HELP!! Canon AE-1P winder lever stuck!

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by LowriderS10, Jun 17, 2010.

  1. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Member

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    Hi everyone,

    So I bought yet another AE-1 today (my third), knowing the body might be toast. It has a minty 50 1.8 worth as much as I paid for the camera, so even if it's for parts, I'm okay with it.

    However...I'd like to fix it if I can...here's what it's doing:

    The winder lever is stuck (as if it's already been wound up) BUT when I press the shutter button, it's not releasing.

    Things I know:
    The battery is good (put one in from my other AE-1s just to make sure)
    The battery compartment is clean, no corrosion, and the camera is getting juice (it beeps and blinks when it has to)
    The mirror is in the DOWN position.

    What could be wrong, how can I check it and how can I fix it?

    Thanks,
    Tamas :smile:
     
  2. st3ve

    st3ve Member

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    Winder lever might need lubrication (?), self-timer could be $&%&ed and that's somehow what it got set on (open up the bottom and trip the shutter manually to see if this is the case, I can provide a picture if needed).

    That's all I can think of right now. Usually it's a self-timer issue although I'm not sure that carries over if you just put in a new / different battery. I've also had batteries that weren't dead but didn't have *quite* enough juice show this problem. But if the shutter trips on another camera with the battery, I guess this isn't the case.

    Anyone else got an idea?
     
  3. Carl V

    Carl V Member

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    I don't know whether you have already tried this, but you could attach a threaded cable release onto the shutter button and see if this will fire it instead. This may not work, but I have come across shutter releases in the past that were jammed yet would operate with the cable attached to it.
     
  4. st3ve

    st3ve Member

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    This is only relevant to a self-timer issue, but I never knew this, so I figured I'd post it.
    Credit to
    Modern Classic SLR Series
    The Canon AE-1 - Camera Operation Part IV
     
  5. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Remove the bottom cover. Nothing's going to jump out at you.
    1)With the camera upside down & the lens facing you, there's an electromagnet between the center of the body and the right end. This is the release magnet.
    There's a coil wrapped in yellow tape,at the left side of the mg an armature. Push the armature away from the coil. If the camera was cocked it should release. If that didn't work,
    2)To the right of the release magnet is the wind mechanism. There is a locking latch engaged in the winding cam. Disengage the latch & try the advance lever, IF it does not work there's something jammed at the top of the camera. bummer!

    referring to #2 above, the most common thing to jam these things is #1 a loose screw and #2 a peg from the shutter speed dial guard. That's the black plastic surrounding the SS dial. If you gently lift the edge of the guard, it should not move! If it lifts, it has lost one of it's rivets into the bowels of the camera. Actually into the wind gears at the very top of the camera.
    I hope it's 1 or 2 'cuz taking the main switch apart is annoying. And you have to take it apart to get to the wind gears.
     
  6. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Member

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    Thanks for the responses, everyone! John, I think you've got it (from what I've been reading), but my brain's fried right now and I'm not getting it...

    I took the bottom cover off but I can't find the electromagnet (what does it look like? I'm awesome at fixing cars, but suck bigtime when it comes to electronics...but I want to learn!) or the coil wrapped in yellow tape.

    Here's what I'm looking at:

    [​IMG]

    By the way, I attached my Powerwinder A, and that did nothing. (not sure if that means anything, but figured, I'd throw it in there). Also, the little black plastic button with the white dot on it is pushed in...and won't budge

    Thanks again, I really appreciate it...if I could fix it, it would make my day :smile:

    PS: the shutter speed dial is firm and in place! :smile:
     
  7. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Member

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    Hmm...I'm guessing the release magnet is the one that has the black/red wires going to it and looks like a miniature car battery...and moving the thing on its left away from it should release the shutter? it doesn't :sad:

    not sure how to unlatch the locking mechanism, though :sad:
     
  8. MFstooges

    MFstooges Member

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    that and that

    [​IMG]
     
  9. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Member

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    okay thanks...then it's already in the position (away from the coil) where John says it should be...

    Now just not sure how to do #2...
     
  10. MFstooges

    MFstooges Member

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    think I should have the repair manual somewhere in my harddrive.

    Nathan
     
  11. Andrew K

    Andrew K Subscriber

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    Hi

    I was a camera tech at Canon in the good old days (A series, T series, EOS...) - you should be able to fire the camera by pushing the shutter release lever next to the left hand magnet on the bottom of the camera.

