Reconditioning a Lifefitness Elliptical
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9. Many Lifefitness products use a Mando Alternator. This is manufactured in South Korea. We find many of these units need new brushes or bearings. We remove the brushes and belt and spin the flywheel to check the bearings. If there is any bearing noise, we remove the alternator and rebuild it. The top bolt (3/4") is removed first.
10. Next we remove the wiring from the alternator. There are 5 terminals so we have a diagram on where the wires go for use later during replacement.
11. Finally, we remove the 1/2" bolt at the bottom and the alternator is off the unit.
12. The picture above shows good alternator brushes on the (only about 20% worn) left and worn brushes on the right.
13. Now it is time to remove the front lower bushing from the lower pedal arm where it attaches to the pivot for the front rocker arm. These require a 9/16" wrench set.
14. Inside we find a bolt inside of a metal sleeve. Then there are brass bushings, an inner and outer one pressed into the front arm units. Every mechanical device has its "weakest link". We found out that on this particular model, here is the weak link. As you can see the bolts have stripped threads and one is almost worn through to the point where it will snap. The bushings are scoured. These parts will be replaced with new ones. (the inner sleeve, and the bolt.) The bolts wore out because the sleeves froze inside of the bushings and all the stress of the joint was on the thin bolt.
15. Here are the new parts that we will install. Before installing the new bushings, the sleeve should be fitted to make sure it rotates freely inside the bushings. If it doesn't turn freely, the brass bushings must be filed out and sanded smooth inside. This is required for most units.
16. The old bushings are removed with a hammer and a screwdriver. The pedal arm is held in place by a block of wood.
17. After checking the new bushings, they are installed with a 5 lb. mallet using cardboard to prevent damage to the outside surface. If you spray a little WD-40 on them, then they go in without too much trouble.
18. before installing the stainless sleeve, we polish it on our bench grinder to reduce friction. Then we lubricate it with bearing grease and install it. Then the rocker arm is installed with the new bolt.
19. An air compressor is a must when reconditioning equipmwent. We use a 60 gallon model for power sanding and to blow out the unit. First, we are blowing out the alternator. This alternator will be rebuilt. It is beyond the scope of this article to show that process. In short, we disassemble it, clean the unit, replace the front and rear bearings with new sealed bearings rated at 15,000 RPM, repalce the brushes if needed regrind the communitator), and reassemble the alternator. This takes about one hour. Alternatively, it will cost about $100 for a rebuilt one with shipping, just to replace two bearings that cost us $6.00!
20. Using compressed air, we blow off the rest of the unit, front to back, to make it easier to clean. A dust mask is very helpful.
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