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Rebuilding NordicTrack ski machine drive rollers Answered

Many people still buy and use a NordicTrack Ski Machine, although these machines are not as popular as they once were. I have talked to people who say they just plain wore out a ski machine. The part that wears is the one-way clutch inside the drive rollers.

NordicTrack makes the one-way clutch sound very mysterious. In reality it is a one-way needle bearing and is available from Amazon or locally from a good bearing shop. The internal diameter of the one-way needle bearing used in my machine (Challenger, similar to a 303) is 5/8 inch. The outer diameter is 7/8 inch. The width of the one-way needle bearing from end to end is 5/8 inch.

I originally had hopes of being able to install new one-way needle bearings, myself; but, they together with the bronze sleeve bearings on either side of the one-way needle bearing inside each drive roller are pressed into place. Pressing bearings is not a job for the average home tinkerer but requires a bearing press capable of exerting tons of pressure in a very precise manner. You can often have a local machine shop press the bearings in your machine's drive rollers. Or, you can send them away to Nordic Track Guy and have them rebuilt for about $33 with a one week turnaround. The core of the rollers really does not wear out, but new rollers are available on the Internet from $65 to $95, depending on the vendor. From what I can find, some models used an alternate size. Check to be certain you order the correct rollers, if you choose to replace.

One of my drive rollers suddenly began to hiccup. It seemed that the clutch did not always release immediately when I pulled my foot forward. Then I noticed a little mush in the response when I began to bring my foot back on the push stroke. Before you rebuild or replace your rollers, try this: Remove one side of your Ski Machine. See the second photo and check the exploded diagram in your manual. Four nuts and two screws, all plainly visible, need to be removed. Slide the washers and the roller off of the top side. The shaft and flywheel can be wiggled out of the other side without removing anything from that side. Remove the washers and the roller from that side, too. Flush the one-way needle bearing by squirting some penetrating oil, like Liquid Wrench, into the bearing. Work it both ways with your smallest finger. Push a facial tissue into the shaft hole in the roller and sop away the penetrating oil and any metallic dust it lifts. Do this several times. Let the rollers air dry. A little lubrication is good. People who comment on lubrication for one-way needle bearings use Tri-Flo (I am not familiar with it.) or they use a little ATF transmission fluid. You want enough to lubricate, but not so much that the bearings slip. (But, see the comments below where the oil impregnated bronze sleeve bearings are supposed to supply enough lubrication for the needle bearings.) Put the rollers back in place on the shaft. Check to be certain they grab on the rearward stroke and release on the forward stroke. Reassemble the machine. Do not forget the washers between the roller and the side board. My machine works again as it should. The day will likely come when this simple fix does not help, and I will need to rebuild or replace the rollers then. But, for now, my rollers have a new lease on life.

What follows is for your information. The first photo is of a portion of the back cover of the manual that came with my machine. It shows a cutaway image of the drive roller. The black printing is mine. Notice the three cylinders inside the drive roller. The outer two are bronze sleeve bearings. The center one looks like a roller bearing, but is a one-way needle bearing. A one-way needle bearing is essentially a roller bearing, but the rollers are able to move forward and backward a little in their cage. There is a wedge shape for the axle of each roller that causes the rollers to bind between the bearing cage and the shaft when the rotation is in one direction, but they are free in the other direction. Here is a description of how they work with graphics.

This link is for an Instructable about a number of modifications I made to our NordicTrack ski machine, including how it can be stored vertically in a closet. If you do not have a digital monitor for your skier, or need to replace one, here is an Instructable on how to make your own from a digital bicycle speedometer. 

Check NordicParts for any parts you need, also Nordic Fitness Ski Machines. Danny at Nordic Fitness Ski Machines has some very nice new rollers for sale.

Comments

The forums are retiring in 2021 and are now closed for new topics and comments.

also I was going to ask what is the best type wax to wax the ski boards? I have not ever waxed the "ski's" before. thanks

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imrational
imrational

Reply 1 year ago

I cleaned my skis with a mix of Murphy's oil soap and water, , let it dry; then applied a light coat of mineral oil, waited a moment, and then wiped off the excess with a clean paper towel

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Dogpaws in the Carolinas
Dogpaws in the Carolinas

Reply 1 year ago

thanks so much! I did this after reading your suggestion and I think it worked for mine too. My nordic track is now running smoothly so I guess Phil B was correct saying the hurky jerky it had after being stored was just from being stored. Thanks again.

