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 Post subject: V-M 1200 Changer Step-by-Step Restoration
PostPosted: Feb Mon 13, 2012 2:33 am 
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I posted earlier about this Zenith record changer (http://www.antiqueradios.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=176033). This changer is a Voice of Music 1210A changer made for Zenith in 1957.

I contacted Gary Stork at Voice of Music Audio Enthusiasts and ordered VM base and dust cover for the changer, along with some Phonolube, a new power cord, and some missing hardware. Thanks to ARF member Neali who sent the SAMS for the VM model 1201, and Bill from Shedradios for the SAMS for the Zenith S-14084, I was able to get started on the restoration.
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The first step of course was to completely disassemble the record changer. As you can see in this photo, I've already started cleaning the old grease and lubricant off the motor, slide assembly and works.:
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The changer base is going to take some work. A thorough washing in Dawn still leaves the base dull and not clean. I'll try a buffer and some automotive polishing compound and see if that cuts off the oxidized paint. I may have to repaint it. I cleaned the knobs in effervescent denture cleanser, and they came out nice and clean, but the lettering came off when I went to dry them. I'll have to make new letters with decal or dry transfer letters. Or I may not worry about it at all and leave them as they are. I suspect there are a few changers out there with knobs with worn off lettering.
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On the other hand, soap and water and a gentle cleanling with 0000 steel wool, and I had nice gleaming chrome:
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The cycling mechanism required complete disassembly to clean off the hardened lubricant. It looked a lot worse underneath than it does in the photos. The 12" record selector lever was completely frozen solid. I used carburetor cleaner initially to break up the worst of the crud, then dish soap and water. I used compressed air to blow out all the water make surethe parts were completely dry, then I did a final cleaning with alcohol.
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Here is the cycling mechanism reassembled and new grease applied. I used Gary Stork's restoration and lubrication guide in applying the new lubricant to the proper areas.
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Next, I need to apply new gease to the slide mechanism and re-attach it to the rest of the cycling mechanism and then I'll do the motor and basket.

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Last edited by Ed Morris on Sep Fri 04, 2015 6:39 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Zenith S-14084 Phonograph Restoration
PostPosted: Feb Mon 13, 2012 2:50 am 
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Ed,

Wow. You don't mess around. Nice work!


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith S-14084 Phonograph Restoration
PostPosted: Feb Mon 13, 2012 3:39 pm 
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I'll be setting this project aside for a while now, though. I've got to do taxes :cry: and I need to send off the idler wheel, order some new motor mounts, and a cartridge and stylus. Gary at Voice of Music is expecting a magnetic cartridge than will fit the Cobramatic head around the end of the month, so I'll probably wait until then to order everything at one time.

In the meantime, I'll continue to clean and polish as I have time.

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 Post subject: Re: Zenith S-14084 Phonograph Restoration
PostPosted: Feb Mon 13, 2012 4:52 pm 
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Wow, you are certainly doing a thorough job. Just a tip though, the denture cleaner is a little over the top. You can't soak anything with screen print on it without lifting the print off of the surface. I start with Windex, spray it on and wipe it off. If that doesn’t work I use a mixture of Mr. Clean, ammonia and water mixed up in a spray bottle. It cuts through tough greasy dirt.

It looks like there is a lot of paint loss on the motorboard unless that is just residue stuck to the paint. I have found that using Soft Scrub and a soft bristle brush to get into the corners cleans satin and matte finishes very well with out polishing them to a gloss.

This is a VM out of a ’55 Motorola. It has metallic paint on the motorboard and stabilizer arm. I actually used Tarnex to remove dark spots from the paint and cleaned it with Soft Scrub to keep the satin sheen. It's not perfect but it hosed down nice.
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Image
Image

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 Post subject: Re: Zenith S-14084 Phonograph Restoration
PostPosted: Feb Mon 13, 2012 6:04 pm 
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Your changer looks great, Doug. Thanks for those tips. I've used denture cleanser to clean knobs for some time with usually good results, but I'll know better than to use it on knobs with silk-screened lettering in the future.

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 Post subject: Re: Zenith S-14084 Phonograph Restoration
PostPosted: Feb Mon 13, 2012 7:02 pm 
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When I removed the slide assembly, I found the slide assembly escape lever frozen up with dried lubricant. It would not budge. It is riveted to the slide assembly, and its range of motion is such that the underside is never fully exposed for cleaning. I spent a lot of time trying to get all the old grease off so it would not just gum up again when it dried.
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Repeated cleaning and soaking with degreaser and alcohol got most of the old grease off, but I could still see gunk under the lever when I moved it back and forth. It was really stubborn stuff. Running several strips of alcohol-soaked paper under it finally got the remaining gunk off the underside of the lever:
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 Post subject: Re: Zenith S-14084 Phonograph Restoration
PostPosted: Feb Mon 13, 2012 7:55 pm 
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I've seen the escape lever curled back like a wood shaving because it wouldn't move out of the way.

