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PBL conversions to get rid of our kicker problems


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  • PBL conversions to get rid of our kicker problems

    Good news for us! We are starting to replace our kickers with a PBL conversion soon, YEA. 40 kickers so far in a 10 lane house and nearly everyone of them being eaten up during kids league or ladies league. I am excited about not have questions like: “what is this grey gritty stuff all over my ball, and by the way we have a ball stuck on lane 10”.

    Anyway how long should it take to do the first pair of lanes? What are some of the special tools I may need? I know I will need a right angel drill. Let me know some of the challenges you guys faced when doing this.

    I am excited about getting these but I want to be sure I know what we are getting into before I start the conversion.

    Oh yea I am not sure if these are mini PBL’s or a full kit. I will find out later this morning when I call the person who has them currently in the orriginal boxes. What are the difference in regards to the installation if they have a light ball sensor or not?

    Who are you voting for tech of the year? GO DUTCH!!!!! I have a some stories how this guy has gone out of his way to help me this year.

  • #2
    Re: PBL conversions to get rid of our kicker problems

    PBL conversion. you will need a template and a hole cutter for the side of the frame on the even machine to take the ratchet drive. You will need to remove the kicker brackets at the front of the machine and replace them with up rail brackets.normally this is done in situ but on one installation we were sent new machine sides for both machines.ball doors have to be changed and rail weldment installed. if LBS then you will have to install and set it up.This is an intersting job but once you have done one completely you will get quicker and quicker.comfortably a pair a day is normal , to strip out and install and set up.If you have the existing piston type paddle drive instead of the LBS then time will be saved here.


    • #3
      Re: PBL conversions to get rid of our kicker problems


      After the first one, you’ll fly thru the rest. The best way I found to convert them with minimal down time is to get all your prep work done first whenever lanes are available. I would recommend the AMF template and drill kit, which is not included if purchasing thru AMF. Vantage kits will include paper templates…(yuk) but will get the job done. In addition, if it’s not a done deal I would recommend the “lite” kit. JMHO…The savings of not getting the LBS (waste of money in my opinion) is about the cost of another lite kit. Also I would recommend getting Stahls over sized rail covers and grey lift belt.

      Basic prep work during the week when lanes are available:

      Pre drill required holes in kickback.

      Build up a spare ball lift with new kit

      Take measurements inside kickbacks so that you can cut the ears for the ball door weldment and know how many washers needed to assemble lift kit.

      Build up the rest of the spare parts so that everything is new including a rudder assy

      The day before you tackle it, have the night guy pull everything that he can near the end of his shift.

      The next morning it will only take a couple of hours to completely put in all new parts. Like I said earlier, allow a full shift for the first one, and the next ones will seem like a cake walk.



      • #4
        Re: PBL conversions to get rid of our kicker problems

        Pat, when you add the new lower bracket to the ball elevator tube (with the belt), be SURE it is paralell with the top one. I bought some used PBLs and had to oblong several holes to get mine right. If they are not right, the lift will not drop down after a ball is sent back.
        You will probably have to pull the carpet on both lanes to get to the lowest bolt that holds the aluminum parts for the kickers. Sucks, but you also make sure your pits are right.
        Make sure both machines are square to each other.
        Get the arm that has the rod that goes to the ratchet wheel as close to the side of the even machine as close as possible, otherwise the rudder arm will eventually wear through.
        If you are running lots of oil, you might want longer bolts for holding the up rails to their brackets so you can shim them with washers to eliminate spinning balls.
        You will love the PBLs. Cool thing is, once you get them adjusted and sending balls back, you are very close to being done. I have not touched mine since I put them in over a year ago. Just be patient with the first one and get as much done as far as converting the lift and cutting the hole for the ratchet wheel and maybe the belt tightener as you can ahead of time.
        PS leave the spring on the belt tightener. Makes putting the belts on easier!!
        Gene Simmons for president!!!


        • #5
          Re: PBL conversions to get rid of our kicker problems

          2 thing to help you out. Order a new tube in stead of drilling out the old one. Part # 000-024-607. Saves alot of BS. Also you might have to trim your kickbacks. Newer Kickbacks are cut longer for the Pbl to fit better versus the kicker style ones. Amf change the spec on Kickbacks cutting. Buy AMF Pbl it is the best out there. Amf changed a couple of things on the Pbl over the years


          • #6
            Re: PBL conversions to get rid of our kicker problems

            They pretty well covered everything. One thing you might run into. Depending on your machines, you might find the uprails run up against the wood with the new PBL'S. A dremel would come in handy if you have to do some shaving to get your clearance.
            Even a old dog can bury a bone


            • #7
              Re: PBL conversions to get rid of our kicker problems

              if you understand where everything goes ahead of time, and have the spare ball lift and ratchet drive holes done, shouldnt take more than 4 hours. when you're good, not even 2 if things go right.

              -Rip out everything kicker-
              -install lift arm assy with bracket, use this time to center bracket, and shim lift arm to be as close to the kickback as possible without rubbing and have lift arm pad be centered between ball doors.
              -install rails
              -install ball doors, i prefer the urethane deals-
              -drop in ball lift, reasonably centered
              -install ratchet drive, shimming to line up with Ball lift pulley.
              -attatch belts and fire it up.

              i know easier said than done.


              • #8
                Re: PBL conversions to get rid of our kicker problems

                What the Guys said about prep and installation is right on the money, when we went to PBL's, the first set of lanes took a few hours...but after that, the rest of the house only took us about a week and a half (24 lane center).

                NOW...if you go with vantage, there are a few things to watch out for.

                1. the ratchet pulley has a tendency to crack on the backside(where you cant see it) where the shaft goes in.

                2.use locktite on the screw that holds the ratchet arm weldment to the crank weldment , or it will eventually fall out
                Why walk when you can ride!
                It aint over till the lights go out!
                Work smarter, not harder!


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