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Phil B
Phil B

Reply 1 year ago

Thank you for your comment. I am glad your machine is smoother and more like new, now. Something changed during storage. Perhaps humidity caused a little surface corrosion to set in. There should not have been residue from lubrication. Anyway, you have flushed the one-way bearings and they work better now. I enjoy seeing other people solve what could have been expensive problems simply and inexpensively.

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imrational
imrational

Reply 1 year ago

I forgot, I also applied some paraffin to the sides of the skis. A simple unscented candle or paraffin used in canning works. Just rub it into the sides (do NOT put it on the bottom/underside of the skis).

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Phil B
Phil B

Reply 4 years ago

I can only guess. I expect anything you would use on furniture, if you are talking about the finish. The outside edge of the skis is supposed to be ru bed with a block of parafin to lubricate against the nylon rubbing pads on the inside of the sideboards.

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Cyryl
Cyryl

1 year ago

Amazing equipment, I hear about it for the first time, I read more about it

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Phil B
Phil B

Reply 1 year ago

I favored a stationary bicycle, but it does little for one’s upper body. A ski machine makes your whole body work.

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BobK118
BobK118

1 year ago

This site and this post (Kathryn) allowed me to bring back to life the NordicTrack Pro that I have been using since about mid 1980's. Only replaced resistance strap once but the odometer/pulse mechanism died decades ago and they were not replaced. Past few years, the left drive roller has been randomly skipping and screeching but it would 'straighten up' after about 10 minuets of use. The past week, the roller began to dragging on the forward roll and three days ago, I could tell it was basically dead in the water. Looked online at new Track and used ones and then parts and saw some hope of replacing the roller but when I found this site, Hallelujah. I was concerned about the lubricant first mentioned as I had none and no clue about equivalent, but WD-40 I do have (yes, along with duct tape). Used rubbing alcohol to clean the shaft and WD-40 on the bearing/sleeve of both rollers. Reassembled, the old Pro runs well again. Also had to realign the flywheel because close look showed it had drifted and may have been cause of some fray showing on current tension belt.

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Phil B
Phil B

Reply 1 year ago

Thank you for your comment and congratulations on getting your ski machine functioning well again. My friend NordicDanny does not like WD-40 on the drive train of a ski machine. My original suggestion was Liquid Wrench, but someone made WD-40 work. Blotting out liquid is important. You can always repeat the process if you have any problems. Notice above a link to an Instructable I did on how to use a simple bicycle speedometer to replace a NordicTrack computer. It also suggests work arounds for heart pulse and calories burned.

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charris582
charris582

1 year ago

Somehow the skinny black cord or something on the arm resistance pulley has become jammed. The red dial is stuck between 0 and 2 on the kgms side and 4 lbs on the left. It won't go beyond that. I can't pull on either the left or the right hand handles at all. The right handle is now slightly shorter than the left side. It has been grabbing a little lately but now it is completely stuck. I have the NordicTrack Achiever and love it. Please help! The ski part is working just fine but not the arms. Thank you.

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Phil B
Phil B

Reply 1 year ago

You want to talk to Instructables member NordicDanny. He knows about every model NordicTrack ever made. Send him a private message. You can also reach him by clicking on the link above for Nordic Fitness Ski Machines.

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charris582
charris582

Reply 1 year ago

Thanks, Phil. How do I send him a private message?

