General advice on Ektelon Model H

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by Back2thebasixs, Aug 12, 2017.

  1. Back2thebasixs

    Back2thebasixs New User

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    Hi all! I just purchased an Ektelon Model H originally seller was asking $500 but upon looking at the machine, there looked to be some significant rust on the glide bars and some other parts. Renegotiated down, hopefully it was a good price because it also included several dozen packs of strings and many grommets. Do you guys think that this amount of rusting is really bad? Second, my concern is that upon calibrating the tension head, it does not seem to consistently lockout at the same tension. I also can't seem to get it correctly calibrated because it keeps changing even if I do not adjust the set lb. For example: set machine to 50lbs, pull calibrator through tension head and calibration unit reads 45lb. Reset the string for the unit and pull again, the unit reads 52lbs. Do it a third time and it goes back to saying 45lbs. Thinking that the calibrator is past its prime, I used an analog fish scale as well; but it had the same problem. Is there something I can adjust to fix this or will I have to send it into JC @tennis machines to get it repaired? Should I just switch my tension head/crank assembly from my older model C to this newer machine I feel like they would be compatible? I find it funny that my model c is about thirty or so years older than this 'H' but the tension head is in pristine condition and is very consistent :p. Also, would someone kindly point to which parts I should give the most care in alcohol cleaning tomorrow/what I shouldn't get wet, if anything? This is only my second machine and I never really had to do much for my older one because it was kept up to par, so any information is greatly appreciated. Glide bars also do not seem to "glide" well but I'm hoping the thorough cleaning tomorrow fixes it. Thanks for the help, in advance!!!
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    Last edited: Aug 15, 2017
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  2. Back2thebasixs

    Back2thebasixs New User

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  3. Back2thebasixs

    Back2thebasixs New User

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    Also not sure what these parts are, maybe someone with more expertise can identify them?
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  4. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    You have a lot more magic to do on this one. Why buy a project when you have a perfectly good machine? First thing I'd do is buy new rails and clamps but talk to JC first at tennis machines and get his opinion.
     
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  5. MAX PLY

    MAX PLY Hall of Fame

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    This will be a project but if you can be patient you'll have a pretty fine machine when you're finished. First, everything can get "wet" with alcohol, so no worries there. My suggestion would be to assemble a soft cloth, a firm bristle tooth brush, a bunch of Q-tips, and maybe a few pipe cleaners and a cotton shoe lace (particularly for the gripper). Then, thoroughly clean every nook and cranny of the machine with the alcohol, using liberal amounts of alcohol and elbow grease. I suggest doing this one area at a time so as to remove all of the dirt, dust and gunk and some of the rust. Then you should have a clean machine save what's really rusty. As for the rust, use light steel wool and light amounts of navel jelly to remove (this will require patience). Once you do this, you should have a good view to see what parts you will really need to replace (send me your e-mail address and I can send you the manual which lists all of them) and then call JC at TM. Judging solely from the pictures, I would think you will need new clamps, new "slider feet" for the long glide bars (your short bars will be their own project, but low priority since they are of limited utility) and I'd suggest you arrange for TM to recondition the tension head. Good luck.
     
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  6. dak95_00

    dak95_00 Hall of Fame

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    I have no idea what the bolt is. The green prince is the throat piece for an aluminum Prince Classic. I actually need one for a crappy old racquet. I'll pay you for postage. Anything more isn't really worth it because the racquet has no value.

    The others are grip pallets. The Head pallets could fetch $15-25 as a set of two to make one grip. The Wilson pallets are from the T series racquets like the T2000 and T3000. They're pretty much worthless too.
     
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  7. Back2thebasixs

    Back2thebasixs New User

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    Hi, oh I just recently started to get back into tennis after a 10 yr hiatus, so the model c that I have- although in mint working condition, there are no upgrades on it. So it does not really work well with newer racquet designs (throats are too wide). So I thought it was time for an upgraded machine within my budget. From the original pictures that the seller had sent, the machine appeared to be in top notch condition. He also said the tension was consistent. It seems he may have not have been telling the truth, so I am just stuck with making the machine better. I had a more local friend pick it up for me, upon pickup, my friend called me asking if I knew there was that much rust on it. So price was lowered. Although, at this price I don't think it was bad of a purchase because it came with 100's of grommets and bumpers (which I'm going to sell as a lot because they dont seem to fit any of my racquets) as well as sixty or so packs strings. Yeah, I plan on calling him on Monday. Thanks :)

    Thanks! I am def. in for some work but thats a relief that it will hopefully turn out well. Okay, I will be stopping by the hardware store after work and get those items. Perfect, thanks for the suggestions, I will go pick up some naval jelly as well as some Rhodes grade #000 or #00 steel wool for the more rusted pieces, to be used sparingly of course, but do you think that would be too abrasive on the machine, should I get the finest grade #0000 instead? I don't want to use anything that might damage it. Okay! thanks I'll PM you my email. Thanks again for all your help!
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2017
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  8. Back2thebasixs

    Back2thebasixs New User

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    Oh, I completely forgot those existed, I think I've ever only seen one of those racquets before. Yeah, no problem you can totally have it, I would have no use for it. I can check what the postage will be but I believe I can just ship it usps flat rate if it fits in their smaller boxes, so like maybe six bucks or so. But I'll check and get back to you. Lol, seeing lots of useless old stuff here in this purchase :eek:. Is the rust worst then you thought it might be, when we were talking about earlier? Or do you think I should still be able to clean much of it off?
     
