Vandercook Univ. I: spring issues (the part, not the season)

I think I might now what the prob is, but wanted to hear what others think. The spring under the latch that holds the cylinder back and in place that is not the original spring. I faked it with a purchase from a hardware store 7-9 years ago. Well, it seems that its time has come to an end because I’m having a problem getting the cylinder “over the hump” and when I step on the foot pedal the grippers don’t want to raise well. I can make it happen by being firm and stepping on the pedal multiple times, but the press is protesting with squeaks that I don’t like. Any tips? I think I might need to get a new spring — the part # in the manual is X-11022. Could be something else?

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Fritz Klinke
Admin
15 years ago

I chatted with Ellen today as she was ordering her spring. On the power Universal presses the cylinder movement is determined on the speed of the cylinder travel and the point at which the microswitches are activated–the faster the cylinder travel, or speed, then the further the cylinder will travel before stopping. If the cylinder crashes into the bumper springs, slow down the press, or readjust the arm on the back of the press attached to the cylinder that actuates the microswitches. If you vary the speed of the press from slow to fast, then that will cause problems as far as to where the cylinder stops, or doesn’t. The microswitches control the relays that control the motor.

Eric Holub
Editor
15 years ago

Usually if I can depress a cylinder check cam with my fingers, without pushing fairly hard, then the cylinder will creep forward from rest position. But if the cylinder check spring is so strong that you have to muscle the cylinder over it, it ought to be holding the cylinder at the correct rest position too. There must be more going on here than just the spring.
How is the nylon tire on the cross-rod, that is the contact point with the cylinder check cam? (I’ve seen No. 4s, which have no nylon tire there, rather worn at this spot, and rotated for unworn metal to contact.)

Eric Holub
Editor
15 years ago

If the grippers are clean, they shouldn’t need much lubrication. If they are dirty or burred or bent, lubrication won’t help. I disassemble, clean the moving parts, slide the gripper buttons in and out by hand, feel for resistance. Bends straightened, burrs filed or crocus-clothed; when movement is smooth, only then a rub with graphite. Graphite can get gummy from humidity, so it may need a regular cleaning.
By it being harder to get over the hump, you mean it is now harder to get the cylinder past the cylinder check? Why would an old spring, right or wrong, suddenly get stiffer? (The original springs are very stiff.) Usually I see them get weaker or lose coils, and then the cylinder won’t rest close enough to the feedboard. Sometimes then the mechanism won’t be correctly lined up to give full opening motion from the pedal, at least on some models. But if things are squeaking, you need to follow the linkages back from the cylinder to the pedal and lubricate the contact points.

Fritz Klinke
Admin
15 years ago

If it’s the spring you need, $6.25 plus shipping will get you a new one that’s not a fake. If it is something else, like lack of lubrication, then an oil can may help.

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