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Home Workshop > General Area > General > Chipmaster variator

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Chipmaster variator

Chipmaster variator

Hi guys.
Anyone here with a lot of knowledge of the variator? I have a continental Chippie from 1970 or 1971.
After buying it, I ran it only to check it out and then I removed the drive. It was rather silent at start,
but I thought it started developing a knocking sound. I then bought a VFD, ready to convert it.

But it would be nice, if I could keep it original, as it then has more power in lower RPM's.
And I have been lucky to find someone with the correct oil and bought some.

But as I wanted to assemble the drive, I found the variator makes some knocks, when I turned it by hand
after draining the oil (which had a strange, red colour).

So I simply had to open the variator, to see, if it was okay or maybe a bearing was shot.

The old oil may have left some residue, and the parts doesn't feel well lubed.
(although if it's the correct oil it has special properties, so I can't judge that)
I can't feel any wear on the surface of the balls, they look worse than they are, I think.
So, if none of you have any comments, I'll put it back together again with the correct oil.
But I wonder what can have made that knocking sound?
Is it true, that the roller pressure bearings are the only parts, that transfers the power?
(they probably provide the friction needed by the cones. When the load increases, the rollers
crawl up on the outer rings and the cones get more pressure to prevent slip)
Cheers
Erik
http://www.homeworkshop.org.uk/components/com_agora/img/members/477/20130717-220358.jpg
http://www.homeworkshop.org.uk/components/com_agora/img/members/477/20130717-220439.jpg
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Edited By: rcflier
Jul-18-13 08:09:42

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Erik Hansen
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Re: Chipmaster variator

I've no specific advice, but these things rely on friction or,  more precisely, traction to work, so make sure every thing is degreased and clean before  reassembling. The correct traction fluid is vital, do not use oil!

They operate under considerable pressure, any slippage can quickly put flat spots on bearing surfaces (which maybe the source of your knocking).

It'll probably be well worth fixing if you can, you will need a considerably bigger motor and vfd to reproduce the torque ar low rpm ( you'll probably need to rethink the motor pulleys to get the right gearing)



Bill

Bill

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Bill Todd
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Re: Chipmaster variator

Bill,

I wouldn't mind betting you mystery red oil is what the Yanks call ATF: Automatic Transmission Fluid.

Tony

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Re: Chipmaster variator

ISTR. atf is a light hydrophylic oil whereas traction fliud is designed to aid friction when under pressure.

Bill

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Re: Chipmaster variator

Hello Erik,
I've recently 'done' oe of these with a mate of mine and it is quite probable that the knocking noise may have been the ramp/clutch devices that are either end of the machine. The one I openned also had a generally reddish hue so it may have been a stain from the original oil although this one was a dry as brick dust whcih was the cause of its malfunction. I wasn't there when it was refilled so I son't know what colour the oil is.

The correct oil is very specific and the manufacturers are very insistent that you use the right stuff. Its main characteristic is that it has a very high viscosity index which means that its viscosity increases significantly when under high (bloody high!!) pressure such as between the balls and their tracks and I thus transmits the drive by viscous drag locally whilst acting as a lubricant in other areas of the balls and indeed the machine as a whole. The effect is transient only so as soon as the pressure drops the viscosity retuns to what you see at atmospheric pressure, any mineral does have this characteristic to some extent - but the extent is also very variable and clearly the stuff here is specially selected.
You can get it from them at a steep, but not ridiculous cost of about £30 for a litre I think it was, but as the alternative is a 44gal drum for a few hundred it was the only viable route. They also offered to service the unit for a base price of £1500 plus parts which wasn't going to happen.....

I have got the service sheet for the drive if you need it although I think I must have downloaded it from their site so you should be able to do so too. I does detail how to adjust the end float correctly which is the crux of making the thing work as it should.

- Richard -

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Re: Chipmaster variator

You could be right about the transmission fluid.
I think I have to dismantle it - in good order,
so I can assemble it as it was. And I dread the
cleaning - hate that. And I read about someone
flipping the balls (a friend mentioned it also),
which had helped him. So maybe I should do that.
I have a copy of the Kopp Variator manual.
The correct oil is Shell Morlina S2 BL 10 and I have 2 liters.
That oil is completely clear.
Allspeeds co uk writes in large letters, that's the only oil to use.

Cheers
Erik

Oops -I was too long to answer (I was out flying my model helicopter), so a new message had appeared.

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Re: Chipmaster variator

My toolmaker friend and I put it back together again, since the balls looked fine.

But turning it by hand the next day - it still made that knocking sound.
So I took it apart again and took out the balls. It needs a cleaning -
I suppose it has been standing still for some years.

