How to Re-grease a Mach1 with Auto-Adjust Motor Boxes?


Andrew J
 

Hi All. 

I received the Re-grease Kit for my GTO Mach1 today. I read through the instructions twice, but the steps are still not clear. The document jumps around quite a bit and covers so many different mounts I found it difficult to follow. It talks about Cleaning and Re-greasing the Spur Gears, then the Worm and Worm Wheel and then the Worm Screw Gear... I am not even sure what all these components are as I have never opened up a mount before. I am a little nervous starting this job without understanding exactly what needs to be done, for the same reason I don't take my watch apart. I am afraid I might not be able to put it back together again or miss some critical step in the process.

Is there any additional materials that walks through this process step-by-step, start to finish? Ideally with lots of pictures and a possibly even a schematic that shows what each part is and how they all fit together. There are a few pictures in the document I received, but as I said it covers so many different mounts it is hard to follow. I work on a computer for a living. My mechanical skills are adequate, but I need to clearly understand what I am getting into before I start a project. I can’t tell you how many times I have had to rely on YouTube to figure out how to take something apart, and more important how to put it back together again. Speaking of YouTube, it would be awesome if there was a video that walked through this re-greasing process. I did find this one video on YouTube, but it is for a 1200GTO mount from 2015 and it does not have the Auto-Adjusting gear boxes. Not sure how relevant it would be for a 2016 Mach1 GTO.

Anyway, I just thought I would ask if there are any additional materials or a step-by-step guide on how to complete this job. Any addition guidance for the mechanically limited would be appreciated. 

 

Thanks in advance for the assistance.

 

Andrew J

Edit: Updated to correct typos...


fernandorivera3
 

+1

I agree 100% on the stuff you mentioned regarding this process.

Fernando


Elenillor
 

I re-greased my Mach1 (old motor box style) last year. I started with a bit of trepidation but went slow and took photos at each disassembly step. All went back together fine.

John


Keith Egger
 

I just finished re-greasing my Mach1 and regrettably my experience wasn't as positive. I ended up damaging one of the brass axle shoulder bolts in the motor box, and now my mount is out of commission until I get a replacement. I don't blame A-P for my klutziness, but I have to agree that the instruction sheet is difficult to follow since it tries to be one document for all mounts. Unless you have one of the mounts for which there are pictures, you have to try to map out what is the analogous part of your mount that matches one of the mounts pictured. I agree with everything that Andrew said about the instructions being difficult to follow.

Where there is potential for damage to a very expensive piece of equipment, detailed directions for your specific mount model would be invaluable. This isn't optional maintenance. On the plus side before the mishap with the shoulder bolt, my Mach1 was buttery smooth and all of the stickiness in the axes was gone. Clearly re-greasing is essential maintenance and detailed instructions that might better prevent damaging the mount would be welcome. So +1 for better documentation.

Hopefully shipping of the damaged part is fast - I'm looking forward to getting my rejuvenated, butter-smooth Mach1 back under the stars.


thefamily90 Phillips
 

Have had my Mach1 for more years than I remember. It is operating fine just as it is so I’ll leave it alone. But, I do see how regreasing can be a good thing if needed.

JimP


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Keith Egger <eggerk@...>
Sent: Friday, March 5, 2021 8:10:59 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] How to Re-grease a Mach1 with Auto-Adjust Motor Boxes?
 
I just finished re-greasing my Mach1 and regrettably my experience wasn't as positive. I ended up damaging one of the brass axle shoulder bolts in the motor box, and now my mount is out of commission until I get a replacement. I don't blame A-P for my klutziness, but I have to agree that the instruction sheet is difficult to follow since it tries to be one document for all mounts. Unless you have one of the mounts for which there are pictures, you have to try to map out what is the analogous part of your mount that matches one of the mounts pictured. I agree with everything that Andrew said about the instructions being difficult to follow.

Where there is potential for damage to a very expensive piece of equipment, detailed directions for your specific mount model would be invaluable. This isn't optional maintenance. On the plus side before the mishap with the shoulder bolt, my Mach1 was buttery smooth and all of the stickiness in the axes was gone. Clearly re-greasing is essential maintenance and detailed instructions that might better prevent damaging the mount would be welcome. So +1 for better documentation.

Hopefully shipping of the damaged part is fast - I'm looking forward to getting my rejuvenated, butter-smooth Mach1 back under the stars.


