Ball migration: A common issue with ball bearing slides
The problem mainly occurs when the drawer is repeatedly partly opened and not to the full extent of its travel.
When this happens often enough the ball cages (retainers) start to shift out of position and because the ball retainers form part of the slide’s stopping arrangement this causes the drawer to stop in the wrong place. This generally means that the slide will stop short of its fully open position. Sometimes the slide will neither open nor close fully, but mostly it is the open position that is affected.
If the slide does stop in the wrong place then the only way to overcome this is by forcing the moving element to its fully open or closed position by pulling sharply on the slide or by slamming it. This should overcome the nonrolling friction of the balls and force the slide back into the correct position.
We more commonly call this problem ‘ ball migration’ and unfortunately this is a characteristic of all ball bearing slides, not just Accuride slides.