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ACL English 400' mag service


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#1 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 11:24 PM

I have a couple of English 400' mags that have sat for a while and the take up sprocket has become quite stiff. Feels stiff when moving it with the magazine inching knob. I have parts drawings for the French but not the English mags. The French mags have a roll pin fixing the brass drive gear onto the take up sprocket shaft. Can't see one on the English version.

If anyone has worked on this part of an English mag, am I right that the take up sprocket shaft assembly needs to be romoved to lubricate or replace the bearing? The brass gear needs to come off, yes? But how?

I'm trying to attach one or two photos after removing the oblique drive shaft and the footage counter. The small aluminum gears were pressed on, but came off really easily. The top one drives a toothed belt for the footage counter.

Having trouble with the attachment function, may try another post.

Thanks for any ideas.
Gregg.
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#2 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 11:49 PM

Trying to attach the picture.
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#3 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 05:42 AM

I came back to this servicing problem again. I have three English 400' mags sitting around here. All need servicing and feel too stiff when you manually turn the drive sprocket.

I removed the front of the mag with its pressure plate to get a better look. I removed the plate holding the two "guide shoes", the asemblies that sit around the drive sprocket. Also removed the take up arm assembly and its spring system on the feed side. I could now see the toothed belt connecting the drive sprocket spindle to the take up arm drive spindle.

It was obvious from the belt behaviour that the friction was in the take up arm spindle. The grease for the plain bronz bearing surface in that gear was old and quite dry. The drive sprocket bearing felt free and smooth. I think (guess) that has the same bearing idea as a French one and will have a single ball bearing with a light press fit in the drive sprocket hub. I have a new French one and the drive sprocket hub, which is the bearing housing, I can pull off the bearing and spindle after removing a grub screw. This English one I couldn't pull off.

So there is no need to remove the brass gear from the drive sprocket assembly on the feed side. The assembly is designed to be taken apart from the take up side, IMHO.

I decided to service everything else if possible. The rubber take up drive wheels I had a local small manufacturer make some for about $1 each. Testing I did a while ago on that looked good. If it pans out I'll forward info on dimensions and materials.

As I have no drawings/parts list for these magazines I have to guess that the magazine oblique drive shaft has ball bearings like the drawings for the French mag, but I can't know for sure. The shaft does feel like it has them. If they are sealed bearings I will just leave them alone.

I'll report back on how it goes.

Cheers,
Gregg

Edited by Gregg MacPherson, 20 March 2012 - 05:46 AM.

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#4 Boris Belay

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 07:22 PM

Hi again Gregg,

I do have the British maintenance manual ;-)

PM me and I will see if I have waht you need. But basically, figuring out these mags is straightforward enough if you're mechanically minded.

Best,
Boris
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#5 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 10:46 PM

Hi again Gregg,

I do have the British maintenance manual ;-)
PM me and I will see if I have waht you need. But basically, figuring out these mags is straightforward enough if you're mechanically minded.

Best,
Boris


Boris,
Just so you don't get swamped with requests for an English maintenance manual, I can say that it is a set of parts drawings with numbers for an English ACL I and does not include the 400' mag or the list of parts. It was very useful though.

I have almost serviced about 3 English 400' mags. I have noticed that the plate that holds the "shoes" and rollers for the drive sprocket on the take up side is not that accurately located by the screws. So the shoes are not that accurately positioned to the drive sprocket. Maybe they had a jig or trick to set the position. The French mags have a couple of allen screws that align each sprung retainer pin for the shoes. The English ones don't.

On one mag I found on reassembly the film somehow escaped the shoe and tracked off the drive sprocket. Assuming that the relative position of the shoes to the drive sprocket was to blame I set the clearance of those by bi-packing some film around the drive sprocket while all the screws were loose. (camera was off). Seemed to work.

The same thing is happening on another mag after reassembly. Do you or anyone else have any ideas?

The reason to remove the plate was to dissassemble the shoes so I could soak the little ball bearings in oil. The bottom ones are not accessable.

Cheers,
Gregg.
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#6 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 09:59 PM

The magazine test stock was old Ferania with sound stripe. Replacing that with some 1995 Kodak neg the problem dissapeared. I can't explain that. I have two 400' magazines here that look like they did a lot of work early in life and had frequent service. Maybe the "shoes" to drive sprocket alignment is affected by that. The steps for the screw heads are a bit worn.

Cheers,
Gregg
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#7 Boris Belay

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 03:41 AM

The magazine test stock was old Ferania with sound stripe. Replacing that with some 1995 Kodak neg the problem dissapeared. I can't explain that. I have two 400' magazines here that look like they did a lot of work early in life and had frequent service. Maybe the "shoes" to drive sprocket alignment is affected by that. The steps for the screw heads are a bit worn.

Cheers,
Gregg


Hi Gregg,

That Ferania stock was probably too old and became too stiff to move through the mag properly. Not to mention it's Italian mad ;-)

No seriously, old stock is always more rigid than fresh stock, more noisy, etc. I've never tested any sound-stripped stock, but it may even add to the problem.

Time to test all of these mags with fresh film ! THe best would be to spool 200 or 400 ft on a large daylight spool (do you have one?) and test all the mags with the same roll (filming a board with the mag serial number at the beg. of each take, to keep track of which is which). You definitely don't need to shoot 100ft per mag to test them.

But do take them out into the sunlight light (I know it's winter in NZ, but hopefully you still get more sun than we do in dreadful Belgian Summer...) and test for real-world light leaks.

How are the mag-nose rubber seals, by the way ? I have to look for a good source of them, since these old mags are usually in sore need of new seals.

Best,
B.
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#8 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 12:43 AM

That Ferania stock was probably too old and became too stiff to move through the mag properly. .......Not to mention it's Italian mad ;-)

Time to test all of these mags with fresh film ! THe best would be to spool 200 or 400 ft on a large daylight spool (do you have one?) and test all the mags with the same roll.....

But do take them out into the sunlight light (I know it's winter in NZ, but hopefully you still get more sun than we do in dreadful Belgian Summer...) and test for real-world light leaks.

How are the mag-nose rubber seals, by the way ? I have to look for a good source of them,...


Hey Borris,
I'm not finished on those mags yet, including the final test for the jamming on the drive sprocket problem. Meanwhile they take up space. It's about 17 years since I droped off film at a lab. Now the lab in Auckland has closed. Only the Wellington one left that I think Peter Jackson owns. They charge about US 36c/foot for basic neg processing 16/35. So did the Auckland lab. That's hard for any micro budget people. Meanwhile a lab in LA was US 13c/foot.. For tests I might find my Lomo tank and convert a projector to S16.

I have a few 200' spools. Do you have some magic trick that can let you test several mags on the one roll. I didn't understand that unless ypu are rewinding the film or something.. For the light leaks I was just going to put a short piece of B&W in the mag, and yes we have lots of sun, even in winter. Maybe one of these mags has a broken nose seal. Did you try the French chap Arts Media?

I can't not share this next thing. I bought a 400' French mag on the internet for a little over 100 Euros. Really low use and good shape except needing a full lube. Feeling lucky, I bought another one, from someone else, Dr Helmut Diewalt in Germany for 100 Euros. Score! But, it turned out to be English, with a French nose part, some odd modifications and a missing rubber door seal. It was shipped without a nose guard, just a layer of bubble wrap over that. Opening the take up door a little piece of spring steel fell out that almost looked like from the pressure plate spring. All the rollers etc felt worse than bone dry, some badly worn. ....Humbling. Funny I guess.

Cheers, Gregg
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