Bill Long
 

The experience of re-greasing the mounts is fine. AP documentation is good. It even tells people (like me) to not let the cover dangle and rip wires out. I did not see that part and had the negative lead get ripped out. 

I sent the motor back to AP to get fixed. They fixed my problem and put fresh bearings in the lever for the motor box at no cost to me. On the invoice, literally says "Was crunchy, replaced bearings for customer (free)" 

So yeah, if I can do it -- you can. Just look out for wires. 🙂 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of thefamily90 Phillips <thefamily90@...>
Sent: Friday, March 5, 2021 5:45 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] How to Re-grease a Mach1 with Auto-Adjust Motor Boxes?
 
Have had my Mach1 for more years than I remember. It is operating fine just as it is so I’ll leave it alone. But, I do see how regreasing can be a good thing if needed.

JimP


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Keith Egger <eggerk@...>
Sent: Friday, March 5, 2021 8:10:59 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] How to Re-grease a Mach1 with Auto-Adjust Motor Boxes?
 
I just finished re-greasing my Mach1 and regrettably my experience wasn't as positive. I ended up damaging one of the brass axle shoulder bolts in the motor box, and now my mount is out of commission until I get a replacement. I don't blame A-P for my klutziness, but I have to agree that the instruction sheet is difficult to follow since it tries to be one document for all mounts. Unless you have one of the mounts for which there are pictures, you have to try to map out what is the analogous part of your mount that matches one of the mounts pictured. I agree with everything that Andrew said about the instructions being difficult to follow.

Where there is potential for damage to a very expensive piece of equipment, detailed directions for your specific mount model would be invaluable. This isn't optional maintenance. On the plus side before the mishap with the shoulder bolt, my Mach1 was buttery smooth and all of the stickiness in the axes was gone. Clearly re-greasing is essential maintenance and detailed instructions that might better prevent damaging the mount would be welcome. So +1 for better documentation.

Hopefully shipping of the damaged part is fast - I'm looking forward to getting my rejuvenated, butter-smooth Mach1 back under the stars.


Emilio J. Robau, P.E.
 

Here is a stupid question.  I may have missed this.  At what recommended frequency should we try to re grease any of the mounts.  I have a 1600.


Thanks in advance for any responses.

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Bill Long
Sent: Friday, March 5, 2021 8:55 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] How to Re-grease a Mach1 with Auto-Adjust Motor Boxes?

 

The experience of re-greasing the mounts is fine. AP documentation is good. It even tells people (like me) to not let the cover dangle and rip wires out. I did not see that part and had the negative lead get ripped out. 

 

I sent the motor back to AP to get fixed. They fixed my problem and put fresh bearings in the lever for the motor box at no cost to me. On the invoice, literally says "Was crunchy, replaced bearings for customer (free)" 

 

So yeah, if I can do it -- you can. Just look out for wires. 🙂 

 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of thefamily90 Phillips <thefamily90@...>
Sent: Friday, March 5, 2021 5:45 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] How to Re-grease a Mach1 with Auto-Adjust Motor Boxes?

 

Have had my Mach1 for more years than I remember. It is operating fine just as it is so I’ll leave it alone. But, I do see how regreasing can be a good thing if needed.

 

JimP

 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Keith Egger <eggerk@...>
Sent: Friday, March 5, 2021 8:10:59 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] How to Re-grease a Mach1 with Auto-Adjust Motor Boxes?

 

I just finished re-greasing my Mach1 and regrettably my experience wasn't as positive. I ended up damaging one of the brass axle shoulder bolts in the motor box, and now my mount is out of commission until I get a replacement. I don't blame A-P for my klutziness, but I have to agree that the instruction sheet is difficult to follow since it tries to be one document for all mounts. Unless you have one of the mounts for which there are pictures, you have to try to map out what is the analogous part of your mount that matches one of the mounts pictured. I agree with everything that Andrew said about the instructions being difficult to follow.

Where there is potential for damage to a very expensive piece of equipment, detailed directions for your specific mount model would be invaluable. This isn't optional maintenance. On the plus side before the mishap with the shoulder bolt, my Mach1 was buttery smooth and all of the stickiness in the axes was gone. Clearly re-greasing is essential maintenance and detailed instructions that might better prevent damaging the mount would be welcome. So +1 for better documentation.