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 Post subject: Re: Zenith S-14084 Phonograph Restoration
PostPosted: Feb Tue 14, 2012 1:53 am 
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That return spring is critical to that lever - don't lose it or stretch it.
I use GC Electronics "Big Bath" sprayed on that to free it and clean it.
Works like a charm. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Zenith S-14084 Phonograph Restoration
PostPosted: Feb Sat 18, 2012 1:02 pm 
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You may be able to get correct replacement knobs from Gary Stork at thevoiceofmusic.com, also
jukn55 has a small selection of NOS VM changer knobs.


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith S-14084 Phonograph Restoration
PostPosted: Feb Sat 18, 2012 1:49 pm 
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orthophonic wrote:
You may be able to get correct replacement knobs from Gary Stork at thevoiceofmusic.com, also
jukn55 has a small selection of NOS VM changer knobs.

I checked with Gary earlier and he doesn't have the correct knobs for my changer. I'll probably use the originals and re-letter them with dry transfer letters or decals. I have photos of the knobs with lettering intact, so I should be able to closely match the font.

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 Post subject: Re: Zenith S-14084 Cobramatic Restoration
PostPosted: Mar Thu 22, 2012 3:34 pm 
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Well I finally found a little time to play around with this Cobramatic some more. I cleaned, buffed, re-cleaned and buffed the changer deck, but nothing I did made it look acceptable.
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I gave it a coat of primer and let that dry for a couple days, then wet sanded it smooth, and applied several coats of Krylon satin black. For some reason, it just didn't look good, and there were a couple spots where the paint did adhere properly. So I sanded the deck smooth to remove the Krylon, primer, and original paint:
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I then tried Rustoleum "Universal Metallic Paint & Primer In One" in carbon mist, and was pleased with the results. The paint went on smoothly and evenly, and it has a subtle metallic flake look to it.
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I got my idler wheel back from Gary at Voice of Music, and some new motor mounts, so I hope to get back to work on the mechanics soon. The new magnetic cartrdige that fits the Cobramatic head has been delayed until April now, so I'm not in a big rush.

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 Post subject: Re: Zenith S-14084 Cobramatic Restoration
PostPosted: Jul Tue 17, 2012 2:31 pm 
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Hi Ed,

GREAT thread so far, enjoying "living vicariously" by watching OTHERS restore phonos like ones I have, but never seem to find the time to restore myself!....

Assuming "real life" has gotten in the way, but will ask anyway... any updates to share?...

If not, thanks again for the tips & pics already posted,

- Bob


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith S-14084 Cobramatic Restoration
PostPosted: Aug Thu 27, 2015 7:23 pm 
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Well, I can't believe it's been three years! I repainted the deck in March, 2012. The paint has finally cured :roll:, so I can get back to putting this Cobramatic (V-M 1210A) back together (hopefully).

Over the next week or so, I will update this thread with progress on cleaning, lubricating, and re-assembly of the cam and slide mechanism in more detail than shown earlier in the thread, as well as tone arm cleaning and lubricating, installation of a Pfanstiehl MG55C cartridge in the tone arm.

I'm waiting on a new motor from Gary at Voice of Music as the motor turned out to be bad. The upper bearings were seized, and no amount of soaking would free it up.

As I left off three years ago, I had repainted the deck. Here it is with the chrome trim ring re-installed:

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 Post subject: Re: Zenith S-14084 Cobramatic Restoration--UPDATE!
PostPosted: Aug Fri 28, 2015 9:15 pm 
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As may have mentioned above, before beginning restoration of a Voice of Music changer, obtain a copy of the Service Manual and Parts List for your model along with a copy of the Basic Record Changer Restoration and Lubrication Guide. These can be obtained from the Voice of Music Audio Enthusiasts website.

Other helpful resources before you start:

Larry Hillis' SHF-8 restoration thread http://antiqueradios.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=116541.

Chris Cuff's four part You Tube video series on disassembly of 1200 series V-M record changers https://youtu.be/RZffuxl9bB0

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 Post subject: Re: Zenith S-14084 Cobramatic Restoration--UPDATE!
PostPosted: Aug Fri 28, 2015 9:51 pm 
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Cleaning of the cycling mechanism is critical to good performance. Dirt and dried grease may have accumulated beneath the 7" and 10" record levers that determine correct set-down of the tone arm, well as under the locator arm assembly.

To gain access the to cycling mechanism, remove from the changer deck, and remove the slide and cam gear as described in the Basic Record Changer Guide. Then remove the retard assembly and shut off lever. There is a spring under the shut off lever. Do not lose it.

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Now you can clean any dried grease and dirt from the cycling mechanism. You can remove the screws holding the 7" and 10" levers in place to clean under them, but there are springs under each, so be careful not to lose them, and replace them correctly after cleaning. The springs fit in wells in the cycling mechanism and mate with dimples in the levers, so it isn't hard to reset them correctly.

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When everything is clean, oil or grease any parts as per the Lubrication Guide from V-M. I use Phonolube and 3-in-One oil in the blue can. Do NOT use 3-in-One oil in the red can. I use a small oiler with a syringe spout so that oil can be accurately controlled and placed. Usually only a drop or two is needed.

