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ball retarders


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  • ball retarders

    All of a sudden, across most of 32 lanes, I am having lightweight balls not getting thru the retarders. Took the plates out and cleaned them and it helped alot but still having the occasional call. The place is 14 years old and am sure that the carpets were used to begin with, so I am thinking of changing the carpets this summer or sooner.
    Anyone else replaced retarder carpets or know or think of a life span?
    Running the middle size accel. pulleys, 2" or so, so I dont think its with the speed of the accel. Most of the balls are these damn K-Mart balls that the seniors just love.

  • #2
    Re: ball retarders

    2" inch pulleys kinda small for a full retarder system (ie) covered wagon, leather ball wiper system. Some returns had 1725 rpm mtrs., while most 3450 rpm. If system is 1725 every thing needs to be in order. Not unusual to replace retarder carpet in ten years.
    As the principal of the retarder was to support the ball on it's outside edges as opposed to it's bottom rolling edge, carpets and width of retarder important. Of course you are aware of the tendency of the retarder to break the mount at the point it meets the lift. One thing I'v seen in commom with full retarder systems is the practice of utilizing a support for the covered wagon ball wiper, usually two pieces of lane patch material, under the main strut of wagon and resting on lane 2x12s, thus releiving pressure on light balls.
    However one must also place blocking under trap door, to ensure wagon cannot be lifted off from side guides, resulting in a very nasty peice of metal in direct path of ball.

    Ball retarder systems, have always been a compromise, especially when you consider the fact of dealing with 16 lb. versus 6 lb. balls.
    Very few things in the real world are asked to deal consistently with factor of three. Most,outside of aerospace are designed with those parameters as a go or a failure.
    Hope of some help:


    • #3
      Re: ball retarders

      Dont use the covered wagon things,and got a brunswick underground track going to a amf spectrum return. I think new carpet strips are the cure but the boss wasnt crazy about the price of them (you know how much that is a square yard? try some scrap carpet and we'll see how it does) No thanks, this stuff lasted 15+ years, lets use the same stuff.


      • #4
        Re: ball retarders

        The way your problem seems to have appearred your probably correct that the retarder carpets are the cause.When you run that size pulley if things aren't just about perfect you will have a problem now and then.I use 1-11/16 pulleys and 3450 rpm motors and had similiar problems.I have had to remove my downsweep ball wipes because they created enough drag on the 6lb balls to keep them from making it back sometimes.I have also replaced some retarder carpets.On a few lanes I had to make a small adjustment on the retarder tracks to get the balls back.I hate 6lb balls! Best of luck


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