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  • Ball lift clutch problems

    I have been having an issue with the clutch bearing on the ball lifts failing fast. Some are locking up and some are free spinning. I just rebuilt a ball lift. I used new clutch races and I replaced the one way clutch bearings. Tested fine in the shop and put it in a machine and within 2 weeks the bearing on the odd side no longer drives the lift. This issue has been going on for over a year now. I am finding myself having to redo ball lifts I recently did. Is anybody else having this issue? I was wondering if I started to overlook something or if is because I started changing out the bearings myself, instead of ordering new pulleys with the bearings already installed? What do you guys do when you rebuild a lift? What kind of anti-seize and grease are you using? Do different types affect the bearing performance/lifespan? Do you mix grease and anti-seize? I have seen it mixed on my front roller pivot shafts, but I would think that anti-seize would cause the clutch to not lock up or lock up. I use anti-seize on the shafts, dbore bearings, race and PBL and rudder pulleys and i use just grease on the clutch bearing.

  • #2
    With the clutched bearing in Bruns lifts you don't use grease, only oil. The grease will prevent the bearing needles from locking to drive the inner race.
    Factory & Converted A-2 (US, Ger, Jap)
    Comscore ECT, Matrix & DuoHD
    Walker B, Sanction Standard, Original K, Flex Walker & Ikon
    Kegel C.A.T.S

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    • #3
      I too replace the clutch bearing when they fail and always replace the clutch race when replacing the bearing. But I never add grease to the bearing nor do I oil them periodically. I have a clutch bearing fail maybe once or twice a year across the house in my 32 lane center. If the clutch is failing within two weeks on the same lift there is obviously an issue somewhere, but there's far to many variables involved to pinpoint your issue. Perhaps you damage the bearing during installation? I use my vise to press a new one in it's pulley. Or perhaps the machine you install the ball lift into is hard on the clutch for some reason? How much free-play (side-to-side) does the clutch pulley have after installation? That's a good a place to start as any. How do you install a new clutch bearing is another. Jut trying to help.
      There! Try to NOT work now!

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      • #4
        I use anti-seize on threaded bolts only. The one way clutches in the ball lifts get greased with wheel bearing grease. I'e only had a handful of failures over the past 2 decades. Your results may vary.

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        • #5
          Whatever amount of grease the clutch comes with is all I use. Don't put antiseize in the clutch.
          If it cant be fixed with a hammer, use a bowling pin.

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          • #6
            The drive pulley may be spinning around the needle bearing. I've used red loctite on a few this happens to without any issues afterwords. I use a small amount of grease inside the needle bearings without issues. I have some that are still running after 8-10 years.
            A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.
            - Albert Einstein

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            • #7
              I use the grease that the new bearing comes with. I don't use my vice to press them in because the jaws are waffled. I use a set up with washers, a 1/2" threaded bolt and i tighten the bolt to press it in. They are a tight fit in the pulley. I test them by hand before I put on the lift and once again after the lift is assembled. I thought the issue was the bearing so I switched who I ordered from and have gave a different bearing a try with I use the the anti-seize to make it easier to take the shaft out down the road. We have high humidity here in Florida, and I have had to hammer out shafts and sleeves that have seized, I have broken the d bore bearing, bent the shaft and even destroyed the yokes on ones that did not have anti-seize, just trying to get them apart.

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              • #8
                The bearings in the yolk (either upper or lower) MUST be PERFECTLY aligned with one another or you will have bearing and/or shaft failure in short order. Before installing anything on the yolk once the bearings are installed, make sure the shaft slides through both bearings effortlessly. You should be able to slide the shaft through both bearings with your little finger. If you cannot, the bearings are not seated properly in the yolk, or the yolk is bent. You cannot use a yolk in that condition and not expect failure. Also, once the proper alignment of the bearings is achieved, that alignment must be maintained during installation of the other parts, i.e. spacers or shim washers now supplied by AMF. Sometimes you don't need additional spacing, sometimes you need one or even two of them. Will non-aligned bearings affect clutch bearing failure? I'm not sure. I will not use a bent yolk and I do not have many clutch bearings fail. I'm not sure if this helps you or not, but there it is.
                There! Try to NOT work now!

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                • #9
                  you say you have been replacing the clutch bearing these are very delicate one slight ding on the bearing case will cause you a lot of trouble i will use 2 pieces timber in a vice to insert the bearing and slowing do the vice up this way the bearing is not damaged and just make sure you put the bearing round the right way i always double check before i insert the bearing
                  im never wrong just askme

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                  • #10
                    D-bore ...... I used to not use this, as the shaft would wear into the bearing etc... and failure would occur fairly quickly... much greater than the original set up.

                    I used to use anti-seize on the shaft to assist with an easier removal with no problems. Nothing worse than hammering the life out of a unit trying to get is disassembled.

                    Bring me the freshest "Mean Green" known to man! Juice on!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Alastair View Post
                      D-bore ...... I used to not use this, as the shaft would wear into the bearing etc... and failure would occur fairly quickly... much greater than the original set up.

                      I used to use anti-seize on the shaft to assist with an easier removal with no problems. Nothing worse than hammering the life out of a unit trying to get is disassembled.
                      When they say D Bores fail fairly quickly, what time frame do you consider quick? I’ve got several D Bores and I service my lifts every 3-4 years now. Tend to replace as needed more these days rather than rebuild every year as time constraints and work loads are insane these days. I rarely have them fail , but to be honest I’ve had as many 2 or 3 straight bore bearings fail as D Bores?
                      AS REQUESTED....The all new and VERY improved "super cool" Pin_Head with super hip shades.....

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                      • #12
                        As most of us have experienced they both fail.

                        Its all about proper installation. As far as comparing D bore vs straight bore. Personally prefer the straight bore as removal of D bore is usually a Bitch to say it nicely.

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                        • #13
                          I ordered a new bottom yoke and rebuilt the bottom end they same way i normally would except the shaft did to seem to just slide in effortlessly. I put the lift in earlier today. I keep you updated if i experience any issues. maybe ill need a bunch more bottom yokes. I have been working with old used parts from closed centers so that might be the reason. as for the d shafts wearing faster than straight bore....i think they are being made out of a softer metal than they used to. I have newer ones that wore out faster than old ones that are still in service.

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                          • #14
                            I used to always think why can a car run for thousands of miles on a bearing and yet we struggle so much in bowling with a lower yoke assembly..... remembering back, we actually approached our masher friends believe it or not, and they started making our lower yoke bearings for us. They were solid. Lasted for ages, and they were sold them in the UK through BV.
                            Bring me the freshest "Mean Green" known to man! Juice on!

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                            • #15
                              have been having the same issue with the new style races going bad. Almost like it is very cheap metal.
                              Chris Doughten
                              Lodge Lanes, Belleville Mi

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