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Chris Madaera
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Keelan Parham
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"Doing more exercise with less intensity,"
Arthur Jones believes, "has all but
destroyed the actual great value
of weight training. Something
must be done . . . and quickly."
The New Bodybuilding for
Old-School Results supplies
MUCH of that "something."

 

This is one of 93 photos of Andy McCutcheon that are used in The New High-Intensity Training to illustrate the recommended exercises.

To find out more about McCutcheon and his training, click here.

 

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extremeone

Hi all, I'm new here, but been lurking for awhile. Anyway, do you guys have any info on professional refurbers? I've used Tim Ryan's services in the past but he seems pretty booked up for awhile and not taking any new orders. Any info would be appreciated!
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MikaelPR

What is it specifically you are wanting done ? Several on here have done some amateur refurbs, might be able to offer some advice.
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extremeone

MikaelPR wrote:
What is it specifically you are wanting done ? Several on here have done some amateur refurbs, might be able to offer some advice.


HI, thanks for the response. I just purchased a Nautilus side lying leg curl. I'm looking for conversion from chain to kevlar and bushing to bearings in all articulations. I also looking for a professionally done re-paint (sandblast/powdercoat). Tim Ryan does great work but he's currently unavailable for new work. I also have a Duo Squat that I have my eye on (which will need bushing to bearings and new paint), but I won't pul the trigger until I have someone I trust to do the work. BTW, this is all for my home gym which consists mostly of Avenger, Hammer Strength, and Nautilus machines.
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g0ld3nuncw

North Carolina, USA

I just finished refurbing this torso arm pulldown. Took about 6 months in my spare time. Everything repainted and cleaned, bearings installed and converted to cable. I'm definitely an amateur but I'm very happy with it.
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g0ld3nuncw

North Carolina, USA

After
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Equity

Cool! Well done!!!
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extremeone

I've followed your work on bodybuilding.com Very impressive! Ever think about doing retrofits/refurbs as a sideline? I'm not handy at all and work 14 hour shifts for the most part, so I'd rather pay someone else to do the work.
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g0ld3nuncw

North Carolina, USA

PM me so we won't bore others with this conversation and we can discuss thanks
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1958

Texas, USA

g0ld3nuncw wrote:
PM me so we won't bore others with this conversation and we can discuss thanks


I find it interesting.Not boring at all.
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g0ld3nuncw

North Carolina, USA

Thanks. I keep an additional pad on this machine. After doing the torso arm set, I slide the pad out and immediately go into the pulldowns. I'm 6'1 and I have to change the distance from the pulldown to get a stretch. This is much faster than adjusting the seat and losing precious seconds. I do the same thing on the pullover/pulldown machine.
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g0ld3nuncw

North Carolina, USA

Even an amateurish refurb done right runs $700-$800. Pads upholstered $200. Bearings $150. Paint $200 (modest estimate powder coating much more). Hardware / cable accessories $150. Pulleys $100. Of course this doesn't include labor and having it shipped to the refurb location. Not many people willing to put this kind of $ in their 40 year old equipment. I don't regret anything ive spent though, the machines refurbed are awesome.
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ATP 4 Vitality

Larry

Your gym is very nice
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g0ld3nuncw

North Carolina, USA

Thank you. I personally don't see near as many old nautilus machines listed within driving distance as I did a few years ago. I think it would be much more difficult to put together now.
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Bill Sekerak

California, USA

FYI. There are 2 OMNI Nautilus machines for sale on EBay. They've been listed for about a month.
One is a bicep and other a tricep machine.
The guy wants $7500 for both.
They look to be in great shape.
For those who don't know these machines allow you to leg press the stack up and lower it with your arms. So you can do pure Negatives without helpers. They can also be used in a regular fashion or you can use the leg press just enough to help you get the stack up with your arms followed by a full Negative. Arthur Jones called this style of exercise Hyper.
I would jump on this but I don't have room.
You probably will never see these for sale again,certainly not at a bargain basement price like $ 7,500
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Bill Sekerak

California, USA

Oh yeah, I forgot. About the OMNI machines they've been completely retrofitted with needle bearings.
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ATP 4 Vitality

g0ld3nuncw wrote:
Thank you. I personally don't see near as many old nautilus machines listed within driving distance as I did a few years ago. I think it would be much more difficult to put together now.


I agree.

BTW.... with your experience at refurbishing Nautilus machines, would you say the chain to cable conversion as being worth the trouble?
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g0ld3nuncw

North Carolina, USA

Yes definitely. The first 2 machines I refurbed (Double chest and Multi Tricep) I changed out the bearings and put back together with chain. I still had friction, so I converted to pulleys & cable. The machines were ultra smooth, so I've done all cable ever since. Gets a little tricky on chain attached directly to single sprocket machines, you have to leave a little chain to wrap around the sprocket then connect the cable to the chain mid-way.
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ATP 4 Vitality

Larry

I'm going to refurbish one of my machines

Paint
Cable conversion
Bearings
Castor wheels
Most of my current pads are ok

I'm undecided about pad color and frame paint
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g0ld3nuncw