Caroline

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simplified
simplified

2 years ago

Phil, I'm so glad you still have this page up! I left a comment six years ago when I got a broken-down Pro for $1 at a Goodwill in Albuquerque, and thanks to your instruction (and a new thrust washer for the cord drum) it was good as new. I had to give that one up for a move, but recently acquired a used 1994 Pro and Sequoia. They were both in great shape, but there was just starting to be some resistance on the forward stroke and hesitation to engage on the backward stroke of the skis. I took the drive rollers off and found a gummy mess of old lube and decades of crud. I thoroughly flushed the needle bearings with WD-40 (following your procedure), let them drain and dry overnight, reassembled, and they are like new. Years ago, I used Tri-Flo (great stuff) but at the moment I only had WD-40, and it worked *beautifully*. Like Tri-Flo, WD-40 contains solvents and also about 30% mineral oil (confirmed on the MSDS), so once the solvents dry off, there's a fine light film of lubrication left behind. Perfect for this use. As you pointed out below, the solvents and carriers in the formula really do need to dry before reassembly. Those solvents help clean the bearings and displace dirt and moisture, then the light oil stays behind and protects. This procedure is so simple, I now think of it as routine maintenance. I'm a bike mechanic, and things work best and last longest if they're kept clean and lightly lubricated. Thanks again for posting this and keeping it going all these years, I'm sure it's helped many many people!
--Kathryn

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Phil B
Phil B

Reply 2 years ago

Kathryn,

Thank you so much for your comment. I am glad you have been able to keep your various ski machines working well over the years, in part, by floating metallic dust out of the one-way needle bearings in the rollers. It is amazing what some basic mechanical knowledge coupled with a little intuition and intelligent guessing can accomplish. The thanks goes to the folks at Instructables for keeping things like this available. Of course, they are involved in a commercial endeavor and need people to submit things others will want to view so the site owners can entice advertising dollars. What you found here is part of Community topics and discussions. Most of the things I post are in the section where you can view steps with photos or video showing how the author did or accomplished something. The subject areas are quite varied. Many of my submissions involve building or fixing something useful inexpensively. There is always the challenge of showing how to do a repair without the need for expensive tools the average person will not have.

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Sarfarosh
Sarfarosh

2 years ago

Thank you this worked!! I had used WD 40 to lubricate and this caused the clutches on both sides to slip very badly. It was pretty comical to watch :). I am sure that the WD 40 is what caused the slipping in the first place. I took it apart and used Blaster Penatrating Catalyst to clean the clutches. They were very rusty. I then used just a tiny bit of transmission fluid on my pinky to lubricate them. It works like a charm! I am hoping the fix will last. Thank you!!!

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Phil B
Phil B

Reply 2 years ago

Your post is identical to one below from a couple of weeks before yours. Are you two the same person?

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PFloro
PFloro

2 years ago

Hello Phil, Thank you for your instructions on revitalizing the drive rollers. If I had found your site before buying new ones, I would have cleaned and lubed them. I'll try your procedure when the new ones act up (hopefully not for a while!).
If I may, I have a related question regarding the "end rollers" on my NT Pro (late 1988). They are not too worn but are binding a bit due to gum forming over the last 30 years. How do I remove them? With the side board(s) removed, I see a slot in the shaft which is not very deep or "tall". None of my flat blade screwdrivers are able to "get a grip". I don't want to strip the "head". The metal frame is thin so I can't believe the shafts are threaded into the frame. I can remove the nut on the inside but that doesn't help. I don't have a picture with the side board removed but will attach an assembled view.
Thanks for your help, Paul

NT End Rollers 01.jpg
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Phil B
Phil B

Reply 2 years ago

Paul,

I am also using a Pro, but it is mid-90s. My friend, NordicDanny, repairs ski machines professionally and knows all about all of the changes from year to year. You could send him a private message. Sometimes you can find a manual on-line with an exploded diagram to help you. Your photo is a little different than my machine. Could you try spraying those rollers with a solvent (WD-40?) and riding the machine several times to break up and flush out any gumming, then lubricate it with oil? You might do that repeatedly until all is good. The manual with mine suggests a few drops of motor oil once a month for regular lubrication, but how much you use the machine would make a difference, too.
I am not a very consistent user of my ski machine. I had a Challenger and have a Pro now. I did the procedure I described for restoring the drive rollers on both machines and there were no problems later, only renewed good performance.

