Kluge vacuum pump weak

We’ve had this ol’e Kluge (snN127433—gotta be a 40’s model) for 30+/- years and never a problem with it. Now the pump is shot. So weak that it barely picks up a sheet and the throw-off will not come in (automatic impression stays off). Checked for air leaks and found none. Plunger/piston that kicks impression “on” is ok (I think). I flushed out the pump but no luck. Does any know if the pump can be repaired, rebuild, etc..? To get me by, I’ve been using an alternate vacuum pump off a folder but I would like it to work like it has in the past. Thanks.

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Rebuild kits are often available on Ebay. There’s a seller using the name “dcshop1001” down in Texas (I believe) that sells Kluge parts and seems to have a good inventory.

I’m in the middle of a pump rebuild myself, sort of. I have the pump detached, but haven’t yet been able to get it out. It’s like some sort of puzzle where you have to twist and align the pieces just so to get everything to come apart.

Were you able to buy a kit for it? Let me know how it goes, rebuilding your pump and all. I need to rebuilt or replace mine real soon.

Removing it from the press doesn’t look too complicated. The top looks as if it just unbolts from the crankshaft, but the bottom?? - looks like some sort of pin holding it in. How’d you remove your pump?

I haven’t bought the kit yet as the pump is still working well. I plan to take it apart and look at the components and make the decision to rebuild then. I suspect that all I’ll do is rub some neats foot oil into the leather parts and call it good.

As far as removal goes, removing the cap is easy enough, although it’s important to note its orientation as it’s not symmetrical. On the bottom, I detached the cross member from the press with the pump still attached. The whole assembly is covered in a very thick layer of crud making it difficult for me to detach the pump without a little cleanup first. That’s why I was hoping to pull the whole assembly out intact, something that’s giving me trouble.

the top of the pump (crank shaft end) should have a “rod cap” similar to a connecting rod on an engine. the lower should just be a shaft that slides out to release the pump from the frame. look for a old style “square head” set screw. there are two types of rebuild kits out there. the aftermarket version has valves, be sure to install them in the correct direction. if you stick with the “ball” style you can’t get it wrong. if all else fails, i have a pump here in milwaukee that i would rebuild for you, for a “friendly fee” but i would ask that you send me yours as a “core”. i would rebuild yours for you also if you desire. if rebuilt correctly, it will last you another 50 years. have you tried squirting some “marvel mystery oil” into it? usually it is just the leather inside that has dried out, but, if any debris went through there, the leather could be damaged. could be as you say, just worn out too.good luck! keep that old Kluge alive!

Thanks a bunch. I’ll try the oil first. If that don’t work I’ll have to rebuild it. I wonder where a guy can get one of those rebuild kits? I have searched for days on the web and have come up with nothing. There’s a possibility I will take you up on the rebuild offering. Also, what’s your take on the impression plunger thingy at the bottom of the post that all the feeder stuff is attached to? Does that need rebuilding or cleaned, etc…? I think it’s working ok but I really don’t know for sure. I’m always amused how the Kluge works. I just enjoy watching it run.

Wanted to ask ericm if he had much experience with the Marvel Mystery Oil treatment he mentions in his post for 17 Nov 08, for the Kluge pump ‘piston’. This sounds like a treatment that might benefit my 1967 Kluge “D” series machine, which suffered years of neglect at a local print shop. Do you just unscrew the cap at the top of the cylinder, squirt, and then re-screw the cap? Just use a little, I’d guess.


Dave Lasko
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Try Irving Ptg. Machinery Corp., Oceanside, N.Y., (516) 764-6260, I haven’t dealt with them lately, but they had all parts for Kluges, and they did rebuild pumps and/or sell rebuilt pumps. I would replace all hoses (they might have minute leaks), and blow out the lines first before doing anything else. The oil I’ve used for the leather gasket is “Neatsfoot Oil” available at some of the “real” hardware stores or shoe repair shops. Using a petroleum oil or a petroleum jelly will destroy the leather pump cylinder gasket. Flushing out the pump with kerosene as covered in “Air System” in the Kluge Manual will often correct this situation. GOOD LUCK.

flushing, as S. Pekala as stated is an option, if the pump is salvageable, this should do it. i find though that it can create labor in other areas. dissassembly and cleaning is best. but, after flushing, the press and pump should be run with hoses off to insure ALL flush is blown out (15 min depending how much flush is used), clean the hoses thoroughly, then check again after 1-5 hours of running time. you don’t want this stuff going up through the blower system then onto blank stock.
also, if you oil the press regularly, it tends to draw oil into the pump unit anyways.
D. Lasko, the “Neatsfoot oil” might be better, never heard of it being used till this web site, it sounds like the folks here have good luck with it, but, haven’t had a problem with Marvel Oil. and, yes just a bit down the shaft then screw cap back on. use one and stick with it. a job well done should give years of service, making a solid effort worth it… good luck also. E

I got sidetracked by some stuff that happened out in the real world and had to put my pump rebuild aside, but I’m back and have now finished the job short of the actual re-installation. It was actually quite simple and although I was able to reuse the parts, the gunk caked in the internal passageways was so thick that no amount of flushing would have worked. I completely disassembled the pump and soaked the body and caps in kerosene for a couple of days. Compressed air was enough to finish the job at that point.

Here’s the info for the guy (Dale) I’ve been getting parts from.

D-N-D Graphics Machinery Company
1528 Seegar Street, Dallas, Texas (TX), 75215, USA
+214 565 0305

Well….I finally removed the pump from the press. I did have to remove it along with the cross member because the pin at the bottom was too difficult to remove. I had to jack up the front of the press to get it all out. I disassembled the pump and noticed right away the leather cups and the seal on the top cap were done, finished or as they say, “cooked.” There is no way that thing could have generated enough air to blow out a candle. Today I gave Dave a call at DND and he’s fixing me up with the parts, seals, etc.

Thanks to everyone and this website/forum for the help. Stand by though, I haven’t gotten the parts and the thing back together yet. I’ll let you know how that goes.


Hello, Add a small vacuum pump and hose it in……john

Heidelberg Repair.com