Challenge 15MP Chatters

My daughter has a Challenge 15MP.  Sometimes when she returns the carriage to the feedboard, the gears “chatter,” that is, the gears are not matching up and it makes the carriage shake.  I’ve looked at it and don’t see anything obviously wrong. I did note that she does not turn the power inking off when printing, so the roller gear engages the power inking each time she returns the carriage to the feedboard. Is the problem as simple as she should not leave the power on, but rather cut the power on once the carriage is at the feedboard?



13 thoughts on “Challenge 15MP Chatters

  1. Paul Moxon, Moderator - April 29, 2016

    I haven’t replaced the starting teeth on a Challenge but believe that they’re identical. I will see a 15MP in a couple weeks and will compare with the Vandercook replacement part I have. Meanwhile here’s the dimensions: the teeth section is 0.5″W x 0.6″L x .5″H. the tongue is 0.125″W and 1.112″ long on the top and .875″ on the bottom.

  2. Lad Boyle - April 28, 2016

    Finally got back to my daughter’s studio and took a good look at the press – It’s the starter teeth making the noise – very worn,

    Will Vandercook SP!5 starter teeth fit the challenge 15mp? If yes, I assume/hope its a Frtiz part.

    Fortunately, the gear on the rear inking roller is in very good condition. I think she can avoid
    damage to the good gear by cutting the motor off before rolling the carriage to ink type or a plate.

    The brass journals on the rider roller are worn and we will replace since we bought the parts, but that’s not what’s making the press chatter.

    Thanks for the input


  3. Paul Moxon, Moderator - April 11, 2016

    They’re NA parts: X-20513.

  4. Lad Boyle - April 11, 2016

    Thanks Paul

    Those look like Fritz parts or is it possible that I might find them locally?


  5. Paul Moxon, Moderator - April 11, 2016

    The rider on the Challenge 15MP is identical to the SP15. The bronze journals are 3/8″ in diameter and it’s best to replace both.

  6. Lad Boyle - April 11, 2016

    Its the rider roller that is making the noise – looking at my SP15 parts list, there seems to be rider roller ends. I am wondering if these should be replaced. Thoughts?



  7. Paul Moxon, Moderator - April 11, 2016

    Sorry for the delayed reply. We’ve covered all of the common causes. Being infrequent makes it difficult to diagnose. Can she upload a video the next time it happens?

  8. Lad Boyle - March 28, 2016


    My daughter looked at her press last night. She reports that the spring appears to be fine and she checked the other things you told us to look at – everything appears to be in order.

    She did tell me that the chattering occurs, when it occurs, when the carriage is close to the feed board, but not quite there – maybe an inch away.

    I told her to cut the motor off except when she is re-inkng the rollers to avoid the problem until we figure it out,

    Any more thoughts?


  9. Lad Boyle - March 27, 2016

    geeee – I thought brain surgery was hard!

    I will need to help her the next time I am in GA

    Again, thanks for your help and helping all the others who own these old presses.


  10. Paul Moxon, Moderator - March 27, 2016

    Yes. That’s a memory fail. I posted from my phone and didn’t look at the manual or my book.

    You may be able to install a new spring and pin (BR-44) into the starting teeth without removing the rack. Loosen the screws on the top, then gently pry up the rack at each end to keep it relatively parallel. Note that there’s an alignment pin near each end that will make the rack resistant to being moved, and underneath the rack are three or more shims. These shims are easily bent or may already be broken.

    Starting teeth can break at the pin hole on the tongue that inserts into a split on the end of the rack. Installing new starting teeth requires removing the form roller rack. (Unfasten the screws completely then extract them with a magnet. Pry rack from bed as described above.

    The starting teeth unit is attached to the rack with a strait pin running through the side of the rack. Use a punch to knock out the pin and remove the old teeth. Clean the rack as needed. Lightly oil and insert tongue of starting teeth into rack, then insert pin and tap in place.

    When reinstalling the rack, lay the shims in place on the bed casting. Use an awl to align with the screw the holes.) Set the spring into its bottom rest with the pin (BR-44) on top to fit into the starting teeth. Set the rack in place and alternately tap it at each alignment pin with a wood block and a mallet or hammer. Lightly oil, insert and tighten screws.

  11. Lad Boyle - March 26, 2016


    I looked at my Vandercook on my back porch in SC – looks like it will be tricky to replace the spring. Any suggestions for technique? (the Challenge is in GA – i looked at it several weeks ago, but obviously can’t look at this weekend.)

    BTW, I looked at my Vandercook SP15 parts list, the starting teeth is part number BS-429 and the spring is part number BSR-1. I assume you meant BRS-1 for the spring and not BRS-429.

    In any and all events, thanks for the help


  12. Lad Boyle - March 26, 2016

    Probably broken or missing spring – the press didn’t use to do this – has only recently started. We will check and if its the spring, will order from Fritz

    Have a happy Easter


  13. Paul Moxon, Moderator - March 26, 2016

    Turning the power off shouldn’t be the solution. Like the Vandercook SP15, there are spring-loaded starting teeth on the form roller rack. This part may be broken or missing its spring. A Vandercook replacement part BRS-429 will fit. It’s available from NA Graphics,

    Confirm the following:
    – Gear is on the rear roller
    – Rubber diameter on form roller is 2.5″
    – Gear diameter is 2.5″ and has 40 teeth
    – If press bed is galley height, the bed plate is .050″

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