Tightening drive chain on Universal III

Anyone got an idea of the sequence (or at least a place to start loosening bolts) to move the sprockets to tighten the chain on an automatic Universal III? The chain is hanging enough that it is dragging just after (or before?) it passes the sprocket nearest the ink drum roller. I’m not sure it is causing any problems with printing quality, but the noise is starting to bother me. I’m not sure I could take out a link, but I also could not figure out which link you need to work with for that.

If you have an idea of what to loosen to move something useful it would help to be able to see a photo.

3 thoughts on “Tightening drive chain on Universal III

  1. Ray Nichols - November 4, 2018

    Well that was almost a disaster. First thing is that taking apart the chain wasn’t the first / best solution. It was getting up inside the Vandercook and noticing that the sprocket that is most at the top and most at the back of the press is adjustable. It requires one of those think kinds of 3/4″ open end crescent and a 13/16th socket. We just didn’t look closely enough.

    Anyway we took the chain apart but could not get the chain to both shorten and connect back together.

    Drove to a bike store to see if there was a comparable chain. Nope. He suggested the Honda motorcycle store. Went there. They had a chain that was literally exactly the same kind of chain except that the links between links is a little thicker (not a problem as it turns out). They had a 120 link and a 130 link version. I bought the 130 link version ($14). Turns out the chain we had was 129 links. Put it together and press has never been quieter.

    If any of the rest of you have a chain problem figure out how to adjust that sprocket first. A lot easier way to do it.

    Thanks to John Henry for the video. It didn’t solve the problem but it was part of the process that got me to a solution.

  2. Ray Nichols - October 30, 2018

    I’m headed to the studio to give that a try. Thanks. Hard to imagine that could be any clearer.

  3. John Henry - October 30, 2018

    Ray: Here’s a great video on shortening a roller chain. I did have to do this to my UNI III a while back. The removeable link elongated c-clip should be on the side of the chain toward the center of the press. Removing a single link should shorten it enough to quiet your operation considerably.

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