I have a GE 5KC39BG condenser motor that has "gone bad". For a day or two I heard squeaking (like metal on metal) occasionally, then after a few minutes the sound disappeared. This made me suspect that the bearings had dried up, so today I opened the motor with the intention of replace the bearings.
They do not appear to be sealed ball bearings. In fact they do not appear to be ball bearings at all. The bottom bearing looks like a "bushing" type bearing, and I haven't been able to get the fan blade off the shaft yet so I'm not sure about the top bearing, but from what I can see it looks the same.
These bearings appear to have had a foam washer installed under what looks like a press-on cap, possibly to help retain the grease that once lubricated them. Unfortunately there is no sign of grease any more -- they are dried out -- and the foam washers have almost completely crumbled / disintegrated.
Ideally I would install sealed ball bearings in this motor to keep my costs down (vs. replacing the entire motor). But I'm not sure I'm up to the task of finding or installing suitable ball bearings. I don't even know if they are available.
Plus if I'm wrong about the problem -- for example if the motor is actually burned out instead of just the bearings gone bad -- I might be wasting my time trying to find and install sealed ball bearings. So my second option is to replace the whole motor ...
Unfortunately I cannot find any info about this motor online. It could be a very old motor or perhaps an uncommon one, but I have read the "BG" part of the model number correctly off the label which is still very clear, yet I cannot find "5KC39BG" on any web pages indexed by Google.
So ... since I cannot seem to find this exact motor online I'm hoping that someone here can suggest a suitable replacement, or perhaps tell me what I need to look for in order to find my own replacement.
Here are some more details visible on the motor's label:
The housing measures about 5 5/8 inches diameter, the shaft is 1/2 inch diameter, and there are 3 wires to the motor: black, brown and purple. Black goes to power, brown goes to the outer capacitor terminal and purple goes to the middle capacitor terminal.
Can anyone suggest a replacement motor for this one? I'm not married to GE so if you know of another manufacturer's motor that will work properly please feel free to post it.
Just one final question:
The current motor is only 1/6 HP. Would a 1/4 HP or larger motor be an acceptable replacement, or will a different motor require a different capacitor (or other changes to the existing system) before it will work properly?