Motor works but stops when belt is added?

I have a C&P New series press that came with a variable speed GE motor. Its a big old motor. We wired it up a 110V as thats what it seemed to be wired up were I purchased it. It was taken apart somewhat when we moved it. We put itback together and now when the motor starts up, it dose not move when the belt is on. Its spins fast when there is no belt. When i try to give it a kick start with the flywheel it does a rotation or two then slows down to a stop. The belt is old, and I know i need to replace it but it was working fine where I got it, and it was fast too. Way to fast for me at full speed. So I know it can go faster. I dont understand why it does not have the torque to get it going?

Has anyone had this issue. Should I try a different belt. I just think there is no torque, any resistance and it stops.

Hope someone can help. I need to start printing and using this new machine.


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Sounds like the motor is wired for 220 volt and you are supplying 110 volts. There also the possibility that the start switch is not working or that the start capacitor has died.

If you can supply data off the motor, brand, type, frame, rpm, voltage, etc that would help in troubleshooting your problem. Also is there any way you can draw a sketch of the wiring and scan it?

I will be more than happy to help, just need more info.


I came across a vacuum cleaner motor which ran something like the one described here, although the vac motor uses an entirely different principle; an internal connection had been made of two wires, but transposed. This is not to say this is the fault here, needs someone with the original description of how the press motor was wired, and an understanding. Where I worked in the comp room) not until an attempt was made to run the newspaper rotary press at full load was it discovered how many faults there were. The press crew went for a meal, left it to the electricians; a web broke, wrapped an inking roller, and this put out the light in the nearby movie theatre. Some months later, a different style of motor as used in a machine in a sugar mill was installed, but with a lack of understanding, it almost failed after a few months. When the newspaper went to offset printing, the main drive motor nearly failed, eventually survived by providing it with a separate motor for the cooling fan, and filtering of the cooling air by passing it through the aircleaner cartridge designed for a highway truck. There are many differing ways of varying the speed of a press, I do not wish to try to settle that question, it is very complex as to how many different ways there are. And I quail at the thought of amateurs trying to wire a motor to a lethal voltage.


P.S. As I understand, two phase in Australia is a different animal to two phase in U.S.A.


Also, here’s an opening bracket parenthesis ( missing from my earlier text.


Hi Marshall,

Yes it says 220 but also says 110 on the motor. It does have 4 wires going in but originally only two were used and the other two were taped over. I kept the other two taped over and so it shoudl be set up the same as when I saw it running when I picked it up. Is it posible to run more power on just two lines?

Inside the cover on the motor, the one you remove to access the wires should be a printed sheet showing you how to hook up the motor. It’s stops with the belt running, because it’s under powered. If the starter switch is bad, it wouldn’t run even with the belt off. 220 is 3 wires like 110. One hot, one neutral, one ground. So don’t assume it was 110 because you only see to wires and the ground made by the conduit.

Thanks German,

I think you may be right. Next time I go back home to work on it I will set it up as a 3 wire 220v system. I had thought it needed to be 4 wires to be 220v but after reading online that is not always the case.

Thank You.

Its possible to run a 220 volt motor on only 2 wires, not safely, but doable. Is there any way to verify what voltage it was running on before? That would answer many questions and make troubleshooting quicker.

220 is 2 hots vs 110 is hot and neutral. Ground should be there for safety. Neutral and ground are 2 different animals in electrical systems, even though they eventually all tie back to a common point in the system. Sounds goofy, I know, but it is a built in safety function.

Like German mentioned, is there any wiring diagram on the inside of the connection point for wiring on the motor? or on the nameplate?

Keep us posted on what you find and we will get you up and running.


to cavepixel

I hope you have solved the problem of the 110/220 volt motor; the cue is the very poor torque, the motor has just enough torque to turn itself, adding any more load apparently exceeds the available torque. I am 95% sure the wiring has been done wrongly to eventuate in this torque problem.