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PFloro
PFloro

Reply 2 years ago

Thank you, Phil for the quick reply and WD-40 suggestion. I will give
that a try. However, I just discovered that a few of the rollers have
worn bushings and wobble a little bit. The actual "hard rubber" outer
surface is also worn on some. For piece of mind, I'd like to bite the
bullet and replace all of them. I'll contact NordicDanny. Thanks
again...! Paul

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Phil B
Phil B

Reply 2 years ago

Here is an image from a skier manual I found on-line. It may not be as helpful as I hoped. But, typical of what I have seen, the small axles for the rollers st the ends of the skiis have two flats at one end and threads at the other. I believe you will need to remove the side boards. Note parts 15, 69, and 70.

I found the manual page at: https://www.manualslib.com/manual/112711/Nordictrack-Ntxc80181.html?page=15#manual

My friend NordicDanny has quite a collection of old skiers and can probably supply parts, maybe even new parts, as well as suggestions on removal and installation. He has a web page at nordicfitnessskimachines (dot) com.

F43AE9E2-4025-4FD1-B4CA-E8A82BECFC85.jpeg
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PFloro
PFloro

Reply 2 years ago

Hi Phil, I wanted to provide an update on the end roller replacement for my NT Pro. I discovered that the axles which "carry" the end rollers thread into the front and rear "frames" on their inboard side. Once the side boards are off and the nuts are removed from the axles, the axles can be "unthreaded" from the frame. After cleaning and lightly oiling, the "roller & washer stack" is placed between the frame and the axle passed through. This is a tricky task (the skier should be on it's side)! One washer sits between the two rollers and the other two sit on the outside of each roller. My front end rollers actually had four washers on the axle shaft with two between the rollers. The axle shaft end should be flush with the side of the frame before the nut is threaded on and tightened. Don't "bottom it out". The axle has to fully sit in the outer frame to carry the load.

I started this thread because the first axle which I tried to removed was very tight in the frame and I just couldn't figure how to remove it. The other three spun right out by simply grabbing the threads...!

I hope this information is of help to others...

Cordially,

Paul Floro




NT Rear End Roller Axle 01.jpgNT End Roller_Washer_Axle 01.jpgNT End Rollers 01.jpg
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Phil B
Phil B

Reply 2 years ago

Paul,

Thank you so much for sharing what you found. If someone asks and has not read these comments, I will find yours and mention it.

Regards,

Phil

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nateboussad
nateboussad

2 years ago

STEP 1 Check the drive rollers. These should spin freely in the frontward direction and catch the shaft in the rearward direction. Classic failure is that only one ski slips or skips. STEP 2 Make sure the tension strap is not worn. If both skis slip or skip or if the tension strap spring chatters, it is a normal sign that the strap needs to be flipped or replaced. STEP 3 Check for rust on the flywheel. If the channel is rusted that the tension strap rests upon, you will not be able to get the machine to work properly. Resurface the flywheel with emery cloth and clean with mineral spirits. STEP 4 Check the underside of the skis. If you have a rubber build-up, clean the skis and then re-oil the wood so it doesn't dry out and split. STEP 5 The skis could be warped. Lay the skis on a level surface and see if the ski is laying flat on the surface. If not the ski is warped and needs to be replaced.
see: https://bluestacks.vip/ , https://kodi.software/ & https://plex.software/

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Phil B
Phil B

Reply 2 years ago

The checks you suggest are all good, but, you can see from the comments of others below many have had difficulty when the one-way needle bearing inside a drive roller began to slip. The professional fix is to replace both rollers or press new bearings inside the rollers. You can also see commenters solved their problem at home when they flushed, dried, and lightly lubricated the bearings inside the drive rollers using a drop or two of ATF. I myself have improved the performance of two machines this way and used both with no problems for several years afterward.

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LaurieA38
LaurieA38

2 years ago

Thank you this worked!! I had used WD 40 to lubricate and this caused the clutches on both sides to slip very badly. It was pretty comical to watch :). I am sure that the WD 40 is what caused the slipping in the first place. I took it apart and used Blaster Penatrating Catalyst to clean the clutches. They were very rusty. I then used just a tiny bit of transmission fluid on my pinky to lubricate them. It works like a charm! I am hoping the fix will last. Thank you!!!

