Matsuura MC-1500V4 Spindle Repair


Contamination, rear bearing failure & component wear

Matsuura MC-1500V4, 3500 RPM, permanent grease bearing lubrication, gear driven

This spindle has an unusual bearing complement for a vertical machining center, including a tapered roller bearing and an angular contact pair in the front, with an angular contact support pair on the tail. The rear pair had been removed from the spindle shaft prior to arrival at our facility and had obviously suffered catastrophic failure. The cages which normally contain the rolling elements were broken & there was evidence of extremely high temperatures.

Upon disassembly, it was evident that the interior of the front bearing housing as well as the interior of the shaft where the drawbar is located were thoroughly contaminated with coolant. The OD of the spindle shaft behind the front housing also showed signs of contamination and light corrosion. The grease in the front roller bearing was severely degraded from coolant contamination.

We observed wear and damage on several other components which ranged from slight to significant. The BT-45 tooling taper ID had several wear bands resulting in poor tool contact and excessive runout measurements. The gripper ball sleeve was damaged and the gripper balls were heavily worn. The ID of the seal collar at the rear of the front housing had light rubout damage.



We reworked the rubout damage on the seal collar and corrected the BT-45 taper ID issues with a one-step precision kiss grind. We reassembled the spindle with all new bearings, Belleville springs, o-rings & assembly screws, and installed a brand new gripper assembly which corrected all of the wear and damage issues we had observed. We asked our customer to send us two spindle parts which they did not initially provide with the spindle. We needed the front housing cover & front spacer which are necessary to set bearing capture & to test run this spindle.

We set the proper bearing preload & test ran the spindle for ten hours to break in the new bearing grease while recording the thermal & vibration characteristics. Our final outgoing dimensional QC indicated (among other things) tooling taper runout of less than 2µ. Assuming similar operating conditions in our customer’s machine, this 25+ year-old spindle should function like new for many years.


  • gripper ball sleeve

  • Spindle shaft

  • Contaminated roller bearing

  • Damage from rub out

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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