Hopefully shipping of the damaged part is fast - I'm looking forward to getting my rejuvenated, butter-smooth Mach1 back under the stars.


Bill Long
 

Once every two years or so. Its really not hard to do. Only I can screw it up (the first time). 🙂 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Emilio J. Robau, P.E. <ejr@...>
Sent: Friday, March 5, 2021 6:41 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] How to Re-grease a Mach1 with Auto-Adjust Motor Boxes?
 

Here is a stupid question.  I may have missed this.  At what recommended frequency should we try to re grease any of the mounts.  I have a 1600.


Thanks in advance for any responses.

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Bill Long
Sent: Friday, March 5, 2021 8:55 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] How to Re-grease a Mach1 with Auto-Adjust Motor Boxes?

 

The experience of re-greasing the mounts is fine. AP documentation is good. It even tells people (like me) to not let the cover dangle and rip wires out. I did not see that part and had the negative lead get ripped out. 

 

I sent the motor back to AP to get fixed. They fixed my problem and put fresh bearings in the lever for the motor box at no cost to me. On the invoice, literally says "Was crunchy, replaced bearings for customer (free)" 

 

So yeah, if I can do it -- you can. Just look out for wires. 🙂 

 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of thefamily90 Phillips <thefamily90@...>
Sent: Friday, March 5, 2021 5:45 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] How to Re-grease a Mach1 with Auto-Adjust Motor Boxes?

 

Have had my Mach1 for more years than I remember. It is operating fine just as it is so I’ll leave it alone. But, I do see how regreasing can be a good thing if needed.

 

JimP

 


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Keith Egger <eggerk@...>
Sent: Friday, March 5, 2021 8:10:59 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] How to Re-grease a Mach1 with Auto-Adjust Motor Boxes?

 

I just finished re-greasing my Mach1 and regrettably my experience wasn't as positive. I ended up damaging one of the brass axle shoulder bolts in the motor box, and now my mount is out of commission until I get a replacement. I don't blame A-P for my klutziness, but I have to agree that the instruction sheet is difficult to follow since it tries to be one document for all mounts. Unless you have one of the mounts for which there are pictures, you have to try to map out what is the analogous part of your mount that matches one of the mounts pictured. I agree with everything that Andrew said about the instructions being difficult to follow.

Where there is potential for damage to a very expensive piece of equipment, detailed directions for your specific mount model would be invaluable. This isn't optional maintenance. On the plus side before the mishap with the shoulder bolt, my Mach1 was buttery smooth and all of the stickiness in the axes was gone. Clearly re-greasing is essential maintenance and detailed instructions that might better prevent damaging the mount would be welcome. So +1 for better documentation.

Hopefully shipping of the damaged part is fast - I'm looking forward to getting my rejuvenated, butter-smooth Mach1 back under the stars.


Keith Egger
 

On Fri, Mar 5, 2021 at 07:02 AM, Bill Long wrote:
Only I can screw it up (the first time). 🙂 

Hey Bill, I’m also in that club! 

Keith


Bill Long
 

The struggle is real. 🤣


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Keith Egger <eggerk@...>
Sent: Friday, March 5, 2021 7:46 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] How to Re-grease a Mach1 with Auto-Adjust Motor Boxes?
 
On Fri, Mar 5, 2021 at 07:02 AM, Bill Long wrote:
Only I can screw it up (the first time). 🙂 

Hey Bill, I’m also in that club! 

Keith


fernandorivera3
 

Maybe someday there will be step by step videos that are in depth, explaining & showing the process of each of the mounts being re-greased, on YouTube. So we can click to view whichever mount applies to us: Mach 1, Mach 2, 900, 1100, 1200, or 1600 GTO's. 

Fernando


thefamily90 Phillips
 

Roger that!

JimP


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of fernandorivera3 via groups.io <fernandorivera3@...>
Sent: Monday, March 8, 2021 1:32:18 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] How to Re-grease a Mach1 with Auto-Adjust Motor Boxes?
 
Maybe someday there will be step by step videos that are in depth, explaining & showing the process of each of the mounts being re-greased, on YouTube. So we can click to view whichever mount applies to us: Mach 1, Mach 2, 900, 1100, 1200, or 1600 GTO's. 

Fernando


Andrew J
 

Hi Bill.

