Vandercook #4 Foot Pedal Problems


I’m afraid that I’m having issues with my Vandercook No. 4 (Model 14186).

I’ve looked and looked, but something isn’t connecting properly anymore to make the paper grippers raise when the foot pedal is pressed.

When the pedal is pressed the bumper block is bumping out about 1/8″ when not in connection with the carriage, but when the carriage is back at the feed board and the pedal is pressed the grippers are not lifting.

The paper grippers have gradually been getting lower, but until yesterday when they suddenly ceased opening all together I thought it was my imagination. I can find anything loose or broken. Would it be possible that perhaps just the MRS-106 spring just need to be replaced with a springier spring? Another part need to get shifted? I’ve tried to adjust the gripper trip lever by manipulating the set screw, but no luck.

Any help would be greatly appreciated – it’s about to make my printing operation considerably trickier.

Friedrich Kerksieck
Small Fires Press

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7 years ago

The pin in our foot pedal is broken into three pieces. Do you have any pointers to get it out? Also, can you direct us where to buy a new one?

The Arm
12 years ago

That missing or broken pin could definitely be your problem. I accidentally broke one of those pins moving a friend’s #4 with a pry bar and with the pin broken the pedal went straight to the floor without sufficiently lifting the grippers. We tapped it out, installed a new one, and never thought about it again.

Eric Holub
12 years ago

A while back I saw a 4 with pin damage where the arm under the cabinet meets the chain, a place with little working room. As the arm slipped on the shaft, the grippers had less and less lift. We put the press onto automatic gripper lift, and that was good enough to print until things were remade. On automatic, the pedal linkages don’t come into play.
The arm had to be reamed slightly, since it wouldn’t fit onto the shaft without whatever monstrous press Vandercook used to assemble it.

Paul Moxon, Moderator
12 years ago

There are a lot of moving parts and most of it is difficult to access without lifting the bed.
You said the that the block pushes out, so it may not come to that.

Check that the pins in the pedal shaft are not broken (one outside the cabinet and one underneath). You should not be able to lift the pedal no more that an inch.

Paul Moxon, Moderator
12 years ago

Maybe the push rod (MR-100) and the cylinder hole are dirty. Or the trip bar (MS-101) on the bottom of the gripper assembly is not contacting the push rod.

The Arm
12 years ago

A silly question- you don’t by any chance have a mat in front of the press which is under the pedal, do you?


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