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IndustryArena Forum > MetalWorking Machines > Fadal > Looking at buying 1985 Fadal 904-1 with cnc88 control for garage shop.
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  1. #1
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    Looking at buying 1985 Fadal 904-1 with cnc88 control for garage shop.

    Hi, i am looking for advice on purchasing a machining center for my garage. I have a friend of a friend that has a 1985 fadal 904-1 22x16 machine with the cnc88 control for sale. The machine turns on, jogs all axes, changes tools, but i have not seen it run a part. The machine was supposedly owned by a dentist who made teeth molds on it and used it lightly then the guy who is selling it purchased it approximately 20 years ago and had a friend run a few jobs on it but never learned how to run the machine himself so it has mostly just sat unused. Is there a runtime counter on this era of machine?

    The few upgrades that i know of are as follows:
    The control has an lcd screen installed.
    There is a usb reader installed.
    Separate MPG from control. Not sure if that is standard or not.

    The owner told me the machine was capable of rigid tapping but from what i have read that is highly unlikely without some expensive upgrades since these early machines didn't come with that feature. How can i tell if it has rigid tapping capabilities.
    How do i know if the control has upgraded processing boards and memory?
    Will this machine be able to run cam programs with 3d contouring without choking?
    Is this a machine worth buying because of its age?
    How to tell if turcite on ways are good and if way lube system is working correctly?
    Pictures of the machine and control cabinet are in second post below.


    A few of the reasons im considering this machine are its size, has a tool changer, can be wired for single phase, price. I believe i can get the machine for 2500 to 3500$. Is that a good price if the machine is in good condition?

    I have ran a late 90s fadal quite a bit in the past, numerous haas machines, large gantry dms 5 axis machines, Modern bridgeport machining center with okuma control, 6 axis tube cutting laser, i build a 4x8 cnc router from scratch. As you can see i have some decent experience with cnc machines but i am by no means an expert. I mainly program in cam programs like fusion 360, mastercam, delcam, hsm express.

  2. #2
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    Re: Looking at buying 1985 Fadal 904-1 with cnc88 control for garage shop.


  3. #3
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    Re: Looking at buying 1985 Fadal 904-1 with cnc88 control for garage shop.

    ..which Spindle drive does it have?
    https://www.hillaryinc.com/index_htm..._and_Motor.pdf


    Looks and sounds like a good machine...just older electronics can be problematic sometimes. Good thing its Fadal parts available.

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    Re: Looking at buying 1985 Fadal 904-1 with cnc88 control for garage shop.

    I need to go back to the guys house and look in the cabinet that has the spindle drive. I was not able to access the back of the machine when i was there. I also need to take a closer look at the #s on the cards. The spindle is the old style that has to be manually changed for high and low.

  5. #5
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    Re: Looking at buying 1985 Fadal 904-1 with cnc88 control for garage shop.

    Doesn't it require 3-phase power?
    Andrew Werby
    Website

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    Re: Looking at buying 1985 Fadal 904-1 with cnc88 control for garage shop.

    This machine has a transformer that can be wired for single phase.

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    Re: Looking at buying 1985 Fadal 904-1 with cnc88 control for garage shop.

    In MDI type a G84.2 and if the spindle rotates a few times (calibrates) and then holds the spindle rigid and you try to rotate it by hand you will feel it fighting you. You will not be able to rotate it.

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    Re: Looking at buying 1985 Fadal 904-1 with cnc88 control for garage shop.

    That looks like a long saddle so it might have turcite on Saddle to Base. But it may not have Turcite on the X axis. You can also see the head surface that rides against the column by raising the Z axis up from ColdStart and you can look at the surface of the Z Head

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    Re: Looking at buying 1985 Fadal 904-1 with cnc88 control for garage shop.

    I would probably worry most about the pendant. That is the original style control Pendant that they used on the VMC45.

    The control cards look as if they have been upgraded a bit. And the original architecture of the control gives you the ability to upgrade to the latest cards and software.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Fadal hollywood Star front.jpg  

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    Re: Looking at buying 1985 Fadal 904-1 with cnc88 control for garage shop.

    $2500 isn't a horrible price especially if it has the Single phase transformer (hard to find which could easily cost like $1000)

    I dont like the 2 belt ... manual change 3 range pulley set up... i'm actually kinda shocked a 85 machine has that.

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    Re: Looking at buying 1985 Fadal 904-1 with cnc88 control for garage shop.

    Quote Originally Posted by rodney247 View Post
    $2500 isn't a horrible price especially if it has the Single phase transformer (hard to find which could easily cost like $1000)

    I dont like the 2 belt ... manual change 3 range pulley set up... i'm actually kinda shocked a 85 machine has that.
    ...x2 rodney time warp 1980's great flyers you posted too

    If,,the machine has been stored inside temp control building its whole life....great bargain but,
    rust in bearings is the problem and old rubber seals/airlines that are 30+ yrs old. also depends what coolant was used by pre owners
    mechanics special for sure.

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    Re: Looking at buying 1985 Fadal 904-1 with cnc88 control for garage shop.

    If you want to see the software version go to the last page of the MENU. Type MU at the enter next command. If its a newer control type ME and it will tell you the amount of memory. IF it has Clocks they are not relevant ALL FADAL clocks can be reset to ZERO with the reset clocks button

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    Re: Looking at buying 1985 Fadal 904-1 with cnc88 control for garage shop.

