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Faster Than A Speeding Bullet


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  • Faster Than A Speeding Bullet

    Our center (thanks to start-up owner) has Jap A-2s with accelerators but NO retarders! The ball comes flying back faster than it was sent down the lane and slams into the lower ball lift wheel.
    We have installed minimum size motor pulleys to slow the accelerator... put some carpet on the power lift frame sides to slow the ball a bit before it slams into the lower lift wheel... tried rubber and urethane
    wheels and tires but after a few weeks the balls are getting cut when the lower wheel or tire gives up from the pounding... remember we have NO retarders! Once the lower wheel or tire goes, the ball is powered against the side of the lift or meets the lift track edge... result is a nice nick from the track or idler pulley adjusting bolt. Switched to round head adjusting bolts a long time ago but the damage still happens.
    Zot's kit stopped our short belt kick off problem but balls speeding into the lower lift wheel erodes the wheel and we eventually get ball damage. Naturally we are unaware of the problem until at least six balls get damaged and I spend a lot of time soothing bowlers and repairing nicks and scrapes.
    We don't need a 1750 rpm motor whizzing the ball back... I'm thinking gravity feed here!... but we can't seem to get slower rpm motors for our 220 volt originals. Ordering by the number we should have received a 975 rpm but we didn't.
    My knowledge of electricity would fill a very small book but I was once told that AC motors could be slowed down with in-line resistors once the proper value was established.
    We've got to get the returning balls slowed down. Is there an effective method to slow the ball without the use of retarders? Or should I tell the current owners to "bite the bullet" and order the retarder parts list they have had for over a year?

  • #2
    Re: Faster Than A Speeding Bullet

    Hey Roger
    We took ALL of the retarders out of ALL the centers and slowed the accellerators down to the smallest pulley they make.
    The one thing we did though was remove ALL the old retarder track and ran underlane track straight to the power lift.
    If you just removed the retarder carpets the ball might be moving from side to side in the old tracks.
    I made sure to put new urethane tracks in the bottom with a rubber power lift wheel.
    I also found that I had to switch the bolts around that hold down the power lift motor bracket so just the bolt head was in the power lift and not the nut and left over threads.
    After these fixes I had NO power lift knicks from the lift.
    Ps We also used the poly V belts so there was no pulley bolt to hit.


    • #3
      Re: Faster Than A Speeding Bullet

      We have also removed our retarders and retarder tracks.We replaced our motors with 1725 rpm motor with slow pulley and have had no problems.The motor number from graingers is (6K438)at about 100.00 each.
      Hope this helps


      • #4
        Re: Faster Than A Speeding Bullet

        K! Remember we have NO RETARDERS! Didn't have to remove anything! The ball is hurled down the lane (12 to 20 mph depending upon the age and strength of the bowler) but is returned via accelerator at 26 to 28 mph (don't know exactly but one of these days I'm going to get one of my State Trooper friends to put at radar gun on it!). This constant slamming into the lower ball lift wheel causes said wheel to deteriate resulting in ball being lifted against the frame of the lift instead of the center of the lift. Tried the "spoked wheels" in the lower position but they developed severe cracks after a few poundings.
        Hey Grambo! Do the urethane lower tracks help lift the "ball of the week"? That's where we are having a problem. The ball gets about halfway up the lift... stutters... and kicks the power lift belt or goes sideways and rubs the idler pulley bolt head. No problem with open bowlers using house balls but when the league bowlers (my friends and principle contributor to my meager pay) arrive, the ball damage appears. As I noted before, the damage is not reported by the first...or second.. or third bowler but after leagues when I have to "fix" several balls!


        • #5
          Re: Faster Than A Speeding Bullet

          Hey Roger
          The new urethane tracks seemed to work great with the old style Brunswick go kart tires.
          We used either Quality bowl or Vantage and had good results with both.
          The balls kinda yo-yoing in the lift and getting stuck went away when I switched all the tires back to the original rubber tires.
          We switched to the poly V conversion kits because these kits do away with that pesky bolt head sticking in the ball area.
          They also very rarely pop off a belt and have a slotted bracket to move the idler pulley for proper tension.
          When we ordered our urethane tracks they came with new style bolts to help hold the power lift track to the C frame.
          Check the catalogs and see if they still come with the tracks, if not I would suggest ordering them also.
          Good Luck


          • #6
            Re: Faster Than A Speeding Bullet

            I have not worked with accelerators for awhile. But if logic still works try putting a larger pulley on the accelerator drive shaft. this will also slow the belt down.
            just a thought


            • #7
              Re: Faster Than A Speeding Bullet

              Driven pulley is written in stone, as its also the drive pulley for the flat belt.
              I think this problem was addressed in an earlier thread, however can't remember which.
              Offshoot of that thread was that one can put any size V pulley on motor, with appropriate length V belt and derive any given flat belt fpm speed that works.
              All this at a considerable cost saving over using crowned flat belt pulleys, and flat belts on the drive motor.
              Trust me, it works well, also results in much less tracking problems for the small drive belt.


              • #8
                Re: Faster Than A Speeding Bullet

                Check to see that your 1 way clutch on the lower drive shaft of your powerlift is working properly, worked in a center previously that had a few welded together so it no longer provided a clutching action, I kept replacing lower tires on those pairs untill I figured out why. The clutching action will let the ball move a ways up the powerlift with its own momentum before the powerlift takes over, taking some of the impact out of the lower tire. Might not be your problem but I thought I would mention that.

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


                • #9
                  Re: Faster Than A Speeding Bullet

                  Quote:]Originally posted by Roger Frazier:

                  [This message has been edited by EDJ (edited 09-12-2000).]


                  • #10
                    Re: Faster Than A Speeding Bullet

                    Our experience in slowing the ball down was to change the pulley on the motor. Since Brunswick has no pulley for this type of ball return operation we had a local machine shop make new pulleys, duplicating the proper crown for the flat belt. The pulley size was 1 1/4" and we used the same flat belt by raising the motor using spacers to compensate for the difference in pulley size. We converted 4 Centers that had AMF Pinspotters to Brunswick A2's with 2 of those with Japanese A2's. In each case we used existing AMF ball track and returns. The returns were changed to the Brunswick style ball lifts after a few years. Our ball damage was very miminal due to damage at the ball lift. If you need more information I can be reached at 716 297-0299.

                    Ed Jandreau


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