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Arri S Lube Question


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#1 Tom Doolittle

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Posted 10 January 2006 - 03:24 PM

I thought this subject might have been touched upon previously, but found little in a search of the forum.

My Arri 16S was serviced about two years ago, but has not had more than 1000' of film through it since. I don't think it needs another service just yet, but the last few times I ran it I've noticed that the take-up spindle sticks (won't turn) until I've let the motor run for a good minute or two and spun the spindle a bit with my fingers. I can see the spring-pulley running around in its groove just like it should, but the spindle itself just won't turn till its good and ready.

I don't think oiling the camera does anything for this part of the mechanism, as it is not linked to the oiling ports in any way.

Has anyone had this problem? Is it related to dried-up grease inside the spindle posts, or is there something wrong with the ratcheting mechanism? Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Tom Doolittle

Edited by Tom Doolittle, 10 January 2006 - 03:25 PM.

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#2 Tim Carroll

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Posted 10 January 2006 - 04:51 PM

I thought this subject might have been touched upon previously, but found little in a search of the forum.

My Arri 16S was serviced about two years ago, but has not had more than 1000' of film through it since. I don't think it needs another service just yet, but the last few times I ran it I've noticed that the take-up spindle sticks (won't turn) until I've let the motor run for a good minute or two and spun the spindle a bit with my fingers. I can see the spring-pulley running around in its groove just like it should, but the spindle itself just won't turn till its good and ready.

I don't think oiling the camera does anything for this part of the mechanism, as it is not linked to the oiling ports in any way.

Has anyone had this problem? Is it related to dried-up grease inside the spindle posts, or is there something wrong with the ratcheting mechanism? Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Tom Doolittle


Tom,

Who did your service two years ago? Unless the camera was dropped at a weird angle or you tried to pry the take up reel off the spindle and bent something, there is no way the spindle should be sticking. And you are right, it won't be helped by oiling the little oil holes because they are not connected. Has the camera been kept in a very moist environment?

When I rebuild that camera, I use Arri oil on those spindles, not grease. The grease can cause too much friction and drag.

You should definitely have it looked at. Again, who did the service last. If the camera has not been dropped or damaged or kept in a moist environment, maybe they just did not lubricate it properly when you had the service done. If they are a reputable shop, they may fix it for you for little charge. Or you could send it to one of the other of us who work on those cameras. Unless it is something bent or rusted, it should be a pretty easy fix.

-Tim
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#3 Tom Doolittle

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Posted 10 January 2006 - 07:05 PM

The camera was serviced (before I bought it, incidently) by a guy named Bernie O'Doherty. Unfortunately I don't have any proof of this other than my observation that the camera was in exceptional condition when I received it. I did go so far as to have a peek inside through the motor opening with a flashlight and dental mirror, and confirmed the presense of fresh (not dried, caked, or dirty) grease on the drive-train. I've given it a few drops of oil in my time with it, and until this incident with the spindle I've had no reason to believe it was due for a cleaning/lube job.

I would have no problem sending it off for the work but my theory on these things is that unecessary maintenance is almost as bad for cameras as unecessary surgery is for people. Tell me that this spindle-sticking problem is a sure indicator of the need for professional cleaning/lubricating, and I'll happily ship it off to the nearest repair house. Still, I thought it would be worth asking to see if anyone out there had seen this before and discovered a less invasive remedy.

-Tom Doolittle

PS: Could someone please recommend a good repair house? Preferably in the San Francisco area?
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#4 Tim Carroll

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Posted 10 January 2006 - 07:35 PM

The camera was serviced (before I bought it, incidently) by a guy named Bernie O'Doherty. Unfortunately I don't have any proof of this other than my observation that the camera was in exceptional condition when I received it. I did go so far as to have a peek inside through the motor opening with a flashlight and dental mirror, and confirmed the presense of fresh (not dried, caked, or dirty) grease on the drive-train. I've given it a few drops of oil in my time with it, and until this incident with the spindle I've had no reason to believe it was due for a cleaning/lube job.

I would have no problem sending it off for the work but my theory on these things is that unecessary maintenance is almost as bad for cameras as unecessary surgery is for people. Tell me that this spindle-sticking problem is a sure indicator of the need for professional cleaning/lubricating, and I'll happily ship it off to the nearest repair house. Still, I thought it would be worth asking to see if anyone out there had seen this before and discovered a less invasive remedy.

-Tom Doolittle

PS: Could someone please recommend a good repair house? Preferably in the San Francisco area?


You could send it to me in Portland Oregon. I would open that spindle and see what the situation is. If it is just dry, then it would get a dose of Arri oil. If it is bent or rusted or something else more serious, a replacement part may be in order. In that case, it depends a bit on what the serial number of the camera is as far as availability of parts. If the serial number is above 15,000, parts are not so much an issue. Older models can be more difficult. You could also send it to Visual Products in Ohio, or Du-All in New York, or I am sure there must be some place in LA that services those cameras. Or even send it to Jorge at Cinema Technic in Florida. Any one can remedy the problem.

-Tim
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#5 Tom Doolittle

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Posted 11 January 2006 - 10:54 AM

Thanks, Tim. It might be time to have the thing serviced afterall. I'll play with it a bit and see if the problem continues now that it seems to have corrected itself. It was in storage for quite a while and maybe it just needed a little excercise. I suspect someone greased those spindles, and that's what caused the sluggish initial rotation after sitting in its case for several months.

-Tom
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