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  • Ball wheel kicker strips

    Just curious, but I was wondering what are some of the things you guys put on your ball wheels to help slick balls up the rods. I recently cut up some bicycle inner tubes and contact cemented them to my ball wheels. They work pretty well and are inexpensive.
    and then he said, "on your death bed, you will receive total consciousness" so I got that going for me...... which is nice!

  • #2
    Re: Ball wheel kicker strips

    I've seen various different styles implemented. At my previous pinchaser job I swore by Tiger Strips. Man, them things were awesome! Little alcohol on the ballwheel, let 'er dry, slap 'er on, and fire 'er up. Things seemed to last forever.

    Fast forward... Current house, I can't make a Tiger Strip stay on a ballwheel for more than three days now. I don't understand. Previous mechs here had used anything from glued on carpet strips to velcro-style strips to duct tape... All worked with varying degrees of efficiency, but all had a tendancy to mark up a ball in some fashion or other. The carpet was probably the best, since it took a while for debris to get embedded in there, but it still did. And was a mess when the carpet would start falling apart. I like the innertube idea... Although there are a few bowlers that I'd be more tempted to use a balded-off steel belted radial... You know, with all the wires poking through everywhere... Maybe tire chains... Some of 'em ~I~ can't even pick up, they're so oily. No wonder the machine can't do it!

    Although the true theorists among us will still contend nothing beats having a machine properly aligned, ball wheel and lift rods. Seems if the bushings are shot on the lift rods, they'll tend to lean forwards a bit, and nothing likes to go through 'em. In which case you can do the correct thing and overhaul the whole assembly (PITA ) or use bungee cords to hold it rearwards...

    Had a center owner visit us last year and toured the back... pointed to a bungee cord on one lane, commented "Good to see I'm not the ~only~ one who does ~that!~" Kinda made me feel better too
    Oldsmagnet -- Sidney MT

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    • #3
      Re: Ball wheel kicker strips

      Tech Line makes an awsome srip comes in a 25ft roll cut them 15in. and put 2-3 on a wheel they have an adhesive back, never had a problem with them staying on. Don't know who your supplier is but Classic Products has them 1-800-444-0123.

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      • #4
        Re: Ball wheel kicker strips

        I have used the vantage and brunswick roll kickers, with good success. Both seem to last about a year before they start to fall apart.

        No problems with falling off or balls that bounce over them going into the rods like the old thick kicker strips did. The strip may wear out, but the pressure sensitive adhesive and backing stay put.

        Kevin

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        • #5
          Re: Ball wheel kicker strips

          Those are nice, but coslty
          and then he said, "on your death bed, you will receive total consciousness" so I got that going for me...... which is nice!

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          • #6
            Re: Ball wheel kicker strips

            Go to your local belt company and tell them you want a 100' roll of rough top belt 1 1/2" wide, cut them in 8" lengths, use acetone to clean the ball wheel, apply contact cement to the ball wheel in 2 places approximately 2' to 3' apart, apply contact cement to the back of the belt, let sit until tacky then place belt on the contact cement you applied to the ball wheel, tap with a rubber mallet to seat belt on ball wheel and let sit as long as possible to fully cure. This belt is about 1/8" thick and will cure most problems. The ones I put on my machines last about 6-8 months. Cost for the belt, about $ 1.25 per foot...

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            • #7
              Re: Ball wheel kicker strips

              We have been using the carpet kickers,they're...ok.The tiger strips are much better!!But..i say,BUT....be sure your lower ball wheel guide rollers are good!,if the lower left side (the v-groove one)is worn, the wheel will lean to the left and the balls will track to the left and not always get picked up.We are going to replace 17..YES 17 in a 40 lane center soon,but will replace both lowers so the wheel is even at the bottom.I know you all cant change both and as many, so do check the lower left side for wear.

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              • #8
                Re: Ball wheel kicker strips

                Hey Olds

                That little trick you do with the bungee cord to push the lift rods foward against the ball wheel is great. Here in Australia we like to think we came up with that Idea because we use a short piece of chain around the bottom of the lift rod and then use a long turret belt spring (A2) hooked to the cross conveyor frame so that its adjustable.

                [This message has been edited by PC (edited 11-25-1999).]

                [This message has been edited by PC (edited 11-28-1999).]

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                • #9
                  Re: Ball wheel kicker strips

                  I been using cork strips for years 3 to a wheel about 12 inches long available from most True Value stores in sheet rolls cut to size.These grip exceedingly well with tons a oil on balls too.And if a pin gets stuck in Liftrods its easy on balls and disenegrates usally and saves the great big rings and gouges.Only other problem is it causes cork powder to get on floor near shaker pulleys and sometimes migrates to the Turret clutch pulley but easily vacums off.Just clean old crap off wheels and use Contact cement on both sides let dry maybe 10 minutes on each side and tap onto wheel with a Rubber hammer and dont fergit to equally space them around the wheel....at like 120 degrees apart

                  ------------------

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                  • #10
                    Re: Ball wheel kicker strips

