bridgeport handwheel clutch collar - ball stuck

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BadDog
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bridgeport handwheel clutch collar - ball stuck

Postby BadDog » Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:55 pm

I've about reached my wit's end. I have a mill head I've been trying to disassemble for cleaning and refurb, and I can't seem to get the "hand wheel clutch collar" off. It should be very straight forward, and I've read the manual, watched youtube videos, and scoured folks logging details of their rebuilds, so far no help. It's really just a simple spring loaded ball in hole riding on a shaft dropping into detents. The "Guide to Renovating" covers it all very minimally, even stating not to remove the screws, but just loosen them, then slide the collar off.

One guy making a painfully detailed fast forward of the entire tear down, including a bunch of fiddling around and referencing his "guide", then just completely skips removing the collar for some reason (though I did note it appeared the ball was still in the tube!). One second the collar is there, the next it's not, just FAN-tastic. Another video suggests using air to dislodge by putting a 3/8" fuel line on the outer tube and "puffing" to dislodge the ball. For me, that's just dead-heading, no air flow, no dislodged ball. Another web page describes it much like the "guide" does with no note of difficulty. But not really any hits on folks having problems other than that it can be fiddly or even frustrating, not impossible. I did see some comments on a video from someone in my boat, but said he finally got fed up and used an angle grinder with a cut-off wheel (and clearly bought/made replacement parts).

So based on my thoughts and the various suggestions, these are the things I've tried and failed with.
1) penetrating oil and brake clean
2) stack of neodymium on a small steel rod
3) parking the ball in a detent, then "thumping" the rod with a mallet to try to dislodge
4) taking some 1/4" air line and pulling vacuum stuck on ball (full gauge) only to have it pull off, leaving the ball
5) air hose pushing ~160psi
6) parking the ball in the deepest detent and trying to pull the collar over (suggestion I think on PM, but they said use puller.. mmm..no)
7) digging at it with a twisted point pic

Tried and retried back and forth again and again in case something done at one attempt might make another attempt successful.

So clearly either I'm completely incompetent (I freely admit that's the case at times) or this is just my typical luck on projects like these and I got the detent ball from hell. So far it's eaten at least 4 hours of my time on the one single part. And the head, though in great condition, was left open (belt housing and back gear casting removed) for several years in a shop and it's got grit all inside. So I have no choice but to complete disassembly to clean and reassemble. Otherwise it seems pristine and well worth rebuilding, except for this one poor designed part. Maybe it's not normal, but to me so far this is like a pin or bearing pressed into a blind hole with no provision for service. I'm about fed up enough at this point to sell it for scrap and send it to china where it can become something useful. Yes, that's just said tongue-in-cheek, but does represent my current frustration levels.

I included all the things I've tried to avoid helpful suggestions to try things already tried. Can anyone give me some helpful advice on how to address this?
Russ
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spro
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Re: bridgeport handwheel clutch collar - ball stuck

Postby spro » Mon Sep 11, 2017 3:12 am

Hi. Most all the options I thought of, you already tried. There is some weird stuff out there, where a copper sleeve is placed in the hole and the thinnest welding rod and just bump the welder for a second. That could be a disaster but would shake things up. Some way that ball is frozen in there. If the rod adhered to the ball only, well it is possible.
Hey, H&W -Barry Walker may know. They have the kits you may need anyway. Good luck .

John Evans
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Re: bridgeport handwheel clutch collar - ball stuck

Postby John Evans » Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:20 pm

Run into that issue fairly regularly at my friend's shop. No good answer either !!! Usually the problem is dried gluey oil holding it in so brake clean/penetrating oils etc. eventually will get it loose. That and broken dog bones in the feed are the bane of my life.

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BadDog
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Re: bridgeport handwheel clutch collar - ball stuck

Postby BadDog » Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:46 pm

I think the weld option is a very last ditch. I've used it on many things in the past, but the hole is so small, and the risk of arc damage is very high in a 5/16 fine threaded hole about 3/8" down. Might try it just before the angle grinder method.

And yeah, luckily I had an intact dog bone, but a broken off fwd/N/rev knurled knob thing. And got that broken off (below flush) threaded stub out without much difficulty. But that detent ball has defeated all my efforts including multiple cycles of penetrant and brake clean (over a period of weeks no less). It is visibly at or near half out of the hole, it just won't move further. Using a small rod pretending to be a spring, it moves easily and with light pressure to feel it rolling over the detents, and slightly more pressure locks it hard on the detents. It almost acts like it's peened in the hole or something.

