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Light Ball Clutch vs Light Ball Sensor


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  • Light Ball Clutch vs Light Ball Sensor

    We are looking at replacing our Light Ball Sensors with the Light Ball Clutch from Lifelong Engineering. Does anyone use this Clutch and how well does it work.

    We currently have a PBL with Light Ball Sensors and are having continous trouble with the smaller Balls (6 & 7lb).

    We would appreaciate any feedbacl anyone could give on this item.

    JMF Bowl

  • #2
    Re: Light Ball Clutch vs Light Ball Sensor

    i have PBL and Light Ball Sensor assembly but don't really have many problems with them. What problems do you have. The only problem i have with light ball is when the carpet starts to sag and the light balls idle on the carpet
    "Smokey, this is not 'Nam. This is bowling. There are rules."


    • #3
      Re: Light Ball Clutch vs Light Ball Sensor

      Replace the ex*****ive and sometimes troublesome light ball sensor assembly with the reasonably priced and worry free spring loaded drive link assembly. As long as you have the larger diameter ball lift clutches (smaller makes the lift/rudder run too fast/smacking out balls) and adjust the side to side throw to make the rudder pause for a couple of seconds on each side, you should not have any problems with light or any balls. Have had experience with the light ball sensor assembly, great idea but too much can go wrong and they are costly. (I also think it's a scam). It has to be clean, grease free, and in near perfect condition all the time (adjusted properly, of course) to work right. The place I'm at now has always had the spring loaded drive link assembly, let me tell you, A LOT FEWER HEADACHES. Very simple, effective in pushing pins out, adjust for the right "pause," light balls always go in. Set-it-and-forget-it. We just recently added 9 82/70 MP's which came with LBS's, took them all out and installed the link and have had no problems. No surprise.

      I can't say anything about the light ball clutch, never seen it. But I like the simplicity of the link, in this case, simpler is better.

      Bottom line:
      1.Inexpensive (compared to LBS)
      2.Simple design (completely and easily rebuildable)

      I don't believe I'm alone in saying all this.


      • #4
        Re: Light Ball Clutch vs Light Ball Sensor

        I would also like to add that if there is a replacement assembly that I can use that will work better, not require frequent attention, I would gladly take it so it frees up my time that can be better spent taking care of other more important machine issues that need attention. It just seems like you really don't need the LBS and any problems it brings with it when the link just really reqiures periodic lubrication and that's basically it. I would rather have something that always pushes everything out that can be set, once, to let balls in than something that has to be monitored so it does push out pins and let in balls when it's supposed to. If eliminating this assembly reduces calls and raises my FPS AND requires less "attention"- then how can you argue against that.

        To everyone that has LBS and very few problems my hats off to you, I know how they can be and I commend you for keeping them operating properly. If my center were smaller it would be different, I think I would have the LBS. But when you have 59 lanes with some kickers sprinkled in here and there, well, it's one less thing to worry about.

        O.k., I've said my peace.


        • #5
          Re: Light Ball Clutch vs Light Ball Sensor

          Thanks Hatchie & Tablejam, I'll take a Look at the Link.
          Hatchie, the problem we have is the Light Balls will not go into the Ball Door. They just roll aroung on the Carpet for a While and eventually return. As you can imagine I get a lot of calls from Partons about this.
          The Carpets are new as are the Ball Door Weldmats, we have the Red Urethane Type. It only happens on one Pair of lanes (3 & 4), an donly with Ebonite Sola House Balls, but not our 8 year old AMF Balls.
          I have tried cleaning the Balls, Adjusting the LBS all to no avail. I would like to get rid of the Light Balls but I am not allowed to.
          I'll let you know how I get on.



          • #6
            Re: Light Ball Clutch vs Light Ball Sensor

            Adjust the LBS.

            The LBC is good also.

            1st adjust the reset weldement on the side to allow the LBS to go side to side without direct drive.

            Then adjust the banana cam on top to only engage direct drive when a pin is in the door. You can do this by putting the rivet tool inside the paddle casting and stopping it just before full contact with the side of the this time the banana cam should engage the roller for direct drive.

            Also check to see if the large cam follower is shimmed up and down correctly.

