I fixed it. Getting the top off was not so bad at all using the link below. Once it was off I turned the camera upside down and two screws fell out, as well as half of a broken chrome crescent piece (see photos below). I managed to pry the rest of the broken chrome arm out without further disassembly. If I hadn't, it looked to be somewhat more difficult to remove w/ lots of springs here and there, so I got lucky on that.
Strangely, everything works fine now, and all the speeds are as good as before. Wonder what that arm did anyway? It's obvious that the screws fell out when the camera took a big header (never did see where those screws came from either, but I didn't look too hard) and jammed things, causing the chrome crescent arm to break and lock everything up. The screws may have come from inside the battery housing as there are two small holes in there, but they didn't seem to quite be long enough when I tried them. Or more probably they came from the hot shoe internal attachment, which is right by where the big top dent is. While the camera was open everything got a little lube and I cleaned up the prism/viewfinder. I'll fix the dent in the top housing and the stuck meter lollipop later. Time to repair camera - 1 hr. Bill to myself - $125, from what I can see looking at other people's repair rates. I'll spend it on some good cheap wine and more Tri-X. Now to go out and shoot the camera after replacing the foam seals and mirror bumper foam.
Thanks to a tip on Matt Denton's website, I went down to Walmart and bought a big pack of self adhesive 2mm closed cell foam sheets for $4. Eight of the sheets were different colors and only two were black, but those two 8x10 sheets will do a LOT of camera seal jobs. I wonderg why people recommended sending the camera out. Thought this was the camera repair forum.
Last edited by momus; 01-03-2014 at 02:44 PM. Click to view previous post history.