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Nautilus Retro Fit.
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Carlos.Molina

I read that The old Nautilus Vintage machines can be retro fitted for use of super slow speed of 10/5 or 10/10. What if I purchased these machines used and decided to train speed of 4/4 or 3/3 then I wouldn't need to retro fit these old vintage machines because it is already designed for that speed? But, could I still change the chain to kevlar belt and use berring instead of bushings for speed 3/3 or 4/4? This whole thing about turning the cam around is only for super slow and not speeds of 3/3 or 4/4 ? Maybe Darden or Drew can help? Bill or anyone else?

Thanks guys!

C Molina
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Sesame

why are they turning the cam around? If the muscle's strength curve is accurately represented the what difference does it make what cadence you use?
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st3

Sesame wrote:
If the muscle's strength curve is accurately represented the what difference does it make what cadence you use?


Sesame,
I have about 30 of the 1st and 2nd gen Nautilus machines. The muscle does get worked accurately, however, when you slow the cadence down, friction from the chains causes some jabbing and hitching before actual failure is reached. Obviously, keeping the rep speed faster eliminates the problem but I do like slower reps for my clients.

I would like to get know where to get retro fits.

Steve


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Sesame

st3 wrote:
Sesame wrote:
If the muscle's strength curve is accurately represented the what difference does it make what cadence you use?

Sesame,
I have about 30 of the 1st and 2nd gen Nautilus machines. The muscle does get worked accurately, however, when you slow the cadence down, friction from the chains causes some jabbing and hitching before actual failure is reached. Obviously, keeping the rep speed faster eliminates the problem but I do like slower reps for my clients.

I would like to get know where to get retro fits.

Steve





It's true I never liked the chains because of friction around each axis of each link but why change the cam? Just replace the chains with frictionless bearings and wire. My understanding they change the cams too.. do they cahnge the cams??
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st3

It's true I never liked the chains because of friction around each axis of each link but why change the cam? Just replace the chains with frictionless bearings and wire. My understanding they change the cams too.. do they cahnge the cams??[/quote]

I don't know for sure but I would doubt it. The cams are pretty good/great as far as I'm concerned.
I think what the original post meaning was "Low-friction retrofit of re-directional sprockets (not cams)", I could be wrong but I think that's what he meant.

There is a very technical explanation of assessing and remedying friction in the 2nd edition Superslow manual. I don't completely understand it but it is of some interest.

Steve
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bobcop

retrofitting the vintage 1st generation Nautilus machines from sprocket and chain drive to cable and pulley drive is fairly easy to do, I have done many machines this way...for example if a machine uses a 3" sprocket you replace the sprocket with a 3.5" EFSON pulley and then remove the chain and replace with nylon coated aircraft cable 3/16" diameter.

Most of the Nautilus pieces from that era used 3" sprockets, but I remember the 10 Degree Chest machine used an oddball size - I believe (2) 5" sprockets where I replace with (2) 5.5" EFSON Pulleys. The pulleys, nylon coated aircraft and connecting hardware can be purchased from www.kamway.com.....also I myself have some pulleys and parts I could sell at my cost. If anyone needs my help let me know and I will see what I can do.
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Carlos.Molina

Bobcop. Bottom line. Is it neccesary to do all this retro fit for use of speed 3/3 or 4/4? Put aside improving it for friction.

C Molina
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bobcop

Carlos,
In my case I used to own and operate a commercial gym...I did these retrofits and my members loved them...I must say doing these retrofits eliminated most if not all of the friction enabling these machines to deliver an extremely smooth motion of operation.

My theory regarding the chain and sprocket drive system: after constant use the chains stretch just a little and the chain doesn't run on the sprockets with the precision it should thereby creating drag (or friction).

If anyone doubts this then notice the end of the chain connector that attaches to the cam: there are two screw holes - when I first bought these machines new, the far screw hole attaches to the cam giving the chain a tight fit. After a period of use then the chain loosens enough to use the second screw hole to tighten the chain, which tells me after a period of constant use the chain will stretch a little bit creating slack thereby creating drag and friction.

