Taking apart a Victrola air dashpot that's frozen tight

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Bruce_Van_Note
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Taking apart a Victrola air dashpot that's frozen tight

Post by Bruce_Van_Note »

I have a VE-405 with an air dashpot which slows the descent of the lid. The leather friction disc inside the dashpot tube needs to be oiled and repositioned in order for the lid to ease down slowly, which it currently does not do. The problem I'm having is unscrewing the hex-nut valve from the bottom of the tube. I've applied 3-in-1 Oil, WD-40, and loads of elbow grease, but to no avail. It seems like the valve is frozen. I've watched chilldude1967's excellent video about dashpot repair on YouTube but that hasn't solved the problem. Does anyone have any tips and tricks I can use to free-up the hex-nut valve so I can finish the repair? Any suggestions and tips would be welcome.
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JerryVan
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Re: Taking apart a Victrola air dashpot that's frozen tight

Post by JerryVan »

Use penetrating oil, like Liquid Wrench, Kroil, Gibbs, PB Blaster, etc.

Also, apply some heat. With the dashpot extended, to keep the leather away from the end you're working on, heat up the end piece with a propane torch. Don't get crazy with the heat. Just enough to get the penetrating oil really smoking should be enough. (Also, don't be surprised or afraid of the oil starts to burn) Then give it a nother try with your wrench.

There is a small hole in the top of the dashpot where you can squirt some oil inside. I've done that to a few and it was all they needed to get working again. Maybe try that first. (And... try not to use 3-in-1 oil. It's junk. Really just parafin oil I believe. Put a drop of it on a piece of glass or some other non-porous surface, then let it sit for several days or maybe even a week or two. When you come back to it, it will have dried up, leaving a waxy film behind. No real petroleum based oil should do that.)

JerryVan
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Re: Taking apart a Victrola air dashpot that's frozen tight

Post by JerryVan »

Any luck? Always nice to get feedback...

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Bruce_Van_Note
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Re: Taking apart a Victrola air dashpot that's frozen tight

Post by Bruce_Van_Note »

I haven't gotten to the nitty-gritty yet. But I intend to get to it tomorrow. I don't have a propane torch, but I'm hoping that holding the valve over a stove burner will do the trick.
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Bruce_Van_Note
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Re: Taking apart a Victrola air dashpot that's frozen tight

Post by Bruce_Van_Note »

I got to the nitty-gritty today. I heated the valve at the end of the dashpot tube over a burner on my stove until the oil started to bubble. After that, it unscrewed easily but I had to wait a while for the metal to cool off. After it had cooled, I removed the leather stopper and soaked it for about 15+ minutes in neatsfoot oil until it was very pliable. Placed a few drops of oil on the ball bearings and spring and put the whole thing back together. I'm including a short video to show the end result. I'll be doing some more tweaking on the air dashpot but seeing it work properly is a good thing.
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JerryVan
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Re: Taking apart a Victrola air dashpot that's frozen tight

Post by JerryVan »

Excellent!!

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