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What is a surepick ball return ?

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  • What is a surepick ball return ?

    Does anyone out there have photos of a surepick ball return. If so could I get you to email them to me at lrhoward@theriver.com
    or even through the postal service. I am embarassed to admit it but Idon't have a clue
    what they look like.

    Thanks
    Macgyver

  • #2
    Re: What is a surepick ball return ?

    What would MacGuyver do?

    You can see some Surepiks here.

    The SurePik is the most enigmatic machine ever introduced to the bowling industry.
    It has so, so many design flaws. I liken it to a Renault LeCar in that regard. As soon as you fix one thing, another thing breaks. It's really a big piece of crap.

    BUT...
    It is without a doubt the most sleek, sexy thing ever to grace a bowling center. It's hood and rack are the best styled piece of equipment made. A true example of "form over function."
    There are really 3 versions of the SurePik.
    Mod IV, which was without the stripes you see in the picture, Mod V (as pictured) and Concept-90.
    The Mod IV and V SurePiks came in either the oval rack version pictured or in the long Y-rack which held another ball or two. The C-90 came with either a straight double-rack or a triangle/teardrop-shaped rack.

    The mechanicals are quite simple. A motor (through ridiculous mechanical relays) runs the ball belt. The belt is on the bottom of the ball, so the ball has to reverse rotational direction when it hits the belt, and then reverse rotational direction again when it gets to the top and rolls onto the rack. The ball is held tight to the belt by a leather "checkstrap" on top of the ball that is held down with springs and pivots at the bottom end.
    A twin blower motor blows to the hand dryer grilles. That is one advantage of the SurePik. It has a hand dryer grille for each lane.
    It was the innovation over the earlier AMF "Magic Circle" front ball lift and it was succeeded by the AMF "Spectrum" ball lift. It was produced from approximately 1967 to 1985 (correct me somebody if I'm wrong).

    Hope that answers your question...

    Chad Q.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: What is a surepick ball return ?

      Wait a minute, I have SurePiks!
      They are ModV's mechanically (simplified control box) but have Mod IV hoods, as this was one of the first centers to get Mod V equipment. This also explains my strange white/red combo.
      See my babies here.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: What is a surepick ball return ?

        Furthermore, there is a difference in safety stop-switches.
        On Mod IV/V SurePiks, the stop switch is a hinged piece of the rack-track. It is the end piece that meets the ball lift belt. If it is pulled up from the magnet that holds it down, the belt stops.
        On C-90 SurePiks, the stop switch is a clasp that goes around the top pulley of the belt. If it is pushed out of position, either up or down, the belt stops.
        Hope you enjoyed SurePiks 101.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: What is a surepick ball return ?

          Magic,

          Sorry...step aside...there are 4 versions:

          1. Sur pik y - long rack with a y at the end.
          2. Mod 4 - 11 or 12 ball version
          3. Mod 5 - only 12 ball version I believe
          4. C-90 conversion - teardrop new style rack for the GREATEST ball return ever.

          The sur pik is the most serviceable ball rack in the industry.

          Lift motor - 2 minute replacement
          Drive belt - 30 second replacement
          Ball belt - 5 minute replacement
          Hand dryer - 8 minute replacement...not essential to operation

          Every 2 years I tear down the entire assy. and repack all bearings after a trip through the solvent tank.

          These are tanks...serviceable...sleek...only wish I could say I got laid on one (close one time).

          Jerry

          [ May 08, 2001: Message edited by: 82/70 king ]

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: What is a surepick ball return ?

            Allright Jerry, I demand satisfaction.

            How about 5 versions:
            1. Mod IV 11-ball version (oval rack)
            2. Mod IV 12-ball version (Y-rack)
            3. Mod V version (oval rack w/racing stripes, simplified power box)
            4. C-90 double-straight rack version
            5. C-90 teardrop rack version

            The Mod IV/V were available in the dozen Mod colors, the C-90's were only available in gray w/black racks.

            Maybe we should get a life...

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: What is a surepick ball return ?

              Magic,

              We are twisted....you stil left out the long y version. They use to be in some of the DUMPS I bowled in as a "youut" (NY pronouciation) They did suck....long and ugly....had to walk a mile to get your ball to shoot your spare....fortunately for me I didnt shoot many in my younger days. lol.

              Jerry

              [ May 09, 2001: Message edited by: 82/70 king ]

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: What is a surepick ball return ?

                [QUOTE]Originally posted by 82/70 king:
                [QB]Magic,

                We are twisted....you stil left out the long y version. They use to be in some of the DUMPS I bowled in as a "youut" (NY pronouciation)

                Did you say yout?? LOL. The 2 youts. Ha

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: What is a surepick ball return ?

                  We've got those happy little SurePiks in my 70's Venue .

