Lubrication..every 6 flights?

I seem to remember a discussion about the need to oil the motor bearings every 6th flight.


I was on the phone with 3DR about another subject and when finished I said  "oh by the way"

blah, blah, need to Lube? and the answer was yes, I will send you the directions. 

I did not receive the information as of 2 weeks later.

How often to do oil the bearings?

with what oil?

and how?

Decades ago I built anemometers for a research project and calibrated them in a wind tunnel. I found that

it was better to run the bearings dry as it did not collect dirt as well. The bearings were very lightly loaded

so it seemed to work. It seems to me that when I fly and apply vigorous attitude adjustments the bearings are sufficiently loaded to require Lubrication.

Can I get a witness?

How about, how often and the technique.

Safe landings



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  • I'think that recomendation It's the minimun time that a good bearing can fly without fails, my cheap chinese ones, perhaps have more than that, but it's an alert that You have to do something else than only flies If you don't want to have surprises, then, any case it's different, if you only fly by hobby, a cheap ship near you is something, and if you fly for work with an expensive cameras, or flying away you, it's another risk. I think too that if Iris didn't especificate nothing about bearings they are cheap chinese too, good quality bearings are especificated by manufacturers in general. I think so that every 6 flyes don't have sense, but only my opinion. 

  • You can't really lube most motor bearings.  Any oil thin enough to actually get in to them is too thin to be appropriate.  I suggest oiling them once about 75-90% of their estimated life has expired.

  • I'm probably going to open mine up soon to give a good cleaning. I'm thinking to stop using the INOX lub I've been using.

    I'm using these:

    Seems they have good bearings. I've had about 1000 flights on them and no trouble yet.

    Maybe a summary on the original post would be good to list the best recommendations. I'm going to stop lubricating mine and just take them apart once or twice a year to clean them. Would acetone be the best product to use for that?
    • yes, acetone is the best. Some places suggest paint thinners, but these can leave behind a residue.

      remove as much of the shielding as you can, however I would leave the cage in and agitate the bearings more - if you remove the cage then be careful to keep the same ball spacing - if they slip around to one side the bearing comes apart completely and it's more hassle than it's worth to get it all back together.

      I wouldn't ever use citrus cleaners, it leaves a residue and takes forever to dry. Acetone evaporates so nicely.

      Ceramic bearings can run without lube, but they're $$$$. I'd expect they'd be nice inside a multirotor/plane motor since they don't have the abrupt shocks that can kill them quickly.

      edit: this page has a technical document on those bearings:

    • I guess there is no problem with the acetone contacting the windings.

    • I do believe acetone is a laquer thinner and isopropyl alcohol is a shellac thinner. On the 2 occasions I've felt a need to flush a motor out I've used any old aerosol service cleaner I've had to hand thii8s is when a model has been lost in a field for 2 months. These model motors aren't exactly precision pieces of aerospace engineering made to the tightest tolerances, my personal opinion is leave them alone you wont extend its life by trying to service it probably more likely reduce it by distorting bearing caps and seals if they have them allowing muck to ingress etc. If its an expensive motor just change the bearings periodically and it'll more than likely work forever provided you dont overcook the windings.

  • Another contribution: Hugues post a Tiger motor with High grade EZO bearings that recommend change before 60 hurs flying time.

    • So my flights are 15 minutes, thus 60 hours is 240 flights and I guess that the Hugues post is no lube just a change out?

      Is our conclusion that lubrication every 6 flights is not needed?

      Did I miss something,or do we not know what motors are used in the IRIS+?...(no disrespect for other

      craft intended)


  • Does anyone know what brand and size motors are used in the Iris+?

  • I run several multirotors, the one with the most flights on it around 300 which equates to around 30 hours operating time has Turnigy 1100kv NTM propdrive motors installed and runs on 4s flat out most of the time, ie;- hammering them! These motors are reknowned for rattly bearings, mine had play in them after 2 flights, I've never lubed them and they work fine and dandy, not only that they've been in a farmers field for weeks on end when I lost the model in high crops I simply flushed them out with an aerosol cleaner. You're probably more likely to do damage keep popping the dust seal to clean and lube them than just leaving them alone in my opinion.

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