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  9. dak95_00

    dak95_00 Hall of Fame

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    I think the surface rust on those black parts will come up easily.

    I think the clamps look fine. The small glide bars which are not a necessity might be shot or at least a project. Try the suggestions the guys above gave and you might get lucky.

    The tension head string gripper rails also concern me. You should clean those with alcohol and a toothbrush but be careful not to free the ball bearings. I've never rebuilt one but it looks like a chore. Then after its clean I'd use a bicycle teflon lube or any other type of dry lube on that piece. The inside must be clean and dry to hold the string but the outside must slide freely with the bearings (lube but not oily which will attract dirt and debris).

    Upon further look again, you've just got a project of cleaning to do. As I and others have suggested, call JC and/or email him about his suggestions. I bet he's seen much of this before.

    Let's talk grommets. Can you tell what you've got? Some are worth $$. For example, I've sold three sets of POG 110 grommets in the last month at $50/set. Yes I feel a little dirty doing it but the MENACE was asking $100/set and I wasn't interested in selling mine until the price enticed me. Take some pics and email me at dak95_00@yahoo.com

    You might just pay for your machine with the other stuff.
     
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  10. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    Rust is ugly and some ugly goes clean to the bone. LOL
     
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  11. Back2thebasixs

    Back2thebasixs New User

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    Hi all. Been away for awhile but just wanted to update on the stringer. Some naval jelly and alcohol cleaning has been done on the machine to little effort. I'm going to try vinegar and let soak overnight and see what happens. Thanks for all the help!
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2017
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  12. MAX PLY

    MAX PLY Hall of Fame

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  13. Back2thebasixs

    Back2thebasixs New User

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    So update, I took the parts out of vinegar and salt bath. Dried completely, then rewashed with alcohol and somewhat vigorous scrubbing via steel wool and viola. Most parts are now relatively rust free. Although, it seems the vinegar stripped the paint more than the naval jelly did, which was interesting to me. I also, took apart the tension gripper rails so I could more effectively clean the rust off the inside and out. I very carefully cotton swabbed a bit of gun lube in the rail's tracks where the ball bearings are to get them rolling smoother and I rinsed all the 36 steel balls with alcohol to clean them. Put it all back together and it glides much better. I will be putting a coat of rust resistant primer sometime in the near future on the machine's parts to block the rust from coming back. After cleaning, the tension head seems to be pulling much more consistently, which is great! I think the dirt and rust must have been causing the gears to slip or something rather. Hopefully in a few days I can string a racquet to see if the head stays consistent and calibrated, fingers crossed. Things I've learned, vinegar and salt takes rust off quite effectively assuming you wait overnight but takes paint off. Navel jelly worked wonders on the tension arm without much cleaning effort after. And 91% alcohol is a necessity. Thank you guys so much for your suggestions on getting the rust off. The rust would still be on there if it wasn't for your suggestions @maxply and @dak95_00, thanks!!! Here are some pictures:
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  14. dak95_00

    dak95_00 Hall of Fame

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    That looks amazing! Great work!
     
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  15. MAX PLY

    MAX PLY Hall of Fame

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    Outstanding job. Looks like you're headed towards a very nice restoration.
     
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  16. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    @Back2thebasixs, fine job my hat is off to you. I would never have attempted that. How that you have it all apart have you considered using Breakfree CLP on everything before assembly?
     
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  17. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Fantastic job! Congrats on the purchase.
     
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  18. graycrait

    graycrait Professional

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    NIce find. Good job. Late to this story. Restoring rusted stuff is just time consuming and to avoid further damage I would recommend to all that when taking rust off do it in little steps on in the house projects. Put oil on the rust, let set overnight, then with 0000 or 00000 steel wool very lightly rub that spot until red shows. Then re-oil, let sit, then swipe with "smooth" steel wool, keep repeating till to the bare metal. Generally there will be some pitting from the rust, but depending where and how much it may not affect the machine at all. I've done this many times on exterior gun barrel rust. Another trick is to use a nickel coin's edge to scrape off course surface rust on steel. The soft nickel will scrape rust but not harm the steel. I've used the nickel "trick" restoring old rifle scopes. "Stinky" Kroil works pretty good on rusted things that need to come apart or turn.
     
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  19. Back2thebasixs

    Back2thebasixs New User

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    Hi Irvin, I actually put some light gun lube on each of the sliding/intertwining parts before reassembly. I didn't have breakfree at that moment and the stores were closed. But I will def. use hay next time I open it up to primer it. Thanks for the tip!
     
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  20. Back2thebasixs

    Back2thebasixs New User

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    Ahhhh I wish I had gotten your advice a little earlier, but thanks! Because now I can try it on the more stubborn pieces. Yeah, I have found that rust is no friend of mine.
     
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  21. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

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    Rust never sleeps. Good job.
     
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  22. vrx46

    vrx46 New User

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