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 Post subject: Zenith Royal 2000--Finally Got One
PostPosted: Feb Sun 03, 2019 5:11 pm 
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Location: Richmond, VA
My only purchase at Frostfest yesterday was a Zenith Royal 2000 for $30. Other than the usual dings along the top front edge, it is in very nice condition and should clean up well. All the brightwork seems to be in good condition, with very little pitting. The dial cord is intact. Antennas are straight, but a little stiff getting them up. The radio receives AM and FM signals, but at very weak volume, so a recap is in order.

I've looked at John's Zenith 2000 thread as well as some others on ARF, so I have a pretty good idea of what's involved, and I downloaded the SAM's Photofact yesterday. I have a low voltage 15uF cap, but I will have to use 4.7uF caps for the OEM 5uF's, and a 470uF for the 500. I guess those subs should be OK? I will add some more photos after the recap and cabinet cleaning.

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There were several pretty decent tube Trans-Oceanics for sale for $30, but nothing I didn't already have, so I passed. I was kind of looking for a Yaseu FRG 7, but suprisingly, there were none. Plenty of ICOM, Kenwood, and Yaesu transceivers, though. Also some good buys on various Hallicrafters tube sets, but I don't have room anymore for those, and there were some nice solid state Heathkit SW receivers too.

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 Post subject: Re: Zenith Royal 2000--Finally Got One
PostPosted: Feb Sun 03, 2019 5:57 pm 
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Hey Ed,

Glad you found a good one !

Those replacement cap values are fine.

Seems that most are missing knob brights ! Trashed out some old floppy disks when cleaning out software drawer and noticed that the thin aluminum sliding covers might make good material for home-made replacements, so saved a bag of 'em. Just need to get measurement of needed O.D. and see if an inexpensive punch is available. Once punched out, could attach it to end of large bolt with double-sided tape, chuck into drill, use oiled Scotchbrite to get the proper appearance, clean with acetone, and spray with clear lacquer... Think that might work ???

You will truly be amazed at how great they perform & sound once electrolytics replaced and band-switch carefully cleaned/treated !

Keep us posted & good luck !

John


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith Royal 2000--Finally Got One
PostPosted: Feb Sun 03, 2019 7:34 pm 
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Thanks, John. Your thread will be very helpful, as well as some other threads where you and Brett have helped out. I have a general idea of how the chassis comes out, and I understand delicate surgery is needed to get to the caps and replace them, at least the ones under the chassis.

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 Post subject: Re: Zenith Royal 2000--Finally Got One
PostPosted: Feb Sun 03, 2019 8:20 pm 
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Both of your new caps are six percent less than the originals... :)

Greg.


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith Royal 2000--Finally Got One
PostPosted: Feb Sun 03, 2019 10:26 pm 
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Nice pickup, Ed! I've always liked the styling of the Royal 2000, but...Like I need another lunchbox size radio...

As the others have stated, no worries on subbing the modern 47 values for the older 5 values; we do it all the time, because those are all that's generally available in new condition.

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 Post subject: Re: Zenith Royal 2000--Finally Got One
PostPosted: Feb Sun 03, 2019 11:52 pm 
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Thanks, Greg and Fifties.

I pulled the chassis this afternoon. For the benefit of anyone who hasn't already worked on one of these, here are the steps to chassis removal from the Zenith Royal 2000.

Before starting, remove the battery box by unsoldering or clipping the wires. I clipped mine and will probably use a two pin male/female connector to reattach when I reassemble the radio.

With the battery box out of the way, the first step is to remove the two FM antennas. There are two screws holding the bracket in place. Slide the antennas up out of the way. The top screw can be removed with a screw driver. A 1/4" socket makes removing the bottom screw easy.

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Next, loosen the screws holding the twin lead from the FM dipole and free the twin lead from the clips along the top of the cabinet.

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Unclip the leads to the speaker:

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Unclip the three leads from the AM antenna. Note which color leads go to which clips.

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Remove the knobs from the front of the radio. An auto trim tool helps remove a stubborn knob without damaging the cabinet.

