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Pins jamming in lift rod covers

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  • Pins jamming in lift rod covers

    We are having problems with pins getting caught in the lift rod covers and causing ball damage. The head of the pin gets caught in the lower velcro strap or the belly will get stuck between the ball and the cover. We have been getting some severe ball damage due to this. Anyone have any ideas to prevent this problem?? We already have the bungee cords that are supposed to prevent pins from getting in the way, but it doesn't always work. [img]/content/btubb/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/frown.gif[/img]
    Another day, Another doughnut

  • #2
    Re: Pins jamming in lift rod covers

    we have had similar problems this season with the addition of pins getting carried up the rods and catching in the cushion shock. I could see a few reasons why it was happening... here is what I found:
    -Carpet covers holding pins on the pit board
    -Not enough drop from the board onto the ball wheel
    -Too many pieces of "kicker" tape.
    I have seen the balls come into the machine and being met by several pins that were just sitting at the rear edge of the pitboard. That makes it much more likely for one to be carried up.
    I have seen pins get "shot" up the ball wheel by kicker tape. I have also seen pins not being able to drop into the pinwheel because the ball wheel was too high in comparison to the pit board. If the pins are not evacuating that area fast enough, you are going to get some carried up. In our case, it was a combination of all 3. The kicker tape we use has such a high friction value that it was burning a ball in less than 90 seconds. That does not give you enough time for the bowler to realize his ball is missing, calling the counter, having the counter call you, and getting to the ball in time to prevent damage.
    I think in many cases, the pinchasers answer to ball calls was to just add more kicker tape. I saw wheels that were almost continuously covered with tape.
    We removed all but 2 pieces per machine and have not had any noticeable increase in ball calls. However, this is dependant upon the chasers cleaning the ball wheels daily. (something I fear was not being done before) After removing the excess material, I actually saw a pin stop a ball on the way up, but instead of the ball being forced tightly against the pin by all the friction of the tape, it actually backed off a bit and the pin fell out. The same thing happened with a pin caught by the bungee cord.
    We are going through all the lift rod assemblies and rebuilding them. I am thinking that if they are tight and right (rebuilt and adjusted properly) there would not be a whole lot of need for kicker tape anyway. The exception to this rule would be the 1964 Don Carter Gyro-1, the AMF 3-dot and the Brunswick Black Diamond. (However, I have found that a small hatchet, when applied properly to the thumbhole, will usually solve the problem) lol
    41 years and still learning....
    lanedoctor@hotmail.com

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    • #3
      Re: Pins jamming in lift rod covers

      My center used to use the ball lift wipes. We've had them off for about a year now. We had the same problem with pins getting stuck in them. We found that by loosely velcoing them on greatly decreased the frequency of these stops.

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      • #4
        Re: Pins jamming in lift rod covers

        I am having the same problem on A-1. We removed the lift rod wipes and pins are still getting caught and damaging balls. Has anyone tried the adjustable lift rod supports that Zot makes and is suppose to kick them out.

        Have had 4 balls damaged in the past two months and could really use some help!!!
        [img]/content/btubb/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif[/img]

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        • #5
          Re: Pins jamming in lift rod covers

          A center that I used to work we took some "S" hooks and put them on the ball wheel tensioner. Then we hooked the spring from the elevator frame to the "S" hook instead of straight to the tensioner. We did it in such a way as to provide enough tension to bring the ball up lift rods, but weak enough to stop the ball wheel if a pin got wedged with a ball.

          Worked great.
          "Where are we going, and why are we in a hand basket?"

          --Kat

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          • #6
            Re: Pins jamming in lift rod covers

            Originally posted by Kat:
            We did it in such a way as to provide enough tension to bring the ball up lift rods, but weak enough to stop the ball wheel if a pin got wedged with a ball.
            <font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">And what happens to the belt at the point where it meets the drive pulley that remains turning, but the belt doesn't?
            TSM & TSM Training Development
            Main Event Entertainment
            480-620-6758 for help or information

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            • #7
              Re: Pins jamming in lift rod covers

              Those covers should be put on loosely. Strapping the velcro too tight will cause yo-yo's. You may need to slow down the ball wheels. If you have original type Jetback motor pulleys, the ball wheel is turning too fast causing the pin to come up with the ball.
              &quot;I've got 3 boards to play... and they all have arrows on them.&quot;