North Carolina, USA

I left out caster wheels. Sometimes have to have a 'tab' welded onto the machines with 1/2 inch hole for heavy duty casters (usually $15/apiece). You'll be glad you did though so much easier to move the machines around. Be sure to get at least 1 caster with a locking brake.
Pads are the only thing I don't do myself, I have it done locally by an excellent upholstery guy.
I think a black frame color is best and then whatever pad color you prefer. I have powder coated some pieces (you can get materials at Harbor Freight) but most pieces are stripped with an angle brush, primed with Rustoleum auto primer and painted with 2 coats of Rustoleum Hammer Black.
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MikaelPR

A few things I have discovered through trial and error:
Work box:
1) replace bushings with cage bearings NOT full complement bearings- less friction
2) replace stock alloy shoulder bolts with hardened stainless steel, buy whole length sizes (eg. 5" vs. 5.25") to save $
Cable and pulley:
3) replace chain with bare 1/8 " diameter cable, not coated cable
4) use steel pulleys if you can find and afford them. 3.5 " steel pulleys for 1/8 / 3/16" cable with 1/2 or 3/8" dia. ID's are hard to find and expensive. Insert spacers into frame to fill void if using pulleys with 3/8" bores
Weight stacks and guide rods:
5) use original stock Nautilus stainless steel guide rods if converting top plate bushings to linear bearings. New Thomson 3/4" rails have a slightly smaller OD than the original guide rods- and they're expensive. If you ever come across a good deal on a Nautilus machine you don't want, especially a Next Gen for cheap, buy it and strip it for guide rods, weight stack, CBRs,etc.
6) swap First Gen stacks for Next Gen stacks with the 30# top plates, and guide rod bushings in the bottom plates
7) press the bottom plate bushings out
8) buy 3/4" ID magnets and install around top of guide rods at frame to help align and keep rods taut.
I'm sure I've forgotten something. I have a lot of spare parts; sprockets, CBRs, shoulder bolts, etc. If you need anything, pm me, your welcome to anything I have.
Mike

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ATP 4 Vitality

MikaelPR wrote:
A few things I have discovered through trial and error:
Work box:
1) replace bushings with cage bearings NOT full complement bearings- less friction
2) replace stock alloy shoulder bolts with hardened stainless steel, buy whole length sizes (eg. 5" vs. 5.25") to save $
Cable and pulley:
3) replace chain with bare 1/8 " diameter cable, not coated cable
4) use steel pulleys if you can find and afford them. 3.5 " steel pulleys for 1/8 / 3/16" cable with 1/2 or 3/8" dia. ID's are hard to find and expensive. Insert spacers into frame to fill void if using pulleys with 3/8" bores
Weight stacks and guide rods:
5) use original stock Nautilus stainless steel guide rods if converting top plate bushings to linear bearings. New Thomson 3/4" rails have a slightly smaller OD than the original guide rods- and they're expensive. If you ever come across a good deal on a Nautilus machine you don't want, especially a Next Gen for cheap, buy it and strip it for guide rods, weight stack, CBRs,etc.
6) swap First Gen stacks for Next Gen stacks with the 30# top plates, and guide rod bushings in the bottom plates
7) press the bottom plate bushings out
8) buy 3/4" ID magnets and install around top of guide rods at frame to help align and keep rods taut.
I'm sure I've forgotten something. I have a lot of spare parts; sprockets, CBRs, shoulder bolts, etc. If you need anything, pm me, your welcome to anything I have.
Mike



Great post
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MikaelPR

Another tip for painting: If you remove old paint, either with chemicals or with an angle grinder, do it outside. You can paint any time of the year in a "mobile paint booth" for $19.99 plus mileage from the Uhaul dealer to your house. Rent a 10' or 14' box truck at UHaul, put plastic down on the floor, tie rope or string ratchet straps from wall to wall, drape plastic sheeting or a tarp over straps, turn the box light on, put a heater in the box and spray away. If you disassemble the machine, you can run additional straps across and string up parts for easier spraying. This works great with the weight plates. I "jeweled" a weight stack and clear coated it with Eastwood 2 part epoxy and it turned out great. I've always wanted to do an entire machine that way; grind it down to bare metal, leaving the industrial looking swirl marks, clear coat it, and put tan leather look pads on, think that would be sharp...
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MikaelPR

Another tip for cleaning up rusty weight stacks. Use a heavy duty degreaser and a stiff brush, rinse with water and allow to dry, Lightly brush 2 coats of liquid rust converter on areas of rust. When the chemical dries it will seal the rust and turn it black to match the paint.
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kurtvf

Great topic!

What is a CBR???

I've never fooled with top plate bushings but would love to see photos of how its done.

How do the magnets hold the guide rods?? Photos would help.

Thanks for the great ideas.
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kurtvf

ATP 4 Vitality wrote:
g0ld3nuncw wrote:
Thank you. I personally don't see near as many old nautilus machines listed within driving distance as I did a few years ago. I think it would be much more difficult to put together now.

I agree.

BTW.... with your experience at refurbishing Nautilus machines, would you say the chain to cable conversion as being worth the trouble?


I think guide rod friction is worse than the friction from the chains. I think the noise from the chains causes a perceived friction. Roller chain is 98% efficient which I believe is better than cable or belts. The biggest reason chain isn't used anymore is the maintenance.

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