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There are five screws holding the chassis in place. There a two screws on the right side and two on the left side. The two on the right side are easy to get to:

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On the left side, the lower screw on the left side is easy to remove:

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The left upper screw is deep between the chassis and cabinet edge. I long Phillips head screw driver is needed. I also used a magnetic wand to recover the loosened screws.

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The fifth and last screw is a hex head screw, easily accessible:

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Now the chassis can be lifted out.

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 Post subject: Re: Zenith Royal 2000--Finally Got One
PostPosted: Feb Sun 03, 2019 11:55 pm 
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With the chassis removed, be careful not to damage the tuning drums or the delicate FM tuning slugs.

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 Post subject: Re: Zenith Royal 2000--Finally Got One
PostPosted: Feb Mon 04, 2019 7:16 pm 
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Great info & pictures!!! Keenly observing.

This is the thread that'll get me off my arse to restore one I have. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Zenith Royal 2000--Finally Got One
PostPosted: Feb Mon 04, 2019 8:18 pm 
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It's great that Ed has the patience to show the step by step with his pics as it takes more time to put together---always like looking through his threads !

John


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith Royal 2000--Finally Got One
PostPosted: Feb Tue 05, 2019 4:50 am 
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Thanks, John & 35Z5.

I have disassembled the cabinet for cleaning.

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I was really bothered by the condition of the front alulminum panel. The lacquer had yellowed considerably on the front, and along with the scratches, was pretty ugly.

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I was afraid that if I removed the lacquer, I would also remove the lettering. So before proceeding, I photographed the lettering and took measurements in order to make decals if needed.

I used white vinegar and 0000 steel wool to remove the lacquer from the front. I worked very gently, dipping the steel wool in the vinegar, and gently rubbing in the direction of the aluminum's grain. The aluminum is very soft, and some of the minor scratches can be rubbed away, but not the deeper ones.

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Around the lettering, I was extremely gently, and found that I could remove probably 90% of the old yellowed lacquer without damaging the silk-screened lettering. My cleanup is not perfect, but it is 100% better than before. I may try to remove a little more of the old lacquer, but I don't thing I dare do more around the lettering. After I apply a new coating of lacquer, it should look a little better.

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I had orginally planned to remove the aluminum face plate from the cabinet to work on it. But I almost ruined it. After releasing the tabs from inside the cabinet, I began to gently pry the panel loose along the top, but the soft aluminum bent, and it appeared that the front panel is also held by some kind of adhesive, so I abandoned the idea of removing it.

I was fortunate that the soft aluminum was easily fixed with a piece of hardwood and plastic mallet.

I gave the grill a new coat of black paint and cleaned up the tiny Zenith badge with a Dremel wire brush, and gave it a coat of lacquer.

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Last edited by Ed Morris on Feb Tue 05, 2019 5:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Zenith Royal 2000--Finally Got One
PostPosted: Feb Tue 05, 2019 5:13 am 
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Hey Ed,

Ran into same thing with my 1st set where the control panel is glued---top surface badly oxidized and didn't do anything more than clean it back then... Did wonder if careful use of heat-gun or hairdryer would soften adhesive ???

Looking forward to seeing how you paint surface of the raised "Z E N I T H" lettering as I have an old Admiral that needs it done and am nervous about it...

Will be watching as always and good luck !

John


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith Royal 2000--Finally Got One
PostPosted: Feb Tue 05, 2019 7:54 pm 
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Well, I'm going to find out how good my decal making skills are :shock:. I just wasn't happy with the looks of the panel, so today I did more cleaning and sanding. I removed all the lettering, got some of the worst scratches out. There are two major problems with working on the front panel. The dial cutouts prevent good cleaning on the left side and even with 2000 grit paper the soft aluminum records every stroke you make. So it's still not going to look pristine. But for $30 I figured this would be a good specimen to do some experimenting with.

