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lubrication old Super 8 cameras


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#1 David Nethery

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 08:42 PM

There are a few tutorials I've run across on opening up and lubricating an old camera ,  but most are so complex I'd be nervous to try disassembling them .

 

But there's one very simple camera I'd like to try :  The Kodak Instamatic M2 .    This is the "good one"  that doesn't have the gear rot problem of the later M-series like the infamous M22 .

 

 

I came across a blog post that had photos of one opened up ,  here:

 

http://scz319.wordpr...tic-m2-super-8/

 

 

But the person who posted the photos didn't mention specifically which parts of the camera had lube applied and what kind of lube to use .

 

If I were to open up an M2 like this, what parts should get a drop of lube ?

 

Kodak_M2_internal_1.jpg


Edited by David Nethery, 27 July 2013 - 08:43 PM.

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#2 Zac Fettig

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 10:50 PM

In general, any place with a mating contact gets grease. A general purpose lithium grease is usually good with nylon. Do not use a petroleum based grease, it'll break down the nylon.

 

I'd put a small dollup on every gear contact, especially that gear interface by the motor.


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#3 David Nethery

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 12:44 AM

Thanks, Zac !

 

 

 

By the way, here's something interesting I discovered.    I also have one of the infamous Kodak Instamatic M22 cameras which until very recently has still been working , against all odds .   I say against all odds, because every time I see the M22 mentioned there are dire warnings about how the cheap parts that Kodak used in the later M-series cameras will inevitably turn brittle and snap ,  or alternately I've read about the cheap plastic gears disintegrating into some sort of "goop" inside the camera , so I've been expecting the M22 to give up the ghost every time I've used it.     Well, it had not broken down , until recently when it just suddenly stopped working   (the predicted behavior, which should have happened years earlier according to what I've read) .

 

 

For some reason I had not tossed the M22 into the trash , so after I made my earlier post inquiring how to go about lubricating the earlier model M2 camera (which is running too loud and is starting to "groan" , if you know what I mean)   I decided to just have a look inside the M22 to see how badly the gears had rotted .    Opened it up and imagine my surprise that it looks just about perfect.  All gears and other parts look intact.   I was able to lift several of the gears out , expecting them to break apart in my hands (as I had been warned)  ,  but other than some very slight discoloration the gears all seem to be in good shape.  (see photo).

 

 

But for whatever reason it will not run.     The battery chamber is clean and the metal battery terminals do not have any corrosion , but I cleaned them anyway just for good measure .     However , no success.   It appears to be well and truly dead.      I had assumed it died from the  inevitable "gear rot" that the M22 is infamous for ,  but that doesn't appear to be the case.    I wonder if it's possible that some connection from the battery chamber in the handle has come loose  ?

 

 

 

Kodak Instamatic M22 looking very clean and free from "gear rot"  -

 

Kodak_M22_Gears.jpg

(the photo makes the discoloration on the black gears look worse than it actually looks in reality.   Both the black gears and the white gears

look and feel to be in good shape. )

 

 

 

.


Edited by David Nethery, 28 July 2013 - 12:47 AM.

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#4 Zac Fettig

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 01:27 AM

It is quite possible that the motor is shot. It's also possible that a wire is broken between the batteries and the drive system.

 

See if you can jumper the motor directly with an external power supply. That way, you'll know where the issue is. If the motor turns, it's a wire break somewhere.


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#5 Richard Hadfield

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 01:33 PM

The one gear that crumbles, on  later model Kodak Super 8 cameras, is the small gear inside the electric motor. 

I've read on the internet but I don't know for sure, that Kodak movie cameras after the M6 model, had the
crumbling plastic gear inside the motor. 

I found out which gear crumbles--just like a cookie, by taking apart an M22 that a tenant left, in a rental property I own.

The tenant obviously didn't want the broken camera.  I thought I could make the camera run just by buying  batteries.  Wrong.

 

When  the camera  still didn't work after I put in fresh batteries, I got curious and looked inside the M22's motor.  I found that one little gear in pieces. 

So it is good advice not to buy any Kodak Super 8 movie camera after the M6.

I wonder if a early model Kodak M4 electric, motor could be retrofit into a later model Kodak camera?

 


Edited by Richard Hadfield, 29 July 2013 - 01:35 PM.

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#6 David Nethery

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 08:46 PM

The one gear that crumbles on later model Kodak Super 8 cameras, is the small gear inside the electric motor.

I wonder if a early model Kodak M4 electric, motor could be retrofit into a later model Kodak camera?


 

 

Ah, that would explain it.   I went no further in than the photo I posted above (post # 3) .   

 

I'd be very interested to know if an old M4 or M6 could be scavanged to get that crucial gear to fix the M22 crumbling motor gear  .


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#7 David Nethery

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 09:46 AM



In general, any place with a mating contact gets grease. A general purpose lithium grease is usually good with nylon. Do not use a petroleum based grease, it'll break down the nylon.

 

I'd put a small dollup on every gear contact, especially that gear interface by the motor.

 

 

So I picked up another Kodak Instamatic M2 camera from eBay  ($5.00 ) 

 

 

It runs and the battery terminals are clean , no corrosion.   Lens surface  looks clear , no scratches .

 

 I'd like to lube it just to be safe before trying to put film through .

 

 

When you posted :   "I'd put a small dollup on every gear contact, especially that gear interface by the motor."

 

are these the areas you meant to put a dollop of lube  ? 

 

Dollop of lube on the actual nylon gear or where the gear connects to the metal shaft  ?

 

Kodak_M2_internal%2520copy.jpg

 

 

I was also able to pick up a Kodak Series V  slip-on filter adapter ring  which fits on the front of the M2 lens , so now I can use neutral density filters or other filters in Series V size.    According to the M2 user manual that I was able to find online this also allows the use of a Kodak "Portra" Lens to allow focusing on a subject from 3' ft. or closer .  [ by default the M2 manual recommends staying 3 1/2 ft. away from subject in  "sunny 16"  lighting  or  8ft. away if it's overcast (f 5.6) ]

 

Kodak_Series_V_Adapter.jpg


Edited by David Nethery, 06 August 2013 - 09:49 AM.

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#8 Zac Fettig

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 11:12 AM

Those two spots and the two bushings. Be sure to use lithium grease, not petroleum. And just a small amount.

Tribology is a whole weird world unto itself.


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