One of our SP-15s makes a sort of grunting noise as it travels down the bed. I suspect it is the gear on the back form roller, but I cannot see any issue with it. The other SP-15 is silent during this travel, and this noise is new, so something seems to be out of alignment. I checked the set screws; they are tight and the gear seems to be tight. Any thoughts? Thanks.

10 thoughts on “SP-15 Gear Roller Grunt”

  1. Hi Katie, we just had a similar mystery sound on an SP-20, and the culprit was an askew wiper blade. The set screw holding it in place was just loose enough to shift one tiny nylon corner of the wiper to knock against the rack as the carriage moved down the bed. My theory is if the set screw is loose enough to allow the wiper to move out of place, it is also loose enough for the wiper to be inadvertently knocked back into position during all the cleaning/investigating that goes on when one is trying to locate the source of a bad sound. If the snorting noise returns, check the wiper blades. Ours have a telltale notch chipped off the corner where the nylon was coming into contact with the rack. Though I hope your grunting sound is gone for good already!

  2. Starting tooth on the rack seems to be ok. Also, the noise continued down the track. As mentioned, I switched rollers with the other press and the noise stayed with the older press, not the roller, so I don’t think it’s the gear, which seems to run true without any wobble. Raising the roller seems to have cured it.

  3. I’ve seen a starting tooth that had the tooth section broken from the arm and stuck low in place from dried ink. This would not align the teeth onto to the rack. Test the statring tooth for movement.
    I’d add that “grunting” suggests an intermittant rather than continual sound. Does it equate to the revolutions of the gears? A wobbly gear is a problem to be replaced.

  4. The gear contacting the starting tooth (BS-429) would make just a brief noise, then cease after passing it and continuing travel down the rack. Nonetheless, your starting tooth may be clogged, missing its spring, damaged or missing all together.

  5. Thanks to all for the advice. To test things, I switched rollers between the two SP-15 presses and sure enough, the sound stayed with the older press. So that eliminated the gear and roller. I had already cleaned all to no avail. What I did this morning was to clean the bracket that holds the roller bearing blocks. (Don’t know the name of the part.) Anyway, there was a lot of gunk on it, so I cleaned that. Again, no improvement. Finally, I checked the mechanism that raises or lowers the rollers. I found that raising the roller slightly made the sound go away. However, even in the lowest position, the other press does not make the noise. Can someone give more details about “the starter tooth on the rack”? I cannot see any difference between the gear track/rack on the two presses.

  6. Daniel MacDonald

    Hello Katie – I experienced a similar issue with the first run on our new-to-us SP 15. Everything seemed tight on the roller with the gear, but I was convinced that’s where the sound was coming from. I took it apart what I could, cleaned everything, and put things back together. I applied more oil and everything fired up like… um, a well oiled machine! Good luck!

  7. Paul is right- it would be the gear skidding across the rack instead of engaging. It can mean that the roller is set too high, or that the starter tooth on the rack isn’t functioning correctly.

    I know that sound and it makes me cringe every time!


  8. Actually, the students say it sounds like a pig snorting! I checked the items above and found nothing to cause this, but I’m going to take it all apart and clean it thoroughly before testing again. Will post again.

  9. Grunt?!
    – Form roller set too high, gear skips along top of rack
    – Gear too close to bed bearer, because form roller rubber is too far to the right on core. Cut back with large serrated knife.

    It could also be that dirt and lack of oil between bearing block/nyliner/roller core end (journal) could cause the roller to work harder when turning.

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