SP 15 Carriage Side Panel removal

Hello all,

I recently purchased an SP 15 and am finally getting around to cleaning/restoring it to printing condition. In the process I came across what appears to be a broken trip spring. Since the gears and trip mechanisms were an inky, greasy disaster I decided to pull the side plates and give it a thorough cleaning while fixing the spring. (I know that many advise against this but I have spent a good deal of time repairing/restoring cars and motorcycles so hopefully that aptitude will translate) My only hang up is with the lock nuts that attach to the stud (x-20494) that is the pivot for the trip arm assembly. I have the manual but it doesn’t really show how this part is removed. Here is a photo of what I am looking at:

Trip mechanism stud
Trip mechanism stud

Any advice is much appreciated and many thanks for the blog.

February 3rd, 2009 at 6:13 pm

14 thoughts on “SP 15 Carriage Side Panel removal

  1. Paul Moxon, Moderator - February 16, 2009

    The linkage shown in your drawing differs from the ones shown in John Christopher’s photos of his SP15 (and the SP20 I wrote about). Your press (#23085, 1963) has a spring assembly and link connecting the eccentric to the trip arm, while John’s (#25556, 1965) and the SP20 have two links. The reason to point this out is that Tie Bar A (Stud X-20494) may be welded on the eccentric and that’s why you can’t remove.

  2. Greg Menzel - February 16, 2009

    Well, I believe I have been officially defeated. I gave applied some heat to the tie rods today and while it did get the mechanism to work a bit more smoothly, it did not help the tie rods to slide out. At this point I suppose I will just clean it up and put it back together but I wanted to double check before I throw in the towel.

    I put together a quick diagram here:

    Basically, my understanding is that “tie rod (a) and tie rod (b)” just slide out. However, tie rod (a) seems to be attached to the eccentric bearing, and while I can get the spring assembly and the linkage between the two tie rods to pry off, it doesn’t seem that the rod will pop out of the main trip assembly (I have tried pushing on it from both sides but it doesn’t budge at all) Additionally, I haven’t been able to figure out how the spring assembly is connected to the eccentric. It would seem that the rod upon which the spring rides is attached on the tie rod side but not on the bearing side, does this come off and take the tension off? I have to say that this has been one of the most befuddling things I have ever tried to do. Perhaps I am just being too gentle with it but I really don’t know what else to try.

  3. Greg Menzel - February 10, 2009

    Dang, this is proving to a tricky little job. I am rapidly running out of ideas. I am going to try and hit it with some heat but if that doesn’t loosen up the tie rods then I am pretty much out of ideas. I appreciate all the help and maybe somewhere in the future someone can add to the post.

  4. john christopher - February 9, 2009

    Greg – here’s a photo which may help you once the plates are off:


  5. Greg Menzel - February 8, 2009

    So I’m not wrong in thinking that the tie rods should just slide out once the snap rings are off? They don’t seem to want to budge and I am always hesitant to force things when not 100% sure that they move. Unfortunately it is such a small space there is no way to get anything in there to tap them out either. I have been hosing it all down with WD40 but perhaps it is time to try something a bit more persuasive.

    Thanks for the advice.

  6. Eric Holub - February 8, 2009

    Heat may help loosen things held in by dried matter or Loctite. If more force is needed for disassembly, the use of an arbor press would give you more control and less chance of damage.

  7. Greg Menzel - February 7, 2009

    I was able to get the snap ring pliers in and remove all the rings (albeit with some cursing and difficulty) but now I am at a loss again. The rods don’t seem to come out and none of the parts will slide off the rods!

    The spring mechanism seems to need to be removed first, however it doesn’t want to come off. Is this similar to what you remember Paul?

    Thanks again for all your help so far. I know this must be possible!

  8. Paul Moxon, Moderator - February 5, 2009

    Yes, external snap ring pliers make the job a whole lot easier.

  9. Greg Menzel - February 5, 2009

    Initially I was just planning to clean up the important parts and get to printing, but after getting into it a bit I got more and more uncomfortable with the amount of old ink, grease and dirt that has built up on much of the press. My feeling is that at this point, since I am already going through the process of cleaning it all up I might as well do a really thorough job and start with a nice, clean press. That way, if something isn’t working properly, at least I will have ruled out “gunk” as a possibility.

    My ideal situation would be to get the side plates off so that I can clean behind them. If i can do that without taking off the cylinder eccentric housing then that would be great. If not, I guess I am just looking to get as much information about the process so that I can weigh the cost vs. benefits.

    Specifically, are you able to get snap ring pliers in there to unhook the tie rods etc.?

  10. Fritz Klinke - February 4, 2009

    Didn’t get to looking up the stud drawing, but did move 6 cabinets of Vandercook files into our new office today. The cylinder eccentric housing can hang you up if you have detached what holds the tie rods in. We have a SP-15 cylinder assembly here that came off a dead press and it is partially taken apart, and I recall that it gave us fits. And maybe that several year old memory is why I questioned taking all this apart in the first place. A little gunk, accumulation of lint, paper fibers, and assorted stuff really doesn’t matter if all else works ok as advertised.

    Though in defense of clean machines, a fellow printer I know was called in last week to help figure out why a Miehle 29 (rather large flatbed cylinder press) was all of a sudden out of timing on the cylinder gripper action and the automatic feeder. Before visiting the plant, he asked that they take the gripper bar off, thoroughly clean it, and free up and lubricate all the grippers. The 29 is like an overgrown V-50. On his arrival, they started up the press for the first time and it fed 1000 sheets of chipboard with not a single miss. He said the press was flithy and the pressman offered that this particular company didn’t want to waste time on keeping things clean and oiled, yet they shelled out $250 for this service call.

  11. Paul Moxon, Moderator - February 4, 2009

    The Cylinder Eccentric bearing I removed on the SP20 was gently tapped back in place.

  12. Greg Menzel - February 4, 2009

    After taking another look at it, it seems that it is the Cylinder Eccentric is what is holding things on. After reading Paul’s post again on removing the panel on an SP20 it seems that he was able to disconnect everything and leave the eccentric attached. But between the crud and the dark photocopies in the manual, I can’t really tell what needs to be unbolted to get access to the eccentric so any help there would be great.

    Additionally, if you need a bearing extractor to remove the part, does it need to be pounded back into place when it is reattached?

  13. Greg Menzel - February 4, 2009

    Hi Fritz, thanks for the reply. If the side plates come off without removing that part I would certainly prefer to leave it on. After removing all the bolts on the front of the plate it seemed to be hanging up on something on the back side which appeared to be this stud. There is so much old ink and grease back there that even after hosing it with WD40 and blowing it out with my compressor I still wasn’t able to see how to get the plate off, leading me to presume (incorrectly?) that it was this stud holding it all together. Looking in the manual, it seems like there may be a couple of snap rings that hold it on but I sure wasn’t able to see any under the gunk.

  14. Fritz Klinke - February 3, 2009

    Aside from being able to clean the trip arm, why remove this? The side plates will come off without removing this part if it is giving you trouble. The trip spring(s) can be easily replaced with this assembly in place if you have disassembled the side plates from the cylinder. According to the assembly drawing for the carriage, the nut is hardware part 14028 and the hardware list has it as Lock Nut, Allen, .250-28. I can look up the stud drawing, but will have to wait for daylight as there’s no lighting in the room where the Vandercook files are currently stored. There’s a slight chance we may have to make you a new stud if you’re dead set on taking this apart, so I’ll pull the drawing in the morning just in case. We have new cylinder trip springs when you are ready for those.

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