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Adcock Shipley 2s gearbox adventure


New member
Hey gents,

Ive got a Adcock Shipley 2s milling machine for a while. It hard to change gears and always get grinding. Seems like the gear changer wheel isnt synchronized well with the sproket positions inside the gearbox. Also the turtle/rabbit control for high/low speeds gave out and went past its positioning point.

Id like to repair this but i dont know where to start.

The rapid travers would sometimes work and sometimes not. Lately it got stuck in rapid even if i only ran regular travers. All these problems have been present for a long time. They just gradualy got worse.

Also, most of copper oil tubes are intact, but one exit is with a rubber/plastic hose. Its attached with a hose clamp and id like to replace it with copper and aim it in the right area(i have no clue but guess in the vicinity of the existing hose) also found a broken set screw on the gear of the y axis, although no problems there.

I dont know where to start so here are some pictures.



New member
More pictures of the gear box out from the knee


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New member
Got a service manual?
The setting between plates for the clutch packs should be listed.
Check the plate clearance on the clutch packs.
Push the plates over and check with feeler gage to measure clearance.
Find a tight one? Might be the problem.
Is there a separate clutch pack for rapid?
I would expect to find .004, .008, or .015 clearance.
Those look like 'wet' clutches. Do they have a directed oil stream for cooling?
If a clutch pack is adjusted without enough clearance the plates will rub all the time and likely score. Could be the problem.
Gear changes; manual or hydraulic actuated?

I'm not a Shipley tech but have done machine repair for years.
Consider these bits a starting point.


New member
Thanks Jhruska.

The clutch packs are open to oil splashes. Im.not sure which clutch pack is for what but i do know. It has been opened up before from score marks and from the repaired hose..

The only thing the manual talks about in the electromagnetic clutches is how to change the brushes. I have a feeling the gear changing is the problem. It seems like the shaft was repaired.. and also the rabbit/turtle speed went pas its dimple positions(maybe the spring loaded locator isn't tight enough)?

Ill post some pics of the shaft and the spring loaded dimple thingy.



New member
Too bad can't rotat pictures.

Anyways the first 2 is for the gear changer..it is splined and i think i messed up by not marking where the handle was...ohh boy!!

The last picture is the fork where it actuates the hi/low speed.


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Active member
if the wiring is cactus,rewinding isnt rocket science......more common is plate wear causing slippage.......common bodge is to cut another plain plate and insert it in the pack to take up wear.


New member
Looks like the coil, resin sealed with anti-friction material.
Is that the brush in the photo - circled in red?
Brush energizes coil.jpg
D.C. to the coil, one lead and grounded back to the frame or A.C.?

Clutch plates look pretty rough. Any blue spots = high heat annealing, warping.
They need to be flat and parallel.
Apparently not cooled by an oil stream.


New member
Yes its a brush, all the other brushes look like a mesh bag or somethings. This specific clutches brush is a solid piece of copper bar. Also, yes i believe it is D.C power.

Also the oil tube was missing thats supposed to squirt oil in that area i supposed.

Thanks for the reply!


New member
The two sets of brushes for both cut feed and rapid feed have solid copper blocks as brushes.

The other 4 clutches have a mesh style brush.

Its obvious someone else tried to repair this in the past and either didnt know or didnt care to hook up oiling lines to this clutch.

Once i figure out how to fix this i will make sure a fit a oil line to this clutch.

I contacted Matrix usa and they said they no longer service or have parts for these old clutches. I found a motor repair shop that claims they can recoil it. As for the plates and springs, can i lap them by hand to clean up any gouges and/or scores and still get it to work??



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Jim Christie

Active member
I have no experience with these clutches but here are a few thoughts I had.
I tried a Forum Search for Matrix Clutches since I thought I had remembered seeing other threads some time ago about machines with clutch problems.
Some other machine tools like some models of Colchester and Harrison Lathes from the U.K. used this type of clutch so perhaps there is another after market supplier that could help you out if Matrix can't
I can't save the search link but there are several threads there you could look through to see if you get any clues as to where to get the disks if you need them .
Perhaps some of the auto transmission shops or rebuilders in Montreal may have something close in the way of shims that you could adapt .
Also perhaps a coil from an electric clutch on a lawn tractor or auto air conditioner might be adaptable for less than rewinding your original.
It looks like there are several companies making industrial electric clutches
Here is one from the U.K.
Maybe there will be something similar closer to you .
Magnetic Clutch for Machine Tools - Google Search


Active member
I do have some experience with e/m clutches in machines.....they are fabulously expensive.....however ,there are some companies that can recoat the sintered bronze friction surface ,if the old plates are servicable otherwise......The plain plates,if heat buckled can be flattened by clamping the whole pack between flat steel plates and heating red hot.


New member
The clutch pack was seized, right? Plates are slightly warped? The coil may be good. It should be tested.

How many clutch packs in the knee and are they all exactly identical?
Table feed left and right.
Saddle feed in and out.
Knee feed up and down.
Rapid traverse.
If the clutch packs are the same and there is a clutch pack for knee travel consider swapping one for the other.
Just don't put in the bad plates and plan on hand cranking the knee.

The plain plates without the friction material may have been made on a turret punch press.
Water-jet and EDM could make some nice replacements. Need to know the material type.
Clutch packs are made with dissimilar material to reduce galling. The plate types are assembled alternating plates.



New member
Id really rather not open up this knee more than it already is. Id like to just repair or replace this one clutch pack assembly. Some of the discs are buckled a little but i thought those were the springs( should they be buckled a little?)

This specific clutch pack is for rapid travers.

I dont know how to test the coil, ill just bring it to a shop. I may try to clean and polish the discs and see if it helps them move more freely to each other.


Active member
The coil needs to be conductive.....simple multimeter,or even a test light and battery.......the plates must be flat ,or it will be jammed up again.....the exception to this is some powershift clutches have the plain plates dished ....but evenly and equally.......................if the rapid clutch is the problem,then Id leave it out,rather than have it jammed up..........