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 Post subject: Re: Zenith Royal 2000--Finally Got One
PostPosted: Feb Sun 10, 2019 11:18 pm 
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Well, I can't say that I am pleased with the results. I didn't have any trouble making my decals, although I couldn't quite match the font on the band and tone controls. I prepped the control panel with several applications of clear lacquer and let it dry overnight.

I printed my decals on Testors Decal Paper, which usually works fine for me. But the first sheet I printed, I kept getting opaque areas. I made another set and got some fresh Microscale setting agent, and those went on pretty good yesterday.

They still looked good this morning when I checked. This afternoon, I applied some clear satin lacquer over them, and noticed some opaqueness had appeared in places. Also the lacquer overspray doesn't do a good job of hiding the decal edges on the aluminum as it would on a painted surface.

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For the embossed Zenith logo, I first tried a small paint roller, but it made a terrible mess, so I ended up using a fine tipped paint brush and water based acrylic black paint. I cleaned up around the letters with tissue and a toothpick dipped in water. I think a hard rubber roller might work better, but I didn't have anything like than handy.

All in all, I'm not sure I'm any better off than before.

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 Post subject: Re: Zenith Royal 2000--Finally Got One
PostPosted: Feb Mon 11, 2019 6:09 pm 
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Hello Ed,

Sorry about the opaque borders on your new graphics---the lettering looks great, though !

Do you think a couple more coats of lacquer might make it look a bit better ?

Wonder if there's material available to make "rub-on" characters from a graphics file ?

John


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith Royal 2000--Finally Got One
PostPosted: Feb Mon 11, 2019 6:36 pm 
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I think there are DIY dry transfer kits available, John. I actually have some old dry transfer lettering sets from back when the grand kids were still interested in model trains. But I don't even know where I put them. And getting the letters lined up and spaced right was tedious. But I thought about doing that. I'm not sure why I had so much trouble with these decals. I have put them on a lacquered metal surface before, and they went on nice and clear, although you can't hide the edges well.

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 Post subject: Re: Zenith Royal 2000--Finally Got One
PostPosted: Feb Tue 12, 2019 3:47 am 
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I put everything back together today, and I have to say that this radio is an excellent performing radio. Both the AM and FM bands are quite sensitive. The AM band is pulling in stations I rarely get on some of my other radios. FM is great, as is the audio.

I replaced all the electrolytic capacitors with the values I listed early in the thread. It's not the easiest radio to recap, but turned out to be easier than I thought. Removing some of the caps was actually harder than soldering in the replacements. Four of the caps are buried under other components, but there's room to get the smaller new caps soldered in once you get the old one out.

I already described my efforts to improve the looks of the control panel. I'm not sure if it was worth the effort, although the yellowed lacquer bothered me a lot. I think dry transfers might be the way to go if anyone tries this.

I cleaned and buffed the vinyl covering as well as the chrome side panels. 0000 steel wool and alcohol did a good job cleaning up most of the crud on the chromed parts. I buffed them with Novus 2 and Novus 1. I also painted the plastic perforated speaker grille.

I made a connector so the battery pack can be removed from the radio.

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 Post subject: Re: Zenith Royal 2000--Finally Got One
PostPosted: Feb Tue 12, 2019 6:18 am 
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I think it looks fine, Ed, nice work!

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 Post subject: Re: Zenith Royal 2000--Finally Got One
PostPosted: Feb Wed 13, 2019 6:11 am 
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Yes---it does look very good, Ed ! Did you apply more lacquer to the panel ???

As you said, removing the old electrolytics was the hard part...

Is your speaker grille actually plastic ? Both of mine are aluminum...

Excellent radios !

John


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith Royal 2000--Finally Got One
PostPosted: Feb Wed 13, 2019 12:25 pm 
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Thanks, Fifties. It doesn't look too bad from four feet away :D

John, I didn't put any more lacquer on. It's been cold and rainy here. My grille is probably aluminum too. I thought it was plastic because most of the cabinet is.

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 Post subject: Re: Zenith Royal 2000--Finally Got One
PostPosted: Feb Mon 18, 2019 9:29 pm 
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That looks really good Ed. Nice work!


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