No. 4 MR-111 gear

Greetings all,

I’m in the process of getting my No. 4 up and running, and have a question about the gears on the form roller assembly. My understanding is that the MR-111 gears are not supposed to rotate when at the feedboard, but the back one on my press does (and the one on the front roller does not). The form roller assembly was taken apart, cleaned, and put back together again; I believe it was done correctly, and everything else seems to function as it should. Can anyone tell me what the problem is? If my explanation is not clear, here is a link to a short video:

Many thanks for any insights …


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Paul Moxon, Moderator
10 years ago

The square bar is the the last piece in the gripper opener linkage. When you step on the pedal the bar protects contacting the cam and pushing back the gripper trip lever assembly (see manual, sheet 106).

The broken bolt and missing nut can be found at a hardware store. The spec is 5/16- 18 x 1″. I’ve broken one before.

Do not tamper with the “skew adjustment” at this point. You’re better off getting a machine shop to straighten or turn new rods. Also, if needed, you could take this opprtunity to have new bushings installed in the ends of the steel riders (M-123, Manual sheet 102A). Is there lots of play or do the rider turn snuggly on the tie rods? NA Graphics has the bushings (F-761).

Form roller Rack: there does appear to be some wear and together with the bent tie rod this could be enough to be the source of your problem, but neither appear to be extremely damaged to allow that much clearance. Images only tell us so so much.

Paul Moxon, Moderator
10 years ago

You did say that you lifted the rack.

The teeth at the gears are not worn. They’re are pointed to allow more tolerance between gear and rack as the carriage begins its travel.

Auto Grippers: I noticed the sound in video 1. Push the L-shaped bracket (MS-127) back. There may be another latch that swings out and to hold the short end. If not then push back and tighten the nut under the bolt that passes vertically through the slide hole.

Paul Moxon, Moderator
10 years ago

As is often the case, your problem is probably due to more one than one factor. In the second video, the rear form gear spins intermittently suggesting that the gear is sitting too high in relation to the form roller rack. This could mean that either one or more tie rod ends on the bottom frame that holds the form rollers are bent or that the roller height is set too high. Less unlikely, is that the roller diameter is too large. It should be 2.5″.

The rear cylinder rack is designed to be raised, by shims, because the cylinder is automatically in trip mode until it clears (passes)the ink reservoir drum, otherwise the drawsheet would catch ink. (This is true for all Vandercooks that have inking assemblies prior to the SP series, which is the opposite.)

Paul Moxon, Moderator
10 years ago

The gear should be prevented from turning because its teeth are meshed with the form roller rack. This is the reason for the whole clutch assembly. A photo of this area of the rack, with the carriage rolled forward could tell us the reason. Could it be that the rack on your press isn’t present under the rear gear?

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