Carlos, I hope this answers your question sufficiently. If anyone needs my help in this regard let me know.
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g0ld3nuncw

North Carolina, USA

bobcop wrote:
Carlos,
In my case I used to own and operate a commercial gym...I did these retrofits and my members loved them...I must say doing these retrofits eliminated most if not all of the friction enabling these machines to deliver an extremely smooth motion of operation.

My theory regarding the chain and sprocket drive system: after constant use the chains stretch just a little and the chain doesn't run on the sprockets with the precision it should thereby creating drag (or friction).

If anyone doubts this then notice the end of the chain connector that attaches to the cam: there are two screw holes - when I first bought these machines new, the far screw hole attaches to the cam giving the chain a tight fit. After a period of use then the chain loosens enough to use the second screw hole to tighten the chain, which tells me after a period of constant use the chain will stretch a little bit creating slack thereby creating drag and friction.

Carlos, I hope this answers your question sufficiently. If anyone needs my help in this regard let me know.


I read through a few old threads but can't find exactly what I'm looking for.
I've converted a few machines from chain to cable while changing out the bushings to bearings, most notably a double chest. I'm currently working on a Compound Leg. Can anyone suggest the best way to connect cable or kevlar attachment to the sprockets on the leg extension ? I'm thinking this sprocket has to be used somehow since the leg pad piece attaches to the sprocket with 2 bolts. Any advice or especially pictures is appreciated, I know this is the best place to ask.

Thanks

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jastrain

g0ld3nuncw wrote:
bobcop wrote:
Carlos,
In my case I used to own and operate a commercial gym...I did these retrofits and my members loved them...I must say doing these retrofits eliminated most if not all of the friction enabling these machines to deliver an extremely smooth motion of operation.

My theory regarding the chain and sprocket drive system: after constant use the chains stretch just a little and the chain doesn't run on the sprockets with the precision it should thereby creating drag (or friction).

If anyone doubts this then notice the end of the chain connector that attaches to the cam: there are two screw holes - when I first bought these machines new, the far screw hole attaches to the cam giving the chain a tight fit. After a period of use then the chain loosens enough to use the second screw hole to tighten the chain, which tells me after a period of constant use the chain will stretch a little bit creating slack thereby creating drag and friction.

Carlos, I hope this answers your question sufficiently. If anyone needs my help in this regard let me know.

I read through a few old threads but can't find exactly what I'm looking for.
I've converted a few machines from chain to cable while changing out the bushings to bearings, most notably a double chest. I'm currently working on a Compound Leg. Can anyone suggest the best way to connect cable or kevlar attachment to the sprockets on the leg extension ? I'm thinking this sprocket has to be used somehow since the leg pad piece attaches to the sprocket with 2 bolts. Any advice or especially pictures is appreciated, I know this is the best place to ask.

Thanks



to get rid of most of the friction on these machines all you have to do is change the copper bushings to the "torrington-needle-roller-bearings". forget about replacing the chain and sprockets. most of the friction comes from those old bushings. there are bushings in the cams,sprockets,and movement arms. it is really, really, easy--just pop out the bushing and pop in the roller bearing--it is the same size as the bushings. the chains are fine with a little spray lubricant.

once you get rid of those friction, laden, bushings, the old machines feel like the brand new nautilus--it is like day, and night-->big improvement-->and it costs very little money for the bearings [i recall it being like under 20 bucks per machine]. i did 17 of my machines myself -it shouldn't take more than a couple hours per machine. it is "mind blowing" how great the machines function with this simple conversion.

the chains are not the problem, you can do the kevlar conversion but on many of the machines that entails additional fabrication to the machine and there isn't that much noticeable difference between the chain and kevlar, i have put kevlar on a couple of the machines and there was hardly any improvement. do not remove the chains and use cable. cable stretches slightly and it isn't as good as the chain. if you are hellbent on doing the complete fabrication use the kevlar but like i said 99.9% of the friction problems come from the bushings the kevlar is unnecessary ,

i ordered my bearings about 11 years ago from a company called m.s.c.. most of the cams get b1212, the sprockets are b812, and some of the large movement arms are b1616.just take the machine apart and with a hammer and screw driver to pop out the bushing. then, lightly tap in the roller bearing. put some grease on your finger and grease up the inside of the bearing and a little grease on the shoulder bolt. thats basically it!!

