Vandercook Universal III Electrical Issues?

Hi all,

As a new Vandercook Universal III owner, I’ve got a couple of issues going on that I’m hoping some of you experts can help me out with:

1. The automatic carriage seems to go out and back just fine when using “forward” and “back” in manual mode. However, when I switch it to “cycle” and send it out, it goes to the end and starts to return but then craps out. I had a press electrician out today, and we watched the “Reversing Switch” (I think, from the parts manual) in the electrical box stay engaged while coming back in manual mode. However, when we watched it try to bring the carriage back in cycle mode, it was almost as if the Reversing Switch went in for a moment and then popped back out - not holding the contact. He cleaned and filed all of the pads (many of which were worn or carboned and a few missing all together), thinking maybe if he improved the contacts it would work. But no dice.

2. Related or not related? Similarly, the “run” mode seems to be having issues as well with bringing the carriage back. Seems likely that these issues are related, but then again I know nothing about electrical issues. With “run”, the carriage moves out to the end but on its return seems to get stuck in some sort of loop where it won’t come all the way back - jerking a few inches back and then forward out to the end, back and then forward, until I stop it. There definitely doesn’t seem to be any physical part along the bed hanging it up in either case, as it returns just fine in manual mode.

3. The power switch itself seems to have some sort of short or loose wire. The press electrician is going to order a new toggle switch and we’re hoping that it’s somehow magically the cause of all the woes. I can get the press to turn on, but only after many switchings an jiggling back and forth of the toggle switch. Once on it seems to stay on with no difficulty, and turning it off is no problem. Also, the light flickers when jiggling the switch but never stays lit. The electrician’s final thought before he left for the day was that maybe somehow the faulty on switch is responsible for everything - when we get it to go on it’s only powering certain parts and maybe for whatever reason that doesn’t include returning the carriage on “cycle” or “run.” Does this sound like any sort of possibility?

4. Thankfully not related, I can’t seem to figure out how to slide the automatic washup tray out. It is supposed to come out, right? I can’t tell if it’s just gunked in there with a lot of ink, or if there is some release latch somewhere that I’m unaware of. Tips? Never used an automatic washup before.

Does anyone have any suggestions for new electrical parts or retrofit that we can use to replace the worn and missing contact pads? I think that’s it for now, but I’m sure there will be more questions in the future! Thanks in advance for any ideas.

Tweedle Press

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Universal III automatics are all about electrical issues. They are a pain in the ass. You will become very friendly with your local hardware store or Graingers.

You might want to post this on the Vanderblog site. Some very knowledgeable folks there.



Will do - thanks!!