    Quote Originally Posted by rodney247 View Post
    That looks like a long saddle so it might have turcite on Saddle to Base. But it may not have Turcite on the X axis. You can also see the head surface that rides against the column by raising the Z axis up from ColdStart and you can look at the surface of the Z Head
    I went back and looked at the machine better but still was unable to see any turcite. Here is a picture of the underside of the x axis and then the back of the ways on the sadle. It looks like a wiper is missing but the ways dont have gouging but do have some slight rust toward the back. Attachment 448178Attachment 448180

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    Re: Looking at buying 1985 Fadal 904-1 with cnc88 control for garage shop.

    Quote Originally Posted by rodney247 View Post
    If you want to see the software version go to the last page of the MENU. Type MU at the enter next command. If its a newer control type ME and it will tell you the amount of memory. IF it has Clocks they are not relevant ALL FADAL clocks can be reset to ZERO with the reset clocks button
    Here is the page with the software version. Any insight into this version of the software?

    Attachment 448182

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    Re: Looking at buying 1985 Fadal 904-1 with cnc88 control for garage shop.

    Quote Originally Posted by machinehop5 View Post
    ..which Spindle drive does it have?
    https://www.hillaryinc.com/index_htm..._and_Motor.pdf


    Looks and sounds like a good machine...just older electronics can be problematic sometimes. Good thing its Fadal parts available.
    I went back and looked and the machine has the Mitsubishi drive which that article says is incapable of rigid tapping. Click image for larger version. 

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    Re: Looking at buying 1985 Fadal 904-1 with cnc88 control for garage shop.

    Quote Originally Posted by machinehop5 View Post
    ...x2 rodney time warp 1980's great flyers you posted too

    If,,the machine has been stored inside temp control building its whole life....great bargain but,
    rust in bearings is the problem and old rubber seals/airlines that are 30+ yrs old. also depends what coolant was used by pre owners
    mechanics special for sure.
    Unfortunately, the garage is not temperature controlled and located in the hot San Fernando Valley. Is it expensive or complicated to replace air lines and seals on these machines? The machine does run. The tool changer works, the spindle runs smooth and very quiet, the axis jog and the ball screws dont make any out of the ordinary noise. Granted this is just jogging the machine and not putting it thru its paces running actual parts.

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    Re: Looking at buying 1985 Fadal 904-1 with cnc88 control for garage shop.

    Quote Originally Posted by rodney247 View Post
    I would probably worry most about the pendant. That is the original style control Pendant that they used on the VMC45.

    The control cards look as if they have been upgraded a bit. And the original architecture of the control gives you the ability to upgrade to the latest cards and software.
    What are the concerns with that early pendant? It definitely isn't as attractive as the later pendant. I looked better at the processor board and it is a 1400-2 system. The pendant has a lcd screen installed and there is a calmotion usb reader installed as well.

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    Re: Looking at buying 1985 Fadal 904-1 with cnc88 control for garage shop.

    So you don't have turcite that's fine... plus you never have to worry about it falling off that's a real pain in the you know.

    You have a Dash 2 system which is second generation... not great better than first version 1400 card. The -4 or -5 is the desirable system.

    I would start as low $$ as you can for this machine the Bones of the machine are solid. Its just the Electronics that can be costly. to worry about. I have seen on E bay a set of -4 cards go cheap for $750. But that is rare usually the whole set costs $$Thousands. The CPU alone will cost at least 1000+

    With that Manual shifting spindle setup most people will not really want this machine. So i don't think its going anywhere fast. Because of its 1980-ish-ness lol

    But you can retro fit the Hi/LO 10/15hp setup on this machine (I Know because Myself, Luis O. and Gregory A. where the ones sent out to change them across the US in the Mid 80's) but it will be costly.

    Did you get the S/N? Do you have a pic of the nose of the spindle i have a feeling its the original.

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    Re: Looking at buying 1985 Fadal 904-1 with cnc88 control for garage shop.

    Actually do this goto the SETP and on page 2 does it have the option of the CMD MENU (command menus option?) should be on the right hand side of that page.

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    Re: Looking at buying 1985 Fadal 904-1 with cnc88 control for garage shop.

    Quote Originally Posted by rodney247 View Post
    Actually do this goto the SETP and on page 2 does it have the option of the CMD MENU (command menus option?) should be on the right hand side of that page.
    Im not around the machine again so ill have to look at the setp page and look for the cmd menu next time im there. Here is a pic of the serial number. It is an 85 machine. 8508252 is the serial number if you cant see in the pic. For some reason it is attaching upside down too. Attachment 448190

    Im starting to think there are to many things working against me with this machine. I have no problem spending more money to get a better more capable machine. Id prefer to not have to restore the machine or upgrade much. I really just need to start making parts. I have so many other projects that this should not be one of them. Ill see what the bottom dollar is for this machine and maybe it would be good for me for a year or 2 but the bigger concern is not being able to get rid of it when the time comes to upgrade. What would be a recommended machine for garage use. Needs to fit in my garage and not take up much more space than this old vmc 40 would. I would really like to have a 4th axis and good rapids and be able to make molds that require a lot of 3d contouring. Rigid tapping too. Any recommendations for which model i should be looking at?

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