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Operation: Ball Return :)

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  • Operation: Ball Return :)

    I have been fighting with ball calls for months now. I have adjusted, cleaned, bent, sanded, and applied kicker strips. Still I have had too many calls.

    For the month of February, I had 226 stops. 205 of them were ball calls. Totally unacceptable!!! [img]/content/btubb/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/eek.gif[/img]

    I finally got fed up and decided to do some mods.

    Phase 1. SBEs with mods.

    Phase 2. Lift spring mod.

    Phase 3. Zot Accelerator kits.

    All but phase 3 are pictured here. Operation: Ball Return.

    So far these mods have yeilded 3 ball calls in as many weeks. These were from string breakage on the SBE mod. I am going to redo those with aircraft cable soon to eliminate that problem.

    Also , not pictured, a spring can be added to the SBE to apply even more pressure on the ball if necessary.

    The SBE mod raises when the rake drops by a string or cable attached to the top of the cushion, then lowers onto the spinning ball to "kick" it into the lift when the rake goes back up. This mod not only helps balls to return more reliably, it also helps to reduce wear on the SBE as not all balls spin. The SBEs are adjusted to 2.5" from the lower rail on the lift rod.

    The lift rod spring mod is a "porch swing spring" available at Lowes for $14.95 a pair. The original spring is cut. Part of it is inside the larger spring, and the other part is used as a flexible spacer.

    The ZOT kit is awesome!! Not only does it prevent belt tracking problems, it increases the longevity of the accelerator parts thereby paying for itself.

    Phases 1 & 2 are complete, and phase 3 almost is.

    Any other ideas or comments welcome.

    Disclamer: These mods are in no way meant to reduce PM. Cleaning , lubing, and checking adjustments are still VERY important for maximum performance.
    <span style="font-style: italic">Sometimes it is best to use good advice from many individuals to achieve the ultimate result.</span>

  • #2
    Re: Operation: Ball Return

    Im surprised you have alot of ball calls with the A-2 setup. Ive installed actual carpet strips, not the paper thin kicker strips that you get from our suppliers. One thing to keep checking is to make sure the ball wheel is down all the way. [img]/content/btubb/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif[/img] If the ball rides between shaker and wheel then you need to raise the shaker a bit. But on some of my machines Ive had to lower the elevator assembly. After all this Im lucky I get 1 spinning ball a week, and this is no joke. But I also have the SBE's on. [img]/content/btubb/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif[/img] I keep on top of the carpet strips tho. When 1 falls off I put another on. I use 2 per wheel approximately the length of the lift rod. :p

    msbowl [img]/content/btubb/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif[/img] [img]/content/btubb/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif[/img]

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    • #3
      Re: Operation: Ball Return

      I agree carpet kickers work pretty good. I also use a belting material made to seal cooler doors. It works well also as long as you let the contact cement dry on both surfaces before installing. As far as SBE's go, I prefer Zot's power spinning ball eliminator. We had a whole house of these in lewisville location and never had a spinning ball problem. Now in Plano, we have Bruns Sbe's and have tons' of spinning ball calls. I did similar mod using a tywrap from the cushion to the sbe to raise it up until the ball got on the ball wheel, but I am slowly replacing the bruns sbe's with the power sbe from Zot. The price is worth the headache of spinning balls. This is the only way to go. [img]/content/btubb/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wink.gif[/img]

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      • #4
        Re: Operation: Ball Return

        HELLO ALL

        AFTER TALKING TO ONE OF THE MORE MATURE MECHS IN TOWN, YOU NEED TO TAKE THE TIME ON YOUR LIFT ROD ADJUSTMENTS AND MAKE SURE THE BALLS WHEN THEY ARE REST UP AGAINST THE LIFT RODS ARE CENTERED ON YOUR BALL WHEELS, THIS HAS HELPED ME QUIT A BIT.
        ABOUT THE ONLY TIME I HAVE PROBLEMS IS WHEN THE SENIOR LEAGUES ARE IN, AND ONLY THE OLDEST BOWLING BALLS BEING USED.

        JEFF KUHNLE
        TWIN OAKS LANES
        TOLEDO OHIO
        [img]/content/btubb/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wink.gif[/img]
        WE ARE NOW REALLY TWIN OAKS LANES.

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        • #5
          Re: Operation: Ball Return

          The machines that always gave me trouble were 1, 4, 7, 8, 12, 14, 18, 19, and 20.

          The biggest problem I had was eliminating both spinning balls, ad yo yos at the same time. I'd get the balls to climb the rods, but then they'd spin. Get them to enter the lift, and they'd yo yo. And yes, I tried the lift rod cover over the bottom of the rod instead of the cap. It just wears through too fast for me.

          I have one machine (lane 1) where the rods are positioned quite differently in the frame compared to other machines. They are really high, as in the lift rod spring is angled downward. If I bend the rods to get it to sit right, I get LOTS of spinning balls.

