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  • Synthetic cushion planks

    Have any of you had a problem with balls getting stuck under the cushion on lanes with synthetic cushion planks? Has anyone found a way to stop this, short of throwing them out? We spent a lot of $ on these. It doesn’t seem right to just toss them into the dumpster.
    Before you comment on the other possible causes, yes we’ve checked the shocks, shock springs, cushion blocks, pit support brackets, bounce plate assy. & carpet angles. We’ve even shortened the shock spring to try to compensate for the flex of the plank.
    Thanks,
    Dutch

  • #2
    Re: Synthetic cushion planks

    I had them, used them, and threw them out. Found out that nothing is better then the OEM AMF planks. Learned that with a lot of other parts and expense in dollars and tome.
    I may not always be right, but I am never wrong.

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    • #3
      Re: Synthetic cushion planks

      I use nothing but wood. I've never have balls under the cushion without something else being broke....Although I have been having problems with the AMF planks not lasting near as long as they used to. Must be green, or a poor rain season, or poor selection, or something, because I still have a lot of older planks stamped '72 that have outlasted the '97 & '98's. If everything is in proper shape and adjustment... I myself wood..(LOL) can em.

      Tech

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      • #4
        Re: Synthetic cushion planks

        I've got a lot of those cushions also. I do get the "every once in a while" ball under. But not enough to say it's a problem yet. It may sound a little cheesy but to make up for the flex in the plank (which is quite a bit of on some that have been in there for a few years) Put a "spacer" between the weldment and the plank on the ball door side. I'm guessing no more than 1/2 inch and probably rubber. That sould get rid of that "hole" between the bounce plate and cushion that the "flex" or "bowing" has caused.

        Who's brand plank are you using?

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        • #5
          Re: Synthetic cushion planks

          Fix it,
          I’ll give that rubber shim idea a try. I’m thinking a piece of old cushion rubber might be about right. Should turn out to be about ½” after the bolts are cinched down.
          I’m pretty sure that they’re all the Vantage “universal” cushion plank. I can’t remember trying anyone else’s.
          Tech,
          Try the wood plank that Vantage sells. It’s ALOT thicker than the AMF plank. They’re thick enough that the long bolt that usually goes in the bottom has to be used on the top & they include 2 even longer bolts, in the box, that you put on the bottom. The only side affect that we’ve seen is that you have to stock some of those longer bolts incase one breaks.
          Thanks for the input,
          Dutch

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          • #6
            Re: Synthetic cushion planks

            We use the Vantage planks here and have zero problems. We were having problems with the AMF OEM planks falling apart after 1 or 2 months. Many cracks and the layers separating. Had to drill extra holes to stop the cracking.
            Balls under cushion I found were caused by some bounce boards not having the steel reinorcement bar across. Be sure all bounce boards (both front and rear) have them. The fact that we have no problems could also be due to the fact that we use the Vantage (or Murrey) style "stacked" vibration dampeners--again, with no problems. Just thought you'd like to hear some positive feedback on the Vantage planks. I think they're pretty good if everything else on the machine is shape (such as bounce boards, etc.)

            Kat
            "Where are we going, and why are we in a hand basket?"

            --Kat

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            • #7
              Re: Synthetic cushion planks

              just a thought guys. i sent my local timberyard a pattern which they then cut me a new plank out of marboo. when i get it back i just drill the holes & make shure the ends of the plank where it bolts on is square &i dont have a problem with them. they also cost less than half of something off the shelf & seem to last just as long.....just my personal experience.
              Si Senor, Derdago, Forte Lorez inaro.
              Demainte Lorez, Demis Trux,
              Foolacous Andens Andux.

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              • #8
                Re: Synthetic cushion planks

                Hey Dutch, if you think some type of spacer between the hanger weldment an d the plank will help you I have a part number for such spacer. It was used on the 82/30 machine. PN. 030-008-638. I used this spacer with some success years ago. What the spacer does is move the plank forward about an inch. If you picture in your mind the shape of the bounce plate it "dips" in the middle and may actually may increase the distance between bottom of the plank and the bounce plate. You might want to give it a try anyway. Good luck, let us know what happens.

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                • #9
                  Re: Synthetic cushion planks

                  Who makes the best cushion weldment? Now that I've gone to the Vantage set-up (universal plank, curtain, cushion and no padding) I seem to break weldment(Vantage also) every few months.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Synthetic cushion planks

                    Fix it,
                    We have 2 of the Vantage "super cushions". We lengthened the shock spring 1/2" to 6 3/4". (No, that's not causing the balls under the cushion. We only did that on those cushions) That will stop, or at least cut down on the broken weldments. Also, Make sure that your leagues are practicing WITH pins. Next, to stop the rear bounce boards from breaking, since I'm sure you're breaking those too with that set-up, take the strap (#070-001-421) that holds the curtain protection pad to the cushion weldment & bolt it from the "L" brace to the "T" brace on the opposite ball door side of the rear board. Use 5/16" bolts. You'll have to enlarge the existing holes from their standard 1/4" & drill a hole in the strap where it will bolt to the "T" brace. Even if the board breaks, which won't happen near as often, it won't collapse.
                    Dutch

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                    • #11
                      Re: Synthetic cushion planks

                      Mike,
                      Is that 030 spacer made for the cushion planks?
                      Dutch

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                      • #12
                        Re: Synthetic cushion planks

                        Yes it is Dutch. It is made from the same material tha the original bounce boards were made of. The part can be found in any 82/30 parts book. Good luck.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Synthetic cushion planks

                          i went through a round of super cushions by vantage and experienced the equivelent of my vantage compression dampner episode. Vantages super "cushion" was in great shape, but the planks and/or welds were breaking fast. After reverting back to good ol' buna rubber/pin curtain/cushion/&facing...and now velcro cover...i havent touched cushions in many many years.

                          another good theory for you to laugh at. the hard vantage cushion doesnt absorb any impact, it just transfers it to the plank/weld/pit motor support brackets. So the "answer"...beefed up welds/planks/etc.

                          the OEM 4 layer "buna rubber/sponge rubber" absorbs and spreads the impact out through its many and soft layers. Now the con side of buna/sponge is it wears out quicker. but much like my vantage dampner episode...IMO...better a new buna pad when ever i get around to it, than a new Weld or Plank NOW(middle of tournament/league)...cuz it just broke

                          just my 1 1/2 cents

                          FYI the 12 super cushions are somewhere in the scarborough landfill along with the dampners....they're in great shape tho.



                          [This message has been edited by Coors (edited 06-24-2000).]

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                          • #14
                            Re: Synthetic cushion planks

                            Dutch, pretty slick idea for the bounce plates. To be truthful I dont think I've lost any bounce boards due to my cushion setup. (yet)
                            I quit breaking bounce boards a couple of years ago when I got rid of my 6'5" 375lbs. B mechanic.

                            "NO! NO! Burrell don't "jump" into the machine and fix that cup tonight. I'll take care of it in the morning."

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                            • #15
                              Re: Synthetic cushion planks

                              Cobow,I started out making a few planks that way in 1982. 2,500 planks later I quit. I used solid oak and ash for the first 500 planks and later switched to multi-ply for the rest. Wood planks will reduce the weldment breakage. My machines still have most of the original planks from 1982--1985.
                              "Gun control is the policy of tyrants"
                              Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT)

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