Walker Prelude Quartet users with VPI 16.5

I have been using the Walker Prelude system with my VPI 16.5 for about 2-3 yrs now. I have been happy with the end results, but I have a few questions to ask for anyone using
the same combination. One, is how many LP's do you do in one session? I like to do the 1/2 mix and get about 8-10 Lp's in each session. But those of you using the 16.5, how hot does you RCM get? Also do you use seperate vacuum tubes for each step? I use 2 tubes one for step 1 & 2 and the other for 3 & 4. How wet do you get the LP for each step. Also for all 16.5 owners how much "wobble" do you get on your platter? Mine seems to move (up and down not side to side) more as the session goes on. I spoke with Mofimadness about his and he states his older 16.5 has always had some wobble to it. But I notice that as the machine warms up it increases to the point that if I apply scrubbing pressure 180 deg. from the vac. tube it can actually lift the vac. tube enought to lose full contact. Once the machine cools this movement is considerably less. Any feed back will be helpful and appreciated.
My original 16.0, (bought in 1980 and converted to 16.5 later on) actually wobbles more side to side than up and down. Mine has never gotten hot enough to notice, but I only clean a few albums in a session. My unit doesn't have the stainless steel tank with the drain tube, so I'm very careful with how much fluid is vaccumed up.

I took mine apart and really couldn't find anything that I could fix to decrease the wobble. I tightened up everything I could. I think the wobble is in the shaft/bearing/motor assembly and the whole assembly would need to be replaced. Mine has always worked GREAT, so I'm just going to leave it alone until it finally craps out and then I'll buy a new one.

I've been using this same combo for a couple of years and can honestly say that it works great. I've tried most of the record cleaning fluids, and the Walker Prelude is the best by far.

I've never had any wobble or heat issues w/my 16.5, and have many friends w/same, and never heard of nor seen any such issues. From your description, I am getting the impression that you are applying a lot of scrubbing pressure on your albums, and that concerns me because it isn't necessary. You might even be causing the heat if you are working against the motor by applying much pressure on the platter. If you machine isn't broken, this process shouldn't be a workout! Your machine might need service. If you call VPI and ask for Mike, he is full of great advice. Call them Tues-Thurs only.

I also usually use the smaller size batch of enzymatic step 1, and also typically get about 10 Lps. You don't need a ton of fluid.

Regarding swapping of the VPI tubes for the steps, I can't really make a suggestion other than saying to email Lloyd Walker and ask his advice. I use a Walker Vortex, which is a modified delrin tube without a velvet strip. It has a small opening which concentrates the suction from the vacuum, and easily wipes clean, so no need to change it. This item is no longer available.

Keep 'em spinning. Cheers,
Mucho good advice so far.

Agree that considerable downward pressure from brushes while the platter is spinning, will cause more drag, and no doubt cause increased platter motor heat.

A cooling fan mod will solve that.

Me, I generally apply fluids, with platter rotating, then once the record is covered, I stop the platter, and give those cleaners some time to do thier job. I'll very lightly-gently scrub the record in sections with the platter motionless.

A spare wand dedicated for just the final rinse step I think is a good idea. I have hear some going to the lengths of having a different wand assembly for each, and every step, but I think this is a bit overdoing it.

I myself, notice what you say about platter rock, and have recently considered replacing the 4 rubber standoffs that connect the platter motor, to the motor mounting plate, with either aluminum spacers, or nylon.

I know places like the home improvement stores carry such in their hardware sections.

I feel if there is less rock-play, the vacuum wand will be able to maintain a more uniform contact across the record.

Whatever the standoff's lengths are, the new spacers would need to be the exact same length, so as not to alter platter height. Mark
My experience matches Sbank's and my suggestions are similar. If the VPI motor is overheating, that suggests to me that you are scrubbing with the platter rotating and applying a fair amount of pressure.

If you're using a Walker, Disc Doctor or Mobile Fidelity brush (all good), stop the platter after spreading the Step 2 fluid. Scrub with the platter turned off, rotate it in one-third steps scrubbing each third with the platter still.

As to the wobble, it may be that the mounting plate under the platter has loosened. As Sbank suggests, check with Mike at VPI for recommendations.
Thanks for your replys. I am as you suspect cleaning with the record spinning, and it does make complete sense to me now that I am causing the motor to overwork and produce more heat. I think you have given me a solution to look into. It never occured to me to scrub with the platter stopped. Markd51, I was one of those that had 4 wands and recently reduced it to two as it was just to time consuming and confusing as to what step I was on. The motor mounts is something I will look at, good advice, thanks. I do use the MoFi brushes and like them better than Walkers. Sbank, I tried the Vortex and was not pleased after 2 phone calls to Lloyd on set up and a concern about scraping along the vinyl, I gave up and got a refund. I think it wan't well received since it is no longer offered. You must have set yours just right to get good results, I think it made great sense in it's design. But executing it in the field must have been too difficult as the dealer I returned mine to, said he had most of them come back. Thanks to all I think you have me going in the right direction on solving the heat issue and the wobble.
I had also thought of a cooling fan, but maybe these suggestions will avoid me doing that.
I've discussed these seemingly strange heat issues occuring with some of the VPI 16.5's with numerous folks, in a number of forums.

