SP-15 Motor Gear Box Issue

One of our SP-15 motors (Vandercook # 22155) quit last week. It has been noisy (our other SP-15 is about as loud as a sewing machine) but lately the noise was worse, and then the motor just stopped, smelling burned. The motor refurbishing place (Evans) tells me that there is a seal in the gear box that is leaking. He asked me if I could find out the model and serial number of the gear box (different from that of the motor). They can’t really fix that seal without it, they tell me. Does anyone know of a way to get this information?

20 thoughts on “SP-15 Motor Gear Box Issue

  1. Enrique - April 14, 2013

    That’s a great tip Katie! I’m glad it worked out for you!

  2. Katie Harper - April 14, 2013

    At their invitation, I went to visit the Evans Enterprises facility in Fort Smith this week, where they showed that by putting the motor on a different surface (other than a sheet of steel) they could quite the motor substantially. It made almost no sound at all when dampened. So they reinstalled it in our SP-15, and dampened it with a rubber pad instead of the old cork pad. The difference was amazing! The SP-15 is now up and running, quieter than ever. Success!!

  3. Enrique - April 13, 2013

    I want to add that my SP15 also has a Reliance motor and it’s similar to what Katie got installed in the sense that the speed reducer is what supports the motor. So I see no problem there. This has been a very exciting post to follow.

  4. Katie Harper - April 9, 2013

    Output of motor = 1730 rpm. Gearmotor = .10 so 173. Controller is set at 55%, so final output = approx. 95 rpm. Evans picked up the new motor this morning and they tell me it checked out ok during testing. In other words, the pulsating grinding noise is apparently normal. I sometimes think these guys who work on this stuff all the time are actually deaf. So it matters little to them if a press motor is so loud I have to yell to teach over it… Our other SP-15 sounds about as loud as a sewing machine. The motor on our C&P makes no sound at all. Go figure… Anyway, it all works; we may have to try to dampen the noise some other way. Will report back when it’s all reinstalled.

  5. Ladboyle - April 8, 2013


    Glad to hear that the installation work.

    Do you know the RPM output of the new gearmotor?


  6. Katie Harper - April 8, 2013

    The new motor was installed today. Fits perfectly where the old motor was, although it is smaller and lighter. I will post pics of the gearmotor and the controller, which is installed on the outside of the press, under the feed table. The controller does two things: converts from DC to AC and keeps the motor at a constant speed. My only concern is a sort of pulsating, grinding noise coming from the new motor/gearmotor somewhere. The installers swore that the noise was not in the equipment that they had just installed; they thought the noise was coming from my cylinder, so after they left, I took off the cylinder to investigate and then, just to be thorough, turned on the motor again. Voila, the noise is in the motor itself. So I have sent an email to the installers and we’ll see what they say.

  7. Ladboyle - April 4, 2013


    I hesitate to comment about a plan to fix your press or question advise of a professional. But, i looked at the mechanical drawing you posted. I was bother by how the motor seems to be mounted by the gear box and not the motor. That will shift the weight. So i picked up the motor model number from the drawing and then googled it.

    When i found it on the web, i noticed that its a DC motor and not a AC (110 volt) powered.

    While looking around on the website, i found:


    This motor “looks like” what I have and it’s mount is under the motor as mine is. That would make the weight distribution about the same.

    There are several versions of this motor that have different RPM outputs and I don’t know which is correct.

    You may want to ask the machine shop about DC v. AC and about how the motor mounts.

    Again, I am NOT a machinist, an electrical engineer, vandercook expert, etc (acutally, I am an academic, translate as ivory-tower goofball), but I am still uncertain that the motor in the drawing is the right one.

    Good luck


    I was bothered by what appp

  8. Paul Moxon, Moderator - April 4, 2013

    Katie, please take photos and tell us the motor’s model number. If this is the right solution, and I’m sure it will be, other SP15 owners will be grateful when their time comes to deal with this issue.

    I’m helping in a couple of similar situations and am writing a synopsis of the various findings.

  9. Katie Harper - April 4, 2013

    We are going ahead with the install of the new motor/gearbox from Baldor and Evans Enterprises. It will be installed on Monday. Anything we need to know about making this all work right? Speed? Balance? I have another SP-15 in the shop, so the installers can see exactly how the motor is supposed to work. I’ll post the results.

  10. Katie Harper - April 2, 2013

    Baldor and Evans Motors have come up with a new motor/gear box for us. Apparently, the installation is quite tricky and may take up to 8 hours, for a total cost of about $1500. (Motor is around $500). They tell me that the new motor and gear box will be very similar in size and weight to the current gear motor. (I have submitted jpegs of their diagrams.) I don’t know enough about motors to know if this is what we need. I thought about going the non-motorized route, but we really do need two motorized presses, and since this one is designed to be motorized, I don’t what to customize it too much.

  11. Ladboyle - March 27, 2013


    My motor is a Reliance Electric Gearmotor – like yours.

