The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Greasing Up the KitchenAid

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chris319's picture
chris319

Greasing Up the KitchenAid

Here is a review of mixer grease from amazon.com. The author swears by Tri-Flow for your KitchenAid.

http://www.amazon.com/review/R39FLWNIXCNU0V/ref=cm_cr_pr_cmt?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B000TRBW42

It seems that teflon is the magic ingredient in mixer grease.

I picked up a K5A in great condition at a great price and it has a few years on it, so it's probably about time to think about a lube job for it. I also need to check the condition of the brushes (this is easy to do and they are easy to replace). There are videos on YouTube which show you how.

 

clazar123's picture
clazar123

http://www.machinerylubrication.com/Read/445/food-grade-lubricants

TriFlow seems to be H1

Unsure what the OEM Kitchenaid grease may be.

chris319's picture
chris319

I suspect the OEM KA grease does not contain PTFE(teflon).

I actually wound up ordering catalog # 1378K34 from McMaster Carr, also an H1 food-grade grease with PTFE.

http://www.mcmaster.com/#1378k34/=p6xdhi

chris319's picture
chris319

What McMaster Carr sent turned out to be Super Lube http://www.super-lube.com, they just don't list the brand name in their catalog/web site. A 14-oz can was more than enough to do the K5A.

Here is a great video showing how to open up and change the grease in a KA: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8eKHVvNX5eY

I don't know how old my K5A is, but once I got it open I found that it was way over-greased, just packed with smelly old brown grease. That all came out, a very messy operation. Have plenty of paper towels on hand! Citrus solvent was used as a de-greaser. The old grease was replaced with teflon grease but only on the gears, shafts and bushings, not inside the case like before. I removed the gear that drives attachments through the round opening in the snout. I don't use attachments and I wanted less drag on the drive train. I also removed a cardboard-like piece in the rear of the mixer and is inside the half-dome cover. The half-dome rear cover has two sets of ventilation slots, one set above and one below. The piece I removed obstructs the lower ventilation slots so I figured I was better off with it out.

Reassembling was a bit tricky. I found that an ice pick is an excellent tool for lining up the holes in the planetary shaft that the pin goes through. Luckily I had the foresight to order a new gasket from Goodman's and had one on hand -- the old one was gone. Getting the "beauty ring" or drip ring back on is a black art and involves some creative prying.

When I got it back together it had developed a chattering noise when turned on, and the mixer was running kind of warm and there was too much of that electric-motor "ozone" smell. The fix was discovered quite by accident. It turns out that when mating the two halves of the case, you have to tighten the five screws around the planetary first and get those good and tight. Then you can screw in the four rearward screws that hold the halves together. Now it purrs like a kitten and I am happy.

My concern now is what would happen if it should fail catastrophically, such as the motor burning out. It does such an excellent job of kneading dough (I modified the stock dough hook) that if it were to die, I would first look into having it repaired (calling ka_tech) or hopefully picking up another one on ebay. Perusing reviews of new mixers, I don't see an awful lot out there that isn't cheap junk made in China, or that doesn't cost an arm and a leg (like a Hobart N50). I might consider a Bosch Universal. People like the Ankarsrum but $700 is an awful lot for a mixer. The K45SS is still made but has a smaller bowl. The new KA 7-quart gets good reviews but someone observed that the motor is sealed and the brushes can't be replaced in the field, a big mistake by KA IMO.

I will cross that bridge when I come to it.

clazar123's picture
clazar123

My now 36 yr old K5A was lubed about 10 yrs ago and still runs great. It is of the all metal gear era. I recently purchased a K5 (almost new) at a local Thrift store and when plugged in it made that grinding, growly sound but I still bought it ($10 was worth it for the SS bowl,whisk and paddle). When I opened it up, the factory grease had totally missed where it was supposed to go but luckily the gears (some are nylon now) were not broken. Cleaned and re-lubed and it works like a charm. Great Christmas gift for my daughter.

Good to hear of someone willing to open up an appliance and fix it rather than toss it. My "youngest" appliance is 30 yrs old now. Refrigerator,stove,washer,dryer and freezer have all been repaired at some point and work well. I am not so sure that would work with newly manufactured appliances anymore-motors are sealed and everything is only made to last a short time.

chris319's picture
chris319

Someone now sells a hand-crank modification for KA mixers. It is not cheap but it's an option to consider.

chris319's picture
chris319

I finally greased up my K5A with Super Lube brand H1 food-grade teflon grease.

I just ran an unscientific test, letting it run for 15 minutes with no attachments and no load. Keeping in mind that it's an unscientific test, the mixer seems to run less warm than it did with the old grease. It could be because the grease is new (the old grease may have hardened) or because of the teflon in the new grease. I also removed the gear that runs the attachment port so there is less friction in the power train. In my casual testing it just seems to run cooler.

I'm keeping in mind that the mixer housing acts as a heat sink for the motor.