How to 'grind down' lee nylon index ratchets [Archive] - Glock Talk

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ventura
09-06-2010, 09:12
I have been loading on a lee turret press for more than 20 years. Anyone who uses this press probaly knows of the eventual problems with indexing caused by the ratchet clamp 'collapsing' due to 'overtightening' (according to Lee). I have been dealing with this problem using one of the 2 suggestions from lee; by shimming the ratchet hex nut with masking tape.

However, this solution no longer seems to be working for me so I want to try the 2nd method suggested by Lee, which is to 'grind down' the nylon ratchet itself to a slightly smaller diameter so it will no longer by clamped tightly by the clamp but can rotate freely.

Does anyone have any experience grinding down the nylon ratchets? I would sure appreciate suggestions for grinding down the nylon ratchet.... any good methods that have worked for anyone?

Thanks
ventura

freakshow10mm
09-06-2010, 10:24
Sandpaper.

Colorado4Wheel
09-06-2010, 17:49
Wouldn't it be better to just replace the worn out parts? I never really even heard of this problem. There is a Lee/Loadmaster forum that would probably be more helpfull. I am curious so if you check in can you give more details?

PBKing
09-07-2010, 07:08
FWIW...All the indexing issues I have seen were due to too much friction, either powder migrating down into the ratchet/turret head, burs on the turret head, sticky detent, heavy powder measure, etc. You would have to go gorilla on the clamp to lock up the nylon...IMO. What is the OD of the nylon? Maybe to big.
I always debur and polish a new turret head. After preping and cleaning the head/detent and lubing with a (very little) light oil , my turret head moves effortlessly and will actually advance too far if I pull the handle to fast.
Curious to hear your results.

ventura
09-07-2010, 16:48
FWIW...All the indexing issues I have seen were due to too much friction, either powder migrating down into the ratchet/turret head, burs on the turret head, sticky detent, heavy powder measure, etc. You would have to go gorilla on the clamp to lock up the nylon...IMO. What is the OD of the nylon? Maybe to big.
I always debur and polish a new turret head. After preping and cleaning the head/detent and lubing with a (very little) light oil , my turret head moves effortlessly and will actually advance too far if I pull the handle to fast.
Curious to hear your results.

It is a common enough problem that Lee used to post their 2 suggested solutions on their website. the clamp is aluminum so i dont think it takes much to get this problem. I certainly never went gorilla on my press. The nylon ratchet is not totally locked up but also will not index properly... sticks.

I have an email into Lee about this also but so far have heard nothing in reply. They do not list the clamp for sale on the parts for the turret press so I have asked if it is even available for replacement.

thanks for all the suggestions.. i never knew of the existence of the loadmaster forum!

Colorado4Wheel
09-07-2010, 18:42
thanks for all the suggestions.. i never knew of the existence of the loadmaster forum!

Did you find it?

Uncle Don
09-07-2010, 18:52
Steve,

I think he is referring to the three hole press mechanism. That one depended on correct friction to index properly. When you removed the index rod, you had to start over with the friction adjustment when you replaced it. It worked fine when you knew how to adjust it, but many used the press as a manual turret press to avoid the issue.


You are more familiar with the four hole and that ratchet is also nylon, but small, square and black. I'm still on my first - there are some that think these things wear out quickly, but raising the ram an inch or so before rotating the turret to remove it, also removes the bind that is naturally there at the bottom of the stroke and raising the ram allows it to spin freely. The index rod on the four hole can be removed and replaced at will without losing the index. You had one if I recall - any problems with the indexing?

Colorado4Wheel
09-07-2010, 19:00
Steve,

I think he is referring to the three hole press mechanism. That one depended on correct friction to index properly. When you removed the index rod, you had to start over with the friction adjustment when you replaced it. It worked fine when you knew how to adjust it, but many used the press as a manual turret press to avoid the issue.


You are more familiar with the four hole and that ratchet is also nylon, but small, square and black. I'm still on my first - there are some that think these things wear out quickly, but raising the ram an inch or so before rotating the turret to remove it, also removes the bind that is naturally there at the bottom of the stroke and raising the ram allows it to spin freely. The index rod on the four hole can be removed and replaced at will without losing the index. You had one if I recall - any problems with the indexing?

Zero problems with indexing. I still miss the press. I was just trying to understand it because from my experiance the LCT is wasn't helping me understand his issue.

PBKing
09-08-2010, 07:29
They do not list the clamp for sale on the parts for the turret press so I have asked if it is even available for replacement.!

I believe the auto index kits for the 3 hole are no longer available. They went out of stock about a year ago. If set up properly with minimal friction the nylon will last indefinitely. I burned thru 3 nylons my first month. After I set it up correctly this last nylon has lasted 12 years and is still working flawlessly.