Should I post pictures along the way?
They might be of interest to other Chipmaster owners.

Cheers
Erik

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Re: Chipmaster variator

>Should I post pictures along the way?
Absolutely :-)

Bill

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Re: Chipmaster variator

Richard, that was a very good explanation.

Thank you. It's hard to find info of that quality.

I suppose the Allspeeds sheet is about the Kopp variators
in general (I have that) - not specific to the Colchester variant?

I do hope I can use the variator, although it would
probably be more sensible to use the original motor with a VFD.

Cheers
Erik

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Re: Chipmaster variator

Erik Hansen wrote:

Richard, that was a very good explanation.

Thank you. It's hard to find info of that quality.
Erik

Thanks, you're welcome. Tribology used to be an area of study of mine. It was more than a couple of decades ago now, but the general concepts still come to mind easily enough.

Erik Hansen wrote:


I suppose the Allspeeds sheet is about the Kopp variators
in general (I have that) - not specific to the Colchester variant?

I do hope I can use the variator, although it would
probably be more sensible to use the original motor with a VFD.

Cheers
Erik

Yes, the 4-page sheet I have was non-specific, but useful enough for most purposes I think. I wouldn't be too quick to discard the Variator nor dismiss its value. You will find it very difficult to replicate the 10:1 speed ratio range with a VFD.

It's been the first bit of decent flying weather for ages so make the best of it - I fly r/c fixed wing, but not had the time recently :-(

- Richard -

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Re: Chipmaster variator

Hi Erik,

I had the Colchester service engineer rebuild mine which is a three ball variator. The cones on mine were slightly pitted and needed regrinding. I also had the balls repolished and then everything was very smooth. It is important to eliminate the end float by adjusting the two plates at the ends of the shaft.in accordance with the instructions.
It is worth keeping the variator to keep the torque at low speeds. I use it even though I have fitted an inverter as well and can run large taps in the lathe.
I have 2 sets of 3 balls, second hand but in good condition that I bought from the service engineer. Although used the service guy was happy that they can be reused as they were but I had them lightly repolished. They are spares that i shall never need..

Good luck,

Martyn

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Re: Chipmaster variator

I was just given another variator - defective.
It had made a "Kronk" when the owner cranked it up to 3000 RPM,
so he had exchanged it with a VFD.

I could see one cone part with the ramps for the pressure bearing were in two - wow.

So I now have a lot of spares, hehe. But I hope I won't need any apart from the few, I can't seem to find
(a ring with screws for a toothed belt wheel and a grub screw).

Cheers
Erik

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Re: Chipmaster variator

I have seen half horse power and I think one horse power rated 3 ball variators with the centre hole of the balls, the needle rollers and the shafts that tilt the balls badly chewed up.
This could be the cause of some peculiar noises. I had run a rumbly 3/4 HP one (looks no bigger than the half HP one) on my Smart&Brown Sabel for 5 or 6 years with no problems.
I bought it very second hand from a scrapyard, it must have been run on one or two settings for long periods in an industrial machine sandwiched between a reduction gearbox and 3 phase motor
  Cheers, Louis

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Re: Chipmaster variator

My variator looks nice - but I don't think the oil has ever been changed. It looks and feels strange.
Fortunately I can't find anything wrong with the unit so I feel confident that it'll be okay.
It's just that a VFD is so much more sexy...

Cheers
Erik

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Re: Chipmaster variator

Well, I did find something wrong.
One of the drive cones is pitted - it has a hole with cracks radiating out from it - where the balls run, of course. That might be the culprit of the knocking noise.
It's quite fortunate I've been given the other variator. Although it's an older 3-ball variator, the drive cone is nearly identical.
So I assembled it using a very good silicone gasket material. And it ran very well, with almost no noise at all, just the motor and belt making noise.

But I couldn't change speed! I have taken it apart two more times and I still can't change speed.
Can it be that, not reusing the old gaskets, I have no clearance for the ball axles? So they get stuck in their slots?
I have assembled it according to the drawing in the manual - when I disassembled it, the slit rollers were the other way around, compared to the drawing (see picture in first post).

I do hope I'll be able to make a new picture thread soon. Documenting the insides of the variator, dismantling and assembling. I have a suspicion many variators are killed for no good reason.

Cheers
Erik

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Re: Chipmaster variator

Hi guys.
Just to put a lid on this thread.
I had to reuse one of the paper gaskets to be able to change speeds.
It now runs very well. I couldn't dream of using a VFD (Alspeeds also write it has to have fixed input speed around 1500).
Thank you for your help.
Cheers
Erik

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