If someone removed the front of the camera and didn't know what they were doing they could of messed up the linkage between the shutter/aperature controls and the meter. If you are saying that the circle-ended match needle is not moving or it's range is limited I'd bet that's what happened.
This seems most likely. On my 3.5f a previous botched attempt at a CLA left the linkage only partly engaged, so that it would only grab if I held the camera just so (and bit the lower right corner of my lip). A proper cleaning by a knowledgeable repair person fixed mine. (but I really missed it the weeks that it was in the shop)
Tom, on Point Pelee, Canada
Ansel Adams had the Zone System... I'm working on the points system. First I points it here, and then I points it there...