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High profile distributor belts rubbing on carriage support tube

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  • High profile distributor belts rubbing on carriage support tube

    We are testing some new belt types ahead of putting new pins in for the Fall league season. Yesterday we tried putting a tan supergrip distributor belt from A1 onto one of our problem machines and were unable to put it into service because the belt was rubbing on the carriage support tube where the belt makes the S curve at the tensioner. The result was that there wasn't enough torque to get the clutch to index, and pins were not moving towards the trip levers fast enough to keep up with the pins dumping off the pinwheel.

    What did we do wrong? Belt too long? Too short? We trimmed it to 116" before installing the lacing. Belt tensioner hardware is good. We were so looking forward to trying this particular belt.

    We're also having a near-similar problem with the tan waffle style belt we're testing on another machine.

    Our poly-v distributor belts have about half an inch of clearance between pulley and carriage support tube, but after a year in service and being careful to clean only with a dry rag or dish soap, they're done. We do not want to suffer through the start of the new season with new pins and these super-slick poly-v's!

  • #2
    Answered my own question. I spliced in a 2" piece from the part we trimmed off, and no clearance issues. 116" is too short with these thicker belts. Optimum length to be determined. The longer belt allows the tensioner spring to pull the belt up and away from the carriage support tube. Also the belt guard at the front of the distributor was bent to hell and causing additional clearance problems. This belt seems to have good pull. The appearance is like AMF's 070-006-757 PVC rough top belt, but with the softer waffle belt material. The PVC rough top does not try to pull pins out of your hand.

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    • #3
      Thicker belts need to be longer because each roller in the distributor will eat up more of the belt's length than it would a standard thickness belt.

      I've been told that when cleaning a poly-v belt you use a dry rag only. No cleaners at all, because it hardens the material.

      -- Larry

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      • #4
        Don't mean to be long winded about Distributor belts. But. Lol. Sure wish we could find an answer.
        The A1 Tan super grip is the closet thing to the perfect Distributor belt. Distributor belts are cut from/by conveyor belt manufacturing companies to the size to run on our distributors. There are many different conveyor belts of various thickness and material that can be tried and tested. Gum rubber is by far the best for the distributors due to the slicking agents in today's lane oil. You don't have to clean a gum rubber belt and the lane oil doesn't seem to affect the gripping action of the gum rubber surface. On the other hand, PVC belts like the poly V turn to crap after a short period of time.

        The red and green gum rubber belts offered by Splawn have a good surface but is too soft and starts to (melt) within a couple of months they are also too thin causing the carriage tube to want to hesitate moving forward. Adding spring tension will help but that creates other issues. After about a week of lane oil getting to the red and green belts you can put slight pressure on the belt at the runner and stop the belt easily due to the slickness of the underside of those belts including the poly V. Which will cause the carriage tube to stay retracted or extend too slow for the next pin. The thick rough top belts, the super tan belt and the waffle belt can move a carriage tube forward without a linear spring. But also can cause issues such as ghost index at the 5 pin and various pin positions. Even when they are cut to the proper added length.

        I for one would be happy to pay more for a gum rubber belt slightly thinner than the super tan from A1. Or a belt slightly thicker than the red or green from Splawn.

        We spent the better part of a year testing various belts of the gum rubber variety. They are either too thick or too thin. As for the PVC belts no thanks. Hopefully one of the bowling companies out there will find a belt that works for our industry.

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        • #5
          Thanks for the feedback on the belts, East. The gum rubber belts seem to be the best solution based on our observations the past couple of weeks.

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          • #6
            I believe I cut mine to 117 1/8"
            If it cant be fixed with a hammer, use a bowling pin.

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