Lobster Ball Machine Pneumatic 201/301/401 Detent Part #P0338

gotwheels

Semi-Pro
I am looking for the Lobster Ball Machine pneumatic part called the "Detent", #P0338. Any assistance for this replacement part or how to rebuild the old part is appreciated. Thanks
 

M1n1fan

New User
Just tried to reorder that part. Their reply was “No longer available and no plans to remanufacture...”. But they would give me 20% off a new machine. Thanks, but no. Going to try a repair/rebuild of this one.
 

Raul_SJ

Legend
Just tried to reorder that part. Their reply was “No longer available and no plans to remanufacture...”. But they would give me 20% off a new machine. Thanks, but no. Going to try a repair/rebuild of this one.
How old is the ball machine? Parts already out of production?
 

M1n1fan

New User
Age dunno. Bought it used 10 or so yrs ago. I suspect that they ran out of NOS parts, esp the ones that wear out, like the detent. That said, models like this one out there in the world may be out of luck if something unique like the detent goes South. Motors and blowers may not be a problem since they're more " off the shelf" and not unique to the Lobster.
 

M1n1fan

New User
True. No bargains out there, even for “for parts only” machines. I’m attempting a repair of the detent. Not a lot to it, and may be as simple as a piece of a bicycle inner tube. Too soon to tell though. (I see a niche business opportunity here .)
 

M1n1fan

New User
Update on my attempt to repair the detent. After removal of the detent I noticed a small tear in the rubber tube at the inner edge of the steel detent tube. My assumption is that “leak” allowed the tube to fill with air when the blower was on, making it more difficult for the ball to pass through. Removed the tube by untaping the wrap, and removing the outer hose clamp which allowed the steel tube to spring open enough to remove the inner band that hold the rubber tube’s other end inside the detent tube. While I had the rubber out I measured it: appears to be 2.125” ID and 5” long. Reinserted the rubber and stretched it a little more toward the outer edge so that the tear was outside the detent tube and would be covered by tape. After completing reassembly and testing it worked fine. Ran a tub of balls through with no issues. I don't expect the fix to last forever though. So, knowing the concept of the rubber tube and detent fit, I ordered a 16”x 2.125” bicycle inner tube, which I suspect, when a piece cut to 5” long is used to replace the tube it should work fine. No guarantee though, but short of buying a used parts machine may the only way to salvage an otherwise usable ball machine.
Hard to described how the detent is assembled (should have taken a few pix) but its not brain surgery and anyone with a detent problem should attempt this repair before throwing in the towel and buying a new machine.
 

JoeWaind

New User
Update on my attempt to repair the detent. After removal of the detent I noticed a small tear in the rubber tube at the inner edge of the steel detent tube. My assumption is that “leak” allowed the tube to fill with air when the blower was on, making it more difficult for the ball to pass through. Removed the tube by untaping the wrap, and removing the outer hose clamp which allowed the steel tube to spring open enough to remove the inner band that hold the rubber tube’s other end inside the detent tube. While I had the rubber out I measured it: appears to be 2.125” ID and 5” long. Reinserted the rubber and stretched it a little more toward the outer edge so that the tear was outside the detent tube and would be covered by tape. After completing reassembly and testing it worked fine. Ran a tub of balls through with no issues. I don't expect the fix to last forever though. So, knowing the concept of the rubber tube and detent fit, I ordered a 16”x 2.125” bicycle inner tube, which I suspect, when a piece cut to 5” long is used to replace the tube it should work fine. No guarantee though, but short of buying a used parts machine may the only way to salvage an otherwise usable ball machine.
Hard to described how the detent is assembled (should have taken a few pix) but its not brain surgery and anyone with a detent problem should attempt this repair before throwing in the towel and buying a new machine.
I have the same problem but I can’t find anyone who sells a new detent. Did the bicycle inner tube work?
 

M1n1fan

New User
Haven’t had the chance to actually use the inner tube plan. Purchased one but the temp fix using the old piece - stretching it a bit so the slit was outside the area of air flow - seemed to work. But it doesn’t get a lot of use and then winter set in. I’d say that if youre in serious need of a fix and the old tube is too far gone, purchase of the bike tube is worth a try and is cheap.
 

JoeWaind

New User
Yes the old tube is really far gone (it has a large hole in the middle of it) I’ll give the bike tube a go. Thank you for your help!
 
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