It’s hard for us to diagnos the problem without feeling the stick. lube is only going to help if the stick bushings are dirty, and honestly, if your stick isn’t returning to neutral at all, then the stick bushings have to be REALLY dirty, as dirty as some of the people posting on a thread.
Of course, I could guess and tell right now, and I will, but it’d help if you described the problem more. Can you feel the spring or does it feel more as if the spring is completely missing and when you move it to, say the left, there is no force trying to push against you. If the spring is there, does the stick sometimes move back and sometimes stay stuck, or does it slowly move back to neutral?
okay, lookingback, it kinda sounds like the spring is there, so it’s time to guess and tell. If the spring is there, but doesn’t have enough power to move the stick back to neutral, then there’s some sorta crud in the stick. I mean, there’s A LOT of crud in the stick (see first paragraph for details). Either that, or something is broken inside of the stick which is beyond me. Lube ideally only eases the friction allowing you to execute things more smoothly. Lube should not be necesary for the basic functionality of the stick, the spring should be more than enough to return the stick to neutral even if the innardws were completely dry (unless the namco stick is different). So, in either case, lube will probably not solve your problem but you can try. Oh, as for what type of lube to use, heck you COULD use bacon fat if you wanted to. It won’t ruin your stick or anything and I guess it would work but it’d be kinda gross and all. A couple drops of vegetable oil or WD40 or whatever should do the trick. You could get something more fine like bearing oil for hobby cars which will probably give you better performance. Oil is oil, aint much to it. Of course, lube probably wont work so if you want to save your stick, I’d suggest you take it apart and examine the stick and pick out any forum members that might be lurking inside obstructing the basic functionality with troll shit.
edit: Oh, and I completely forgot that you could also have a rusty spring, though that’s unlikely as well as rusted springs usually still work. But if you find that to be the problem when you take your stick apart, you’ll have to replace the spring. Goodluck with that.