Heidelberg Impression Lever

Hello. I recently purchased and received a Hedielberg 10 x 15 platen press (red ball) and finally got power to it.

And I’m having a problem with the impression lever. I have tried to manipulate the impression lever and it seems to do nothing at all. I cannot lift the handle and push in to throw off impression nor can I pull the lever out.

I checked the shearing collar and everything looks fine. The press is running smoothly otherwise. I have not fed paper through the press yet.

Any suggestions? The lever seems shorter than other presses in videos and pics. Does the lever get screwed in to keep it safe during transport??


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Hello. What number is indicated at the collar (to change the impression)? Does the collar turn and move the lever in/out?… if so, does it help?

Yes, the collar does turn easily left/right. Impression was set to two. I messed around and it seemed like the lever would elongate if rotated a bunch. I was afraid to rotate it too much and that would cause a piece to detach somewhere along the linkage. There is some up/down play in the lever, but not much. When loosened the lever seemed to move towards the top of the opening.

The center bolt on the shearing collar has some play. So that’s why I thought it may be the shearing collar. Is the center bolt supposed to be very tight like the other bolts?

Yes, the center bolt should be tight. If it is not, it is possible the press was jammed at some time, or run overpacked for an extended period. The collar may be fractured, it can be hard to tell without close inspection.

If there is another windmill in your area, you might be able to visit and see the action of the lever inside the machine. (This should only be done with the power off.) My guess is the cam for the impression is stuck… maybe it’s the reason the press was sold.

Have you rolled the press manually (power off, clutch engaged) through a few entire cycles?

Thanks for writing AnonyMouse.

I did inspect the shearing collar and it appeared to be whole.

I can get the center bolt all the way tightened, but I cannot align the little flat arm that extends from the bolt that is above and diagonal to the center bolt. In order for the little arm to fit as it should the center bolt (collar) needs to be tighter than I can make it. Otherwise, the bolt is a bit loose and the arm is perfectly in place. Do you know what size the bolts are?

Also, whether the center bolt was tight or loose did not change the behavior of the impression lever.

I have manually cycled the press and have run the press under power for a very short time.

If the impression cam is stuck, what is required to fix it?

I think there may be two issues.

First, the shear collar is almost certainly fractured:

“Over long periods of time, the safety collar may fracture and partially shear, even though the maximum impressional strength has never been exceeded. The first indication of a fractured or partially sheared safety collar is the additional turns of the impression adjustment required to bring up the impression on a normal form. Also, the center bolt on the end disk will have developed a slight amount of end play. In either event, the shear collar needs replacing.” (10x15 Manual)

Keep in mind, the difference in full to over packed is a few thousandths, so even if the collar is removed, careful inspection is required. A replacement collar to test is worth the time…

“A shear collar can look perfect to the naked eye after a pressure release, look carefully with a glass or handscope and the inner areas of the ring will show tiny cracks radiating out from the centre. they are a near perfect fit into the back of the machine , the more grief removing it the more likely its blown.” (Peter L.)

Second, the impression control may resolve with the collar replacement, if not, it may be the lever or the cam (eccentric) and diagnosis may require taking apart some components. I would not proceed that direction without first replacing the collar.

When turning the impression adjusting collar, does the handle with the red ball turn also? It should not… if it does, and can be turned easily, I’d turn the handle clockwise until it stops, the index numbers should be facing up.

Thank you. I will look further at the shearing collar.

It was my understanding that once I removed all the bolts and the shearing collar the impression lever should move as it was meant. If that is true, the impression lever did not move or free up when the bolts and collar were removed. What does that mean?

Hello Maysorum,
sorry to read about your platen problems, easy way to check your shear collar is to clean it then drop it into a dish of water, take it out of the water and leave it to dry, if it is fractured the rust will show in the fractures as it dries, it does not sound like the issue is with the shear collar, if like you say, when you lift the impression handle and pull to put the machine on impression nothing moves it sounds like the eccentric for the movement of the platen face is seized, very rare but has been known, this is located in the base at the rear, directly below the inspection door, it is not an easy fix if this is the problem, try drowning it in a release agent and working it loose, a good indicator that the shear collar has fractured is to check what number you are at on the impression lever, Heidelberg state that under normal working conditions if you begin to go above number 3 it is good practice to change the shear collar. hope this helps.
Graeme Smith

It might be helpful to know if it is stuck on or off.

The lever (set on 2) extends about 10.5” when off impression, about 14.5” when on impression.

When on impression, the stop ring on the lever should be visible from the front of the machine.

Inside the machine, the eccentric lever end should be visible when off impression.

image: TOsmall1.jpg


image: TO-stopsmall.jpg


image: TO-eccentric-small.jpg


It is also possible there is furniture or other debris blocking the lever from moving properly. there is a service hole near the pump; oil should be visible sitting in the well and it is common to see paper scraps in the oil… scraps and other junk can interfere with press operation.

Never put anything (hands/tools/etc) into the press workings without the power disconnected.

Also, there is supposed to be a thrust washer between the shear collar and the tailpiece of the eccentric yoke (some refer to that as piston-like)… is that in proper position?

i have seen this problem with machines with bent or out of sync grippers that interfere with the advancing when trying to activate the pressure,have you tried activating it when the grippers are not interfering?a picture showing the grippers when the machine is closed and fully open would help

To be honest, I’m not sure what happened exactly… When I took delivery of the press the impression lever was stuck, immovable actually, for many days. I removed a lot of old paper debris, removed the shearing collar, and ran the flywheel backwards slightly, but nothing freed the lever. On the third day, I was advancing the flywheel (forward) by hand and heard a low pop noise. I stopped advancing the flywheel and checked the lever and it was free! So there wasn’t really miraculous fix or solution to an existing problem. The impression lever has moved freely since.