SP-15 Motor Noise

Our newly acquired SP-15 has a very loud motor. Not sure if this is normal. We have a second SP-15 that is also loud, but not as bad as the newer one. I sometimes have to shout for my students to hear me. I received several suggestions to check/add oil, and we did that, but nothing changed. Is this normally a noisy motor? Is excessive noise a sign of something wrong? If it is normal, is there a way to dampen the noise, perhaps by adding insulation to the chamber that houses the motor, if that can be done without interfering with cooling? Thanks.

7 thoughts on “SP-15 Motor Noise

  1. Katie Harper - October 18, 2011

    Motor was pulled and taken to a local shop. Preliminary diagnosis is that the motor needs to be rewound. Others have told me it is much cheaper to buy a new motor from Baldor, but not sure how to get the right motor. Don’t have estimates yet for either option. Any thoughts?

  2. Paul Moxon, Moderator - October 12, 2011

    Removing the belt: There are four bolts that hold the motor onto a plate. The holes on this plate a slotted. Loosen the nuts on the underside and slide the motor toward the drum, which will cause the belt to slacken. You should then be able to walk the belt off the drum gear. If not, remove the socket head cap screws on each end of the drum and angle the operator’s side upward.

  3. Katie Harper - October 11, 2011

    Our motor expert wants to check the motor without the drum cylinder connected. We could not figure out how to slip the belt off without removing the cylinder. Can anyone give us a procedure for either of these? Thanks.

  4. Katie Harper - October 10, 2011

    Thanks, David. Ours is more like a roar… I found a video on YouTube featuring a Vandercook SP-15 and you can hear the printer shuffling pages on top of the press. Definitely not what we are getting. I think I have found someone who can come help us diagnose the issues. Fort Smith is, after all, the home of Baldor, large mfr of electric motors. Even though ours is a Reliance motor, we should have a bit of a motor brain trust in this town. Will keep you all posted.

  5. david brewer - October 10, 2011

    As just another SP-15 owner, mine runs really quietly…..purrs like a kitten. I hope you find your problem,if you have one….and it’s solution…db

  6. Katie Harper - October 10, 2011

    Both our SP-15 presses are belt driven, but we can certainly check alignment of the pulleys. Someone else mentioned that such noise could be bad bearings. I’m hoping to find someone on campus who can help me diagnose. Was hoping to hear from other SP-15 users to see if their motors are also rather noisy. Could be inherent.

  7. jhenry - October 10, 2011


    It has been quite some time since I ran a SP-15, but is the noise from the motor itself or from the chain drive connecting the motor to the ink drum? If you disconnect the chain and the motor is noisy, that certainly isn’t normal.

    If the chain is the problem, it probably is worn, dirty or not properly tensioned. Any or all of these things can make a sprocket-driven device noisy. Another thing to check is proper alignment of the drive pulleys. It could be that one of them has a loose setscrew which allows the sprocket pulley to vary in alignment, yet still turn with thew motor or drum shaft.

    Just some things to check.

    John Henry

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