Thank you for sharing your experience. I know you to be a very knowledgeable amateur astronomer based on your many useful and helpful post on the forum. If someone with your level expertise struggled with this re-greasing process the first time, to point of actually damaging the mount, does not give me warm and fuzzys about attempting the process myself. Given the recommendation that all owners of AP mounts should be performing this maintenance ever 2 - 5 years would indicate a strong demand for clear and concise instructions for each mount. I am sure we could all call George and have him walk us through the process step by step, but it would seem easier (for AP) if we could just get a step-by-step guide or even better a YouTube Video showing each step in detail. I am going to hold off with re-greasing my Mach1 from 2016 for now until hopefully some better instructions come along. 

Thanks again for sharing your experience. 

Andrew J


Cheng-Yang Tan
 

Definitely a video!

cytan

On Monday, March 8, 2021, 09:30:21 AM CST, Andrew Jones <andjones132@...> wrote:


Hi Bill.

Thank you for sharing your experience. I know you to be a very knowledgeable amateur astronomer based on your many useful and helpful post on the forum. If someone with your level expertise struggled with this re-greasing process the first time, to point of actually damaging the mount, does not give me warm and fuzzys about attempting the process myself. Given the recommendation that all owners of AP mounts should be performing this maintenance ever 2 - 5 years would indicate a strong demand for clear and concise instructions for each mount. I am sure we could all call George and have him walk us through the process step by step, but it would seem easier (for AP) if we could just get a step-by-step guide or even better a YouTube Video showing each step in detail. I am going to hold off with re-greasing my Mach1 from 2016 for now until hopefully some better instructions come along. 

Thanks again for sharing your experience. 

Andrew J


Phillip Klein
 

Hello,
Thought I would share my regrease experience since I recently completed the task on a Mach 1 that I purchased in 2016. Not being naturally mechanically gifted I reviewed  the AP provided directions that describe the process for several mounts. Also, searched the internet for a video and found a useful hint (the longer T shaped Allen wrenches to more easily reach the bolts and provide enough torque to break loose the bolts). I separated the mount and had the grease, Q-Tips, small cloth, gauze, several toothbrushes and was ready to go. None of the photos matched my mount which confused me so I sent George pictures of my mount’s motor boxes and asked for guidance. George’s reply was brief. “Directions for my mount were on page 10” which by the way had no photos.
The regressing was uneventful but sorely needed. The mount slews perceptibly smoother and quieter.
Certainly, I added the note “My mount directions” to page 10.to avoid confusion in the future as I plan to regrease annually. 
I agree the directions can be confusing but I recommend seeking AP technical staff’s input if you are unsure about something. They are always there for you.
Clear skies!
Phillip

On Mar 8, 2021, at 7:30 AM, Andrew Jones <andjones132@...> wrote:

Hi Bill.

Thank you for sharing your experience. I know you to be a very knowledgeable amateur astronomer based on your many useful and helpful post on the forum. If someone with your level expertise struggled with this re-greasing process the first time, to point of actually damaging the mount, does not give me warm and fuzzys about attempting the process myself. Given the recommendation that all owners of AP mounts should be performing this maintenance ever 2 - 5 years would indicate a strong demand for clear and concise instructions for each mount. I am sure we could all call George and have him walk us through the process step by step, but it would seem easier (for AP) if we could just get a step-by-step guide or even better a YouTube Video showing each step in detail. I am going to hold off with re-greasing my Mach1 from 2016 for now until hopefully some better instructions come along. 

Thanks again for sharing your experience. 

Andrew J


Bill Long
 

Just to be clear, my issue was completely caused by me. The negative lead popped off of the motor when I was removing the motor box from the mount. They even warn you to be careful and I messed it up. 🙂 

So, if you follow the directions very carefully it should come out fine. The rest of the work went through with no issues. I sent the motor back and AP fixed it and shipped it back to me. All clear and good now!


From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> on behalf of Andrew Jones <andjones132@...>
Sent: Monday, March 8, 2021 7:30 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] How to Re-grease a Mach1 with Auto-Adjust Motor Boxes?
 
Hi Bill.

Thank you for sharing your experience. I know you to be a very knowledgeable amateur astronomer based on your many useful and helpful post on the forum. If someone with your level expertise struggled with this re-greasing process the first time, to point of actually damaging the mount, does not give me warm and fuzzys about attempting the process myself. Given the recommendation that all owners of AP mounts should be performing this maintenance ever 2 - 5 years would indicate a strong demand for clear and concise instructions for each mount. I am sure we could all call George and have him walk us through the process step by step, but it would seem easier (for AP) if we could just get a step-by-step guide or even better a YouTube Video showing each step in detail. I am going to hold off with re-greasing my Mach1 from 2016 for now until hopefully some better instructions come along. 

