Leica M4 - very stiff rewind

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by Steinholtz, Oct 29, 2013.

  1. Steinholtz

    Steinholtz Member

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    Hello,

    as the title says my Leica M4 is very stiff when I rewind the film. It is not the rewind crank itself, as this turns smoothly when there is no film in the camera. I have tried removing the take up spool, which was very easy, and I've then cleaned it an given it a tiny bit of lubrication at the top where it connects to the inside of the camera. However this had no effect at all, and I have now located the problem to be inside of the top plate, because it's when the rod that the take up spool is attached to, is turned anti clockwise that there is quite a bit of friction. The wind release lever is working fine.

    I know you will probably advice me to send it of to CLA but there are no one here in Denmark that does this. So I would very much appreciate any advice or if anyone can recommend a good Leica repair man in perhaps England or Germany.

    Br
     
  2. presspass

    presspass Member

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    Just went through this with two M6TTLs. It eventually got so bad the film would tear as I finished the rewind, but it tore on the leader end. Both went for CLA at DAG and came back just fine. I tried a couple of things to fix this before I sent them off, but nothing I did worked. Hope you have better luck.
     
  3. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    if the problem is with the film take-up end I think you are going to find that something internal to the camera on that end is not releasing properly, or is gummed up and binding. Perhaps a bearing that rotates one way but not the other. If the geared drive wheel turns in both directions smoothly when the rewind lever is pushed over, then as you say, it is probably the bearings of the shaft of the take-up spool itself.

    I can think of no other way than a disassembly by someone who knows what he/she is doing. Sorry. There are several good repair places in England and Germany, of course, has Leica itself.
     
  4. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Well, there is a bearing above the rewind fork. Without removing the top MAYBE a minuscule drop of oil on that bearing.
    There will be a difference in load when there's no film in the camera vs loaded which could result in the difference of torque needed.

    Beyond that it will be as above, you can check that by loading a test roll and pull it out manually. It should be pretty free. If it's tight/gummed up
    it will need a real service.

    There's not much to the RW in a Leica. The knob connects to a shaft that goes to a spur gear. That engages another spur and shaft that goes to a fork
     
  5. ~andi

    ~andi Member

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    You can sent it directly to Leica, they have a fixed price for a CLA. 190 Euros, if there are no additional repairs, I believe.

    http://en.leica-camera.com/service/service_and_repair/headquarters_germany/photography/index.html

    This one seems to be good as well (no first hand experience though):

    http://www.fotomechanik-reinhardt.de/

    Best,
    Andreas
     
  6. gsgary

    gsgary Member

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    There is a good place in Holland i will post a link when i get home from work

    Sent from my GT-I9100P using Tapatalk 2
     
  7. vysk

    vysk Member

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    Good investigation, if you have determined that the shaft that holds the sprocket is the issue.
    Now if your diagnosis is correct, you need to have this camera repaired. Either the bearing for the shaft is loose or the bearing for the gear attached to the shaft is loose, and it will ultimately jam solid.

    I have had two M bodies do this, and one SL body.

    You can't fix it from outside the body, and lubrication won't help. The top cover needs to come off, the gear isolated and the bearing tightened down.

    If there isn't anyone in Denmark to do this, then send it to Leica Solms.
     
  8. Steinholtz

    Steinholtz Member

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    Thanks a lot people for your help!

    The issue is no doubt located under the top plate above the take up spool. The reason why I am so sure is that when the film is loaded and I engage the release lever on the front, it rewinds smoothly in the beginning, which means that the rewind lever and the release lever is working fine, but when the film reaches the end or perhaps somewhere around the middle - i.e. the take up spool begins to turn, it starts to get really tough.

    I have decided to send it to Leica in Solms for a CLA.
     
  9. jordanstarr

    jordanstarr Member

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    I had the same thing to my m6TTL and it actually broke one of the forks on the inside until it jammed. I bought tools, took the top off and did my own repair. The whole rewind part was only $10 at Leica New Jersey...tools to take the top off were about $80. Took me about an hour.