VV-XVI Motor Trouble

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Giovanni
Victor Jr
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VV-XVI Motor Trouble

Post by Giovanni »

I am very, very new to this, so please bear with me.
I recently bought a Victrola VV-XVI. When I looked at the machine a few weeks before buying it, the turntable spun, but slowed to a stop once the needle was placed on the record. Now that I have the machine at home, the turntable doesn't spin at all when the motor is wound. I was hoping that this meant I just needed to clean and grease it, but I'm worried that this might be caused by one or more broken springs.
I lifted the motor board to look at the condition of the motor, and it started spinning soon after. I took a video hoping that maybe someone can tell me what's wrong before I do anything else. Please feel free to yell at me if letting it spin while open like this is bad. The sound it's making in this video, and the way the spring barrels spin like that especially worries me.
[YouTube]https://youtu.be/SvViL95-erc[/YouTube]

Here's some photos of the motor as well.
IMG_20211118_2216463.jpg
IMG_20211118_2217406.jpg
IMG_20211118_2220254.jpg
Thanks in advance.

VanEpsFan1914
Victor V
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Re: VV-XVI Motor Trouble

Post by VanEpsFan1914 »

Hello Giovanni--Not to worry. Those barrels are perfectly fine turning a bit. Of course as old as it is it would benefit from being completely overhauled, as well as the reproducer, as this will help it play better. It's also fine to run the motor while it's up and open; that's a good way to watch it running.

Was this sold to you as a rebuilt machine? That grease looks like graphite.

Giovanni
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Re: VV-XVI Motor Trouble

Post by Giovanni »

Thanks for the reply!
I bought this machine from someone who got it from a house cleanout. Nobody I've talked with knows about whether or not it was ever repaired at all, but I did see some screwdriver marks on the screws holding the motor board closed, implying that it was opened in the past.

While the motor spins when it's opened like that, it barely moves at all when everything's put back together. I've read that each spring barrel might need to be cleaned and lubricated. Do you have any tips on doing that such as how to clean everything and what to lubricate it with? I assume that process has to be done with the whole motor as well, not just the springs.

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Lucius1958
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Re: VV-XVI Motor Trouble

Post by Lucius1958 »

Mainsprings are tricky (and sometimes a bit dangerous) to work on, if you don't have much experience; your best bet is to send them off to an experienced repairer (you can find some in the "Links" section) for service.

The rest of the motor is not too difficult: if you can get a copy of Eric Reiss's The Compleat Talking Machine, there's some excellent information on disassembly, cleaning, & lubrication. Also, there are people here who have lots of experience with Victor motors, and are willing to help with advice. Good luck with your XVI!

- Bill

VanEpsFan1914
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Re: VV-XVI Motor Trouble

Post by VanEpsFan1914 »

I'd second the recommendation on The Compleat Talking Machine. It's going to tell you how to do this safely, as the power stored on those springs could hurt both you & the Victrola--and it not only could and would, but will, if you go at it the wrong way.

I have a VV-XIV with the same triple-spring motor and it was my first restoration project. It is doable. The snap rings on the spring barrels aren't fun but they work. You need the right tools (screwdrivers that won't mark it up, a vise with a padded jaw or some rags, whatever other tools) and then cleaners & lubricants. Search the forum for stuff & I recommend watching the videos on YouTube by Dyslexic Genius Hurt. Brett Hurt, the Genius, is a restorer who's also a member here and does a fantastic job on these machines. He is kind enough to run a how-to channel on YouTube demonstrating everything you would want to know about phonographs, featuring fun phonographs from his collection, and playing great records--and he's actually super nice.

Now those springs are 17 feet long and pack a wallop if you don't handle them right. Taking your time & going through this nice & slow will give you a Victrola that literally works like it did when it left the assembly line. And don't forget to rebuild the reproducer and the tonearm too--the search function on the Forum here is full of tips & tricks how to do that, links to parts dealers, and fun restoration threads.

