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Bad follower links


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  • Bad follower links

    Hey guys:

    Just got into rebuilding one of my spare cushion linkages, test-fit the steel spacer to the follower links. WAY too sloppy a fit, almost a 16th of play between brand-new parts. Yeah, like that would last a long time in the machine ... the best part of pre-worn-out.

    Anyone else seen this? They were Brunswick links, had the 8+ digit part number cast into them. It almost seemed like they used the wrong size mill when the recess for the spacer was made.

    It doesn't seem like the spacer, as it fit tight to the bronze bushing ...



  • #2
    Re: Bad follower links

    Its the 1/2 in hole in the link that positions the steel spacer in the follower link. The machined recess only provides adequate clearance. side to side. Its not a great design, and has to be run tight, otherwise slack soon appears in all the componets, which if tightened further, will bind. Many fixes from various manufactures have appeared on the market, some succesful, but all costly. In the seventys when I was gung ho, I manufactured a steel bushing with a 5/8 in step, with the step being .020 less in length on each side than the follower link, which required a 5/8 hole bored in the link. This resulted in the bolt and uniball being tightened up to steel instead of using alum., as a tightening componet. After having done this on all the houses I serve, all I do is make certain the mechs. keep the linkage lubed on a monthly basis. I realize that monthly lubs on the linkage is a bad dirt collector, but this is one area that cannot survive, unless constant lub is provided. Indeed, I have some high linage houses still running this modification linkage that was installed in the 70s, still just as tight as when installed. The key to cushion linkage is lubrication.
    Your friend in the business:


    • #3
      Re: Bad follower links

      Roscoe...sounds like a neat idea. I would love to see a picture of one of the bushings. I'm missing something from your description. I don't see how the follower links would stay tight if the bolt and uniball were tight to the spacer? My spacial perception has always been a little I agree with lubing of the assy. keeps everything working longer. I added the oiling port used on the top of the turret clutch pulley to the pit cushion mounting bracket. This allows us to apply oil directly to the bearing and the spacer when we lubricate. We clean the linkage every week using a parts cleaning brush and then lube all pivot points. We have yet to have any rebuilt units wear out, and some have been out there for 4 years now.
      Do you remember the mounting bracket that Century sold back in the early 80's? We have some at one of our other centers in town. They DON'T wear out. It was an "h" design in supporting the unit. Best design I've ever seen. I tried duplicating it, but I haven't been successful yet. Would love to see your idea though...might be better and cheaper than this idea.
      TSM & TSM Training Development
      Main Event Entertainment
      480-620-6758 for help or information


      • #4
        Re: Bad follower links

        The 5/8 step on the bushing was .020 shorter than the thickness of the follower, which when tightned, effectivly locked all componets together.


        • #5
          Re: Bad follower links

          YUP! Ya have to keep them lubed up,that area takes one heck of a pounding from the ball impact,if you let them run dry your gonna be doomed.,keep 'em clean too....once they are cleaned it's not that hard to keep it going.I Did all 40 lanes once a month and i had no troubles except for the chasers sitting around, but then i'd just give 'em a shot of 10w30! LOL


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