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Distributor Orientation/Pin Feeding Help


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  • Distributor Orientation/Pin Feeding Help

    I recently took over in my center. We have 82/90XL machines.

    Our biggest issue is pileups / pin feeding. Most of the kidneys have the strap at the top to hold the pins in place, OPans have bent up ears & ends and bolts to help pins turn better, distributors have springs that run from the ears along the guides to stop pins from sliding off.

    I’ve started my process by servicing clutches / adjusting rollers / making sure the pins are feeding nicely off the distributor to the bins to eliminate one side of the issues. Then I’ve started to tackle the orientation side (proper kidney placement / seating rods / ejectors). Some lanes have run 95% better once I’ve adjusted everything correctly and removed the mods, however I have a few lanes that are adjusted/tweaked to the best of my ability but will not run once I unbend the ends of the OPan or remove the mods... every so often a pin will hit the belt and not turn properly and get stuck sideways, causing a jam.

    Our distributor belts are the CNC black poly-V belts... most of them are old and shot, I believe they are why the pins won’t turn correctly, but I’m doing what I can to not change the belts right now and just focus on proper pin feeding without destroying the OPans.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated. I hate bending / using springs and bolts to help pins turn but some lanes will not feed correctly without them.

  • #2
    Try the stationary o pans from ebn. I have 6 running in a 40 lane house. I've had zero jams on them in the 3 months they have been on. In 16 years of working on 70s I've found it's inevitable their will always be jams on the factory set up.
    A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.
    - Albert Einstein


    • #3
      Check the condition of the pinwheel guide rollers. If they are worn or sloppy they will affect how the pin falls out of the wheel onto the O-pan. I've cured an orientation issue just replacing the bottom guide alone.

      General rule with a distributor is..... there is none.... as long as it's running well, leave it alone. I've got flat belts on some of mine that were worn out when I started here four years ago and they work. I replaced one with a new poly-V belt the other day to cure an issue, even though one of my would-be mechanics did a bunch of other crap to it that wasn't necessary. I have some with turn pan covers and some without. Same with the belt risers.

      Eventually I will get them all to where I want because my plan is to pull tear everyone down to the frame. But that takes time.

      -- Larry


      • #4
        Make sure the pinwheels have the strip on them. If they don’t you have a height issue at the o pan. Unfortunately the 90 style pinwheel was not great. No matter what you do to some lanes you end up with loads of play in the pinwheel


        • #5
          Check to see if your Distributors are level. Especially the slow pinfeeding pinwheel to pan ones.


          • #6
            If your Poly-V's are "old and shot", replace them. You can't get good pin movement without a good sticky Poly-V. They only last two or three years max.
            There! Try to NOT work now!


            • #7
              Shot belts - junk 'em. Even with kidneys properly adjusted and good O-pans, you need to make sure your belts are grabbing pins the instant they roll off the O-pan. Any hesitation gives the pins a chance to misbehave despite all your efforts. We're not fans of the Poly-V belt anymore, the last new set we got from QAMF in August 2018 started out great and tacky but were all shot after less than 1 year, and we were careful not to use any solvents to clean them. My guess is they didn't like our lane oil.

              We tried several belts this summer. Poly-V's from other vendors were too similar/identical to QAMF's so we didn't risk it for another season. The tan waffle belt was good, but ultimately we went with tan rough top belts similar to A1's tan supergrip. The brown EBN rough top belt was good too. Those belts will all grab pins the instant they make contact and it only gets better once they're broken in. They're thicker than Poly-V's so they'll need to be cut a little longer, we went with 117 1/8", and you'll need to make sure your distributors are all tuned up, especially the rocker arm clearance on the trip rod. We also put a strip of friction tape on the rear distributor pulley to help prevent slipping.


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