Colorado4Wheel
09-08-2010, 07:37
I was looking in my Lee catalog last night. They had two different pictures of the 4 hole turret. The main picture had what looked like the same shaft as the LCT. Even the parts it rides in looked the same as the LCT. Then they had a detail picture of the press and it had a totally different indexing rod and parts it rides in. You can even see what looks like a adjuster screw that Don was talking about. I wonder if Lee upgraded some of the Turrets parts with the LCT parts?

rivardj
09-08-2010, 07:53
I addition to PBKing's suggestions in his first post, I also have found that flushing out the detent ball socket and lightly re-lubing the detent reduces drag on the index system dramatically. I ruined one indexing pawl early on in my reloading with my 4-hole turret press. I now lightly lube the turret bearing surfaces and ensuring that the detent ball is free, I have not had one problem since. I tiny bit of maintenance goes a long way.

Uncle Don
09-08-2010, 08:30
I was looking in my Lee catalog last night. They had two different pictures of the 4 hole turret. The main picture had what looked like the same shaft as the LCT. Even the parts it rides in looked the same as the LCT. Then they had a detail picture of the press and it had a totally different indexing rod and parts it rides in. You can even see what looks like a adjuster screw that Don was talking about. I wonder if Lee upgraded some of the Turrets parts with the LCT parts?

All four hole turret presses use the same system. The three hole turret press (not even sure it's still being made) is the one under discussion. The index rods are definately different in that the twist must be made to turn about 33.3 degrees where the four hole must be at 25 degrees.

I think many people had problems adjusting the three hole system because they did it with an empty turret. Then, when you have the mass of the three dies, it would put a little drag on the system. I learned that the hard way. Fortunately, not necessary for me any more.

PBKing
09-08-2010, 08:35
One place I would Not recommend lubing is the index rod. The oil attracts dirt which will migrate into the pawl and add friction. The nylon needs no lube to function properly .
ETA Light lube is fine just keep the index rod clean.

Colorado4Wheel
09-08-2010, 13:40
All four hole turret presses use the same system. The three hole turret press (not even sure it's still being made) is the one under discussion. The index rods are definately different in that the twist must be made to turn about 33.3 degrees where the four hole must be at 25 degrees.

I think many people had problems adjusting the three hole system because they did it with an empty turret. Then, when you have the mass of the three dies, it would put a little drag on the system. I learned that the hard way. Fortunately, not necessary for me any more.

So the 4 hole does not have the "drag adjustment" or even need it?
The old 3 hole has the drag adjustment?

The picture of the other style definately had a different rate of twist on the rod. So it had to be a 3 hole setup.

Uncle Don
09-08-2010, 15:37
So the 4 hole does not have the "drag adjustment" or even need it?
The old 3 hole has the drag adjustment?

The picture of the other style definately had a different rate of twist on the rod. So it had to be a 3 hole setup.

Yep - no drag adjustment. The four hole is actually pretty simple when you think about it. Picture the inside of the housing that has an inset on the top in which the nylon square rathet just fits. The bottom doesn't have that. When the press is lowered and indexes, the nylon ratchet "catches" in that cutout that fits it - and because the housing won't let it spin, it has to turn the index rod. When you run the ram up, it comes out of it's inset and moves to the bottom (due to the friction of the ratchet) where it can spin freely so the index rod does not move. Then it moves back into it's cutout on the way down again.

That's why it's necessary to raise the ram slightly to change the turret. You are causing the ratchet to come out of it's inset in the housing. Clear as mud?

Colorado4Wheel
09-08-2010, 16:33
Yeah, thats what I remember as well. To me it was pretty obvious that you need to move the handle to remove the thing properly with out forcing it. If you do the right thing it's very smooth.

Interesting that the standard turret has the same setup as the LCT now. I still like the feel of the LCT and I would still want it over the other but the Turret would be a smoking good deal.

ventura
09-13-2010, 16:31
To those who wondered... yes it is the old 3 hole ratchet i was referring to, as others have pointed out.

I have been emailing with someone at Lee about this. I have been told that about 1/32" of material is what needs to be removed from the nylon ratchet. Still no one here nor there has recommended a good way of doing that. I am thinking of chucking it on a 1/4 screwdriver bit and turning it on a bit of sandpaper??? but have not tried it yet because i have some torn rotator cuff problems with my shoulder.

Lee has a very few of the clamps available as well as the hex adjusting nut despite no longer listing those on the website parts ordering page. I ordered 2 of each by phone today because i was told by their customer serv. that they will not be available for much longer and stock is quite low. For now i will take the easy way out with the new parts and try not to overtighten the clamp ever again???????????? but i dont knowhow i ever overtightened it in the first place so not sure what to avoid haha.

Colorado4Wheel
09-13-2010, 17:18
1/32". Just lay it flat on some fine grit paper and go slow. Turn regularly to keep for taking too much from one side.