Bridgeport VMC 3020, 10000 RPM, grease bearing lubrication, belt driven


Not your typical NTE spindle rebuild
This spindle arrived at our facility after being completely disassembled by another rebuilder. Our customer told us that he had become frustrated when the quote was not provided for nearly a month. After consulting with the OEM, the customer decided to get the spindle into our hands for re-quoting.

In these cases it is never a simple task determining the cause of failure, especially when the spindle has significant damage to multiple components. The ID of the front hydraulic nut was worn to the point of being unable to grip on the spindle shaft, which allowed the front bearings to lose preload. The rear roller bearing had also suffered catastrophic failure. In both cases, the bearing journals & shoulders of the spindle shaft had also been damaged. In addition, the tooling taper of the shaft had excessive runout and one of the drive dog mounting screw holes was severely damaged. Finally, it was determined that the drawbar shaft was bent & twisted by >170µ, and the spring seating washer was missing.


Our usual comprehensive approach to spindle rebuilding would have made this repair cost-prohibitive, especially since our customer uses this machine for secondary operations. They asked us if we could find a way to provide a more economical repair while still offering our one year warranty. We were able to repair the front hydraulic nut by grinding, chrome plating & finish grinding the ID. The spindle shaft, drawbar shaft & spring seating washer were replaced with used components which we had recertified to fall within spec. We used all new components to replace the front bearings, rear roller, Bellevilles, gripper balls, seals, o-rings & assembly screws. We even upgraded the rear roller from a brass cage as found to a version with a phenolic cage which has a higher speed rating more appropriate to the top rated speed of this machine.

After our usual break in & final QC process, we were able to ship the rebuilt spindle back to our customer with less time spent in our facility than it took for our competitor to provide a quote. While we did not follow our standard protocol of rebuilding the spindle to “as new” condition, we did not cut any corners which would adversely affect the longevity of the spindle. Our customer reported to us that they have run multiple jobs and the spindle has performed as expected. They also expressed their appreciation for our responsiveness, quick turn-around and our ability to tailor a successful solution to their particular circumstances.

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More Case Studies

Repair History - Here are examples of similar spindle repairs that may contain additional information that will help you. If you have additional questions, please contact us.

I really didn’t expect this; You guys really pulled it off! My many thanks to Sandy, Louis and your outstanding crew for helping us get back into production.

Dan Eaton, Taylor Metalworks

Lou all in all everything is running good. Just had a call from Sandy just the other day, its funny great minds think alike. Its great not to be sending spindles out on a regular basis since you addressed my problems, but I know they will still be coming sooner or later. Never a problem when we get them back , run better than new. Hope everything is ok there. Please tell everyone there that we here appreciate everything that you do to keep us up and running and the quick turnarounds. Have delt with the rest now deal with the best. Have a great week end and up and coming holiday.

Northland Customer

Thank you Debbie just received spindle today and WOW ! what a nice job. Can’t wait to use it. Thank the Northland team for us for a job well done 

Northland Customer

Both of the spindles that you repaired are on the machines and running great. We don’t have any spares for those grinders. We probably will not be purchasing a spare, as you have been able to turn around the repairs quickly and the price of a spare is cost prohibitive.

Northland Customer

I am writing to thank Northland Tool for going the extra mile and saving my company from expensive machine downtime and expensive repairs. We have always sent our Chiron spindles for repair as a shaft with bearings. None of our previous rebuilders pointed out the bearing fretting or the fact that the housing in the machine was out of tolerance and causing premature failure to the spindles. After Northland fixed the housings the spindles have never sounded as good or run as well! Great job guys!

Northland Customer

The detailed cause of failure reports and the expert technical advice that Northland Tool provides is bar none the best I have ever seen. We struggled to keep two of our large our milling spindles running for longer than 6 to 12 months. Northland Tools evaluation showed that the hydraulic nuts were not holding the assembly together causing premature spindle failure. We discussed this in detail and mutually decided to modify the spindle shaft to prevent this from occurring again. The first spindle we performed this on is still in the machine running like new after 3 years. That’s over three times the life of previous repairs and it’s still going strong. Easily over $40,000.00 of savings so far on that one machine and counting.

Northland Customer

Your people go above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to spindle repair. When we had difficulty with the spindle installation and we were able to talk directly to a spindle technician that helped us troubleshoot the issue it helped us out of a bind. We have sent several spindles to you and have nothing but great things to say.

Northland Customer

Thank you for your attention with my quick turn spindle repair. Your status updates allowed me to plan around machine downtime and I now know that you deliver on your promises. In the past other spindle repair vendors talked a big game and consistently failed to deliver. You not only delivered my spindle before the due date but you kept me informed throughout the entire repair process.

Northland Customer

You performed a miracle with my BIG PLUS spindle. After crashing the spindle severely damaging the taper we found that a replacement spindle was not only cost prohibitive but had a long delivery. Your repair was a fraction of the cost of new and you never would know that the spindle was damaged to the extent it was.

Northland Customer