loud clunking sound from Heidelberg 10x15 windmill

I’m getting random loud clunk sounds coming from my Heidelberg 10x15 platen. It sounds like it is coming from the ink drum. I have tested a few things already.

When I removed the form rollers and any pressure on the drum the sound seems to not occur as much. It sounds like metal on metal and I am concerned that something is not getting oiled inside of the press.

I’m thinking there may be a problem with the shaft inside.
I squirted oil on both sides of the drum to see if that would help. It seemed to lessen the sound for a few minutes. But then it returned again.

Any Ideas would be appreciated!!

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When I was working we had several red and black ball platens that were running 8 hour shifts all had the ink drums rattling, sometimes we would put some gear oil in it so that they ran quiet for a short period of time. I know of one that is still running 15 years after I have retired.

You have filled the oil reservoir and are pulling the handle across to put oil into the system every time you use it aren’t you?

Yes, I am oiling everytime. I have noticed though that the right oil cup inside of the machine overflows when I pump oil into the press. Could there possibly be a blockage in the system?

I have been running this press for years now and am just hearing this new sound so I know it is not good. It is loud almost sounds like she is jumping a gear sometimes. When I turn the press by hand I cannot feel any disturbance though.

I think that it is the shaft in the ink drum as it is oscillating very wildly and clattering back and forth it also sometimes will not make a full side to side. I removed the flywheel side gear cover. Oiled, cleaned and inspected the gears. Everything looks fine. I’m not sure how to remove the drum, I know how to remove the whole top of the press but would rather avoid that if possible and just get the drum off. I’ll try to get a video posted of the noise.

on one of my Heidelbergs the track for crescent ( T0628 - page 50 ) was damaged. the milled groove was damaged which makes the cylinder reciprocate with the crescent sliding in the groove. it made a clunking noise on every change of lateral direction. I was expecting it one day to break and seize up. but then came a request to print these gradient colors on invitations. so I took apart the head and removed the crescent ( T0627 - page 44 ) to disable the reciprocation of the inking cylinder ( T0603 ). I could clearly see the broken track in the bronze.
I did not take pictures. it was a major job to do. that part is barely visible, it is practically inside that big chromed inking cylinder on the delivery side. it is fixed to the shaft.
in your case, it sounds like a damaged crescent is erratically engaging the track.

Wow, Thanks Louie this is exactly what I thought. I can see shavings sheared off of the bronze. Now I have the daunting task of removing the head. Did you take it right off of the press? I’m not sure how to tackle getting inside the cylinder. Also does the press run o.k. without the reciprocation? Thanks again!!

Would it be easier to live with it? or would this to damage to other parts of the press?

I did not take the head off. all the linkages have to be disconnected. the four bolts loosened but not removed, so that the head won’t fall off the press. make sure that you don’t loose the shims in each corner, their placement is critical. I placed wooden wedges under the head to raise it on an angle. more raised on the delivery side. remove the 3 bolts holding the cup which supports the crescent. the assembly will drop inside the inking cylinder and it will be a knuckle-buster job to fish out the crescent. in retrospect, I think probably it would be better removing the head on to the bench. especially if you want to repair it.
I use that particular press for die-cutting and foil stamping only. then I was using it only to print OMBRE. without the lateral movement you can’t do regular print. for that you have to fix it.

eventually it will fail! you have to judge how far are you in to damaging it. I lived with it for a long time. without the rubber rollers riding on it, it did not sound bad.
the only reason I did it, because I wanted to be able to print OMBRE.
LOL … and I had only ONE job for ombre ! anyway, it does not clunk any more.

Hey Thanks for your help Louie, I’m checking out some pricing on the parts. I’m hoping the track is o.k. as that would be almost impossible to get off.

if you have space, you might be better off buying an another press for parts. I bought my second one for parts, just in case I need parts. it turned out that the second press was in a better shape than the first one. I did not need parts yet, so I use one press for printing, the other one for “dry run” operations. but if I break something on one, I can still salvage parts from the other one and run the jobs only on one press with not much down time.


Hey Louie

Thanks for all of your help! I have removed the ink head and am now trying to remove the drum. Do you know the best way to tackle this. I’m trying to avoid removing any taper pins. Thanks again!

hey Ian,
uncharted territory for me. I just loosened all the bolts on the delivery side of the head so that I can increase the gap between the side and the drum, so I can fish out the crescent. I left everything else intact.
those taper pins can be a b@#*^ to remove. definitely you need four hands to do it ( prayer helps too ). you need a good bucking bar(s) to do the job. I ended up drilling one out. of course the drill wandered to the side, so I had to replace the pin with an oversized screw.
don’t rush,take your time and good luck. let us know