C&P pilot roller problem- pops out

Hey all! I just started printing on my new/old C&P pilot and I am having roller issues already. When I pull the handle down and the rollers move up to get inked, on the left side, the rollers keep trying to pop out, and a couple times they already did. Is there a pin missing to keep them in place? or am I doing something wrong? I am so new to all of this, and it is just frustrating trying to get everything running. I will post a picture of the roller coming out on the side. Thanks in advance for any advice/help. :)

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There should be a couple of small holes in the roller saddle that allow for a pin to be inserted under the rollers.

But how smoothly does the roller arm move? Could it be sticking a bit?

Is it happening mostly at the point where the rollers move from the rails to the ink disc?

I’d agree that oil and exercise of the shaft which holds the rollers should loosen up the shaft so the spring can hold the rollers against the tracks and the ink disk.

It appears that the roller shaft is not being held in tight enough. It also could be the joint where the roller saddles connect to the shaft. It needs to rotate smoothly or the saddles will not follow the roller shafts. Maybe they got scratched up in the cleaning process and need to be lubricated and exercised to get them looser.

John Henry

I see the small holes under the roller saddle, I figured that there must be some type of pin that fits under the rollers and thats why they are popping out, but I wasn’t sure. Is there anywhere to buy a new pin or should I just fashion my own? I have never used this type of press before ( I learned on a vandercook), but my instinct tells me that it is running pretty smoothly. And you are right Gabriel, it seems to only happen at the point where the rollers move from the rails to the ink disc. Thank you for your reply, it is most appreciated. Another printer suggested that I should oil the roller saddle, so I will try that too :) Thanks again.
p.s. any more suggestions are welcome

what type of oil would you recommend? thanks :)

30 weight oil will be fine. If all you can find is 10W30 multigrade automobile engine oil, that will work well for now, and might be easier for you to find.

Thanks John :) It has been quite the learning experience getting this press up and running and finding all the right equipment too. I will oil it up tonight and see what happens.

There should be a smooth transition from the top of the rails to the ink disk.
I would rather touch the patient than make an email diagnosis, but it looks like the saddle is not holding the roller tightly against the disk as it should. I suspect both poor lubrication and an irregularity on the shaft that is binding.
Take rollers out and pull up on saddles several times. Do the springs pull it right back all the way and smoothly?
Normally when everything works right, you should not need a pin or wire to hold the rollers in. Try to find the problem and cure it rather than the symptom.
A wire the size of the hole works as a pin.
You are doing fine and have come to the right place. We oldsters want to keep you new printers happy and continuing to print. One day you will be offering advice.
Get some ink on your shirt.

I also wonder if the ink disc might be a little low or high (probably low). I’ve heard that use can, over time, cause an ink disc to sit a little too low. I’ve seen a Craftsmen Superior (Pilot clone) on which the ink disc was raised a bit with a washer around its pin in order to get the height right.

Definitely try oiling the rod, spring, and the joint that connects the saddle to the roller arm first. (And be careful not to get it on the rails; you need the trucks to roll, not slide.) If oiling doesn’t fix it, then it might be worthwhile to look into the the height of the ink disc.

I found some good oil that seemed to do the trick, and the entire thing seems to be running a lot lighter and smoother if that makes any sense. But now, I noticed that there is a noise from the ink roller when I pull the handle all the way down ( the rollers are at the top of the ink disk). The noise sounds like the rubber from the roller is gripping and dragging across the surface of the ink disc towards the very top. Is this normal? It is so hard to tell if my pilot is working properly. Also, it makes a noise when the rollers transition from the rails to the ink disc. Thanks again everyone for their input, you all are saving me lots of frustration.