We had a penfriend from Pittsburgh visit us, I notice he was very careful handling our 240 volt appliances, now I understand, though it is a requirement that certain safety devices are installed on all houses which reduces the risk, but it is still possible to have an accident. The new idea of producing electricity from roof-top solar cells is resulting in a few problems; intended to feed electricity back into the grid (the owner of the solar cells is paid by the electricity-supplying company for this electricity), at a multi-residential place the wiring was done wrongly, the owners were charged for the electricity they produced, instead of being paid; they were not happy about this.

You will probably fluke the right way to connect this motor.

I remember years ago at an unpowered youth camp, we had a petrol-driven generator; an apprentice was sent by a local company to connect it and connect lights throughout the camp; he made a basic error, fortunately we were able to correct the error which was to load the generator to full load, the petrol (gasoline) engine objected to running at full load after a few hours. There are many puzzles about the use of electricity, needs a good understanding of what is happening sometimes.


If you mean that the two wires that were taped over were connected together and taped over then the motor was originally connected to 220 V.

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to cedarlanepress and others

I have remembered some more misconnections.

A friend of mine had a holiday/weekend resort and was talked into using 110 volts direct current as his standard. The equipment suppliers pointed out that, 110 voltage and d.c. being somewhat unusual in those days, guests would not be able to use their own household items while there. One newly-built (mint-new) motor that was sent to him rotated freely when unpowered, but no one could turn the shaft when power was turned on. Eventually an electrician deduced that half of the fields had been connected in wrong polarity, result was inevitable. The motor was sent back. Later, we helped him acquire such items as a Mixmaster brand-new out of the factory rated for 110 volts direct current; his wife was happy with that.

He started acquiring electrics from sugar mills; the mills “”came to the party” because he helped various associations in the district when they held conferences at his premises. He bought a very large generator, but had problems because if he reduced the load on the system, the light bulbs would become very bright and then, no light, and the cost of replacing all of the bulbs which were victims to being switched on at the time of the incident. Someone recognised the problem, corrected the connection of the compensating winding beside the field winding, which had been compensating in the wrong direction; proved it was right by shorting the output, which made the diesel engine driving the generator chug very heavily. [I did not recognise the problem because I did not have enough experience.]

On one occasion, when our youth group booked for Easter, I left “stuff”, including the 12 volt lamp I intended to use with a battery so that the cooks could start work before first light without starting the engine of the 110 volt system. The farm boys who were setting up just before the rest of us arrived, found the bulb, thought the blurred marking read 112 volts, and connected it to the main 110 system. It lit for only a short time. I think I had a spare. For part of my time involved with this conference centre, I worked for an electrical store, so bought items at discount, including a number of loudspeakers for the sound system. I even learned how to connect a muting circuit to individual loudspeakers which worked better than I expected. I learned many things, proved they worked, such as 110 volts d.c. to the projector lamp and 240 volts a.c. from a rotary converter driven by the 110 volts d.c. for the rest of the 16 mm movie projector; I had gone out on my motorcycle to collect the rotary converter from a nearby (only 40 miles) country movie theatre; the rotary converter was provided by one of the farming families; this converter also powered my electric shaver. 12 volts from batteries driving two rotary converters (designed for 18 to 450 volts, war disposal U.S.) which, when powered from 12 volts, produced very close to 250 volts d.c. which I was seeking for the valve sound system, and finally, we ran a 32 volt slide projector from two 12 volt and one 6 volt car batteries.

The turntable for discs was spring type, wound for each disc by a hand-crank.

Some good luck, some basic knowledge, and some co-operation, we made stuff work so that we could have what we wanted. Just like setting up a letterpress print system, make use of what is available, cobble together a method sometimes. Had a couple of failures along the way, one of which I never explained, but it appeared to correct itself next day; possibly had been “contaminated” by some teenagers.


those darn teenagers


The one we suspected of being the darndest teenager (for example, he sang hymns loudly after lights out when others were trying to get to sleep) later became a very successful, effective headmaster of a school at teenage level.

He had been given a cadetship (scholarship to university) but when he got there he found that, for the first time, he had to study, and did not know how; he had never needed to study, to stay at the top of his grade. So he had to withdraw from the cadetship.


C&P is finally working. Once switched to 220 power it was working perfectly. Thank you everyone for all your help.