                    Hi Guys, Yes the cork strips work well. Have been using them for a number of years now. They are cheap and easy to use. So why am I now in the process of going to Brunswick traction material? I just had to try the stuff. I do like the results, they are easy to apply (after all the cork strips and contact cement are cleaned off.) The balls don't seem to be bounced around as much and are smoother going up the rods. Just hope they last as long as the cork ones. Guess I will have to wait on that one.
                    The bungie cords are indispensable aren't they a million and one uses. We use them as a poormans SBE and they work great.
                    One night just as moonlight started the ball track frame support broke. The place was full and no time for a ZOT kit. It took about a dozen bungie cords but the lift rods worked all night and no ball damage. They saved me again. Jacks

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                    • #11
                      Re: Ball wheel kicker strips

                      Carpet Strips are the best. They are easy to replace and are inexpensive. OUr center DC West has a load of them because when they did the remodel job our mechanics cut up the spare carpet into strips. It's great. Only catch is you have to watch for wear. BUt just find old carpet.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Ball wheel kicker strips

                        I recently visited another Brunswick center. I noticed a weird looking kicker on a ball wheel, and was surprised to find out that it was a piece of the long accelerator belt! Those guys said after trying a couple of different ideas, they said what the heck, and cut up an old one. Pretty sneaky idea.

                        JayBird

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                        • #13
                          Re: Ball wheel kicker strips

                          Gentlemen:
                          Apoligize beforehand for the long post:
                          My observation on kicker strips of any type or length, the more agressive, the more tendency to roll the ball up the approach side rod, without being seated in between both rods, resulting in the ball falling off between the curtain and rod, resting on the ball wheel, with resulting damage. Kicker strips on ball wheel were not required in the days of laquer finish, as the oil did not migrate. Now with the finishes we use, all wheels require some assistance, however not all balls require it,(ie), reactives, indeed they are much to often damaged by lifting too agressivly. One solution, I have had great success with, is to slow the ball wheel rotation down from it's current speed of 66 rpm, to 22 rpm, by replacing the ball wheel drive pulley with one of 3 1/4 inch diameter, replacing the ball wheel double drive pully,(one closest to pit) with a like 3 1/4 inch pulley to maintain correct pit oscellation.
                          This also requires an additional idler pulley, placed at top 10 side of elevator, to maintain correct belt tension, owing to smaller pulleys. I then line the ball wheel with 3 four foot strips of kicker material, leaving one foot intervals of bare wheel, (mostly for cost effectiveness). One has to ensure that ball wheel height is still at least 1/8 inch below pit clamping plate, measured at the material on wheel. Some type of SBE has to be included. While this total mod. involves some cost, usually $100 per mch. it also does away with spinning balls, yo-yos, ball damage, owing to agressive throws into cc pulleys or turnpans, And frame damage on mdl A/s indeed it supplants needs for stronger springs on guide rod,(which only shorten tube life) and even helps on misaligned rods owing to the fact, there is more time for ball to get into rods. To those whom would question the time factor in slowing the ball wheel down, the idea was tested on a new 48 lane A/2 center,for six months, involving only 12 lanes, those 12 lanes consistently finished 10 minutes ahead of the others. Consider the fact, that it takes a bowler 15- 30 secs to realize his ball is not back, another 30 secs to notify desk, another one min. for personal get ball back in his hand, then he has to wait his turn. I have over two thousand lanes currently using this modification, with very little upkeep, other than replacment of chosen kicker material. I am only quoting the costs of the mod, here, to give to those whom would be interested, an idea of the dead costs to achieve the mod. I assure you, my only interest in this matter is to put forward, in this forum, one of the possible solutions to positive ball returns without resulting ball damage. I only install them for my customers, would be happy to post details for all interested.
                          Roscoe
                          rfm

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                          • #14
                            Re: Ball wheel kicker strips

                            I am a fan of slow ball wheels,
                            We slowed ours ball wheels down using the same procedure I used 4 different size pullies in a test that lasted 18 months.
                            the sizes ranged from 3.25 to 4.5.I found that the 3.95 pulley works the best for us,we changed the ball wheel pulley and for us we left the pit pulley the same.I liked the idea of slowing pits down anyway.The 3.25 and the 3.5 would cause intermiated balls on top of rods.All in all this ranks up there as one of the best projects we have done.It allows for the use of kickers,and the speed reduction helps the aggressive balls as Roscoe stated,and it also gives pins time to fall off ball to help stop pins in track.We have them on all our A-2's now.
                            We average 2-4 yo-yo calls a month for 116 lanes.Sorry for the long post,I love talking about ball returns.

                            Later
                            Peanut
                            Peanut

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                            • #15
                              Re: Ball wheel kicker strips

                              Roscoe and/or peanut:

                              I'd like to know the source and part number for the pulleys that you are using.

                              Also, are the machines in question using the A2 motor pulleys, or J/B's ... since I have J/B's, thinking that maybe the pulley would have to be slightly bigger to maintain the correct BW speed, allowing for the "slower" elevator.

                              Would love to have them just roll off the rods, and not be blasted off like the space shuttle!

                              Thanx in advance:

                              Kevin

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