Intex robot wheels "locking"

Pv2

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 14, 2013
410
south east Arizona
#1
My robot has started getting locked up due to the free spinning wheels becoming "pigeon-toed" - they get stuck aiming toward each other and it takes many flow reversals to get them lined out so that the robot will move. I don't think it is flow rate, as that shouldn't be much different than 6 months ago.

Has anyone else experienced this? Did you figure out a fix? They seem to spin freely when I manipulate them with my hands and all four wheels roll fine as well. I am thinking they are worn from being in the pool constantly but it seems like there might be some way to fix it. I can't feel it binding in any way, but maybe it is just so subtle that I can't tell? I can tell they are weighted to make them get in alignment, wondering if that has shifted somehow or if I could add more weight somehow...or some kind of lubrication???

For $50 or 60 I am not too worried but getting all the mileage out of Intex products is a little game I enjoy.:D

edit to ask - anybody have a newish one of these? do all 4 wheels have the same tread? I just noticed that the spinny wheels on mine have either different tread or they are really worn out! that would explain my problem but I can't find any good higher resolution photos anywhere and I can't remember if they were the same when it was new. (heck, I just figured out a few weeks ago that only one end had spinny wheels!)
 
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Pv2

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 14, 2013
410
south east Arizona
#3
Ok to follow up a little on this in case someone ever does a search on Intex auto cleaner wheels...

ta2dwonderwoman was kind enough to take a photo of her new cleaner and all 4 wheels have the same tread -




I took a couple shots of mine today, straight wheels look ok -



But the spinny wheels have an obvious wear problem LOL -


--------------------------------------

I looked at my owners manual and all over the Intex replacement part section of their website but couldn't find anything but the hoses, motor, and the upper and lower assembly - the upper assembly is where the wheels are attached and it is listed for $47 and change, a whole new device is 50 or so on Amazon. I called and struggled with the poor ESL person who got stuck answering my pesky problem. She finally figured out all they sell is that upper assembly so I will be trying to switch the treads or wheels out next time I clean mine out. I should have just went ahead and done it today but I was sort of thinking new treads would be fairly simple and reasonable. :roll:

I did send a comment to them since I am kind of irritated.

I need the rubber tread for two wheels on my auto cleaner. Why don't you sell these? I was told I have to buy the entire upper assembly. That is ridiculous - it costs almost $50, and I can get a whole new cleaner for that. I could see MAYBE having to buy the wheels themselves even though all I need is the tread, but even that should be less than $20. I expected to find the tread in your replacement catalog for something around $5, and could not find anything. Even though the auto fill menu in the search bar has various wheels listed, it gives "no results" when I click on anything there. The cleaner is fine, it has worked for almost a year but the treads are worn smooth on the wheels that spin and causes them to lock up facing each other so that the device won't move. All I need to fix it is the treads. I will try moving the stationary wheels' treads to the spinning wheels but I am pretty disappointed that I can't simply purchase some new ones. I appreciate your ingenious, inexpensive products, but the customer service, website, and replacement departments could really use some improvements.​
 

gtty

Well-known member
Aug 11, 2012
158
Cypress, Tx.
#4
My robot has started getting locked up due to the free spinning wheels becoming "pigeon-toed" - they get stuck aiming toward each other and it takes many flow reversals to get them lined out so that the robot will move. I don't think it is flow rate, as that shouldn't be much different than 6 months ago.

Has anyone else experienced this? Did you figure out a fix? They seem to spin freely when I manipulate them with my hands and all four wheels roll fine as well. I am thinking they are worn from being in the pool constantly but it seems like there might be some way to fix it. I can't feel it binding in any way, but maybe it is just so subtle that I can't tell? I can tell they are weighted to make them get in alignment, wondering if that has shifted somehow or if I could add more weight somehow...or some kind of lubrication???

For $50 or 60 I am not too worried but getting all the mileage out of Intex products is a little game I enjoy.:D

edit to ask - anybody have a newish one of these? do all 4 wheels have the same tread? I just noticed that the spinny wheels on mine have either different tread or they are really worn out! that would explain my problem but I can't find any good higher resolution photos anywhere and I can't remember if they were the same when it was new. (heck, I just figured out a few weeks ago that only one end had spinny wheels!)
I am having this problem now. Seems the swivel on the wheels gets hung up.
 

krazykrames

Well-known member
Jul 20, 2012
151
SE Minnesota
#5
Mine too. I swapped the front wheels to the back, it seemed to help a little but I think the thing is just getting old and wore out. I'll be getting a new one next spring.
 

gtty

Well-known member
Aug 11, 2012
158
Cypress, Tx.
#6
Ok, I think I've found the problem and it appears I have fixed it. There is a gap between the top of each of the two swiveling wheel carriage assemblies/casters and this allows the wheels to bind (pigeon toe). Pull the wheel assembly away from the unit and you will feel some "slop".

1. I took each of the wheels off by removing the plastic wheel shaft. You have to squeeze the split end of the shaft together to let it be pushed through the wheel hub.
2. Then I unscrewed the stainless steel screw that retains the caster into the unit.
3. I removed the plastic ball bearing (donut looking assembly with black ball bearings inside) by prying it out of the caster.
4. I cut a flat brass washer about the same outside diameter and a little bigger on the inside diameter of the bearing. I used a sheet of 21-ga. 0.032" (.81mm) brass to make the washer. Home depot or Lowes may sell such a brass, copper, stainless or nylon) washer already ready to go.
5. Place the washer under where the bearing goes.
6. Re-install the bearing by pressing it back in place into the caster.
7. Re-install the wheel assembly and make sure it swivels easily.
8. Have a cool beverage, revel in your success, and enjoy your now-to-be continuously clean pool
 

mattsmith321

Bronze Supporter
Jul 20, 2017
33
Austin
#7
Ok, I think I've found the problem and it appears I have fixed it. There is a gap between the top of each of the two swiveling wheel carriage assemblies/casters and this allows the wheels to bind (pigeon toe). Pull the wheel assembly away from the unit and you will feel some "slop".
Interesting approach. I will have to take a look. My robot worked great for the first couple months but has started to have significant issues. My wheels are also worn but I can't figure out how that should have any impact. I've followed some other the other fixes (cleaning out the pump fixture, making holes are aligned, etc.) but it is still pretty pokey. It does seem to work better on FP mode (no SWCG) and Re-Circulate on the sand filter. The robot definitely moves much better and I am assuming that is because the pump isn't impeded at all.
 

gtty

Well-known member
Aug 11, 2012
158
Cypress, Tx.
#8
Interesting approach. I will have to take a look. My robot worked great for the first couple months but has started to have significant issues. My wheels are also worn but I can't figure out how that should have any impact. I've followed some other the other fixes (cleaning out the pump fixture, making holes are aligned, etc.) but it is still pretty pokey. It does seem to work better on FP mode (no SWCG) and Re-Circulate on the sand filter. The robot definitely moves much better and I am assuming that is because the pump isn't impeded at all.
Mine worked great at first also, but after a couple of month’s it stopped. The tires should be made from white or clear rubber as it marked up my pool near the ladder