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10-25-2011, 05:46 PM - 2 Likes   #1
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ZX-5n disassembly with pictures

While working on a ZX-5n last weekend, dealing with the cracked mirror motor gear syndrome, I took a lot of pictures. Today I posted them as a Flickr set.

I want to express thanks to Bob Bimon, and Violini. I don't think I would have made it through any of my ZX repairs (I'm up to 3 now!) without Bob's original writeup from a couple of years ago, and for this last one Violini's specific 5n instructions were a great help as well. I wanted to document as much as possible, in hopes that this might help somebody else rescue one of these cameras from the trash heap.

10-25-2011, 06:28 PM   #2
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Impressive documentation of the process! Clear and instructive!
10-25-2011, 08:03 PM   #3
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Good grief, that thing is a cyborg, not a camera! I have one but have never seen its innards. I now never want to.
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10-25-2011, 09:19 PM   #4
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Thanks for the lesson. Great job! I hope I never have to do this with my ZX-5N.

Did you replace the motor or just the gear? If just the gear, what keeps the gear from spinning on the motor shaft? By spinning I mean rotating independently from the motor shaft. Is there a flat on the motor shaft? Also, what secures the gear to the motor shaft?

10-26-2011, 03:30 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by wiseman Quote
Did you replace the motor or just the gear? If just the gear, what keeps the gear from spinning on the motor shaft? By spinning I mean rotating independently from the motor shaft. Is there a flat on the motor shaft? Also, what secures the gear to the motor shaft?
I replaced just the gear, because my original intent was to do the repair using CRM-114's less invasive method but that didn't work for me.

There is no flat spot on the shaft, and the gear fits by friction alone, but that really seems to be enough. The inside diameter of the gear is probably just a little smaller than the diameter of the shaft, and the gear material (either plastic or brass) deforms just enough to allow you to press it on. It's a very snug fit. Of course that might also contribute to why it cracked in the first place.
10-26-2011, 06:51 AM   #6
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Thanks for these instructions. I've been planning to do the same repair myself for a while but keep procrastinating. How long did it take you, and how much time do you suggest I set aside for this repair?

--KYC
10-26-2011, 09:17 AM   #7
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Guess I could get through one in an hour or two now. Violini is probably even faster, he's done so many. But if it's your first time and you will taking your own pictures along the way, you should allow yourself several hours and set your workspace up on a table you won't need to use for a meal anytime soon.
10-27-2011, 03:18 PM   #8
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Sluggo, thank you for documenting all those pictures. Nowadays I use my MZ-5n and 6 more often than the digital cameras. I feel that I can get better pictures using these film cameras.


Last edited by violini; 10-30-2011 at 07:49 AM.
11-06-2011, 08:48 PM   #9
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Ignorance is (was) bliss

Well, doesn't that just figure! I haven't used my ZX-5n since about 2008. Then, last month, I read here about the mirror motor gear problem which got me thinking about using the film camera again. Yesterday I put some batteries in the ZX and tested it a few times with no film, then #$#%$^# the mirror locked up on about the 10th actuation!

Somehow that little camera knew I was thinking about that little gear and BOOM there it goes! Anyhow, I do like to tinker with things and, thanks to the advice on this thread, I will have a decent chance to get the ZX working again.
11-07-2011, 08:06 AM   #10
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On the Alaskan cruise, I only brought MZ-6 with DA40; it's a small and light package. For landscape photography, 35mm film easily beats most digitals in contrast, resolution, and details in dark areas. Another important thing is that the batteries last forever. (a set of CR2 will be good for 100 rolls of films if you don't use the built-in flash.)

Last edited by violini; 11-07-2011 at 08:13 AM.
11-09-2011, 04:02 PM   #11
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A part is supposed to be on the way to repair the broken pop-up flash. I'll see about adding that to the picture set when done. It's kind of funny because I never use pop-up flash, except when testing to see whether the pop-up flash works(!) -- but from my perspective that kind of thing is part of finishing the restoration.
11-09-2011, 04:16 PM   #12
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I think Pentax used too strong of a spring for popping up that little flash.
11-09-2011, 04:21 PM   #13
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Yeah, I have to agree. Either a weaker spring, or a stronger shaft, or some kind of damping at the end of travel so it didn't "whack" quite so hard - any of those might have helped.
11-09-2011, 04:31 PM   #14
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Sluggo, I agree with you. I use my thumb to press the button and my fingers to hold the flash and let it rise slowly. I machined the bushing using brass and repaired 2 failed ones in the past. I remember that I had some difficulty to tension the spring (to bring the end of the spring to the plastic ridge). Maybe I didn't do it right. Let us know how you do it. On those intact bushings, I filled the gap at the end with epoxy and hoped that would reenforce it.

Last edited by violini; 11-09-2011 at 04:51 PM.
11-09-2011, 06:19 PM   #15
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I had the same thought about filling the end gap with an adhesive after the spring is in place. Might make that a little dab of silicone to stay flexible and absorb some vibration, though I doubt it will have much effect. On the other hand I'm not really worried about wear once it's repaired, since I don't intend to use the flash.
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