It seems a mystery that some experience it, and some don't. In any case, I don't believe Harry Weisfield had marathon cleaning sessions in mind with the 16.5. At least not in stock form. No doubt why the more expensive offerings do have fans.

Harry recently commented about the 16.5 in one forum, saying that the vacuum motor has been the same for a long time, so, the only other variable I can think of, is the platter motor.

My own 16.5 displayed a very hot platter motor after short usage, and hence, I installed a cooling fan, and it has helped considerably.

Whether some motors were a different model, a change of internal design, or other issues, such as inadequate gearcase lubricant where the motors were made, I cannot say?

The slight bit of rest in between steps helps, but the 16.5 doesn't possess much in the way of cabinet ventilation to let heat escape.

I think all will agree that even the finest cleaners need some time to do their jobs. An instant on, and off doesn't give any cleaner sufficient time to properly work. I see no benefit though, letting a rinse step sit for a prolonged period of time on a record.

A rinse water I usually apply, spread the best I can, and take off quickly. If I feel there might still be remnants of cleaners left behind, I simply repeat the rinse step again. Mark

Markd51, the more I have thought about this I think that a cooling fan is in order here. When you installed your fan did you cut any additional holes for added air movement?
And did you add the fan and a switch or just wire the fan to the motor?
Thanks for you help.

Hopefully the moderators will let me post this link, which is an article I authored some time back. Hopefully this will save some bandwidth going into too much detail here.

My methods, and procedures are but one way. I trying thinking as logical, and keeping a professional frame of mind. As mentioned, a switch could've been utilized.

And while the particular fan I used may not be any longer available, a similar sized fan, with similar wattage consumption, and CFM rating should be no trouble finding.
Thank you so very much for this information. It will be very helpfull in solving this issue. Replacing the platter was a good idea too. My thought was to install some rollers underneath to support the platter, and with the acrylic platter you used that would provide a smooth race.
Very good ideas indeed.
As far as I know, the two better VPI Machines use better, acrylic platters, and I believe they will fit onto the 16.5 without any modifications, that it is a simple swap.

Last I heard, price was about $50, and this probably includes shipping, and the cork mat already installed.

That was about the cost my custom made platter cost for materials-labor, which was an identical clone of the 16.5's platter

Even with acrylic platter on board my machine, I can rock the platter if I press down upon it. This is because the four rubber standoffs that "hang" the motor off the top mounting plate have some give, and "cush" to them.

Switching to alu, or nylon spacers, with the appropriate length, and size screw will definitely eliminate any give, but I am unsure at this point with such a change, if there will be a downside? Only one way to find out?

On all VPI RCM's (since they all use the same vacuum wand assembly), is an ability to fine tune the distance of drop of the vacuum wand upon the record's surface.

Harry himself stated that to properly adjust the vacuum wand's height, and force upon a record, place a record on the platter, tighten down. Then remove the large coil spring from the vacuum tower, loosen the allen set screw on the tower's collar, then adjust-slide the delrin collar on the vacuum tower, either up, or down, to accomplish having the vacuum wand itself "just touch" the record's surface. Then tighten the allen locking setscrew, replace the coil spring, and you are done.
I had actually though about calling VPI about buying a cooling fan, but they are out till May. I will investigate into the platter as well. I have adjusted the wand as I use a LP12 felt mat on mine. I have removed the platter and think I can fabricate a roller support system for either this platter or the acrylic. I see what you mean by the motor supports, that solves my mystery as to why it wobbles more when hot, the rubber is softening with the heat. I am looking forward to fixing this once and for all.
Thanks again for all your help.
The cork mat is already pre-cut with about a small 1-1/2" diameter circle out from the center spindle. Look close at the center of the mat, and you will see it is pre-cut for removal.

Some will make a small dot with a pencil on the periphery of the cut, so one can then reinstall the center piece again in its exact position.

Simply take a small exacto blade knife to lift this little piece out. It is not adhered to the platter, and this piece will still have its adhesive backing on it.

Once that pice is removed, you will see the three #6 Flathead Phillips Platter attachment screws.

As you can see in my one pic of the clear acrylic platter, that is how it looks under the platter. Four inner screws attach the Motor to the top mounting plate, and that is were the four rubber standoffs are. The outer four screws secures the Stainless Steel Motor Mounting Plate to the top of the deck.

VPI might be able to sell you a cooling fan, but im sure you could find a myriad of suitable fans, shrouds, and even filters if desired, through someplace like Allied Electronics, and the costs will no doubt be less.

Even Rat Shack sells a cheap fan same size as the one I used, and circular chrome wire shroud, the shroud they sell looks like the one on the VPI 17F RCM. Mark