should be OK

Greg C
03-29-2010, 02:36 PM
My main concern is having them not back out during a lift. Periodic checks and Loctite will probably help that. Thanks for input so far.

I'd think this would be a worthy question to ask Rip. With a pic, he might even be able to identify the bar and tell you how to best service it.

Tim Lofton
03-29-2010, 03:54 PM
I am sorry to cut in and hijack this thread.

I also received a sub-standard Olympic bar as part of a craigslist purchase. In this situation the bearing is missing in one of the sleeves. If I loosen the bolt on the end and remove the sleeve is it possible to replace the bearing? Is this an easy task? What size is the sleeve bearing? Where would I buy a replacement bearing?

This is the only thread I could find that dealt with this topic so please forgive me for cutting in.

Depending on how the bearing races are designed, you may just be able to pop them apart. Most bearing replacement is pretty easy to do. If you know someone with a caliper, you can measure the bearing diameter pretty accurately. I'd check the obvious like Home Depot, or similar stores; automotive parts stores, or places that do engine work. They may have some sort of template with various hole diameters that you can use to gauge the diameter of your bearings (assuming they are the ball type).

It probably would be worthwhile to replace them all while you're at it. Also, check the races for damage and integrity, clean them well, replace the bearings, repack with grease, clean the area where the bearing races sit real well, should be done.

If you're totally lost, then take the whole assembly to a local machine shop or auto engine/hot-rod fix-up center and someone will probably be able to give you a hand for fairly cheap and maybe a six pack thrown in.

jeremyfirth
03-30-2010, 04:24 AM
I have three bars in my basement gym that fit the description of your bar. Two of them are Gold's Gym bars (I know, I know) and the other is of unknown origin, but built the same as the other two. All three bars are bent too much to be usable. I bent them with deadlifts. 350 X 5 was enough to bend all the bars. And after they were bent a little bit, I was using one to clean, and couldn't catch it properly, and kind of fucked up my shoulder. It was temporary, luckily, but all because I was using a shitty bar.

TL : DR version: that bar will probably bend when the weights start getting (for me) heavy, so don't fall in love with it. I replaced mine with a BFS bar that's working great.

Jude
04-12-2010, 10:08 AM
Depending on how the bearing races are designed, you may just be able to pop them apart. Most bearing replacement is pretty easy to do. If you know someone with a caliper, you can measure the bearing diameter pretty accurately. I'd check the obvious like Home Depot, or similar stores; automotive parts stores, or places that do engine work. They may have some sort of template with various hole diameters that you can use to gauge the diameter of your bearings (assuming they are the ball type).

It probably would be worthwhile to replace them all while you're at it. Also, check the races for damage and integrity, clean them well, replace the bearings, repack with grease, clean the area where the bearing races sit real well, should be done.

If you're totally lost, then take the whole assembly to a local machine shop or auto engine/hot-rod fix-up center and someone will probably be able to give you a hand for fairly cheap and maybe a six pack thrown in.
I may have used the wrong terms. I believe what I am after is a bushing. I backed out the bolt that held the sleeve to the bar. On the other side, the good side, there are rings on each end that fit between the bar and the sleeve. On the broken end when of those wrings are missing. I will probably have to find a local machine shop and bring all this stuff in. My cut-off is 50 bucks. If it costs more than that I will reconsider.
I am looking for a bar that I can keep outside to do standing overhead presses. My basement is too shallow. It is too much of a hassle to lug everything outdoors for shoulder presses. Thanks for your help.

IDRISCKY
06-03-2010, 02:50 PM
I'm having trouble removing the hex bolts from my bar. They are really tight and I'd like to avoid fucking my bar up.

Those of you that have recondition a bar with hex bolts, how did you go about it? What's the best way to get the bolts out?

lanky
06-03-2010, 03:17 PM
I'm having trouble removing the hex bolts from my bar. They are really tight and I'd like to avoid fucking my bar up.

Those of you that have recondition a bar with hex bolts, how did you go about it? What's the best way to get the bolts out?

Back when I had a cheap chrome bar I clamped the bar in my bench vise with padded jaws and then used a hex wrench with a pipe added for leverage. I tried to spray Kroil down the bolt to soak things before starting.

It worked. I cleaned everything up with steel wool and WD-40 then greased the bar and reassembled everything. No bearings, just brass bushings.

I bought two well used Troy Power Bars for $40 each. I took them apart and cleaned everything up. I then blued them using Oxpho Blue for firearms from Brownells. They look really sweet.

IDRISCKY
06-03-2010, 03:37 PM
I was afraid you'd say that. I don't have a bench vise, or any vise for that matter.

Thanks for the reply.

Rorschach
06-03-2010, 03:55 PM
Get working on your grip strength, then! :D

IDRISCKY
06-03-2010, 04:01 PM
Hah...I actually tried that.

It doesn't feel too good holding onto the bar as hard as you can while the knurling is spinning in your hands.

jacob cloud
06-03-2010, 07:26 PM
No loctite will be necessary. I have been at gyms where the sleeve parts have had a full inch of lateral play, yet the ends didnt seem like they were about to fall off.

Your really over-thinking this. Do not worry!


Sorry man, but I have to chime in. This is just plain wrong. You obviously haven't had one of these shitty bars fall apart on you - I have. Loctite and regular check-ups are absolutely required if you're stuck using one of these things, especially if you are doing any sort of Oly-type movement.