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Why balls returned into the kickback??

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  • Why balls returned into the kickback??

    I've always wondered why AMF chose to steer the balls toward the center of a pair with ball doors!! - After doing a few stints on Jetbacks & A2's - why hasn't AMF adopted this style of return?? get the ball out of the pinwheel area and boost it without having to raise it as high as the catwalks. I never understood this actually - we as mechanics are smarter than this design. I am really surprised some AMF & Brunswick guys on here haven't patented a new design by now - I guess we are content to chase the original designs without trying to improve it. I have plans for something new but am not going to disclose it until I see some new young minds input as something I see as worthy of my time - meaning sharing a patent!!!!

  • #2
    Wasn't the 8800 Gold an attempt at this using the HBR (Horizontal Ball Return)? I don't think it went well

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Will View Post
      Wasn't the 8800 Gold an attempt at this using the HBR (Horizontal Ball Return)? I don't think it went well
      Yes.

      It was a 'same level' ball return system, or 'horizontal ball return' (HBR) that essentially had the ball lift laying down in a horizontal position between the kickbacks and ran much faster, to accelerate the ball out of there after a shove from a 'cradle' the shoved the ball under the lift.

      If you wanted to design it like an A2 the cushion at least would need redesigning as it would now have to lift to let the ball under it. Then you would have to redesign the pin elevator and adopt some kind of ball lift system behind the cushion FOR EACH MACHINE to get the ball out of the pit, then over to another redesign, the return rails. Personally I think it's better having one ball return system for a pair instead of one for each machine, plus they are pretty simple and really not that much trouble at all. At least they still don't have the VERTICAL ball lift with actual ball DOORS that opened and locked closed, the rudder/paddle design is much better. In my center at least, this is one area that problems are pretty much non-existent.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by AmfPro View Post
        I've always wondered why AMF chose to steer the balls toward the center of a pair with ball doors!! - After doing a few stints on Jetbacks & A2's - why hasn't AMF adopted this style of return?? get the ball out of the pinwheel area and boost it without having to raise it as high as the catwalks. I never understood this actually - we as mechanics are smarter than this design. I am really surprised some AMF & Brunswick guys on here haven't patented a new design by now - I guess we are content to chase the original designs without trying to improve it. I have plans for something new but am not going to disclose it until I see some new young minds input as something I see as worthy of my time - meaning sharing a patent!!!!
        I believe the GS has a flat accelerater and you need like 8 ft. to get it out. Not good in older centers. (I could be wrong on the size)

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        • #5
          Have a look at what kind of ball damage you can get from a Brunswick machine and what kind you can get from an amf return. Brunswick returns can destroy a ball. Personally I think amfs design is good and it works well. Why would they need to change it? all it has to do is get the ball back to the bowler and it does that quite well. Parts can fail and still not damage a ball really. When things fail on Brunswick...sometimes there is no point even sending the ball back
          Giving bowlers less to complain about, one lane at a time

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          • #6
            Originally posted by slb785 View Post
            Have a look at what kind of ball damage you can get from a Brunswick machine and what kind you can get from an amf return. Brunswick returns can destroy a ball. Personally I think amfs design is good and it works well. Why would they need to change it? all it has to do is get the ball back to the bowler and it does that quite well. Parts can fail and still not damage a ball really. When things fail on Brunswick...sometimes there is no point even sending the ball back
            Well said.

            Now even with the GSX design with the accelerator, eventhough it has actual locking balldoors a pin can still jam the door open or worse, make its way to the accelerator- that must be a fun stop to clear. With AMF you have the rudder to push out pins that make it in the balldoor. I've seen first hand the horrible carnage an A2 can impart on a ball when something goes wrong, I mean it can be BAD. AMFs can damage balls too, but so can many, many other things (including my hammer!...lol). For the most part ball damage on an AMF is not that bad and the pro shop can usually fix it.

            I'm curious to know why this was brought up in the first place. Was this just a random thought or idea or is there something going on that is making you not like ball lifts right now?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Tablejam View Post

              I'm curious to know why this was brought up in the first place. Was this just a random thought or idea or is there something going on that is making you not like ball lifts right now?
              It could be that AMFPRO's last stint with the AMF was still in the kicker lift with urethane balls and hard rail covers with NO hope in sight
              70's MP/PBL/LBS,Q-Score
              Prolane Walker sport

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              • #8
                Originally posted by keeth View Post
                It could be that AMFPRO's last stint with the AMF was still in the kicker lift with urethane balls and hard rail covers with NO hope in sight
                Yeah that would NOT be fun.

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                • #9
                  Hope I'm not jinxing myself, but, I have kickers, & not many problems at all. Sometimes a very shiny ball will bother me...a little 'pro grip' on the kicker usually fixes it. I oil 45'

                  The tan kickers from EBN are the bomb
                  I never had a "10" ;..but ,one night after closing,..I did five " 2's" !

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                  • #10
                    I have kickers as well and the worst of my problems are paddle issues. I do have one lane thats giving me crap but it needs some serious pit work. Actually ive found that when i start having problems, after ruling out broken parts and poor adjustment... I look to my gearboxes. Ive fixed multiple ball return issues by rebuilding gearboxes. Kickers can handle lane oil good enough but even a drop of gear oil getting into the ball door and you have problems
                    Giving bowlers less to complain about, one lane at a time

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                    • #11
                      As a Brunswick guy, I would say some of the original question could be chalked up to "The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence".
                      I personally would have liked to see a ball return system on the A-2's similar to the AMF's. Especially now with all the oil that we have to put down on the lanes to keep the bowlers happy. Trying to create the friction that is needed to get a ball up the lift rods is a real PITA.

                      JMHO, as a big B guy.
                      You don't have to be crazy to do this job...But it helps!

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                      • #12
                        The Heddon modified A-2 and the GSX have ball doors

                        The AMF has the best system to return a ball

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by 8270king View Post
                          The AMF has the best system to return a ball
                          Got to agree. I've worked with Humpies, PBL's, Mini PBL's and Kickers. They all have there little foibles. Cleaning takes care of most.
                          Necessity IS NOT the mother of invention. Laziness IS the mother of invention.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by cuda96 View Post
                            As a Brunswick guy, I would say some of the original question could be chalked up to "The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence".
                            I personally would have liked to see a ball return system on the A-2's similar to the AMF's. Especially now with all the oil that we have to put down on the lanes to keep the bowlers happy. Trying to create the friction that is needed to get a ball up the lift rods is a real PITA.

                            JMHO, as a big B guy.
                            You make a very good point.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by cuda96 View Post
                              As a Brunswick guy, I would say some of the original question could be chalked up to "The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence".
                              I personally would have liked to see a ball return system on the A-2's similar to the AMF's. Especially now with all the oil that we have to put down on the lanes to keep the bowlers happy. Trying to create the friction that is needed to get a ball up the lift rods is a real PITA.

                              JMHO, as a big B guy.
                              As an AMF guy my opinion is blowing lift rod cover on B lift rods sucks

                              AMF lift rod covers are easy to change covers on

                              Comment

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