Thanks again for sharing your experience. 

Andrew J


John A. Sillasen
 

I must admit that I agree with having at least current and near current (Mach 1 and Later) version specific instructions + a video..
Boy do I know how time consuming doing  manual is too. Past work life aside, I did not instruction manual with pictures for every step on how to install a Starlight Instruments two speed micro focuser on a Skywatcher 180 Maksutov Cassegrain. The default single speed was actually all metal with no plastic parts but for a high magnification scope,  it has to be a dual speed.

Its a lot of work. The manual is online now,  Wayne has posted it at Starlight Instruments.

That aside, aside. See what I did there?

I cannot even find the generic instructions on the Astro-Physics Support Site. Not under current or legacy do I find a regrease set of instructions.

Good job for a part timer to do or perhaps someone at home that the company trusts to do.  Its necessary because otherwise I'm sending my mounts back to be re-greased. I will not be doing it by myself now.



John A. Sillasen



Dale Ghent
 

I'm not sure what the big deal is, John. Hardcopy instructions are included with the $25 grease kit that you can order over the phone from Astro-Physics. The paper instructions are certainly adequate alone; I don't think a video would add much besides just parroting what they say.

Here's my pictorial from when I regreased my Mach1 last summer.
https://imgur.com/a/xS3jzJf

/dale

On Mar 8, 2021, at 18:23, John A. Sillasen <jasillasen@cox.net> wrote:

I must admit that I agree with having at least current and near current (Mach 1 and Later) version specific instructions + a video..
Boy do I know how time consuming doing manual is too. Past work life aside, I did not instruction manual with pictures for every step on how to install a Starlight Instruments two speed micro focuser on a Skywatcher 180 Maksutov Cassegrain. The default single speed was actually all metal with no plastic parts but for a high magnification scope, it has to be a dual speed.

Its a lot of work. The manual is online now, Wayne has posted it at Starlight Instruments.

That aside, aside. See what I did there?

I cannot even find the generic instructions on the Astro-Physics Support Site. Not under current or legacy do I find a regrease set of instructions.

Good job for a part timer to do or perhaps someone at home that the company trusts to do. Its necessary because otherwise I'm sending my mounts back to be re-greased. I will not be doing it by myself now.



John A. Sillasen



Roland Christen
 

Good idea to re-do the PE correction curve after re-doing the grease. It may have changed due to wear from the previous time you did it.

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: Dale Ghent <daleg@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Mon, Mar 8, 2021 5:58 pm
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] How to Re-grease a Mach1 with Auto-Adjust Motor Boxes?

I'm not sure what the big deal is, John. Hardcopy instructions are included with the $25 grease kit that you can order over the phone from Astro-Physics. The paper instructions are certainly adequate alone; I don't think a video would add much besides just parroting what they say.

Here's my pictorial from when I regreased my Mach1 last summer.
https://imgur.com/a/xS3jzJf

/dale


> On Mar 8, 2021, at 18:23, John A. Sillasen <jasillasen@...> wrote:
>
> I must admit that I agree with having at least current and near current (Mach 1 and Later) version specific instructions + a video..
> Boy do I know how time consuming doing  manual is too. Past work life aside, I did not instruction manual with pictures for every step on how to install a Starlight Instruments two speed micro focuser on a Skywatcher 180 Maksutov Cassegrain. The default single speed was actually all metal with no plastic parts but for a high magnification scope,  it has to be a dual speed.
>
> Its a lot of work. The manual is online now,  Wayne has posted it at Starlight Instruments.
>
> That aside, aside. See what I did there?
>
> I cannot even find the generic instructions on the Astro-Physics Support Site. Not under current or legacy do I find a regrease set of instructions.
>
> Good job for a part timer to do or perhaps someone at home that the company trusts to do.  Its necessary because otherwise I'm sending my mounts back to be re-greased. I will not be doing it by myself now.
>
>
>
> John A. Sillasen
>
>
>







--
Roland Christen
Astro-Physics


Joseph Beyer
 

Dale,

How long had you run your mount before changing the grease.  The original grease still looks to be in good condition.

Joe