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Universal Pin Stations


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  • Universal Pin Stations

    Okay, I'm looking after a bunch of GS-96 machines.
    They've got the universal pin stations.

    A lot of the machines will black out with pin loading time outs.

    What I've noticed happening is the pin release lever actually slips off the open gripper and of course won't let the pin drop into the pin holder.

    I've been installing the wider "release button", but still the release levers on some machines are so loose that even the wider button will slip sideways off the open gripper.

    Is there an easy fix for this, or am I looking at replacing the release levers and pin station bodies?

    Narrow release button Wider release button
    Bobbie Bees

  • #2
    are they too far a part.... had that happen a couple of times where some1 adjusts the stations then we have that issue where pins dont drop
    if im not mistaken i believe the distance from the gripper to the release lever should be around 4-6mm if im not mistaken

    not sure on the 96 pin stations are the same as the gsx but i know you can also adjust the release lever up and down


    • #3
      I'm with PharrMetechs on this...but if the release levers are loose as in wobbly, then either there are mismatched parts or the pivot posts are worn or the little cupped part on the release lever that wraps around the post is worn or a combination of all these ....


      • #4
        I've got 4 to 5 mm of clearance with the table at home and with the gripper closed.
        I'll try to post a video tomorrow, but what's happening is as the table comes back home and the grippers open, sometimes the release lever slides off the gripper and then of course the pin will not be released and the machine will time out.

        I've even seen this happen when the distributor is empty and the table is home with the grippers open waiting for pins. The vibration of adjacent pins falling into their respective pinholders will cause the release levers to slip off the open gripper.

        It looks as if these pin stations have never seen a single drop of oil in the last 22 years of operation. Consequently some of these release levers have a severe amount of slop in the side to side direction.

        Sadly I think I'm going to be replacing a lot of pin station bodies and release levers.
        Bobbie Bees


        • #5
          could also be that the table isnt at the proper height....
          ive seen it happen where table goes up then goes down a little bit just enough so where the lever isnt triggered

          to me it still sounds like it isnt lined up correctly either the pin holder need to move over or the pin station need to move
          cant really tell

          hopefully you get the video to examine a little further


          • #6
            but if they have too much slop side to side im thinking thats the issue
            so if it hits the lever then the lever slides to the side a bit falling off the gripper


            • #7
              you can now buy the wider release button which work really well i have a few on my 98s
              im never wrong just askme


              • #8
                I have a post about this I made a few years ago. It’s gonna come down to loose release levers or table height
                Keep an eye on it see if it does it again


                • #9
                  Hi A-Ron, I found your previous post about this release lever issue. Yeah, what you said in that thread is pretty well what I am experiencing.
                  The tables are coming up to the proper height, it's just the bloody levers are slipping sideways off the open grippers.
                  So... looks like it's time to order some of the new pin station housings that have the steel post and nylon bushing.
                  Bobbie Bees


                  • #10
                    Yeah I wouldn’t attemp to take off old ones unless you have a backup. Nothing is worse than snapping the plastic pins when putting them back on....
                    Keep an eye on it see if it does it again


                    • #11
                      Am I the only one the mods the release levers when this starts to occur? I cut a piece of plastic (usually from a lane cleaner bottle) and zip tie it to the release lever, slightly extending the length on the lever. NOT THE WIDTH, but the length. This way the lever cannot slip off of the gripper. Yes, I understand that this does not resolve the underlying issue, but it is effective and more cost efficient than constantly having to replace stations and levers. Adds way more life to the stations and levers at a nominal cost (zip ties).

                      If wanted I can post some photos of what I am talking about.


                      • #12
                        we found these at a old center i helped rebuild last year we removed them all and fixed the problems...
                        if the machine is within specs and parts are working correctly there is no need to mod release levers....its just like adding a band aid


                        • #13
                          I agree with to a point with PharrMetechs. If the machine is within specs and parts are working correctly there is no need to mod release levers... sure to a point. The picture he posted is not at all what I was attempting to describe. That picture appears to show a machine that has a potential table height adjustment problem. I'll explain myself and what I mean in more detail.

                          We log blackouts with a 01-10 error code with a potential station/release lever accordingly. "pin in station, not in holder". This tips me off to check I this order.

                          1. Is the pin being set on spot?
                          2. Is my table height correct?
                          3. Is my station adjusted correctly?

                          If all of these are yes, then I go to the release lever. I have found when finding "pin in station, not in holder" that typically this occurs when the table goes to home and asks for pins and there is not currently a pin in the station. At this point there would be no pressure on the retaining bow and no pressure on the release lever. With excessive play and side to side wiggle on the release coupled with a rounded head on the release, it can slide off the gripper. This can be cause by any or all of these issues (so long as we have already checked everything is within specs). Pivot arm on the station worn, release clip worn, gripper worn or grooved, release head worn or grooved. Through testing I have found that if we are able to eliminate the potential possibility of side to side play, then there is little no issue loading.

                          This is most easily achieved by increasing the size of the head's contact area. (Brunswick already updated the heads to a larger size 10+ years ago). Although I believe there is still a slight flaw in the design... it is a rounded head. By ensuring that the head is a flat surface having more area contacting the gripper this has eliminated all "pin is station, not in holder calls." I am not in any way shape or form extending the up or down adjustment nor the front to back adjustment. I am creating a flat surface on the head to eliminate excessive side to side wiggle that can caue the release to fall or slip off the gripper.

                          I find it unreasonable to have to replace an otherwise properly working station housing because the pivot arm is worn. The newer designed stations with the swappable pivots is great, but I have a 20 year old house with 320 stations. Sure, overtime as needed, when a station is truly broken and unusable, it is replaced.

                          I have been working on prototyping a new head design and hopefully if all goes well with testing we may see this on the market within the next year or two.

                          As, I stated in my earlier post, if anyone wants to see a picture of what I describe let me know. I find this "mod" to be well worth the time and effectiveness verse money spent on an otherwise working station. I do not believe this to be a "Band-Aid" as it is not what is pictured above.

                          Thank you for your time.


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