Problems With My Pilot…


I’m just starting to arrange my Pilot for printing with a Boxcar base, and have encountered a few problems.

Problem #1: I need to adjust my grippers so they don’t mash into the base. I see the little things to turn down below (pics 1 and 2), but am having a hell of a time getting them to move. They’re at a really inconvenient angle, and I can’t really get a tool in there to grab them to turn. Then I thought maybe if I removed the bar they’re attached to I could get a better angle. I was able to take out the screw on the right side (pic 3), but then noticed the craziness going on the left side (pic 4) and am not sure how to mess with that. Anyone have any suggestions here?

Problem #2: I’ve just gotten new rollers and they are sticking and applying way too much ink. A friend suggested that they seem oversized, and indeed as they pass over the chase they are actually lifted off the rails (pic 5). Should I put tape on the rails? If so, what kind?

Thanks for any help!

image: pic 1

pic 1

image: pic 2

pic 2

image: pic 3

pic 3

image: pic 4

pic 4

image: pic 5

pic 5

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You shouldn’t need to take the gripper bar off to move the grippers. However, if you simply cannot access the screw then you may need to temporarily remove the bar for replacement. In your ‘pic 4’ there is a bolt that runs into the gripper bar assembly and holds the gripper spring in place. You should be able to remove this bolt, slide the spring backawards, remove the spring fastener, and finally remove the gripper bar. The screw on the right side of the gripper bar will have to be removed and the bar should lift up and to the right for removal.

I would recommend you replace the flat head screw with a thumbscrew like you have on the left side. That will make later adjustments far easier. If you have the gripper bar out you might want to give it a good cleaning as years of gunk may be preventing the grippers from moving freely when the screws are loose.

You rollers are definitely oversized—or your trucks are undersized. I suspect the former. It looks like there is too much space between the trucks and rails to be made up for by using tape. The only real choice you have here is to have your rollers reground or replace your trucks. You want the rollers to be the same diameter as your trucks—maybe just a tiny bit larger.

Hope that helps,

Don’t build up the rails to raise the rollers; either wrap the trucks with tape to build them up to the roller diameter or get new trucks or new rollers. Depending on the diameter of the rollers (if it is an even size, like 1” or 1-1/2”) you can probably get a piece of Delrin rod the right size from McMaster-Carr and have a machinist center bore it the size of the roller shafts and cut it into 4 pieces the same size as the old trucks. If the rollers are an odd size, get a larger diameter rod and have the machinist turn it down to just about 1/16” smaller in diameter than the rollers before boring and cutting it. That’s probably your cheapest solution. The rollers probably cost more than the Delrin and machinist’s time.

If you can find a right-angle screwdriver (an auto parts store should have one) you can loosen the slotted screw with that. Then you can remove it and take it to the hardware store to get a thumb screw like the other one, with threads the same as the slotted screw (in case it’s different from the existing thumb screw).

Thanks guys for the suggestions!

I’m actually going to have a friend come down to help with the gripper bar and screws, so I’m going to wait to mess with that. I’m confused as to why my rollers would be oversized - as they are new (from Roll Crafters) and I even sent in my trucks with the old rollers so they could be matched. I guess it happens - but it’s kind of irritating as they were pretty expensive. :) I guess I’ll have to decide whether it makes more sense to have the rollers re-ground or to get new trucks.

Thanks again!


I’d contact Roll Crafters and politely inform them of the situation. I’m guessing they’d be more than happy to grind or remake your rollers the SAME diameter as your trucks.

If they are unwilling to help then I am guessing new trucks would be the most logical route.


Yep! There’s yer problem….

Looking at the pics, it appears that your trucks are smaller than your rollers. This is not a desirable situation. I agree with Dicharry. The roller maker should correct the situation.

Until then, I’d build up the trucks with stainless steel repair tape. It’s available at most auto supply houses, and works very well for that purpose.

starting at the begining check that the object locked up in the picture is type high .918 to .920.
It appears that a type high block was used under the added material.

Rollers (inking) should be close to the diameter of the steel riders, which appear to be the case in the photograph.

It is a good practice to mic. with a micrometer rollers, cuts and just about everything else to do with impression, including the packing.

There is a very easy method to learn to read a 1” micrometer. Contact me and I’ll show you.