Vandercook SP25 carriage motor

Today I finally fired up the SP25 I recently acquired, after cleaning it and adjusting the rollers. I pulled a few prints and then the carriage motor started smoking! I immediately turned it off. The motor smelled hot but I think it was only smoking for a few minutes. So now I’m not sure what to do. I don’t know where to check the oil level or where to add it. Can anyone offer that information? I’m also not sure if I should add some oil and try to run it again and see what happens. Seems kind of risky though. The problem could be something else, although I don’t know what! Any thoughts?? Yikes. (As far as I can tell, it’s the original motor).

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Did the carriage continue to roll, even when the motor was smoking? You might be able to loosen up the clutch so that the carriage doesn’t move, and see if the motor overheats again without a load. If the motor runs freely and doesn’t smoke, there could be some mechanical binding that is putting too much strain on the motor. If it begins to smoke again, there is another problem and you will most likely need the motor cleaned and repaired.

I have seen motors which have been oiled too much which have smoked because the oil has flowed onto on the armature.

I think if you have never done any motor repair or maintenance in the past, it would be good to find a good industrial motor repair firm in your area and take the motor in for maintenance. They can check the windings, the bearings, and if a reputable firm, will suggest repair and or replacement. Carefully mark the power leads coming into the motor and the terminals they go to. Take a photo before you take the wires off, if possible.

If it is just bad bearings in the motor, the charges should not be exorbitant. If the press has sat idle for a time, there are several things a motor repair shop will look at, make certain you tell them that you are bringing the press back into productive use.

John Henry
Cedar Creek Press

I should have added, if they immediately tell you that you need a new motor, before even looking at it, take it somewhere else They could be correct, but would need to disassemble or otherwise test the motor to know for certain

John Henry

I would inspect the wires at the bottom of the motor where they enter the motor housing. I have seen some motors on power Vandercooks where the rubber sheathing on those wires was so dried out and eroded that they were touching each other sometimes. This causes the power to arc and this will pop fuses and make your motor smoke.