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Bridgeport series 1 ram adapter woes

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  • Bridgeport series 1 ram adapter woes

    I'm heading out tomorrow to pick up a Bridgeport. It's cheap, needs work, it's what I can afford right now. The owner claims it's in decent shape except for a broken ram adapter from over tightening. From what Google has shown me, this is fairly common. All the replacements I find are asian-made in the $300-$600 range and what claim to be non-import for three times as much. I'm figuring castings likely come from a limited number of places and a casting for a new "quality" Asian mill like an Acer or Sharp would be fine for a worn American Bridgeport. I'm just wondering if anyone has any horror stories on these and any place you recommend to buy one. I'm thinking pressing new bearings on the quiz and such should be reasonable while I have the ram apart, the head off and hitting it with the wire brushes before spraying some fresh paint on it. Also, what is the correct paint to use? Like a reference number to hit up the local auto paint store.

    He says it's hooked up and I'll be able to hear it and work it when I get there.

  • #2
    Are you talking about the "knuckle" ram adapter? Yet, common, but how bad is it? They often get cratered on the underside of lip (difficult, but not impossible to fix), may not be smooth or easy to rotate, but you can still tighten them. Pulling off the old face gear can be a chore. If you have really old BP (pre '65 roughly), the tilt screw will be unsupported at the far end, tends to bend and damage the gear. I have fixed a few like that and bored the casting to upgrade to the later type.

    Paint... the problem is getting out the decades of oil that has soaked into the spray putty beneath the BP paint. Been there... Best choices are the typical PG two part urethane paints, but they are toxic as all heck to spray AND your prep has to be meretricious. Often you are better to just use a decent industrial "single part" DTM urethane. Many are self-leveling and brushing works well.

    Don't assume any random "direct from china" Asian casting will fit a BP, or more-so that it is "acer or sharp" quality. Buy from the usual USA suspects that have been selling BP parts for decades. Or.. find a local boneyard at the machinery dealers and inspect. Watch out for the threads... not just "imperial verses metric", but imports for some ungodly reason like 1/2 -12 instead of 1/2-13 thread (not ram adapter issue). Go figure.


    Edit : Here's one of the guys that has been in the business for a long time : https://www.ebay.com/itm/BRIDGEPORT-...0AAOxycD9TWVO6


    BTW.. Quill (I assume you mean that) bearings are not "pressed in". Come back to us for guidance if you really want to do this. Pay attention to the upper pulley bearings and the dog clutches. The latter get beat to crap over the decades. You'll "hear" them if bad.
    Last edited by lakeside53; 01-25-2020, 01:15 PM.

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    • #3
      Looks pretty bad to me.

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      • #4
        I would not buy that machine until I had confirmed price and availability of that broken part.
        12" x 35" Logan 2557V lathe
        Index "Super 55" mill
        18" Vectrax vertical bandsaw
        7" x 10" Vectrax mitering bandsaw
        24" State disc sander

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        • #5
          Originally posted by ezduzit View Post
          I would not buy that machine until I had confirmed price and availability of that broken part.
          I feel the same. I wonder how you could break that part, other than it falling forward on it's face. In which case it's got other damage. Look the machine over well before purchasing.

          Look on Ebay. You may well find the exact Bridgeport replacement part used. I found a lot of used genuine Bridgeport parts on Ebay.
          Last edited by jmarkwolf; 01-25-2020, 03:36 PM.

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          • #6
            Also, examine the gib adjustment screws. If they are screwed all the way in, run away. Also, if the ways are packed with grease, run away. I would pass on that machine and just save up your money for a mill that isn't broken or worn.

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            • #7
              As above. That was not broken by over-tightening ... something else happened. Did you loosen it to take that pic or is that how he has been running it?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by lakeside53 View Post
                As above. That was not broken by over-tightening ... something else happened. Did you loosen it to take that pic or is that how he has been running it?
                I have seen a few. Bad design. Plain and simple.

                -Doozer
                DZER

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                • #9
                  Was gonna say, that break looks like a fresh accident, not old wear leading to a crack.

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                  • #10
                    First, there's three new parts on Ebay so I know it's available. I was just asking if anyone has used the Chinese part and how straight it was. I don't imagine this piece would have much impact on accuracy. Second, it's cheap, parts-machine cheap, so I'm not worried. He said some idiot at his shop cranked the adjuster down with the same torque-spec Jiffy Lube strips-out oil pan bolts with. That that's how it popped. A quick Google search showed this kind of thing and the reason for it to match his story. He's been pretty honest and transparent so far.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Fear View Post
                      First, there's three new parts on Ebay so I know it's available. I was just asking if anyone has used the Chinese part and how straight it was. I don't imagine this piece would have much impact on accuracy. Second, it's cheap, parts-machine cheap, so I'm not worried. He said some idiot at his shop cranked the adjuster down with the same torque-spec Jiffy Lube strips-out oil pan bolts with. That that's how it popped. A quick Google search showed this kind of thing and the reason for it to match his story. He's been pretty honest and transparent so far.
                      Well, if you trust them and you can get a good deal on it then why not. I wouldn't trust the chinese parts if theres real money involved tho, I would hold out for the genuine american parts.

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                      • #12
                        Scrap price ?
                        Some serious damage there. Looks dropped to me
                        It can be fixed, but thats lots of work
                        Would look for another BP that is being scrapped out and trade parts...no faith in Chinese replacements working
                        The rest of the mill should be cherry to make it a choice for purchase IMHO
                        Figure on taking it apart, and having some cast iron pieces made and then Nickel stick weld and heat treat and then machined.
                        Rich

                        Edit
                        The comment where I say dropped is for two reasons
                        The casting should not break there unless shocked.
                        The elevation mark (Nod) is not at 0-0 if you look,which is not normal.
                        A blow to the head-stock would upset both the Nod and the Rotation structure
                        Check crank handles !
                        Also suspect the worm/gear in the Rotation movement are damaged.
                        Last edited by Rich Carlstedt; 01-25-2020, 09:12 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Unless I find NOS parts, there are no "American" parts. Hardinnge has the rights to the Bridgeport name and have it made off in the land of rice and noodles. Hardinge is still among the best, it's who I dig through used tooling stashes for their name on collets (among other names). This is reality. The only true American lathe is Standard Modern and the only true mill is Wells Index. The rest is Taiwan, Spain, Korea, etc.

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                          • #14
                            A whole used turret with everything is slightly more than a new ram adapter. It's the shipping (or gas and time) that is the kicker. If there's more damage, I'll deal with it. I was planning on having to tear down pretty much whatever I got at my budget. This is nothing new to me. My first car was three cars I combined into one when I was 16. I'm 47 now and have pulled countless semis back from hell. A stationary glorified drill press doesn't scare me.

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                            • #15
                              It's not where it's made, but the company that controls the QA/QC. Many fine products are made outside the USA, as is junk. Ebay is a great place to sell off "not quite meeting spec" parts. On the other hand, there are decent guys on Ebay too. Choose someone that been selling for decades - there's a reason they are still in business. 15 or so years ago I bought a few ram adapters on ebay - used genuine parts. They actually fitted into one of the Priority flat rate boxes of the day. Postie hated me until I offered to life them out of her truck.. lol

                              With used get a guaranty from the seller that there is no cratering under the inner ring (it's is hard to see, but you can "feel" it). If there is he'll have to pay the freight back under EBAY's terms.
                              Last edited by lakeside53; 01-25-2020, 10:58 PM.

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