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Swiv-O-Matic Bass Pedal Assembly & Bearing Upgrade
Greetings vintage drummers! I've been lurking on this forum for a while now and only made a couple of replies to existing posts up until now, but now am ready for a post of my own! By way of introduction, I started drumming as a boy but lost interest around the same time I got my driver's license. 20 years passed before I got back behind the kit, and that led to another couple of decades of learning, studying, listening, gigging, and messing with gear.

I never thought of myself as a 'vintage drum' guy until about a year ago, when I spotted a Rogers Celebrity kit for sale locally by its original owner. I did some research, posted some queries on DFO and bought the kit the next day. It is a beauty and one of these days I'll get some photos together and start another post! My Celebrity kit came with an almost complete set of hardware, but no bass pedal, so I hunted this one down to compliment my new vintage kit and to see for myself why so many folks like these pedals.

Today's topic is about my Rogers Swiv-O-Matic bass drum pedal. Although Rogers made many iterations of the Swiv-O-Matic pedal over time, there were essentially two basic variations – the “396” pedal had a “hinged heel” and the “395” had an “adjustable footboard” – mine has the adjustable footboard. Given everything I've read, I'd estimate date of manufacture somewhere around 1970, as my pedal had bronze bushings in the bearing housing rather than the preferred Torrington needle bearings (more on that later).

When I got my pedal, it was functional but pretty dirty. I decided I would take it apart, de-gunk it, and upgrade to the Torrington needle bearings while I was at it. This was not meant as a restoration, but just good old fashioned maintenance to get the pedal in as good “player's” condition as possible. Maybe if I find a good tutorial on making these old pedals shiny as new, I'll take it apart again!

Taking the pedal apart was pretty easy, but I missed one important thing and as a result did a little damage. The heel bearing screws are pinned in place with tiny roll pins. I didn't see this at first and started to damage the screw heads as I tried to budge the immovable screws. Don't make the same mistake I did if you take one of these apart – make sure you drive out the roll pins first (think I used a 3/32” pin punch).

Please click on the top left photo and then advance through the rest of the photos, reading the photo captions for the rest of the story. Thanks!
Another disassembly challenge was removing the pull set screw from the heel. The recess in which the screw sits is very narrow and was packed with...
So, upon disassembly, I used a toothbrush and degrease solvent to scrub everything down. I thought it might be helpful to others to photo-document...
Note the bronze bushings in either end.
I put the bearing housing in my vice and drove the first bushing out with a long punch. The bushing suffered a bit of damage but was salvageable. I...
Here's the new Torrington bearing.
A couple of photos of the bushing/bearing family.
A couple of photos of the empty bearing housing.
And a photo with the new needle bearings in their new home. I pressed the bearings in with my bench vise using soft jaws.
With that out of the way let's look at the rest of the parts.
Not much too it! Let's move on and attach the footboard to the heel. A pull screw goes through the heel and into a threaded heel plate.
Note the heel bearings in the heel.
Next we'll attach the heel/footboard combo to the heel base. It is important to have the heel and footboard together as once the heel and heel base...
Line everything up and thread in the screws, making sure to apply some lubricant on the bearing surfaces before everything is snug. I managed to...
I was puzzled as to how far to tighten the heel bearing screws, and decided I would shine a light through the roll pin hole and adjust the screw to...
You can drive in the roll pins now if you want, but I waited until the very end to do this just because they were a bit of a pain to remove.
Time to attach the stroke adjustment arm to the bearing assembly.
Insert the rocker shaft into the bearing housing and affix the beater and rocker cams to the shaft with set screws (use 1/8” allen key).
Bolt the spring assembly to the rocker cam. The washer that goes between the spring bushing and the rocker cam was inadvertently left out of the...
 

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