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Phil B
Phil B

Reply 2 years ago

Transmission fluid is interesting stuff. It is designed to provide a little lubrication, but without slippage. If your initial application of WD-40 could have dried in the air it would probsbly have worked, but you had not taken the roller assembly apart and the bearings could not dry. Liquid Wrench has always been my favorite penetrating oil, but, it is also the only one I have known since I was a child and saw my father using it around sixty years sgo. I was surprised to learn WD-40 will flush the one-way roller besrings and dry, too. I think you will be surprised how much use you can get from your rollers before you need to flush and lubricate them again. Perhaps if there is some rust in them, more of it will break loose and you will need to flush them again in the nearer future. Otherwise, I think you will be pleased. They will go a long time before you need to do anything to them. Thank you for the report.

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Jerry1944
Jerry1944

3 years ago

Hello, my name is Jerry Simpson. The profile picture is my wife. I have been wanting to write you for a long time. Just want to comment on how to fix the dry rollers using theThomson linearRace shafting (60 case harden)

Phil, please bear with me as I try to explain how I solved my dry roller problem. Did the things you suggested on cleaning the one way clutch bearing. I lubricated it with fluid film rust and corrosion protection (made out of lanolin wool). It's been around since 1943. Next I look at the shaft and could see we're the bearing came in contact with it. I replaced the shaft with Thomson shafting and made some spacers out of a treadmill mate for the side boards to make up for about 3/16" added length of the new shaft. Put it back together and no more (hick up). Works great now. Thank you and I am very glad your out there solving problems.

Jerry Simpson

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Phil B
Phil B

Reply 3 years ago

Thank you for your comment. I am glad what you tried worked. We all learn from each other.

I have a nordic tract pro, and have not used it due to knee replacement for about 6 months. I tried to use it today and it is hurky jerky, the skis do not glide as they did before and on the backstroke they seem to "grab" or get stuck on the back rollers. I sprayed everything I could with WD-40 which probably isn't good to use, but I am a girl and that is all I know about oil. Do you think I need new rollers or should I have the roller removed and sprayed with oil and wiped with a facial tissue and let dry. Do you think this will work my machine is at least 30 years old. I have a friend that has an achiever and it is hurky jerky too.

I too have the adjustment know on the arm exerciser spinning loose when in use regardless of it being tightened. Thanks for the tip I will look at it.

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Phil B
Phil B

Reply 4 years ago

The hurky jerky phenomenon may go away with continued use. When things stop working after a period of non-use, usually something has gotten gummy. If it were mine, I would remove the rollers and flush them out as I described. WD-40 will work. Take a photo or two of the parts laid out as they were so you have less trouble remembering how they gö back in.

You might oil the doughnut shaped roller bearing under the drum knob. That is supposed to be done regularly, anyway. Those bearings are available if yours is worn or hopelessly stuck. You might also go to a hardware store to see about a small bottle of oil a little heavier than WD-40. Even a quart of 20 or 30 weight engine oil would be a good investment. A small pump oil can would be ideal for applying it in a controlled manner.

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Dogpaws in the Carolinas
Dogpaws in the Carolinas

Reply 3 years ago

Phil this is an addendum to my note 13 min. ago on 8/20/2017 (pre eclipse haha) anyway I failed to mention that if I have no tension or very little such as a 1 or 2 the fly wheel does engage however it is difficult to have control at that low resistance. Just a little more information. I have inverted the skier and tried to see if I loosened anything however there is nothing to loosen. I see a gray cable running into the flywheel assemble underneath but it appears very firm and rigid in place so I don't imagine anything happened to that unless oil could have somehow leaked into it??

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Phil B
Phil B

Reply 3 years ago

Did you remove the drive rollers from the shaft when you worked on them? If so, did you put them back so they slip on the forward stroke, but grab on the backstroke? And, did you dry the bearings inside the rollers before putting the rollers back on the shaft? Either fluid still in the bearings or putting the rollers on backwards would cause slippage (little or no resistance).

