Vandercook 4, pulley set screw won’t stay tight

The top wheel of the motor assembly pulley on my Vandercook 4 (#12545) keeps loosening. The set screw tightens, but loosens after the motor runs for a bit. The wheel and the belt move on the post toward the operator, away from the motor. This is a recurring problem, but every once in a while I tighten it and it holds for months. There is a trench in the post that holds the pulley (see photo, visible just to the left of the set screw). Should the set screw be seated in/over that trench? (With the wheel pushed back on.) I replaced the 1/4 in. long set screw that was there; is that the correct length? Could this all be happening because I need a new belt? I’ve never replaced it (15 years), but it’s not frayed or showing variable wear.

Thanks …

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Paul Moxon, Moderator
Admin
2 years ago

Thank you for the follow up, Sara. Most appreciated.

Paul Moxon, Moderator
Admin
2 years ago

Did you place the belt over the small pulley first?

Paul Moxon, Moderator
3 years ago

Place the belt over the small pulley first, then set the over end against the left side of the large pulley and rotate the pulley to the right as you ease the belt onto it.

If this doesn’t work, then the motor has to be raised. Loosen the nuts on top of the motor plate, raise the motor then raise the bottom nuts. The motor must be level.

Paul Moxon, Moderator
Admin
3 years ago

You say that the pulley is very stable, but is set farther out from the motor more than the upper pulley. If you set the pulleycloser to the motor is it not stable? The key may be too small, though a larger key may need to be filed down.
Unlikely, by theere may be wear between the motor shaft (center post) and the pulley.

I checked my small pulley: it does not have a keyway just like yours. I don’t understand why since the motor shaft has one. Without a keyway on the pulley a key won;t work as intended. I don’t know why Vandercook would have done this. Thought I have not had trouble with my small pulley.

Paul Moxon, Moderator
3 years ago

The trench is called a keyway. You’ll find a matching keyway on the pulley. Once the two keyways are aligned, slide in a square key. Keys are available at hardware stores. The key for my later model No. 4 is 316 × 1¼, long but confirm the specs as it may be different for your press. While you’re at it, replace the set screw as it may have become damaged.

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