Changing my windmill motor : an epic story.

I wanted to share with you my experience of changing the motor on my windmill red ball. I’m sorry if don’t use the rights english words, i’ll be more than happy to edit this post if you correct me.

So, i bought this wonderful press a few month ago. In France they call it a OFMI, because of the name of the distributor back in the days. It had a french Tri-phase motor, and I figured out with a electrician friend that it will be more costly to install tri-phases in my basement than buying a new motor. So I found on the web a cheap (120€) mono-phase motor in Italy (220v) that had the same specs, slightly more powerful (2cv instead of 1,5cv), but same rpm, (1400). It came in about one week, and we started to un-mount the old motor. The trickiest part was to un-mount the parts that are fixed to the axis of the motor : the pulley and the big spring. Reason was that the screw was seized and we had to really force the thing out. Be careful with the spring, because it will pop out when you get the whole thing apart, we had it firmly holded with a gripper. The axis of the new motor was 19mm(couldn’t find an 18mm), and the old one was 18mm. So I had to drill the pulley in order to get it to fit. No big deal, if you can find a 19mm drill, wich doesn’t exist in your basic hardware store… But we managed to get it done with a 18mm anyway, and a bit of brutal force.
There come the hardest part, when we got the spring back on the axis (the spring is used to control the speed of the wheel by pushing the pulley, so the more tension there is on the v-belt, the more the pulley opens, the slower goes the wheel), the screw just wouldn’t fit back. The thread of the screw had suffer a lot, and a bit of was so damaged that we couldn’t get it to fit in. So we had to use a metal file to re-do the thread. When everything was finally all back together, i had lost a pound and several liters of sweat (we did it in mid-august of course).
The good thing about the windmill is that the motor support it fully adjustable, so even if this new motor was much much smaller than the old one, we didn’t had any trouble to install it back on the rear of the press.

So the prologue, for anybody wondering if it’s possible/complicated to change a motor on the heidelberg : i really recommend to do it, it’s a very cheap solution if you have the right tools. I didn’t need a starter on the motor because it’s a powerful motor, but with the good rotation speed. It works like a charm. Next thing i’ll try is to put a variator on the motor, because the pulley is a bit jammed, so i guess it will be easier to adjust speed directly from the power.

I hope this short story will be useful to someone buying a windmill and wondering about changing his electrical installation or the motor. Of course, if I had 5 windmills with three-phases motor, i might think differently !

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