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10-18-2010, 08:01 PM   #31
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Bob, Thanks for posting your repair procedure for the mirror motor! I have a ZX-L which I'm attempting to fix but unfortunately I didn't read through your instructions completely before I started. In one step you say to:
- Dismount the metallic bottom cover with gears O-D1 : be careful not to loose gears and one spring on camera body side ! put tape on them to maintain them in place.
While I didn't loose the spring I didn't see where it was prior to it appearing on my work bench top. Can you provide instructions, photo of where it goes?

Thanks,

10-19-2010, 11:54 PM   #32
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Wow... not to throw this one off topic, but looks like this is a very very common issue.
And since I just bought an MZ-5...
10-21-2010, 06:59 PM   #33
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I used to fly model airplanes. The stripped plastic gear is a common problem in the servos. Why doesn't Pentax make the metal gears available, instead of replacing the whole motor. Pentax engineers underestimated the stress on the gear of the motor drive shaft. I hope they don't use plastic gear in MZ-S.

Last edited by violini; 03-15-2011 at 04:24 PM.
10-24-2010, 06:32 PM   #34
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Does the MZ-3 also use the same plastic gear, or by then had they learned their lesson? Trying to decide whether I should order a motor now while it's still available, I do like my MZ-3, and they aren't cheap.

Sometimes gears like this don't fail due to overload. Instead, sometimes they are made of plastic that keeps shrinking, until it splits.

10-24-2010, 11:34 PM   #35
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My MZ-3 had plastic mirror gear too and it splitted. To be honest, the more expensive MZ-3 (or the entire MZ series except maybe the MZ-S) is actually built the same as the much cheaper MZ-10 but with different skins and shutter speeds.
10-25-2010, 08:48 AM   #36
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In view of post #4 (wlachan's photo), would it be possible to remove the motor simply by removing the bottom and front plates.

Last edited by violini; 10-25-2010 at 01:24 PM.
10-25-2010, 10:25 AM   #37
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Can't be done because 2 screws holding the motor can't be accessed.
10-25-2010, 07:56 PM   #38
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Pro Camera Repair charges $85 (motor + labor). I think that's reasonable. But after reading Bob Bimon's write-up, I won't hesitate to do it myself.

11-09-2010, 06:45 PM   #39
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Sad to see that the MZ-3 has the same problem. I suppose I should buy and stock a motor for that eventual day. Given I've got five of the wonderful Pentax-FA primes, I want to keep the body working.
11-19-2010, 05:07 PM   #40
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Some one on ebay gave me a ZX-5n with broken mirror motor gear for free. As soon as I receive the replacement motor, I'm going to follow Bob Bimon's instruction to repair this camera. Once the motor is replaced, I will then have peace of mind. I was looking for an auto-focus film camera to be able to use my FA and DA lenses.

Last edited by violini; 11-19-2010 at 05:13 PM.
11-24-2010, 05:53 PM   #41
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Alan sent me the camera diagram which helped a lot. Although 5n has more features than ZX-50. the basic constructions are very similar. Therefore, simply follow Bob Bimon's instruction will do. I don't un-solder the flexible connections. The flexible boards are double-face taped on the prism housing. Loosen the tape will give enough room to lift up the mirror box to reach the 4 screws on the gear box. These screws are #00 Phillips. I have not received the replacement motor from USCamera yet. It should be here any time. I just bought the set of 16 pieces "precision" screw drivers from the dollar store, all I need are the 2 small ones. Wind a rubber band on the shaft to give enough torque to turn. I didn't have desolder pump, one of the pillar came off; just solder it back on the flash board. I would encourage any one with broken motor gear to repair it him/herself. It's not difficult at all.

There is another motor in the camera; does it also need to be replaced?

Last edited by violini; 02-03-2011 at 07:05 PM.
11-24-2010, 08:40 PM   #42
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The other motor is for AF which rarely failed though possible.
12-13-2010, 10:08 PM   #43
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I finally replaced the mirror motor in ZX-5n. The long delay was because I didn't have the right tools: pencil tip solder iron (ordered from Hong Kong, $3 shipped) and #000 Phillips screw driver made by Wiha ($5 from RC toy store). Now the camera works, including flash. If I have the chance to do it again, I probably can replace the mirror motor in 2 hours.

The solder points on the circuit board are very small, therefore use a sharp solder point. After soldering, I examine it with a magnifier to make sure there is no short circuit. I also bought a de-soldering pump. The Wiha brand of #000 screwdriver is very well made. I also have DuraTrax #00 Phillips. These are the required tools to repair the camera.

Last edited by violini; 12-14-2010 at 11:32 AM.
12-14-2010, 02:42 AM   #44
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Congratulations! Whenever I see a picture of one of those bodies torn down to get to the mirror motor, I'm impressed with anyone who gets it back together with everything working.
12-14-2010, 11:37 AM   #45
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I must just be getting old, but when I see that photo, the $85 from Prophoto looks pretty good ($65 for the labor?). It is great to see an available repair for these cameras. The ZX-L has the best set of features of any film camera for backing up a DSLR--right down to the P-TTL wireless.
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