your old machine that once had a lot of friction will feel like the new nitro nautilus--but, only better because the "old nautilus" were the original arthur jones designs. your machines will be light years better than when they were new, so basically your machines will function way better than when arthur sold them to you new for over 2grand back in 1980. i got my machines for under 200bucks each and with 20 bucks worth of bearings my machines function light years ahead of when they were new off the production line.
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kurtvf

Jastrain is correct. If you research "roller chain" you will find that it is something like 98% efficient. Very early Nautilus had cables but they broke/were unreliable. The advantage of kevlar belts is no maintenance. Change the bushings to bearings, and replace/clean/lubricate the chains. It is quite easy to measure chain stretch by comparing it to new chain, anything over 1% stretch I would toss. Probably safer to replace the chain anytime you buy a a used machine. I switched out the bushings on the leg press on my compound leg (pivot points and sprockets) and the friction was less than half. My next goal is to figure out how to make the Gen 1 weight stacks frictionless.
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kurtvf

g0ld3nuncw wrote:
bobcop wrote:
Carlos,
In my case I used to own and operate a commercial gym...I did these retrofits and my members loved them...I must say doing these retrofits eliminated most if not all of the friction enabling these machines to deliver an extremely smooth motion of operation.

My theory regarding the chain and sprocket drive system: after constant use the chains stretch just a little and the chain doesn't run on the sprockets with the precision it should thereby creating drag (or friction).

If anyone doubts this then notice the end of the chain connector that attaches to the cam: there are two screw holes - when I first bought these machines new, the far screw hole attaches to the cam giving the chain a tight fit. After a period of use then the chain loosens enough to use the second screw hole to tighten the chain, which tells me after a period of constant use the chain will stretch a little bit creating slack thereby creating drag and friction.

Carlos, I hope this answers your question sufficiently. If anyone needs my help in this regard let me know.

I read through a few old threads but can't find exactly what I'm looking for.
I've converted a few machines from chain to cable while changing out the bushings to bearings, most notably a double chest. I'm currently working on a Compound Leg. Can anyone suggest the best way to connect cable or kevlar attachment to the sprockets on the leg extension ? I'm thinking this sprocket has to be used somehow since the leg pad piece attaches to the sprocket with 2 bolts. Any advice or especially pictures is appreciated, I know this is the best place to ask.

Thanks



The only way I can think to do this would be to mill or grind the teeth off the sprocket then weld a flat bar over it, either bending it as you went or pre bending it. You could then use a clamping device to attach the kevlar belt. The primary drive of the leg extension uses a loop of roller chain which is constantly held tight by a spring, which is probably not easily adaptable to belts since they rely more on their actual attachment rather than engagement of teeth. Kamway/Kamparts sells some of these clamping devices.

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jastrain

kurtvf wrote:
Jastrain is correct. If you research "roller chain" you will find that it is something like 98% efficient. Very early Nautilus had cables but they broke/were unreliable. The advantage of kevlar belts is no maintenance. Change the bushings to bearings, and replace/clean/lubricate the chains. It is quite easy to measure chain stretch by comparing it to new chain, anything over 1% stretch I would toss. Probably safer to replace the chain anytime you buy a a used machine. I switched out the bushings on the leg press on my compound leg (pivot points and sprockets) and the friction was less than half. My next goal is to figure out how to make the Gen 1 weight stacks frictionless.


i know thats what i was telling the o.p.. the chains are not the problem 99.9^ of the friction is in the bushings.

wow you own a compound leg!!! that is my all time favorite leg machine. i would love to own that thing and take out the friction. that machine is mind blowing--going from iso, to compound, instantly, is a feeling that people simply wont believe until they do it.--the 1st time i tried that machine when i hopped off the machine my legs literally gave out, and i hit the floor!!! no other machine ever did that to my legs and i tried a lot of l.p.'s over the years including medx.

the legs need significant stimulus for any real growth to occur. l.e. to l.p. with no rest--instantly creates such an intense inroad that i cant put into words-->i can only say, "i fell to the floor like a ton of bricks"--i could not hold any of my bodyweight--my legs collapsed,they were like noodles--it is unforgettable the 1st time you use that machine properly!!! i wish they would bring that thing back in commercial gyms.
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kurtvf

I paid $400 for mine. You gotta keep looking and not be afraid to travel to get it. Bill Casto at IFR.net usually has them.
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entsminger

Virginia, USA

kurtvf wrote:
I paid $400 for mine. You gotta keep looking and not be afraid to travel to get it. Bill Casto at IFR.net usually has them.