I actually first started messing with it some time ago (weeks). After an hour+ I got aggravated and left it for a while, thinking "let that penetrating oil work". Every few days I took a stab at it with (obviously) no luck. Yesterday I sat down with the "I'm going to get this however long it takes". Of course the resulted ultimately in my post above. I've had aggravating and fussy things like this before, but nothing anywhere near this thing, and I can't see any way forward other than to destroy it and find a replacement. Just for a stupid detent ball...
Russ

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John Evans
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Re: bridgeport handwheel clutch collar - ball stuck

Postby John Evans » Mon Sep 11, 2017 4:26 pm

Russ : TIG welder with square ended tungsten with tape/shrink tube over the exposed sides .hi freq off. touch ball tromp pedal momentarily . Or small ball end carbide burr.

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BadDog
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Re: bridgeport handwheel clutch collar - ball stuck

Postby BadDog » Mon Sep 11, 2017 4:35 pm

Yeah, I was just pondering something similar, but like your idea better. The air hose (aquarium) I was using for suction is about right to pass a 1/16 electrode, maybe larger, will have to check. I was thinking stick with the flux knocked off, but I am already quite good at sticking TIG electrodes, and the pedal makes it more controllable. So I think I've got my back-stop "hold my beer and watch this" plan next time I take a crack at it if I still fail...
Russ

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Re: bridgeport handwheel clutch collar - ball stuck

Postby spro » Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:42 pm

Wondering how it is going. A few of us probably opened up our J head drawings to find what ball it is. A few part #s would help. Most ones are difficult , for they don't really show to the details of that one section. It was there but not in every manual.
From yesterday, it was noted that the ball was almost "peened into" the shaft and why would that be? It may be for a tighter spring was placed in there. When that was done, it wasn't effected by later corrosion. Things like this work one way, to get them done. It is possible the spring collapsed into a mush of rust which doesn't allow the ball to retract.

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BadDog
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Re: bridgeport handwheel clutch collar - ball stuck

Postby BadDog » Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:56 pm

The ring I'm trying to remove is Quill Housing Item# 113. Comp# 8007118 Part# J-118 "Hand wheel clutch" The problematic ball is Item# 173 shown on my diagram just above the clutch ring.

I don't think it's peened in, just saying it acts like it. It seems to move freely enough in its hole, but will not be dislodged. The spring came out intact, and I can see quite clearly down in the bore with that shiny steel ball just taunting me. No sign of rust or other problems.

I probably won't have the time (more like the patience) until this weekend to try again. With almost assured failure, I will likely move rapidly to one of my mostly highly refined skills, sticking a TIG electrode to a piece of steel... ;)
Russ

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wlw-19958
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Re: bridgeport handwheel clutch collar - ball stuck

Postby wlw-19958 » Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:47 pm

Hi There,

Have you tried a little heat to see if the hardened oil will
soften and let the ball move?

Good Luck!
-Blue Chips-
Webb

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BadDog
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Re: bridgeport handwheel clutch collar - ball stuck

Postby BadDog » Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:10 pm

Haven't tried heat, but it's been soaked off and on with penetrating oil and brake clean for several weeks. It looks surgically clean and I would have expected it to fall out. My best guess is the hole was on the tight side of tolerance such that the ball was able to be pushed in, perhaps not well deburred on the top side, so the spring can push it into the detent, but that it is simply too snug to be lifted out with magnet or vacuum tube. But I've got nothing to loose, so I can easily apply heat and see what happens. While I no longer entertain that it's likely stuck in waxy oil varnish, maybe the differential heating (up to maybe 300* should be safe?) will give it just enough to come out. In spite of my earlier jest, I'm more than a little hesitant to light up the TIG inside that hole. But at least parts are available if it comes to that.
Russ

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wlw-19958
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Re: bridgeport handwheel clutch collar - ball stuck

Postby wlw-19958 » Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:40 pm

Hi There,

I don't think you will hurt anything if you stay under 350°F
(provided there isn't anything plastic or rubber in the
immediate area).

Good Luck!
-Blue Chips-
Webb

earlgo
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Re: bridgeport handwheel clutch collar - ball stuck

Postby earlgo » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:50 am

I don't know anything about what this thing looks like but I might ask if there is any way to drill a small hole that ends up 'behind' the ball and then inject air or grease to eject the ball pneumatically or hydraulically?
Is there enough room to insert a hollow needle (like a hypodermic needle) beside the ball enough so air can be injected behind the ball?
Just a different thought.
--earlgo


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