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mclmatty
1 Copper

How should I go about lubricating these fans?

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Hi there! Newbie here.

I have a Dell Poweredge SC1425 1U Rack mount server.

I use it in my home and it sits in my office on a desk - That's because I only have 1 server, so a rack would be near pointless.

It's a little loud, which I expected since its a 1U server and I can live with it, but it would be nice if it ran a little quieter. It's not like it is a whooshing of air sound, its more of a churning engine sound (which I don't think is normal).

Programs such as Speed fan and such do not work with this server, and I am sure I am using the program right since I use it on my desktop PC all the time when I feel I need a little bit more air flow.

The BIOS doesn't seem to hold any answers to fan control and an external fan controller is near impossible to keep practical with this 1U.

So I am thinking that I should lube up the fans, but I am not sure how to go about it 😞

I have lubed a fan before for a friend, but I knew a lot about the fan in question (A can of WD-40 and a steady hand was all it needed to get running quiet as a mouse). I am scared I mess up this fan because I have not got much experience with server fans. I will leave a link to a pic of the fan so you can see what it is.

One method I have tried is to put socks under the corners of the server to dampen any vibrations, but that looks silly and only saved me 1 or 2 decibels (I use a decibel meter iPhone app).

If you happen to know of any programs that can help me too, fire away. It is running Windows Server 2012 64-bit.

Here is the picture:

Thank you in advance.

- Matty

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pbarnrob
1 Copper

RE: How should I go about lubricating these fans?

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I just Googled for [lubricating muffin fans], both for an elderly Precision-420 Workstation that I wanted to resurrect, but its fan was GawdAwful loud, and my 'daily driver' Optiplex GX270 MiniTower, whose fan quit, and the machine obliged the overheat by shutting down.

Once you have the fan out, a vacuum cleaner reversed (outdoors, please!) to blow out the dust bunnies is in order, and a 1" paint brush can help in corners. I usually just take the whole machine out on the porch. Return that fine goodness to the garden.


Several hits that show (even YouTubes) how to pry up the label (sometimes also a rubber button under the label) and put a drop or two (where a drop is ~1/20th ml) of 3-in-1 or SAE20 oil right on the sleeve bearing, or the ball bearing. Wipe its chin with a paper towel or napkin, paste the sticker back down, let it sit a few minutes after rotating the blades with a finger. and give it a try.

DO NOT use WD-40 as a lubricant. It is a Water-Displacer and solvent, intended for keeping stainless missile bodies from rusting in production in San Diego, NOT a lubricant. It will help move old dried grease out of some things, but will not replace it.

3-in-1 Oil, or any common SAE-20 motor oil (even lighter grades, though box fans (10", 20") respond well to scavenged 10-W30 to 10-W40 (I let those bottles drain through a doubled-cap adapter for a week or so, in an out-of-the-way Patience-Station in the garage, and keep my old pump-oiler full with the proceeds.) Every six months to a year, the house fans get the brush/vacuum/oil treatment. As long as you catch them before they seize up and overheat, BEFORE the thermal fuse opens next to the windings, they can go for years. Once that happens, that fan is scrap, since it's likely that the varnish on the wire has failed as well at those temperatures.

I also have a little bottle of Tri-Flow 'High-Performance Penetrating Lubricant' with micro-teflon beads, that I got for an old disk drive that developed a squeak; the center-spindle rode on a phosphor-bronze tab for grounding near the circuit board, and had dried out. I've gone around and lubed most of my muffin fans (including the little 1" ones in quick-change disk drawers) with that.

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3 Replies
pcmeiners
4 Tellurium

Re: How should I go about lubricating these fans?

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The only real success I have had with muffin fans is with Teflon spray (Remmington or Bordens), You might go to Digikey online, look for the exact same fan specs but with with a lower Db level, ball bearing fans are generally quieter with a premium price.

 

 

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skylarking
3 Silver

Re: How should I go about lubricating these fans?

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Fast spinning small fans that move large air volumes will always be noisy but some are quieter than others.

One chap made his PE 1900 quieter by swapping fans, here is his project page.

Another chap did similar to his PE 2800 going as far as replacing the fans and changing the fan thresholds, here is his project page.

Maybe these linked pages will inspire you to look further into the task and find more acceptable fans you could use, then adjust any low speed thresholds to avoid sudden fan speed ups.

Good luck and remember with enough effort, one can do anything emoticon.Smile.title

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pbarnrob
1 Copper

RE: How should I go about lubricating these fans?

Jump to solution

I just Googled for [lubricating muffin fans], both for an elderly Precision-420 Workstation that I wanted to resurrect, but its fan was GawdAwful loud, and my 'daily driver' Optiplex GX270 MiniTower, whose fan quit, and the machine obliged the overheat by shutting down.

Once you have the fan out, a vacuum cleaner reversed (outdoors, please!) to blow out the dust bunnies is in order, and a 1" paint brush can help in corners. I usually just take the whole machine out on the porch. Return that fine goodness to the garden.


Several hits that show (even YouTubes) how to pry up the label (sometimes also a rubber button under the label) and put a drop or two (where a drop is ~1/20th ml) of 3-in-1 or SAE20 oil right on the sleeve bearing, or the ball bearing. Wipe its chin with a paper towel or napkin, paste the sticker back down, let it sit a few minutes after rotating the blades with a finger. and give it a try.

DO NOT use WD-40 as a lubricant. It is a Water-Displacer and solvent, intended for keeping stainless missile bodies from rusting in production in San Diego, NOT a lubricant. It will help move old dried grease out of some things, but will not replace it.

3-in-1 Oil, or any common SAE-20 motor oil (even lighter grades, though box fans (10", 20") respond well to scavenged 10-W30 to 10-W40 (I let those bottles drain through a doubled-cap adapter for a week or so, in an out-of-the-way Patience-Station in the garage, and keep my old pump-oiler full with the proceeds.) Every six months to a year, the house fans get the brush/vacuum/oil treatment. As long as you catch them before they seize up and overheat, BEFORE the thermal fuse opens next to the windings, they can go for years. Once that happens, that fan is scrap, since it's likely that the varnish on the wire has failed as well at those temperatures.

I also have a little bottle of Tri-Flow 'High-Performance Penetrating Lubricant' with micro-teflon beads, that I got for an old disk drive that developed a squeak; the center-spindle rode on a phosphor-bronze tab for grounding near the circuit board, and had dried out. I've gone around and lubed most of my muffin fans (including the little 1" ones in quick-change disk drawers) with that.

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