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How To Change Shims on Dixie Narco 501e


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Hello Everyone

I'm new here and I need some information about how to change Shims on a Dixie Narco vending machine.

Right now my machine is set up to vend 20oz bottles but I would like to use a few of the narrow columns to vend 120z and 16 oz cans. 


I already have an idea about which settings to place the Cam(#3), rear spacer(position 8 )and rod in(position B), but I have to idea how to physically remove the current shims to swap them out.




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I just got my 1st 501E and I need to do the same thing as you which is to change bottles to cans.  I haven't done it yet but I found the following below information online.  I hope this is not wrong and the more experienced vendors will know better than me.

Single Column Instructions:
Power down machine before installing shims. Start by adjusting the single brown vend motor cam discs. Lightly pull disc tab towards you and turn disc clockwise to #1 hole snaps in. You should have 3 notches on disc for 3 deep cans. Then Adjust double wide column red/grey disc to #2 hole snaps in. You should have 6 notches around disc for 3 deep cans.
Take springs off "sold out" flappers above vend motor. Power machine up and pull out white door button located between coin mech & bill validator. This will reset vend motor cams. Now vend each single column brown vend motor so that the rotor cup is in the right, 3:00 o'clock position. This will allow you an inch gap to take out metal bottle shims and replace with can shims. The metal can shim rests on a metal rod front of machine and rear.
Double column Instructions:
Take out double column plastic bottle shims and replace with plastic can shims 4 on each side. Attach "sold out" springs and load machine to test vend & prime down cans till they vend out. 



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You need to use a different cam setting for 16 oz cans such as monster.  That cam setting should be the same setting as for the bottles, but the 16 oz cans will use the same shims as 12 oz cans.

The back spacer depends on the length of the cans.  That one should be obvious.

The cam setting is for the cycles-per-vend.  The number on the hole does not tell you how many cans/bottles will vend per cycle.  It is just the setting number.  You can use a manual for a reference as to what the numbers mean OR you can simply turn the cam and count how many notches are left.  1 notch is 1-deep.  2 notches are 2-deep.  3 notches are 3-deep.

The shims relevance has to do with the DIAMETER of the product.  It doesn't matter if it's cans or bottles.  A 12 oz can has the same diameter as most 16 oz cans and it requires a can shim.  A 16.9 oz bottles also uses  can shim.  A 20 oz bottle uses a bottle shim.  I believe the 12 oz red bull use a completely different shim and are vended 2-deep instead of 3-deep like other 12 oz cans because they are longer and narrower.

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Can anyone else shed some light on this topic?

I am going to be changing some stuff around pretty soon on my 501E.  Actually I think it's a 600E since it seems like it's 79 inches tall.  I looked everywhere to find the serial number in this machine but I didn't see it?  I can also find it  in the control board menu correct?  I thought I saw somewhere in the manual that I can get the serial number from the S2 controller.

Is there a way to tell and see which shims are in the machine right now?

I looked inside the machine but I feel like I didn't see any shims.

What do they look like?

I know how to change the cam settings but I just wonder if the shims make a big difference or not? I thought I saw somewhere inside the machine that it is a shimless machine?  Is it possible fora  600E machine to be shimless?

Is AngryChris right by saying that you don't have to change the shims if your changing between 16oz bottles and 12oz cans?  Sorry Chris it's not that I don't believe you but I just want to double check before I change some stuff around on my machine.

This location is 40 minutes from my house and I just got it so it's new.  It's a good location too so I want to make sure I start off on the right foot with them.





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If it's an E-model then you will only have one wide column and 8 narrow columns.  The shims in the wide column are black plastic and are on both sides of the column down by the oscillator bar that vends the products.  The wide columns will have metal shims on the right sides with lips underneath them.  

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K thanks, I will look in the bottom right of the columns and see if their there.

I will take out the drinks too just to be sure.


I have a Vendo 480 also, does cans and bottles and is MDB but an older machine.

I think there's no shims in there and I think that's why the cans sometimes act weird.  The machine will say Diet Coke is sold out even though their there.  I think this might have to do more with the front and rear spacers though.


By the way I have a CB 500 and I don't think I need shims for this machine.

I did notice though if I put the 20 OZ Deer Park water in there, the customers complained that it's sold out even though the waters there.

When I opened up the machine the water bottles just didn't fall all the way down to the cradle bed.

I think in this situation I also should use some sort of a shim so the waters stack down correctly.

Luckily my local Sams Club now carries the vending water Cumberland Springs so now it's not a problem but I just wanted to know for the future.


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The 480 needs to have the gage bar properly adjusted for cans vs. bottles.

The only Deer Park you should use in the CB500 is the 16.0 oz because it's a much stiffer bottle.  In any case, when using plastic water bottles you need the black sleeve that fits into the left side of the column to prevent the bridging issue you had.  If you need any of them you can email me at rbepic4gatgmaildotcom.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Good evening.  I just saw this post and hoping someone can help me too..  So I also just bought an old Dixie Narco 501E vending machine.  8 Narrow slots and 1 wide slot.  

I have no extra plastic or metal shims.  Here is what I want to do.  Get the wide slot to dispense 16.9once gatorade plastic bottles.  Can someone help figure this out.  Or point me to a post that can help.  

I can take pictures and post if that also helps. Thanks.

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