Chain Problem on Universal III

I just acquired a nice Universal III which I’ve been cleaning up. I started up the motor today and after about a minute, it stopped, although it was still humming. I shut everything down and pulled off various covers and have isolated the problem to the chain. It’s stuck in the gear that sits BELOW the ink drum gear.

I’m not sure what this gear or teeth are for. I’m sorry I wasn’t able to get a good photo of it. I can’t find anything in any of the literature or the forums on this.

I pulled out the distributor roller (also called rubber vibrator in some places?), and the bar assembly that it sits on has a trip mechanism for moving it from the ink drum. It looks like I need to pull this bar assembly out so I can fix the chain on that weird bottom gear. But I can’t see how it’s done (lots of old ink everywhere which I’m working on). I’d really appreciate any advice!

5 thoughts on “Chain Problem on Universal III

  1. Paul Moxon, Moderator - November 24, 2020

    You’re welcome. I’m always pleased when the solution is simpler than my speculation.

  2. Ellie - November 24, 2020

    Success! With help, we got the top sprocket loosened and shifted and were then able to remove the chain. Turns out the master link was broken and caused the jam up. I’ll get that replaced and will be all set. Thank you so much for your help!

  3. Paul Moxon, Moderator - November 23, 2020

    You’ll only be able to remove the sprocket from the drum after removing the drum from the press. But I suspect that cleaning the sprocket in place will suffice.

    Before removing the ink drum, place a two-by-four across the bearers over the ink drum. Then cinch straps around the lumber and the drum. Remove locking nuts and screws and the endplate. Then pull the shaft (X-15680) running through the drum. Then lift the drum can from the bed casting.
    Inspect the bushings (F-760) in the drum; the originals were made of wood (lignum vitae). Replace if they are worn or cracked with Oilite Bronze bushings (O.D. 1″, I.D. 3/4″ L. 2″).

  4. Ellie - November 23, 2020

    Thanks Paul! I did try to move that sprocket (I knew gear wasn’t the correct term!) near the motor with a crescent wrench, but it just spun without coming out. There’s nothing to grab on the reverse side to keep it from spinning. I’ll try again.

    I’d still like to remove that bar assembly (that holds the distributor roller) since I’d like to see what’s going on under there and to clean it. I removed its screws on the side of the press, but can’t see what else I need to do to remove it. It’s got an odd circle shape around where the screws are (see pic). Any thoughts?

  5. Paul Moxon, Moderator - November 22, 2020

    A gear for a chain is called a sprocket. The chain has a master link that is removable with a chain tool. Because it’s likely, you can’t access the master link due to the stuck chain, try adjusting the top sprocket near the ink motor where the chain changes direction from horizontal to vertical. The top sprocket is on an eccentric. To adjust, loosen the nut with a 7/8″ wrench and shift sprocket to reduce slack. You should be able the shift in the opposite direction increase slack to remove the chain from the ink drum sprocket.

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