          The balls ARE centered on the wheel, but problems still occur.

          I had a zot SBE setup on one machine, but the belt was always in the way. My setup works just as well I think.

          What I have works fine for me. I just keep em clean lubed and adjusted properly and all's well. [img]/content/btubb/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif[/img]
          <span style="font-style: italic">Sometimes it is best to use good advice from many individuals to achieve the ultimate result.</span>

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Operation: Ball Return

            Let's not forget about too much oil from the lanes getting into the machine. Are you cleaning your back ends daily? Do you use carpet covers? If you have too much oil moving into the machine you will have a host of problems. I'm not saying taking the oil out of the heads or messing up a good shot, I'm saying thats its no good having all that oil moving to the backs and pits that fast. Oil attracts dirt with doesn't mix with the pinsetters.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Operation: Ball Return

              Originally posted by Sal:
              Let's not forget about too much oil from the lanes getting into the machine. Are you cleaning your back ends daily? Do you use carpet covers? If you have too much oil moving into the machine you will have a host of problems. I'm not saying taking the oil out of the heads or messing up a good shot, I'm saying thats its no good having all that oil moving to the backs and pits that fast. Oil attracts dirt with doesn't mix with the pinsetters.
              <font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Here lately clean has been my middle name. LOL [img]/content/btubb/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif[/img]

              But seriously, the carpets do need cleaning. I always pressure wash them, and here lately it's been too cold, too busy, or raining. These are on my list of things to do ASAP. I usually do them just before and after winter leagues.

              I had carpet covers, but they got worn out and I'm on a strict parts order lockdown currently. I can only get parts if they're absolutely nessesary.

              The ball return problems exist on clean carpets too.

              These mods are mainly for prevention for when you do get one of those old 3 dots or oil soaked plastic balls.

              I do almost all of the PM myself on 20 lanes so anything that gives me more time to do something without a call is a definate plus.
              <span style="font-style: italic">Sometimes it is best to use good advice from many individuals to achieve the ultimate result.</span>

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Operation: Ball Return

                Just an update..

                I had to remove the SBE mod.

                I noticed the other day, after going over stop sheets, that there had been an uprising of respots since this mod. Upon further investigation, I found that if a pin is sitting in front of the spinning ball, then it can get kicked back into the cushion when the SBE hits the ball, thus tripping the rake. I have removed the strings and adjusted the SBE's back to normal.

                Oh well....Live and learn...

                The other 2 mods are still working great. I also found another benifit to the lift rod spring mod over the conventional "helper spring" setup. My setup does not increase the downward pressure on the lift, thereby allowing the ball to enter the lift with less resistance. I have had 3 yoyo's in as many months with no noticablly excessive wear on the rod covers.
                <span style="font-style: italic">Sometimes it is best to use good advice from many individuals to achieve the ultimate result.</span>

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Operation: Ball Return

                  Adam.....we use rubber strips with the adhesive already on them. Ive seen the package a million times but I cant remember the name of them...haha. These seem to work great and we rarely have spinning balls. The rubber comes in a big roll and I cut them to around 14" in length and then stick them on the ball wheel. I leave around 8 inches between each strip.

                  Looking at those pics....we have those SBEs like you have installed. Weve always just left them and not used the string.....although I think thats a cool idea. I like how they would go down when the rake is down, but Im not messing with them now as they arent broke. Those type are on lanes 1-12. 13-24 have the power ones that spin around and kick a ball into the lift rods. One lane however, the power SBE was taken off as balls would get caught between the long black rubber kicker and the corner of the lift rod.

                  Also....I periodically check my ball wheels position. I look at the 7 side from the back and make sure that the ball wheel is positioned favoring the 10 side. I compare it to the frame about halfway up the lift rods. Ive had yo yo problems before and it was due to a ball wheel guide roller loosening up a bit and letting the ball wheel lean towards the 7 side and being flush with the frame. Also....Ive had lift rods that get 'sticky' due to lack of lubrication. Lubing everything up does wonders at times. If I can remember Ill take my digital camera and take a pic of the rubber strips and post it here.

                  Later.................rob
                  Space is the Place!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Operation: Ball Return

                    We use spin stops. Cut two PVC pipes about 9 inches each, and then cut a liftrod cover about 5 inches or so. Get some elbow pieces for your PVC pipe. You want to center one of your PVC pieces on top of the clapper box, so that the end of it, including the elbow piece will be centered over the ball wheel, but not to close to the lift rod. Then you want to put the lift rod hose piece on the other 9 inch pipe, so that it equals 12 inches. Use some PVC adhesive and your good to go. Hope your not afraid to drill a few holes in your clapper box. Also you want to cut your liftrod hose piece at an angle so that it catches the ball. You might have 1 or 2 break each year, but thats maybe 80 cents?
                    Hard work and determination is the answer to all problems.

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