    To do this you need to push the lever under the shutter release magnet (the magnet on the left of the picture above - NOT the one with the Red/Black wires going to it) - pull the lever downwards towards the front of the camera (pull down near where the thick spring attached in the picture) - you should then fire the shutter and be able to wind the camera.

    If this works you need to remove the plastic cover from the magnet (remove the 2 screws that hold the magnet down - 1 is under the black tape over the flex to the left of the magnet) - then carefully pull the plastic cover off (I've also seen people cut the cover on the bottom side where the lever is and then fold the plastic up so they can get to the magnet faces).

    Now clean the magnet surface and the plate that is attached to the lever - you will probably see 2 black marks on the plate - this is years of dirt and grime. Clean with alcohol and q-tips - you can also cut up a clean card (I use a business card) - soak this in alcohol and put on the magnet face - push the lever so the card is jammed between the plate and magnet and move the card up and down - this cleans both the magnet face and the latching plate at the same time....

    NOTE - you need to hold the lever closed when you put the magnet back into place. Then put the 2 screws in , and fire the shutter using the cameras shutter release - this time it should work...

    If it doesn't then it will be something in the top of the camera - hopefully only a dirty shutter signal switch - this is on the front of the camera under the shutter release - the switch tells the camera when the shutter is cocked so it can fire - to ge to this you need to remove the top cover....let me know if you need directions

    Cheers

    Andrew
     
  12. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Member

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    Hi Andrew,

    Thank you sooooo much for the help...it's amazing how much knowledge and talent there is on this site!

    I was able to manually fire the shutter and subsequently wind it again...as long as I keep firing with the little lever you mentioned, winding/firing works well...I guess that's a good sign, because the mechanism itself isn't jammed and the shutter works.

    I haven't cleaned the magnet/flat piece yet because I have to run out to get some alcohol...however, there is absolutely no dirt, grime, anything on either the magnet or the flat piece...so I think it's the top end (dirty signal switch you mentioned).

    I'll get some alcohol today and clean it up, but in the meantime, would you mind telling me how to clean the shutter signal switch?

    Thanks very much again, I really appreciate it...I sure would be happy as heck if I could bring this thing back from the dead :smile:
     
  13. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    It's been too long, I was on the wrong side of the camera for the release magnet.
    The good thing is it's not something stuck in the gears on top.
     
  14. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Member

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    No worries, John, thanks for the help :smile:

    Andrew, when you have a minute I'd really appreciate a bit of help as to the top :smile: And thanks so much for your help so far...working on these things is kind of fun...I found another AE-1P the guy wants $15 for, but has a nasty shutter squeal, scratched focusing screen and missing mirror bumper, so hoping to talk him down to something approaching free :smile:
     
  15. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    If it squeal when the mirror goes up, it's not the shutter, it's the mirror governor.
    When these first started failing, the shop I worked in stripped the body for access to the side of the mirror cage to lube it
    & charged over $100. What's that? A shortcut? The front plate is removed(4 screws) all visible and the top left screw in the lens mount is removed.
    The mirror governor is behind that screw. Using a pinpoint oiler, with the body being held with the wind end of the camera down, a drop of oil is applied
    & given a few minutes to spread, it should clear right up.
    Too much oil will spread to the resistor band & contacts, use a tiny drop. If it doesn't work at first try a second drop.
     
  16. danegermouse

    danegermouse Member

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    i have a whole host of a-series cameras that i am trying to repair. they are mostly shutter squeals and i have also heard of this lube method. i have a diagram in a link somewhere, i'll post it here too. i am having a lot of trouble undoing the lens mount screws however. the external cover screws are ok but the internal mount screws appear rusted in or stuck. i have tried some wd-40 to free up the screws but no luck. any tricks of the trade i should know about?

    dane.
     
  17. danegermouse

    danegermouse Member

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  18. bonfire

    bonfire Member

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    I have exact same problem. Everything checks out, magnet is clean, and releases all good. New battery installed, everything winds once the magnet is released. So it must come down to the shutter release button, how do you get a look at that?

    I have every screw I can find taken off, even the two behind the lens mount. But I cannot get the top off. Even if I do, any suggestions on what to do with the button?
     
  19. Andrew K

    Andrew K Subscriber

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  20. Camp Tuto

    Camp Tuto Member

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    Canon AE1 Shutter Stuck

    Mine jams when I over wind the film past the end of the role. Use a coin to remove the small cap on the bottom of the camera opposite the film advance lever. Stick the tips of a pair of long nose pliers in to the 2 notches and rock it back and forth. You will here a click when it releases. I just finished doing this again. Let me know if this works.

    Camp Tuto