            Do not lubricate any part of the LBS.


            • #7
              Re: Light Ball Clutch vs Light Ball Sensor

              we have LBS and have very few problems, but we took all of our 6 pound balls off the rack, no reason for a 6 pound ball in my opinion. they can sit an 8 pound ball on the approach and push it just as good as any 6 pound ball. and trust me the ball calls have went way down after taking 6 pound balls off the rack.


              • #8
                Re: Light Ball Clutch vs Light Ball Sensor

                Tablejam hit the nail on the head!! Spring link it the way to go.
                Jimfnavyguy, check to be sure your bounceboards are higher than your door weldments. I have had to shim the BD side with washers between the mounts before to get light balls in the door.
                Gene Simmons for president!!!


                • #9
                  Re: Light Ball Clutch vs Light Ball Sensor

                  How new are the carpets and are they pumpkin carpets. It sound like the carpets have a curl and won't let the light wieght ball roll into the ball exit.
                  Jim H


                  • #10
                    Re: Light Ball Clutch vs Light Ball Sensor

                    The LBS, properly maintained, has never caused a problem for anyone, the lbc is a good product too, and I think those that prefer it just like the extra space and less parts.
                    If you have problems with light balls not making it into the ball door- first thought is the edge of carpet turning up- doesn't really have to be that old of a carpet if it's not tracking straight. If you're confident that's not a problem look to the condition of your bounce boards and make sure the mounts are in good shape.
                    I've seen the same problem before,(Also only with solar house balls!) balls would "float" right in the middle of the carpet. Check the balance of the balls in question, the ones I had problems with were lopsided bad. It was only certain lanes that had problems with them and carpet and bounce board fixes took care of it.
                    Good luck!


                    • #11
                      Re: Light Ball Clutch vs Light Ball Sensor

                      LBS are way over engineered. Even the distributor requires less adjustments. LBC not so good. Try this. Get an adjustable rudder link. Use the LBS rudder drive pulley with the kicker style crank shaft. ( the reason will become obvious when you install it... the lbs crank shaft bolts will hit the adjustable shock... the kicker crank is more centered, but will require you to drill new holes in the pulley) replace your idler (mousetrap) with the EBN reduction sheve. The bigger crank with the smaller reduction will slow your paddle to allow any 6 lb ball time to gat back, and you can set your shock to push out 2 16 lb balls.... give it a try, it works well. set it and forget it.


                      • #12
                        Re: Light Ball Clutch vs Light Ball Sensor

                        I've always said the LBS is like driving a indy car to the grocery store. All mine are gone!! I have replaced one with a LBC. Works great !!! I have reduction pulley and standard spring shock on other one. LBC's on 2 pair that had kickers untill I went with hump-backs across th house.

                        The LBC's are working great so far. NO ball problems at all. And we use 6 pound balls for the kids.
                        Even a old dog can bury a bone


                        • #13
                          Re: Light Ball Clutch vs Light Ball Sensor

                          Originally posted by 82/30 king:

                          Do not lubricate any part of the LBS.
                          <font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">That isn't quite true Jerry.

                          The large bottom cam roller does need lubrication (I prefer a gearoil over grease). Without it, the roller will eventually stiffen up and will act just like if the overdrive cams engaged. The trip rollers maybe can use a tiny amount too (a drop will last for years).

                          Everywhere else though should be as dry as you can get it.
                          -- Larry


                          • #14
                            Re: Light Ball Clutch vs Light Ball Sensor

                            I agree with Tablejam the drive link is the way to go. I have them in about half of the house and am installing them in the rest of the house.
                            If at first you don't succeed...get a bigger hammer!!!!

                            American and proud of it


                            • #15
                              Re: Light Ball Clutch vs Light Ball Sensor

                              I have 32 lanes worth of LBS and have Zero troubles with them. If you keep them adjusted properly (as with any mechanical thing) and do not use AMF Pumpkin carpets, they work flawlessly.
                              I do agree with using the 5" sheave on the ball lift as to slow down everything reducing wear and tear....ball lift, rudder/LBS, and ratchet, etc.
                              "Where are we going, and why are we in a hand basket?"



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