==Scott==
I saw a compound leg for next to nothing a short time ago. They are a huge monster to move so sometimes people who have then will give it to you just to move it out for them.
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jastrain

entsminger wrote:
kurtvf wrote:
I paid $400 for mine. You gotta keep looking and not be afraid to travel to get it. Bill Casto at IFR.net usually has them.

==Scott==
I saw a compound leg for next to nothing a short time ago. They are a huge monster to move so sometimes people who have then will give it to you just to move it out for them.


that thing is huge!! it would take an army of very good friends to help you move that thing. they just don't build em like they used to--the amount of steel that went into that thing was equivalent to a small car!!
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entsminger

Virginia, USA

jastrain wrote:
entsminger wrote:
kurtvf wrote:
I paid $400 for mine. You gotta keep looking and not be afraid to travel to get it. Bill Casto at IFR.net usually has them.

==Scott==
I saw a compound leg for next to nothing a short time ago. They are a huge monster to move so sometimes people who have then will give it to you just to move it out for them.

that thing is huge!! it would take an army of very good friends to help you move that thing. they just don't build em like they used to--the amount of steel that went into that thing was equivalent to a small car!!


==Scott==
I'm not sure which has more metal in it, The Old Blue Monster or a compound leg, ha ha..
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Nautilus1975

I'd ask somebody who actually knows about what is needed to retrofit rather than just get a bunch of suggestions from people who have dabbled in it....

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entsminger

Virginia, USA

Nautilus1975 wrote:
I'd ask somebody who actually knows about what is needed to retrofit rather than just get a bunch of suggestions from people who have dabbled in it....



==Scott==
I'm sure you've done it so please give us the low down on how to do it properly.
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Nautilus1975

I'll let the others who are just as experienced explain it as it has been done many times before it - I am not going to spend time arguing....



Short part tho is: chains are notchy and the timing between sprocket teeth causes friction - dirty chains (like they all get very quickly) are HEAVY in friction

Cables stretch but they are smooth - easily adjusted for slack, probably won't even stretch after break in for personal use - cable pullies are sealed low friction - no machine frame mods

Kevlar hardly stretches, but after it does it just breaks - Kevlar is more costly, pullies cost more, frames need mods to allow belt dimensions

Shoulder bolts DO NOT have a suitable surface hardness for needle bearings to ride on.... Nautilus NEVER just put bearings on shoulder bolts on the first or later gen machines THEY FACTORY installed bearings on at the movement arm pivots and sprockets - why not just do it RIGHT like they did?

If you don't retrofit the stack you are losing half the battle





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kurtvf

Here we go again.......
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jastrain

Nautilus1975 wrote:
I'll let the others who are just as experienced explain it as it has been done many times before it - I am not going to spend time arguing....



Short part tho is: chains are notchy and the timing between sprocket teeth causes friction - dirty chains (like they all get very quickly) are HEAVY in friction

Cables stretch but they are smooth - easily adjusted for slack, probably won't even stretch after break in for personal use - cable pullies are sealed low friction - no machine frame mods

Kevlar hardly stretches, but after it does it just breaks - Kevlar is more costly, pullies cost more, frames need mods to allow belt dimensions

Shoulder bolts DO NOT have a suitable surface hardness for needle bearings to ride on.... Nautilus NEVER just put bearings on shoulder bolts on the first or later gen machines THEY FACTORY installed bearings on at the movement arm pivots and sprockets - why not just do it RIGHT like they did?

