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Broken worm shaft (and subsequent broken gearbox)

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  • Broken worm shaft (and subsequent broken gearbox)

    Hello everyone,

    We had a gearbox lock up at about 150 degrees the other night (while I was bowling league on that pair, no less). Nothing out of the ordinary, no odd sounds or anything like that. She just stopped with the rake halfway back. What we found the next day was interesting. There was a significant amount of damage to the end of the worm shaft, it had broken apart and there were chunks floating around inside the gearbox. The HM and me cannot seem to figure out the "why" or "how" on this one. I'm going to try to get all the relevant points in here, but we'll be happy to fill in any additional info. If anyone has seen this before or knows how it could happen like this, we'd love to know!

    1) If you look at the worm shaft you can see that most of the (teeth? thread? I dont know what you call it) in the center is gone, leaving not a whole lot of contact with the bronze gear. It looks very smooth underneath the parts that have broken out, almost like it's been like that for a while and has worn smooth. Could be wrong, but that's just what it looks like.

    2) The bronze gear is almost fully intact, with the only damage right at the spot where it bound up, and most likely coming from me trying to use force to manually back up the gearbox to get the deck on the floor. In hindsight, this was probably a bad idea and we should have just taken the deck shaft pin out and lowered it by hand.

    3) The chunk of worm shaft got wedged between the side of the shaft and the gearbox, cracking it (again, only made worse by us thinking that the bronze gear and not the worm was toast, and trying very hard to back the machine up).

    4) We found something interesting... someone poked a whole bunch of holes in the back of the curtain wall right above that lane to spell out an obscene word. It looked really fresh. I thought for sure someone had sabotaged that lane and that we'd find an allen wrench or something tossed into that gearbox, however there was nothing.

    5) Machine was running nice and quiet right up until it stopped.

    20120517170140.jpg20120517170208.jpg20120517170229.jpg20120517170236.jpg

  • #2
    Metal fatigue. I worked in a house that had broken many of their worm shafts. Brand new machines. Brunswick replaced them under warranty.
    (Psalm 37:29) The righteous themselves will possess the earth, And they will reside forever upon it.

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    • #3
      I have seen it also...mostly on Japanese machines. I have never seen it break the gear box housing though. They usually just bind up inside the gear box once the end of the worm shaft breaks off. Every time we had to change the worm wheel also...
      TSM & TSM Training Development
      Main Event Entertainment
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      • #4
        I think i read that thy turn gear-box back and fourth
        to unjam that may have course box to brake

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        • #5
          This is probably the worst that I've seen in a machine.



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          • #6
            The picture of the gearbox by the cycle linkage looks like nothing critical was damaged. I guess if it really came down to it you could just call it a vent mod. and keep it on a while longer, if you don't have a spare gearbox laying around.

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            • #7
              Steve: do you know how much more torque the Quality heavy duty 1.5 HP motors have over the original OEM? maybe that had something to do with it.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Steve Stafford (JBEES) View Post
                I have seen it also...mostly on Japanese machines. I have never seen it break the gear box housing though.
                Looking at the pics this kind of looks to be a Japanese machine with the rough sand cast box and what appears to be a tapered 4-1 gear hole,if it is was it running at A2 speed or even faster at pie-plate speed? That kind of quick stop would sure want to come out some place else.
                70's MP/PBL/LBS,Q-Score
                Prolane Walker sport

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by keeth View Post
                  Looking at the pics this kind of looks to be a Japanese machine with the rough sand cast box and what appears to be a tapered 4-1 gear hole,if it is was it running at A2 speed or even faster at pie-plate speed? That kind of quick stop would sure want to come out some place else.
                  That's why I use to run my Japs with a little extra slop in the motor to gearbox belt, if it jammed up and blacked out the belt would slip if necessary to keep from breaking something. Of course this was until we could replace the pie-plate drive pulley's and belts.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mikeb View Post
                    The picture of the gearbox by the cycle linkage looks like nothing critical was damaged. I guess if it really came down to it you could just call it a vent mod. and keep it on a while longer, if you don't have a spare gearbox laying around.
                    If the only damage to the housing is the hole, I believe that can be patched with JB-weld.
                    (Psalm 37:29) The righteous themselves will possess the earth, And they will reside forever upon it.

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