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Dogpaws in the Carolinas
Dogpaws in the Carolinas

Reply 3 years ago

Thanks ever so much Phil, I did what you said with the heavier oil and it did the trick now the skies are smooth as glass, thank you.
I now have another problem and I am at my wits end as to what I could have done to cause this.
The fly wheel no longer turns even with the tension strap at a high number setting. After oiling the rollers I simply placed the skiis back on the machine and expected to be ready to roll. The skiis are smooth but since the flywheel is not engaging there is no tension. I usually ski about a 3 and have taken the tension all the way up with no difference.
What is the problem? I am so anxious to return to my daily skiing since my new knee is healed and ready to go.
I hope you can help me with this again.
Thank you for your time and considerations.

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Dogpaws in the Carolinas
Dogpaws in the Carolinas

Reply 4 years ago

I thought I might clarify the hurky jerky motion of my ski machine. The forward motion is smooth and then on the slide back it jolts to a stop on the rubber roller adjacent to the fly wheel, The only reason it doesn't stop there is that I force it backwards and on the way forward again it is smooth. Is this a situation that during the restarting of using the ski machine again will go away? I thank you for your time once again.

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Phil B
Phil B

Reply 4 years ago

if it were my machine, I would remove the sealed ball bearings mounted in the sideboards and spinning them slowly by hand to see if the are smooth or rough and maybe even siezed. A bearing shop can sell you replacement bearings, althouythey are not cheap. I had to replace one on a used machine and it cost me $30 for just one. You can try using the machine to see if the problem goes away. If a bearing is bad, it gets worse in time.

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Dogpaws in the Carolinas
Dogpaws in the Carolinas

Reply 4 years ago

Thank you I will certainly look into that, of course I am going to keep using it and see if it gets worse, it actually has not gotten worse in this past week....thankfully. Thanks again for your time and answer!

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Dogpaws in the Carolinas
Dogpaws in the Carolinas

Reply 4 years ago

Gosh Phil B, Thanks so much!
I will definitely do what you say because removing screws and stuff makes me nervous but taking a picture is exactly the answer Brilliant thanks so very much. I cannot wait to be on my ski machine. I am so thankful to have found your site and know that there is help. I will get some heavier weight oil as well. Awesome! Will keep ya posted hopefully with good results and not more questions :)

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Phil B
Phil B

Reply 4 years ago

Dropping a few pounds never seems to be as easy in practice as described in theory. Years ago I could ride 100 miles a week and lose 2 pounds a week. In more recent years that amount of riding might cause me to lose 2 pounds in a month, if I was careful about what I ate.

In the second last paragraph above I linked an Instructable about converting a bicycle speedometer to function as a monitor for a ski machine. Included in that Instructable is some information about exercise values for a ski machine. Some it is based on studies at the University of Cologne, although a ski machine was not mentioned in those studies. An article in a German fitness magazine talked about exercise for weight loss. People spent sixteen weeks building fitness so they could do cardiovascular exercise for 45 minutes three or so times a week at about 75% of their theoretical maximum heart rate. The first 30 minutes are needed to use sugar stored in the body so fat is burned in the last 15 minutes. A session of about 90 to 120 minutes was done on the weekend in one session. Proper eating was also emphasized. Adequate rest is also very important. Too many push too hard. The subjects in the article rode bicycles and showed some significant weight loss. A ski machine would also be effective.

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Phil B
Phil B

Reply 4 years ago

To clarify, I lost 2 pounds a week riding 100 miles a week on a bicycle. And, the studies at the University of Cologne were the basis for the article in the German fitness magazine. The studies were commissioned by Selle Royale, a maker of bicycle saddles.

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bokononisti9
bokononisti9

4 years ago

Do you know how to stop the adjustment knob on the arm exerciser from spinning loose? I'll tighten it to the desired resistance, but once I start using the arm exerciser, the adjustment knob will back itself out, which drops resistance on the arm exerciser to zero.

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Phil B
Phil B

Reply 4 years ago

My experience is limited, but I have never seen what you describe. There are some things to check. The leather pad under the drum should be parallel to the front arm on the NordicTrack and the two holes in the pad should be on the raised locking circles, not any other alignment. On top of the drum should be a roller bearing in the shape of a doughnut and the rollers in it should move freely. A flat washer is on top of the roller bearing. Then comes the tension spring and the knob. I am thinking something is out of place or missing. Also, put a few drops of 3-in-1 oil on top of the leather pad and lubricants the roller bearing about once per month.

