Heidelberg Windmill Central Lubrication

I just received a 1970 Windmill is excellent condition. Everything runs great, but I’m having trouble getting any resistance out of the central lubrication knob.

I’ve made sure the reservoir is completely full (above the yellow line) with the proper oil. I’ve pushed the lever over hundreds of time by now. I’ve tried to simple push it over and hold it over for awhile with no resistance whatsoever.

I’ve also confirmed that no oil seems to be getting to the proper places when the lever is pulled.

I’m curious if anybody as any further troubleshooting steps to get some resistance and get the oil flowing. Thanks!

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About how much oil did you put into the reservoir? My thought is that if it sat dry for a while or if something is plugging it that the oil would be up to the yellow line but isn’t flowing into the pump. Are you pulling the handke when the press is running?

The problem is probably Air in the system , try the following for starters possibly, always have the M/c gently ticking over under power (quite important to give the oil a chance to leech through the inner bearing points in a full cycle)
Original manuals imply same with upwards of 30 pumps per time.
If no improvement, probably because there is Air lock(s) in the system, which can normally be overcome by slackening of 2/3 turns any low down exposed oil pipe, with extreme caution and a second pair of hands M/c turning over slowly, effectively pump the trapped air out through the slackened pipe, >>as in bleeding the Brakes on an Auto (Car)<< BUT if hopefully resistance begins to build up, tighten the slackened off fitting when it is actually expressing oil, to prohibit air from being drawn back in.!

Trapped air is notorious for compressing and then expanding and pushing any oil back.!

Is the Brass thimble/filter clean where the oil is topped up, is their any sludge in the sight glass,where the thimble filter has been left out or lost.
If none of the above make any difference try a Mixture 50/50 of any reasonable quality Oil and Spirit (White Spirit or similar)
If possible syphon some or all of the Oil from the reservoir, into a clear container, and then pump the 50/50 mixture through to act as hydraulic oil, watching as far as possible,
on all the apparently visible lubricated points.

The reciprocating Ink Drum is a good point to observe for Oil flow (or otherwise)

The Mixture will do no harm, may possibly show where potential problems lay, just a lot of absorbent granules or sawdust needed eventually.!! Good Luck.

@danielheff - I put a good deal, probably a rough estimation of 72oz? And yes, I’m pulling the handle back while the press is running.

@Mick - Thanks so much for the detailed explanation! I really appreciate it. I’ll be checking it out this evening and will run through the steps you’ve suggested. And to answer your questions: Yes the brass filter is very clean and there is no sludge in sight.

I just wanted to give an update on this.

After I had a phone conversation with a very kind and helpful Windmill mechanic, he pointed me in the right direction. It’s a very quick and easy fix with the correct tools.

Keep in mind, I have a 1970 Windmill and this may or may not apply to older black ball presses. Also, I’m not sure if I’m using the correct terminology, but I’ll try to explain as best as I can:

If you’re at the back of the press there is a stainless steel nut on the top right side of the oil manifold / reservoir, which is down underneath the back rollers and washup reservoir. The nut stands out because it’s the only stainless nut back there. I believe it’s 17mm.

You’ll want to take off the back rubber distributor roller and tip the ink fountain back to better access the nut. You’ll need to use some ratchet extension joints or flexible extensions to get to at it properly.

It doesn’t take much to unscrew the nut, but loosen it a bit and as you do push the central oil lever over. Once the lever starts to come back the other way, you’ll want to close the nut tight. Repeat this a few times until you feel the lever start to gain resistance.

For me, this happened very quickly… I think I only did this twice before the lever gained the proper resistance and the oil started flowing to the proper areas.

[update] I’ve attached an image from the part list of the correct nut (or screw plug as it’s called: Part AA 15)

image: Screw Plug (Part AA 15)

Screw Plug (Part AA 15)

Evan, thank you for the *Nod* appreciated!

Your resume of the method and description above was a perfect breakdown of *Bleeding a system with air In*
For my sins, over and above Letterpress, I occasionally try to help and advise Car owners with regard to Bleeding Brakes.

Several times they have heard or been told that with a D.I.Y. attachment it can be done single handed,

i.e. to eliminate the trapped air, a small bore clear tube is attatched to the Bleed nipple(s) the nipple slacked of 1/2 a turn and then single handed, the fluid is pumped through into a clear container, a one way valve stops the fluid inc.the bubbles leaching back into the system, theoretically YES in practice NO, the minute the bleed nipple is cracked one half turn to expose the vent hole, (generally), the nipples are very coarse thread and by default air easily returns via the thread(s)
Your third to last paragraph has *hit the nail on the head precisely* . . Good Luck. Mick.

I’ve never felt like I was getting the correct resistance when using my oil pump. I only start to feel resistance about 1/2 - 3/4 of the way through and it’s not very strong at that. However, oil is getting places; I can see it dripping from stuff. I just wonder if there are a few of the lines that aren’t getting any oil. How would I know?

I added a bunch of oil last night and it never seems to satisfy the reservoir. I can fill slightly above the yellow line but then if I add more it seems to disappear into the machine. Is that normal?

Also, I’m trying to reach the part of the press Evan describes to double check everything is OK and I simply don’t see a way to access that area. How exactly do you get into that spot?

Try removing the support for the wash up trough. # T06100 F.
Easy removal and that should do the trick. One screw…..

Update: I tried removing the wash up trough as mwilbanks3 suggested but to no avail. Couldn’t get it out after removing two screws, actually. So I gave up on that.

Had some experts out to give it a look and they said I definitely have a minor central lube issue but not serious enough to warrant removing the head unit just yet. I am to monitor the situation and if it gets bad they’ll walk me through the removal. I’m not excited…