                  Magic tells me they are Mod IV 12-ball version (Y-rack)

                  For sure they are the most reliable thing in the whole venue , Except for us Techs of course [img]/content/btubb/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif[/img]

                  I won't mention the 1 that smoked out a motor & nearly burn't the house down on Saturday [img]/content/btubb/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/eek.gif[/img]

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: What is a surepick ball return ?

                    the king says they are the most serviceable rack in the industry... they need to be, the amount of trouble we had with them... We've got As at the back, had to have boosters on the return tracks or the balls wouldn't get under the pressure plate of the sure-pik. Then, we could never get the tensioning right, and the balls would either spin on the belt at the middle where it sagged away from the strap, or there'd be to much pressure from the strap and the ball would move sideways. And forget about picking up 2 balls at once. The arrangement cannot provide pressure in the right places to carry 2 balls, usually both spin on the belt.
                    Anyone tried that "swinger" conversion (I think it was a Zot)?
                    We've gone to the new AMF lifts (the immitation power lifts), and the only trouble we have with them is people flicking the safety switch (nobody evermanaged to get the safety goin when our sure-piks were modified to c90 about 10 years ago). I've seen these new ones lift 3 balls at once, and we no longer use the boosters on the returns.
                    Before you start blaming me for a lack of maintenance, I'm only a casual, usually 1 or 2 shifts a week. I have the longest arms of our techs, and I could, and did, reach right down the throat and clean the strap from top to bottom every shift. And boy, did they need cleaning.

                    The racks I'm interested in are the units with the circular rack and the scorer table built in. I've seen photos of them in one of our centres that was relocated probably 25 years ago, and recently the show "Ed" has started screening here in Australia, so I'm seeing them again. I take it from this thread that they aren't actually a sure-pik. How do they differ?

                    I lie, there is another return I'm interested in. I think it's called a Streamlane, I've seen them in one country centre here in Aus, about 10 years ago, but they were probably original equipment in the centre up to 30 years ago. They had no hood as such, just a flat rack, with a hatch at the foul line end, and the hatch opened, the ball came up onto the rack, and the hatch closed... Anyone know anything about these ones? I'm actually tempted to call the place and see if they still have them, if I can get some photos.
                    And having mentioned "Ed", how many centres have lane numbers running from right to left? I've never seen nor heard of it, it seems bizarre...

                    [ May 09, 2001: Message edited by: goodgreaf ]

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: What is a surepick ball return ?

                      KING,MAGIC both of you guys forgot one? the true name should have been junkpik [img]/content/btubb/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/eek.gif[/img] if you guys had alot of oil on the lanes you wouldn't think they were so great!! amf has never made a ball return for the front that was worth a crap! that is until the c-90. they always made them so the ball has to go up hill to get in the return,that's real smart [img]/content/btubb/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/eek.gif[/img] if the under lane track is not in great shape,nice and tight,and downsweep is not in good shape the balls go crash bang boom,then you have a underlane [img]/content/btubb/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif[/img] see why you don't want the ball having to go up hill to get in the return!! i like brunswick power lifts better.it's just me CRUD
                      if things aren't going right just use a bigger hammer! DIRT

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: What is a surepick ball return ?

                        Quote:]Originally posted by goodgreaf:

                        I lie, there is another return I'm interested in. I think it's called a Streamlane, hatch opened, the ball came up onto the rack, and the hatch closed... Anyone know anything about these ones? I'm actually tempted to call the place and see if they still have them, if I can get some photos.
                        [/QUOTE]

                        those ball returns are pre sure-pik. they were taken off the market pretty fast due to liabilities with bowlers gettin fingers and such whacked by the hatch.

                        the workings of the return was similar to a power lift only besides two tires there were two "ferris wheels" with buckets on the end

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: What is a surepick ball return ?

                          I know the ones your talking about with the trap door,but can't rember the name?? I do rember you had to carry a tire punp around with you,and had to learn how to patch and change tires [img]/content/btubb/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/eek.gif[/img] another great amf innovation,crud [img]/content/btubb/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/eek.gif[/img]
                          if things aren't going right just use a bigger hammer! DIRT

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: What is a surepick ball return ?

                            Crud,

                            Sorry you feel that way. Brunswick power lifts are far from perfect. Provided you have your sur piks set up correctly the function as good as any ball return. They still look modern. You can buy used ones cheap for spare parts. Tell me any pinsetter or ball return that runs with out adjustment?

                            Power lifts are not perfect!!!!

                            I wont go there but they require track changes and tires blowout. Different ones require different tires or they wont lift the balls or they get stuck so they are no better then surpiks.

                            One last bash on powerlifts: I do not like to bend over to the floor to get my ball off the rack, what were they thinking of then? Midgets bowling?

                            King

                            ps: I guess I went there

                            [ May 10, 2001: Message edited by: 82/70 king ]

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: What is a surepick ball return ?

                              I've got to say it again [img]/content/btubb/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif[/img]

                              Our 30Yr old SurePiks are the MOST RELIABLE THINGS in the house except for us "Techs" [img]/content/btubb/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif[/img]

                              Clean the Leather & Belts every morning & no problems !

                              If the 70's were as reliable , I'd have no job [img]/content/btubb/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wink.gif[/img]

                              Comment

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