Eliminating Hinge Friction
in BestTrack Gates
Is is important to remove the friction
from the BestTrack gate. The friction is caused by the hinge knuckles rubbing
against the track bottom. When you disassemble, you can see the shiny places
where the steel was rubbing on the aluminum.
In the normal BestTrack gate configuration,
with manual gate operation, friction is not a problem, partly because the spring
force is fairly high, and partly because it is at a maximum when the gate is
closed. However, the GRB gate system requires that the spring tension be set
at the minimum amount to get the job done. Also, the spring tension is at a
minimum when the gate is closed. These factors combine to amplify the effects
of the hinge friction, which detracts from the precision of the GRB action.
To remove the gate friction on a
new BestTrack, simply put a washer on each of the bolts between the hinge and
the gate. Now, the knuckles cannot touch the track, and the gate swings freely.
Prior to 2010, BestTrack gates were
made by using nuts and bolts to join the stainless steel piano hinge to the
aluminum peg bar. This construction creates another point of friction where
the hinge knuckles rub on the peg bar as the gate rotates. Again, the solution
is the same: install a washer on each of the joining bolts to provide space
between the hinge and the peg bar. You can see the washer in the photo at right.
The BestTrack gates are now being fabricated
using very high strength bonding tape. The thickness of the tape prevents contact
between the hinge and peg bar, but you will still need the washers between the
track and the gate. Lubrication would not be a bad idea, and we recommend lithium
grease available at Home Depot. It does not evaporate. The hinge should rotate
with no noticable friction.