My Uni I’s motor for the ink drum has trouble starting. In the past occasionally when I turned it on, it would not turn and would softly hum, but turning it off and on again would restart it. Now it mostly won’t start turning, though if I manually push on the drum it will start. I think the oil levels are ok, but I am not 100% sure of that. If I need to add more oil, it looks like our motor’s fill plug is horizontal, is that not unusual?



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7 thoughts on “Uni I motor has trouble starting”

  1. Thanks Dan. Your diagnosis was very useful! I was finally able to check out the capacitor, and it is still good, reading almost exactly the spec 53 microfarards. I checked out the continuity of the two wires that connect to the capacitor, and got nothing. So the speed switch might be stuck closed, thus not giving the capacitor a chance to do its work. I will probably next take off the motor and bring it in to a small motor shop, unless I feel like disassembling it further.

  2. Great, thanks for the verification! There are also a lot of great youtube videos on replacing starter motor capacitors, which I should have watched before posting my reply.

  3. Yes, that is your capacitor. Get it out of there, disconnect the terminals and check the side of it for the specs. You can order a replacement from McMaster Carr that will go in just as that one does. It is a simple job.

  4. Hi,

    I finally got a chance to stop in at our neglected studio. I am assuming the black cylinder in the image is the capacitor, but wanted to double check before removing it, as it didn’t seem to want to disconnect easily. Also I am glad that I didn’t remove it, as I didn’t note the + and – connections, if it is a polarized capacitor.

    Also Paul, is the bolt circled in red the oil fill plug?

  5. It sounds like your motor needs a new starter capacitor. It is located inside the bulge on the motor body. Unplug the press and check to see what the specs are. You can get a replacement from McMaster Carr. Be careful not to bridge the contacts when installing or removing- capacitors can zap you even when not plugged in.


  6. I will check as you have suggested. It is a power carriage, there are no issues with the carriage motor, even when the ink drum motor does not turn.

  7. The fill plug is standard.for Universals. The motor issue is most likely electrical. This is a power carriage press, correct? Check the fuses. Check the wiring, make sure that the connections at the switch are tight. You may need an electrician.

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