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Kicker roller meltdown


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  • Kicker roller meltdown

    we have one lane that on occasion it seems like the ball gets wedged between the front filler plate and the kicker roller. we use the black vantage full contact rollers. when this happens the rollers "meltsdown" to half its size. i've poulled every thing out reworked it , then replaced it and recentered evertything. i've tried using the original amf roller to no avail. i've also tried the vantage fatboy roller and their new eccentric roller with no success. please help [img]/content/btubb/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/confused.gif[/img]

  • #2
    Re: Kicker roller meltdown

    Crap. That's an annoying problem!
    I am assuming that it only happens on one lane and not the other...?
    Have you tried the "football" kicker? It allows a little room for balls when they kind of get in there crooked like that. We use the footballs almost exclusively because our machines are so close together that even the original style rollers are too big to allow the ball into the exit. On one pair, the ball was still in contact with the rollers when it got fully engaged on the start pad! Stuck an automotive jack inbetween the machines and pushed them apart about 1/3". But anyway...

    Other thoughts:
    Maybe angle your bounce plate assembly with washers so that the ball has more momentum heading to the exit?
    Hidden damage to door weldment, front/rear segments, kickback, or machine wall may be allowing the ball to get in crooked?
    Starter pad too high, low, or worn?
    Have you tried double springing the idler arm for more roller pressure against the ball? Or maybe less spring tension/roller pressure is what you need?
    How about getting an adjustable rudder drive link and really tightening that sucker so it knocks balls out when they get stuck? Hmmm. That would probably cause other problems, now that I think about it. Nevermind.

    Hope this helps and best of luck!!!
    Chad Q.


    • #3
      Re: Kicker roller meltdown

      I have had the same problem! Here is what I did to fix it. This has worked for me very well.

      I have found what a few others are doing with the same problem.

      1 They are taking one of the bumpers that are longer and go in the bottom of the bin, sorry I do not have a parts book here that I can get you a number with. Then they are putting three or four 5/16 washers on it.

      Or they are using what I talk about in the next section only they glue the bumper to the kicker housing itself.

      I am not big on a lot of "Mod's) to the maching but with all of the changes in oils, the amount of oil used, and ball this one is a must.

      Here is my two cents worth:
      I work at a ten-lane house that has relatively low lineage and we have tried many different kickers. When I started we had one pair of lanes that would need to be tendened to every ball by the end of league. We also had two other pairs of lanes that would also have a lot of ball calls. (Usually at the same time ARG!) When we had tournaments we even hired a kid to “load the cannon” (push balls into the ball door). In my frustration and trying different things every day. I stumbled across something that has really worked for us.

      We use the soft gray Vantage wheel - 2. We tried everything changing the spring tension on the kicker, lightened the tension on the spring in the starter assembly, we lowered the starter pad etc etc etc.! Nothing worked for more than one day. Then I just tried this and it has worked for over one and a half years.

      I took the bumper that fits onto the filler pad and I “extended it”. I glued a bin bumper to the to the larger filler pad bumper. This along with being sure that the pit is at the right height and angled to the ball door seems to have fixed this major headache. I have not had to change a kicker wheel in almost 7 months. Ball calls due to the ball not being able to enter the ball door because of the kicker wheel have been all but eliminated.

      All of these seem to change the angle and the pressure that the kiker wheel has on the ball.
      Good luck


      • #4
        Re: Kicker roller meltdown

        Hmmm,kicker problems,something all amf techs could right a book on.I agree,football kickers are almost a must for problem lanes.Heres what i have found over the last 8 yrs of fighting with theese %#^%87(*(*&&* things.
        1.I use eastern yellow /clear kickers good luck finding new ones.Real bad lanes i take and make my own football kickers with a hacksaw and,well you get the picture.

        2.Absolutlely add more rubber to the filler pad rubber bumber that goes agsinst the kicker housing,not a lot though,just enough to let the ball in a little futher into the ball door.This trick alone will fix most kicker problems.

        3. This trick is my favorite-so good i hate to spill the beans but i know how fustrating kickers can be.After many-many-many hours of fustrating night of fighting stuck balls here;s what I have done-have you heard of the zot strips yet(ya know the ones for the main filler ass.)well the theory works great.Take an old ball lift belt-mine happened to be a real old green one-cut a little piece off the side of the belt,about a half inch wide and about 2 inches long and super glue the strip to the main filler pad about 1 1/2 inches above the oem rubber strip.I did this on every lane and no more spinning balls.I rarely have any ball calls know otjher than major problems that are easy to see and fix.
        I run 40 ft of defense oil and have very little ball trouble now.Stil have to dry rag belts and kickers after so many hrs of use bu;t regular maint. is part of our job.
        Good luck and let me know if this helps.


        • #5
          Re: Kicker roller meltdown

          Thanks for the help guys. Super glueing 2 rubber bumpers together then thinning them down a bit on the bench grinder was the ticket. It worked like a champ.


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