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bokononisti9
bokononisti9

4 years ago

I'm experiencing a problem with my NordicTrack Pro (mid-90's version, not the later Pro Classic) where the ski will 'slip' on the right drive roller on the drive (rearward) stroke maybe 12" or so before the ski "grabs" the roller and spins it. This doesn't happen every stroke, but every several strokes. Left drive roller does not exhibit this slipping. The underside of the skis have recently been cleaned with mineral spirits.

This doesn't sound like a problem with the one-way bearing, does it?

Maybe the roller's surface needs cleaning (it does look fairly dirty). Any tips on cleaning the drive roller so that it grips the underside of the ski better?

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Phil B
Phil B

Reply 4 years ago

If you body weight is pressing down on the ski it is difficult to imagine the ski would slip on the rubber surface of the roller. My first suspicion would be the one-way bearing. 12" of slippage seems like quit a lot. I would take the time to remove the drive roller and flush it out with something like Liquid Wrench or WD-40, dry it, and lubricate with a drop or two of ATF fluid. You could remove that ski and work the drive roller to see if it is generally free one direction, but locks in the reverse direction while keeping in mind the roller may behave a little differently under a load.

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bokononisti9
bokononisti9

Reply 4 years ago

It's probably less than 12" - it's a little unnerving when the ski slips while you're applying pressure to drive the ski rearward, so I may be overestimating!

So is what I'm describing the classic slipping issue? Somehow I was thinking a worn bearing would result in slippage when the ski was moving forward.

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Phil B
Phil B

Reply 4 years ago

When the one-way bearings ar not working properly, the ski does not grab on the rearward push with the feet. It is enough to make your body lurch and you can easily lose your balance. I would take both rollers off of the shaft and clean the bearings. Only a little very fine metallic dust is needed to interfere with their intended action. You know you are accomplishing something helpful when sopping the Liqud Wrench or WD-40 with a tissue produces a gray stain on the tissue.

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casenmolly
casenmolly

4 years ago

Hi Phil

Thanks for taking the time sharing your knowledge and experience. I've learned much from your response to reader comments. I have an Achiever with some side-to-side "play" in the axle/flywheel/driveroller assembly. As a result the right driveroller will frequently drag or rub on the right wooden frame such that while it will "drive" on the power stroke, it will hang-up on the glide stroke.

I've replaced the drive rollers and bearings, and determined the space between the wooden frames, inboard and outboard to be the same, so the problem is the lateral play in the axle. Any advice? And thank you again for your time.

Terry Feenstra

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Phil B
Phil B

Reply 4 years ago

Terry,

When you mentioned replacing rollers and bearings, are those the the bearings inside the drive rollers or the ball bearings on the flywheel shaft resting inside the recesses in the sideboards? (I had to replace one of those ball bearings because it had seized with rust internally and the shaft was turning on the inner race without the inner race turning with the shaft.) There are washers on the flywheel shaft that keep the shaft from moving laterally, unless someone had one of the sideboards off (as would be necessary to replace a drive roller) and forgot to reinstall the washers between the drive roller and the bearing in the sideboard. Otherwise tolerances are fairly close and it would be difficult for the axle to move lateerally. I believe the axle shaft is 5/8" in diameter. If I remember correctly, there is a thin plastic washer, two the steel washers, and another thin plastic washer. These are on the shaft between the drive roller and the bearing in the sideboard.

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casenmolly
casenmolly

Reply 4 years ago

Phil

Thanks very much for your reply. I replaced the bearings which nest inside the sideboards.

After I read your response, I thought through my previous maintenance over the last 25 years and remembered the collar clamp. Tipped the machine on its side (collar clamp up), loosened the clamp, used a credit card as a spacer between the roller and metal washer, tightened the clamp.

As they say, it was all "Bob's your uncle" after that. Smooth as snow with no hang ups.

I really appreciate your knowledge and experience. Best regards.

Terry Feenstra