Give that IMP a DRINK!

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Give that IMP a DRINK!

Postby marsonion » Sun Apr 17, 2016 3:43 pm

Although there are about a dozen videos posted on Youtube by the proud owners of various IMPs demonstrating their operation, I count only one in which the machine appears to be running properly:

Most of the others are cycling way too fast, even to the point where the reels instantly snap down all at once (or even out of order) providing no entertainment or spin-time whatsoever. That doesn’t look like much of a “game.” Having rehabbed at least four IMPs by now, I recognize that the problem with all of those buzzing, snapping machines is that they’re all dried-up inside, and the regulator needs a long, tall drink of oil. Like a bicycle pump, the regulator houses a cup-shaped disc of oily leather (or it might be felt, not sure) to provide an air-cushion seal to the inside of the cylinder… over time (such as decades), this disc can dry, shrivel and pull away from the cylinder, leaving it far from airtight. That means the pump just ends up with wind blowing through it, providing no compression to resist the recoil of the cycling mech, resulting in the ugly performance we see in so many of these videos.

Here’s what you can do about it:

Pull the mech and place it front-side-down onto a pad of paper towels, but prop up the reels so they don’t make contact with the pad (which will get plenty oily during this procedure) and try to get the pump as close to vertical as you can, with the needle-valve screw pointing straight upwards. Remove the needle-valve and set it aside, then, by pulling back on the main drive bar, bring the mech to near cycle starting position, where the pump rod is pulled about as far out of the cylinder as it goes; secure the mech in this cycle position by inserting a screwdriver handle or other object between the bars to prevent its recoil. This opens up a lot of space inside the pump cylinder. Next, using a hypodermic or eyedropper, inject 3-in-1 or other similar oil into the cylinder through the open needle-valve hole; the opening is very tiny so this is most easily accomplished using a large-bore hypodermic. Put in lots of oil and let it seep slowly out the bottom (front) of the pump, along the drive rod. Let the disc inside the pump soak in oil for many hours or even days; it can take quite a while to restore its flexibility and to swell it out enough to regain its seal to the inside of the cylinder. You ought to let most of the oil seep out, but leaving a residue of oil inside this pump regulator is not a problem. After some time (which varies depending upon the condition of the pump) replace the needle-valve and tighten it in all the way, then try cycling the machine. If the reels just sit there spinning without stopping, that’s good news! Then you can simply back-off the needle valve until you get a cycle you can live with. It’s probably a good idea to insert a few scraps of paper towel under the front and back ends of the regulator to sop up extra seepage until the thing settles into its habit… you may find yourself readjusting the needle valve several times over the next few days, but the cycle will come under your control in ways it certainly couldn’t have when the pump was dry.
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Re: Give that IMP a DRINK!

Postby cfdh » Mon May 09, 2016 9:32 am

Great tip - I am going to try this on my IMP later this week. Thanks.
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