Giovanni
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Re: VV-XVI Motor Trouble

Post by Giovanni »

Thank you all for the help!
I had already thought about possibly sending parts off to be repaired rather than doing it myself, but I didn't really know how much had to be done or where to look for someone to do it. I'll take a look in the "links" section.
I will definitely try to get my hands on that book and check out Hurt's YouTube channel before I do anything else with the Victrola.
Until then, at least it looks nice in my house.

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Inigo
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Re: VV-XVI Motor Trouble

Post by Inigo »

I'll point out that this fast squeaking noise is done by the governor, I bet .. the thing with three balls that spins the fastest. In between you send it for repair, just add a drop of light sewing machine oil on each bearing at the ends of the governor axis, one more on the governor axis where a brass disc attached to a brass neck slides on, and wet in oil the two leather pads at the end of respective fingers, that slide on this brass disc when rotating. Don't disassemble the governor if the motor is wound up! or it will run down savagely in a zip that will destroy the gears and maybe hurt you! All this oiling can be done without disassembling.
Also add some drops of oil at the down end cup where the turntable spindle rests. There's a ball bearing inside.
If your machine still had the paper label with the oiling diagram stuck inside the motor compartment, this will help you to see where to oil. It could be attached to the bottom of the motorboard....
Do this oiling and try again, it should improve.
Also add some drops of oil under the turntable, where the spindle goes through the upper motor casting, that is, it's upper bearing...
Inigo

Herderz
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Re: VV-XVI Motor Trouble

Post by Herderz »

Giovanni, I think the middle drum has a broken spring. At the 1:20 point of your video you can hear the spring slip and the drum moves backwards. It should not normally do this.

JeffR1
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Re: VV-XVI Motor Trouble

Post by JeffR1 »

Giovanni wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 9:36 pm Thanks for the reply!
I bought this machine from someone who got it from a house cleanout. Nobody I've talked with knows about whether or not it was ever repaired at all, but I did see some screwdriver marks on the screws holding the motor board closed, implying that it was opened in the past.

While the motor spins when it's opened like that, it barely moves at all when everything's put back together. I've read that each spring barrel might need to be cleaned and lubricated. Do you have any tips on doing that such as how to clean everything and what to lubricate it with? I assume that process has to be done with the whole motor as well, not just the springs.
Here's my 2 cents, only because to one else responded to your comment "While the motor spins when it's opened like that, it barely moves at all when everything's put back together".

The governors bearings are dry and/or not adjusted properly and are binding, hence the chirping bird sound, when the motor is flat, your change the position of the governor shaft and it stops; at an angle, it allows the main turntable spindle to over come the friction of the dry spindle bearings in the governor and it works.
The governor shaft could also be bent and it won't spin properly in it sleeve bearings, so no matter how much lubrication there is, it will always squeak.
Just added to Indigo's instructions.

The sudden jerking of the middle spring barrel is normal for a motor that has old sticky graphite grease in it.
As the springs unwind, the middle spring is not letting go at an even rate, and then it suddenly does and you get this "jerking" motion when it does.
The spring barrels are supposed to gently turn like they are as the springs slip and unwind.
When it's wound up, one spring winds up another, so if one spring is 4 feet long, it's like have a huge long spring of 12 feet.
So for it to work, the springs have to be lubricated with the correct grease, so they unwind at an even rate.
Don't use the motor like this, it stresses the springs out because the old grease is preventing the springs to unwind at an even rate.
In some cases, if the motor is wound up tight enough, the first spring that gets wound to the top will not let go.
This can can cause the center spindle to become disengaged from the centre of the spring, and you don't want that to happen, it depends upon how it's engaged, some Victor motors can become disengaged, I don't know about Columbia's.
Given the fact that all the barrels are turning down at a fairly even rate , except for that one time, the centre shaft is still properly engaged in all the springs.

Read the book what is recommended here, learn how it works and rebuild it, or rather clean and lubricate it.

Here is a post about grease and lube discussion.

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=50874

JeffR1
Victor I
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Re: VV-XVI Motor Trouble

Post by JeffR1 »

Just noticed this.
The speed indicators metal clamp looks twisted and it seems to be coming in contact with the governors brass fly-wheel.
It looks as though the felt isn't even doing its job, that would also cause that squealing chirpy sound.
Attachments
Squeaky Governor.PNG

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