Jammed battery cover

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by movin, Sep 5, 2010.

  1. movin

    movin Member

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    Hi,
    I recently got a Yashica Mat 124 that is in a very bad state.
    One of the problems is a jammed battery cover that wouldn't open. Its the usual screw-in type with a slit in the lid that you could open with a coin. But this one doesn't move a bit.
    The camera is really dirty but it shows signs of a leaky battery (greenish-white residue) too, so the cover could be jammed due to corrosion.
    Does somebody of you know what to do in such a case?

    Movin
     
  2. haclil

    haclil Member

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    This has never happened to me, but off the top of my head I have some ideas for you.

    You've probably thought of WD-40 or the like already. If that didn't help, and if you think the metal of and around the cover is corrosible, a few drops of the appropriate metal cleaner might help.

    A zany idea: Get cooling spray at the pharmacy, spray just the cover (while protecting the camera bottom), and hope the cover will shrink enough to loosen it.

    Other plans--if this were my problem--would be to find ways to apply more force. One way would be to epoxy some key-like bit of metal to the cover, something like a skate key. There are liquids available I believe to dissolve the epoxy when you're done.

    Or, how 'bout *carefully* drilling a couple of small holes in the cover after making a special wrench to fit the holes. The wrench would be something like a sturdy piece of wood, say a foot long, with two metal pins set into it with just the right spacing between them.
     
  3. mike c

    mike c Subscriber

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    Tap around the edges of cover and try some WD40,let it soak.That battery acid is bad news on camera body's.
     
  4. elekm

    elekm Member

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    And be prepared for the worst but hope for the best. That is, the battery acid might have seeped into the wiring. But maybe not.
     
  5. resummerfield

    resummerfield Subscriber

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    In similar situations, I've had success by finding a coin with the exact thickness of the cover slot, then gripping the coin with a locking "vice-grip" plier. Hold the camera very secure and press the coin/plier into the slot with considerable force.

    If this doesn't work, resort to drilling the 2 holes and use the special wrench.

    But first, put a little lube around the threads and let it soak in. Something like WD-40 or even kerosene might work.
     
  6. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Here's how you remove spark plugs from a new Ford V8. Let it cool (cooling spray). Then spray in lubricant (smidge of Wd40). Let sit. Hour or so. Then turn it out a quarter turn. Reaplly lubricant. Let sit. Another slight turn. Lather, rinse, repeat. In this case, might replace the lubricant with an automotive battery terminal cleaner to breakdown any corrosion cementing the cap into place. And if all else fails, use some Coca-Cola.
     
  7. Francis in VT

    Francis in VT Member

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    Try some household ammonia or vinegar applied with a 'Q' tip. Then try the
    coin with the pliers. When it is open the same substances can be used to clean the contacts.
    Good Luck

    Francis in VT
     
  8. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Let the vinegar soak into the threads, may take a while,
     
  9. movin

    movin Member

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    ok, I finally got it opened.
    After repeatedly soaking the area around the cover in WD40 and lighter fluid the thread became loose.

    Note: On the Yashica Mat 124 the outer part of the battery cover is just set in the metal cover of the left camera side. If you remove the focus wheel and some screws the cover lifts right off, which makes it much easier to work on the battery cover. Naturally I discovered that after I had invested considerable thought in how to securely apply solving liquids to the stucking parts.

    Thanks for all your help

    Movin