    Its a 1/12th HP, but not much other useful info on the motor plate

    The balancing issue that Paul raised concerns getting some, but not too much, upward pressure on the inking drum. If you will push down on the inking drum (when the carriage is rolled out to your right), you will see that springs are pulling it up. Thus, when the carriage is rolled back to the feedboard, the rear roller presses down on the inking drum and picks up ink.

    When you modify the motor setup, you will want to place the new motor, etc so that the balance and pressure is not substantially altered. Note the the inking tray is hinged in the middle – to allow the up and down movement of the inking drum.

    I suspect that Paul can do a better job of explaining the issue and how much the balance can change without altering the inking process.

    The alternative is to switch to manual inking, which is not something that i want to go back to, but you could remove the inking drum, add a hand crank to the front roller and then be able to print without electricity.

    good luck!

  12. Katie Harper - March 27, 2013

    UPDATE_3-27-13, 11:32am CDT
    Evans says that if we stick with 115 Volts, they can make an alternative motor/gearbox combo, but because of the gear ratio and speed, this will require a separate speed control box. We have a speed controller on our C&P. This would be similar, only mounted out of sight so that it won’t be casually changed. They can do this with either AC or DC. They say the motor will be very similar to what we have now in size and weight. I am supposed to get more details via email. Cost is around $300-500. Too bad we just had the old motor rebuilt last year… (over $600).

  13. Katie Harper - March 27, 2013

    Lad, Thanks for the info. Yes, please do get info from the plate. Our motor was a Reliance GearMotor. Reliance is now part of Baldor, and the folks at Baldor have also been helping me with this problem, working in tandem with the folks at Evans. I did talk to Fritz, but since the motor is not Vandercook equipment, he was not able to help us.

    I’d like to know more about the weight issue that Paul and Lad brought up. Is weight balance the reason that the motor is mounted off to the non-operator side of the chamber??

    One option the Evans guy suggested was to put the motor underneath the drum, if he could figure out a way to get the belt to the motor unimpeded. I was not so optimistic about that alternative.

    A final option for us is to just run the motor we have until it drops, (apparently it is still in working order; just needs a new seal) and we may have to do that if we cannot find an alternative.

  14. Ladboyle - March 27, 2013


    The motor and gearbox i installed were an original equipment motor and gearbox. Fritz had the entire powerinking system off of a SP-15.

    If it will help, tonight, I can look at the label on the motor to see the mfg, power, etc info that is on the ID plate.


  15. Paul Moxon, Moderator - March 26, 2013

    Lad: tell us more about the motor.

  16. Ladboyle - March 26, 2013

    because the plate/tray for the motor is hinged in the middle, you should be able to place it on the plate so that the balance is not significantly altered and the roller can press the drum down when the carriage is at the feed board.

  17. Paul Moxon, Moderator - March 26, 2013

    A speed control device shouldn’t take up too much space by itself, but total weight shouldn’t be so much that the ink drum can no longer be pushed down by the cylinder.

  18. Ladboyle - March 26, 2013


    last year i bought an SP-15 without power inking. I was able to buy from Frtiz (NAGraphics) the parts to add power inking and installed them myself. If you will search the archives here or on Briarpress, I told “my story.”

    If u have not talked with Fritz, you should call him at 970 387 0212. I found that calling around 4:30 or so Mtn time is usually a good time. He’s such an interesting guy, I call and chat with him even when I don’t need anything.

    If you have pulled the motor to be repaired, you should have seen that there is a lot of space on the plate that holds the motor. I would think that you have the space needed. As an alternative, you might look for a variable speed motor. As another alternative, there are devices, i think, that you can put in power cord that reduces the electricity flowing to the motor that slows it down. You will need to confirm that such a device won’t burn up the motor.

    You may need a machine shop to help install the new motor on the plate that holds the motor. you want it firmly installed and it needs to line up very carefully with the inking drum.

    removing the plate does require takiing the press partially apart. In particular, the back panel needs to come off. Because its heavy, raising the plate back into place is tricky. I lifted from the top and my wife stacked boards underneath until it was close enough to attach. we can talk if you get stuck on that part of the job.

    hope this helps

    lad boyle

  19. Katie Harper - March 26, 2013

    UPDATE: Apparently, the seal we need for the GearMotor is no longer available. It cannot be fabricated because it is partly ceramic, according to the guys at Evans Motors. The guy was at our shop yesterday to look at how the motor works on our other SP-15. He thinks he may be able to come up with a different motor, possibly even a gear motor, but the tricky part, he says, is motor speed. The gear motor turns the motion as well as slowing down the speed. A different kind of motor that works directly (without a gear box) will not turn slowly enough without some kind of speed control. Another problem is the lack of space for the motor in the SP-15. Could both motor and speed control go in that space behind the drum cylinder?

    Do these motors ever become available? Any advice appreciated.

    Katie Harper
    UA Fort Smith

    Does anyone have any advice?

  20. Ladboyle - February 27, 2013

    You should contact Fritz Klinke at NAGraphics. He will know and may even have the seal you need.

    good luck

Leave a Reply

Copyright © 2022 vandercookpress.infoTheme by SiteOrigin
Scroll to top