I feel your pain - I shoot slides pretty exclusively and really enjoy projecting them - nothing quite like it. Maintaining projectors is challenging. Anything other than lamps, as far as parts go, is real problematic and service is non-existent. I read somewhere that Leica projectors can still be serviced somewhere, at exorbitant cost and with limited parts availability. Elmo is still in business, maybe you can contact them for advice - they now make digital presentation stuff.
I decided to stick with one common brand/model (an AF Ektagraphic) and I keep an eye out on eBay and at thrift shops for them. I have two real nice ones and a couple junkers. The problem you describe is very common and, indeed, is a solenoid that just plain wears out - not real hard to replace should you actually find one. Internal dust (projectors are like a vacuum cleaner for airborne dust) and lack of lube is what really kills them - the solenoid (actually kind of a linear actuator) has to keep working harder to push the zillion moving parts along and eventually fails. Dust build-up also causes excessive heat, which doesn't help much either.
Edit - wow ds, that Micro-Tools link is awesome - first time I've come across it! I mean, I've been to the Micro-Tools site, but never noticed their inventory of Kodak projector parts. They even offer a repair service, although kinda pricey.
Last edited by upnorthcyclist; 05-20-2012 at 12:36 AM. Click to view previous post history.