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              • #8
                Re: Pins jamming in lift rod covers

                Our center had problems with the pins getting stuck in the bottom velcro strap also.
                to fix it we cut the cover to just below the second strap, about 8 or 9 inches of material

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                • #9
                  Re: Pins jamming in lift rod covers

                  Steve:

                  I know what you're getting at here with the belt. But believe it or not, we didn't have any problems with ball wheel belts in situations where the BW was stopped. Belt maybe got a little warm...and I mean just a little warm. I guess since the bowlers ball doesn't come back, it get's called to the backend rather quickly. So maybe that's why the belts never really got a chance to heat up. I dunno, I was just stating what worked well for us to rid of BW related ball damage. (BWs were slowed down as well)
                  "Where are we going, and why are we in a hand basket?"

                  --Kat

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                  • #10
                    Re: Pins jamming in lift rod covers

                    Kat....I hear you on the belts not getting "too warm"....I think Steve is just looking at the bigger (or in this case the longer) picture. Say after three years those warm spots take a couple of years of life off those belts. If your center is willing to pay a small amount extra for more belts then rock on, especially if its curing your problem of ball damage.

                    We too have this problem, only it seems to be concentrated on two lanes here, 7 and 8 which are Jap A2s. The ball takes a pin up eith it, and the pin gets lodged in the bracket that holds the shock for the cushion. I know the shock has to stay at the angle it is positioned in, but if I could somehow get rid of the bulky bracket I dont feel pins would get caught there. But I also know that the bracket has to be beefy in order to withstand the ball impact. Im thinking of talking the owners into allowing me to order a couple of kits to slow down the ball wheels, don't know if they will go for it though. I am assuming that slowing the ball wheels down allows a pin more of a chance to fall out before getting jammed.

                    More ideas on this?

                    ...rob
                    Space is the Place!

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                    • #11
                      Re: Pins jamming in lift rod covers

                      We had the same problem with lift rod ball wipes. the end result result was taken them off. They cause more calls than they cure.

                      Rob does #7 and #8 have the guared inbetween the pit cushion mount and ball wheel.

                      just a thought..
                      Cleaning Ball Wheels is not the answer!

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                      • #12
                        Re: Pins jamming in lift rod covers

                        Get in touch with Masternut on Ball wheel slow down modification. It is a fraction of the cost of the slow down kits available for purchase.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Pins jamming in lift rod covers

                          Originally posted by planet_rob:
                          Kat....I hear you on the belts not getting "too warm"....I think Steve is just looking at the bigger (or in this case the longer) picture. Say after three years those warm spots take a couple of years of life off those belts. If your center is willing to pay a small amount extra for more belts then rock on, especially if its curing your problem of ball damage.

                          <font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Kat and Rob...I'm not sure which way is better. I was working at a center today that has this modification done to there idler arms and I stopped a few wheels by jamming a pin in the lift rods with a ball and timed the heating of the belt. In 2 1/2 minutes, the belt was hot enough that I couldn't touch it. Now, over the span of a few years, this might tend to cause the belt to fail, but the fact that the belt has a modified path that doesn't cause it bend back and forth as the original design does can allow the belt to live longer. Sort of like the chicken and the egg problem... [img]/content/btubb/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wink.gif[/img]

                          I'm going to try it and slow the ball wheels down at the same time. I only worry about the smaller pulley driving the ball wheel belt will leave a smaller patch to drive the belt...and I'm already worried about it being too small. Damned if I do and damned if I don't... [img]/content/btubb/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/confused.gif[/img]
                          TSM & TSM Training Development
                          Main Event Entertainment
                          480-620-6758 for help or information

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Pins jamming in lift rod covers

                            JBEES,

                            The cost of today's balls, it's cheaper to replace a few belts, if that is the case verus the replacement of the new high technology balls. I have modified 8 lanes so for and it is working out great! I would recommend that everyone slow down there ball wheels. I should have started sooner.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Pins jamming in lift rod covers

                              Does slowing the ball wheel down really help with stopping pins from getting jammed in the lift rods, return tracks, and underground? Also what effect does it have on the pit? Is the Pit conveyor drive belt floppy around (pivot style idler arm) and does it slow the pit down?
                              At my center we have very few ball returns, but the majority are due to PINS.
                              Cleaning Ball Wheels is not the answer!

                              Comment

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