Universal I back rubber roller and gear backwards?

I was using a friend’s Universal I press today when I noticed I was getting a lot of slurring and that the rollers weren’t rotating at all when I was printing or tripping. They were dragging across the surface of the plate without rotating.
I looked up the manual and am wondering now if the back roller might be on backwards. The roller gear is on the left side (see picture) with nowhere to go and the adjusting knobs are facing into each other. This isn’t my press and I haven’t printed much with Universals so I didn’t want to try to move/adjust anything because the owner wasn’t there. Am I nuts or is it backwards? Thank you for your help.

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Fritz Klinke
14 years ago

The early version of the end bolt did not have the pin and set screw arrangement–it was a solid bolt. These can work loose and jam the roller as Eric points out. At some point, Vandercook redesigned the bolt so it would lock in position. This would be covered in an Engineering Change Order, and maybe I can pin point that date. The first version of rollers for the Univ I press was completely different from what appeared about 1961 and that later version is the one piece steel, solid core. The original core is shown in the above prints from the manual.

Paul Moxon, Moderator
14 years ago

This is true. The manual for the Uni I and the III show a simple screw like on the SP15. I don’t have any of these screws at the moments. If any one can take a pic and post it, please do.

Eric Holub
14 years ago

Paul, people can get confused by the bearings. Some don’t notice the allen setscrew down inside the retaining screw. It has to be loosened before the screw can be removed and the bearing taken off. Worse, they may not tighten the setscrew when reassembling, and the result is that the retaining screw may work itself loose on the gear side, and even jam the roller in place.

Paul Moxon, Moderator
14 years ago

Also the bearings need to be swapped on the back rollers so the that adjustment knobs face forward. The front roller also needs to be flipped.

Alex Brooks
14 years ago

the roller needs to be flipped end for end, so that the gear is on the far side of the press and matches up with the far gear rack. good luck,

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