If you don't retrofit the stack you are losing half the battle







the sealed bearings are better than the roller bearings that is for sure. but the roller bearings work really well particularly, if someone bought them for machines in their home.

i would pay the much bigger expense for the sealed [heavy duty bearings ] if they were to be used in a heavily trafficked, commercial, gym, were the machines get tons of use.

for the older nautilus machines to install the "sealed bearings" [as opposed to the roller bearings] it requires precise, measuring, drilling, and in in some cases, extensive, fabrication, to fit these type of bearings on "the vintage" nautilus machines

the needle bearings on the other hand are extremely easy for someone to install and they make the machine smooth as silk.

the shoulder bolts can be re-done very cheaply if one wants to be 100% certain of the correct grade.
but
i never had a problem with my original shoulder bolts. i use some pretty heavy weight and i hadn't seen any signs of wear and tear in 3 years of use.

the chains are very low friction if they are lubricated. i have seen what you are talking about, on some machines, like the double chest [the fly part] where because of gravity, the chain will not align up perfectly with the sprocket. this will cause slight "segmentation" between the chain, and the sprokcet [this is only a very slight imperfection and it is only found on that particular machine [the fly on the dbl chest]. in some cases, some wear, and tear,on a couple of the teeth may exist because the gravity trows it slightly out of 100% perfect alignment..but ,again i found that machine to be very smooth and better than most commercial gym machines out there.

so, for the most "bang for your buck", would be the needle bearings. and if one bought the machines for ones home or a personal training facility the needle bearings will hold up fine. i believe ken hutchins before he started building his own machines used the needle bearings in retro fitted nautilus in his training facility. i also believe tim ryan has also used the needle bearings in retrofitted nautilus for years.in facilities like kens or tim ryans these are very busy facilities and they both use them. so they do hold up well--but i probably wouldn't put them in a full blown commercial gym like a "golds gym" or something like that.
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g0ld3nuncw

North Carolina, USA

Thanks for all the input.
I had rather use cable if I can figure out a way to attach to the sprocket. I totally rebuilt a double chest and put chain back on it and it just wasn't friction free. I took the chain off and replaced it with cable and loved how smooth it was. I have since done 5 other (Rowing back, Compound Bicep, Torso Pulldown, 4-way Neck and Plate Load BI/TRI) with cable and feel this reduces the friction the best.
It appears that cable might ride in the "race" of the sprocket. I'm going to try it tomorrow. If so, maybe I can fabricate a way to attach the cable to the sprocket. I'll post pics, please keep suggestions coming.
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g0ld3nuncw

North Carolina, USA

Thanks for all the input.
I had rather use cable if I can figure out a way to attach to the sprocket. I totally rebuilt a double chest and put chain back on it and it just wasn't friction free. I took the chain off and replaced it with cable and loved how smooth it was. I have since done 5 other (Rowing back, Compound Bicep, Torso Pulldown, 4-way Neck and Plate Load BI/TRI) with cable and feel this reduces the friction the best.
It appears that cable might ride in the "race" of the sprocket. I'm going to try it tomorrow. If so, maybe I can fabricate a way to attach the cable to the sprocket. I'll post pics, please keep suggestions coming.
I'm going to put the needle bearings in it as I have my other machines. This machine will be for personal use only.
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Nautilus1975

jastrain wrote:

for the older nautilus machines to install the "sealed bearings" [as opposed to the roller bearings] it requires precise, measuring, drilling, and in in some cases, extensive, fabrication, to fit these type of bearings on "the vintage" nautilus machines





You don't have to go all the way to sealed - just use the same bearings Nautilus put in the factory full bearing versions of first gen machines - sealed may be ideal, but even the seal wipers have friction - great for MACHINERY, but less than ideal for fitness - Argue this if you want, but I have a great example to prove my point on this one just ready to go




Machine the cam & movement arm as a unit for the correct bearings - most people don't even realize when they just press bearings in the cam and the movement arm hub that when they bolt the assemblies back together there is a huge misalignment -

Sprockets are easily bored if you want to retain that lousy chain - throw them in the trash if you go to kevlar or cable




On attaching cable to sprocket - replace sprocket with a pulley of the same dimension and mount it in the same fashion as the sprocket or just use a short length of chain and attach the cable to the sprocket if you don't feel like modifying to the point of replacing the sprocket - not ideal using the chain, but if it gets rid of the rest of the chain better than nothing --- how do other machines that don't use sprockets attach the cable???? Simple


There is not another piece of precision fitness equipment in the world that uses chain - it is awful

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