What's new
What's new

Looking for Help With Chicago 135 Press Brake


Sep 7, 2019
I bought an older Chicago 135 15 ton press brake back in the spring, and I'm having trouble getting the ram to move. This machine is setup with a Rockford SSC-1500 digital controller, and here's what's happening when I try to cycle the ram:

  1. Power the machine on, enter the password, and select REFERENCE CYCLE
  2. Start the flywheel, and hold down both double palms when I get the error REFERENCE FAILED! NO MOTION WITHIN 1.5 SECONDS
Inside the control box, I can see both lights for the double palm turn on when I press them. Also, I sent the computer and revolver assembly back to Rockford--they both checked out fine, and I'm getting the same error. I think the problem is the machine itself (not the computer), specifically the clutch. Here's what makes this extra messy: There's another electrical enclosure on the back of the press that is NOT from Rockford--they have no idea what it is. There's a cable coming out of this enclosure that was unhooked when I loaded the machine, and I cannot find a matching spot that it would hook into. I have attached photos of both of these, with the hope that someone has seen this before. Additionally, there are two air intake points--one to power the air cylinder that presses against the clutch, and the other to ??? I had a much older Chicago press brake before this, which was way easier to navigate/understand, with the leather clutch assembly out in the open. I've also attached a photo of what I think is the back of the clutch--this assembly will not move at all, and hardly moves when tapped with a 2 lb. deadblow. I've gotten the manual from Dreis & Krump, but with the Rockford system attached, I'm not sure if the Machine still uses all of the factory mechanical settings, or if some of these have been rendered obsolete. For example, one photo below shows the revolver assembly: a gear and chain that controls the ram in a more accurate, computer-controlled action. This machine is a boat anchor right now, therefore any help would be so greatly appreciated!


  • IMG-3904.JPG
    70 KB · Views: 3
  • IMG-3908.JPG
    68.3 KB · Views: 3
  • IMG-3906.JPG
    78.4 KB · Views: 6
  • IMG-3903.JPG
    81.4 KB · Views: 7
  • IMG-3911.JPG
    78.3 KB · Views: 6
  • IMG-3908.JPG
    68.3 KB · Views: 3
  • IMG-3909.JPG
    58.2 KB · Views: 4