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Broken subway frame by retarder carpet


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  • Broken subway frame by retarder carpet

    I have a broken subway track right at the beginning of my retarder carpet. Just in a spot under the approach where it cannot be reached. Balls are hitting it and bouncing so hard it's popping my trapdoor open. Three questions. Can I get a direct replacement part for that? Is there a part number? And before I start pulling out the powerlift. Can it come out if I take out the powerlift? If anyone could advise me that would be fantastic. Thanks so much.

  • #2
    First off, the bad news. That track is no longer available. The good new-you don't have to pull the powerlift out. To get access to that track, you will need to remove the approach filler panel that is directly above it. Just remove the face screws that are securing that panel to whatever they're screwed into. (That depends on what type of approach install you have.) You will need to remove the foul light unit and the first section of subway capping so you can remove it. That track is bolted to the subway track at the rear and should be attached to the transition track at the power lift. Then, you can weld the broken part and re-install it. You may need an extra set of hands getting it out and back in, but I've done 'em by myself a couple of times.
    It is wiser to find out than suppose.--Mark Twain


    • #3
      Only problem is, he has synthetic lanes (probably an overlay). So the only access he as will be to pull the power lift. Not that hard to do, but if he had a spare retarder section it would be easier (faster).

      AMFTech, the reason these sections break is because the retarder carpet sections wear real bad where the ball transitions from the underground track (highspeed) to the retarder, the ball will actually slam into the bottom of the retarder when the carpets get worn out or packed with dirt and oil. This breaks the steel plate on the bottom of the retarder. When you pull the retarder out you will see the wear pattern on the bottom plate. This from the carpets being worn. One trick is to pull the retarder carpets and flip then from side to side, this will give you a little time to get replacement carpets and maybe a spare set of the backer plates to do some preventative maintenance with. The backers just sit in a groove at the bottom of the side supports and they have a hooked part that holds the foul line end in place so the balls don't contact it when entering the retarder. At the powerlift end there provisions for bolts to hold the retarder to the frame, keeping it from lifting up or moving. Just make sure you get the hooked part of the retarder in place when replacing the retarder strips.

      You better plan on doing the whole house, that's why a spare set of retarder strips is best. I don't know what the availability of the steel strips are now a days, maybe you can borrow a set from some one and make this a summer job. If not, find a sheet metal shop that can clone you a pair. They are real easy to change through the trap door since they bend real good.

      Another good trick to do is when you reinstall the whole track section underground, make sure the retarder frame is sitting on the wood stringers properly. This means the track section is sitting on the thick cross braces that make up the track frame, the frame should not be sitting on the flat piece of steel plate on the bottom of the retarder track. before you pull the track section out look down the tunnel and see what it's sitting on, the frame or the bottom plate. If it's on the bottom plate you need to get some lumber under the frame to support it correctly (this also helps the ball transitions better between the high speed track and the retarder).

      Well, have fun this summer, that's what it's for..................


      • #4
        May want to do an Advanced Search on Ball Retarders. A lot of folks have put the "Lift Kit" on the accelerator, went to a slower RPM Motor, smaller drive pulley, AND Removed the Retarders completely with no problems. One house is not using the Over Running Clutch in the ball lift with no problems. See this post: Accelerator and retarder ball return - what to use to repair, slow down or remove

        Everything has to be Somewhere !!


        • #5
          You can replace it with this. You also have to get a new pulley to slow your accelerator down. It takes some custom work to install as the track has to be cut to size and screwed and bolted in place. Also have to put a couple supports under the middle of the plastic track. I used 2x4 and some shims to support it. If you need part numbers you can call me at Harleys Valley Bowl 805 584 2695 Calif time. The approach fill will have to come up. How to take it apart depends on how it is installed.
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          • #6
            Mike Wilson
            Bowl-Tech Inc.


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