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Then replace the shut off lever, making sure the spring is in place:

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Then re-install the retard assembly in place, and you are finished with the cycling mechanism assembly.

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 Post subject: Re: Cobramatic (Voice of Music 1200) Restoration--UPDATE!
PostPosted: Aug Sat 29, 2015 5:07 pm 
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Next, the cam gear should be re-installed after a thorough cleaning. The trip lever, pawl lever, and trip pawl must be able to move freely or the changer will either not cycle or cycle continuously depending on where the trip pawl hangs up.

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The trip pawl can be stuck or sluggish due to dried grease or dirt, or it may be bent and dragging on the cam gear. It must be able to move freely. Unfortunately, the trip pawl is riveted to the cam gear and can't be removed for cleaning.

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My trip pawl was sluggish due to dried grease under the rivet head and between the pawl and cam. Even after several cleanings with alcohol and contact cleaner, it would become sluggish again after a day or so. I finally soaked the assembly in turpentine for several hours and it now seems to be clean. If I continue to have cycling problems after re-assembly, I may have to drill out the rivet to clean the trip pawl and re-rivet it to the cam gear, or purchase a new cam gear from Voice of Music.

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After re-installing the trip lever and pawl lever, apply Phonolub to the area shown in the photo below. Do not apply any grease or oil to the trip pawl, pawl lever, or trip lever.

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Install the cam gear assembly in the cycling mechanism:

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 Post subject: Re: Cobramatic (Voice of Music 1200) Restoration--UPDATE!
PostPosted: Aug Sun 30, 2015 4:03 pm 
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Before re-installing the slide mechanism, clean and install the tone arm shaft assembly. The trip finger and retard lever are permanently attached to the shaft. The lift pin, spring, and clip can be removed for cleaning.

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I used alcohol and 0000 steel wool to clean the lift pin and tone arm shafts. Do this away from any other parts as slivers of steel wool may contaminate your work. Wipe the shafts clean and blow them off to remove any steel wool residue.

I applied just a few drops of oil to the lift pin shaft before sliding it back inside the tone arm shaft. Then install the spring and retaining clip.

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The entire tone arm shaft assembly can now be slipped back into the cycling mechanism. The slide mechanism should now be installed, otherwise the tone arm shaft assembly will fall out of the cycling mechanism.

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 Post subject: Re: Cobramatic (Voice of Music 1200) Restoration--UPDATE!
PostPosted: Aug Sun 30, 2015 4:53 pm 
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Now the slide can be re-installed on the body of the cycling mechanism. Apply Phonolube first as shown in the V-M Lubrication Guide. Note the photo below.

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Swing the trip lever and retard lever (attached to tone arm shaft) away from the retainer on the retard assembly. Make sure the shut-off lever is between the slide and trip link.

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Then tilt the assembly so the opposite edge fits under the retainer on the retard assembly, and gently maneuver into place.

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Install the two screws at the record shaft end of slide:

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Install the slide bearing and spring. Insert the tip of a small screwdriver between the spring links to work it into place.

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Slip the detent spring over the stud on the cam gear and attach the other end to the arm assembly on the slide shaft:

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 Post subject: Re: Cobramatic (Voice of Music 1200) Restoration--UPDATE!
PostPosted: Aug Sun 30, 2015 5:08 pm 
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Next, put a small amount of lubricant on the spindle bearing and drop it in the opening:

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Drop the spindle shaft in place:

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Replace the ejector bracket as shown below:

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Fully assembled cycling mechanism with cam and slide:

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 Post subject: Re: V-M 1200 Changer Step-by-Step Restoration
PostPosted: Sep Thu 03, 2015 5:06 pm 
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Before re-installing the completed cycle and slide assembly, the motor needs to be serviced and installed under the player deck. The motor assembly consists of four major parts: the motor, a plate the motor attaches to, the motor speed control mechanism, and the idler wheel.

The photo below shows the disassembled motor and its mounting plate:

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Clean the bearings with alcohol. If they are stiff, let them soak overnight. The rotor should spin freely in the bearings. If the bearings are seized, the motor will have to be replaced. My upper bearing was seized and I had to order a motor from Voice of Music Audio Enthusiasts. Dry and lube the bearings and ends of the rotor shaft with a few drops of turbine (SAE 20) oil.

The plate is attached to the motor with the two longer screws, which pass through two standoffs that go between the motor and the plate. The shorter one goes to the front (rotor end) of the motor, so the plate is level when mounted to the motor. The standoffs are countersunk on one end, which go toward the plate and screw heads.

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Once the motor is bolted to the plate, place the three felt washers over the mounting studs as shown:

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Next, install new rubber motor mount grommets in the motor speed control housing:

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Install the motor and secure with clips above the motor mount grommets. Note that there are two large clips and one smaller clip. The small clip is used in the rececessed opening.

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The idler wheel rubber tires should be soft and pliable. If not, install a rebuilt idler wheel, as shown:

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Install the motor under the deck. From the top, secure the motor with two screws and the nut that fits over the speed control knob shaft.

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Last edited by Ed Morris on Sep Thu 03, 2015 8:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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