Cost of repairing a broken rewind crank?

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by morgan_malaska, Jan 27, 2010.

  1. After pulling my M4-P out of my bag today, I noticed that the rewind crank was warped... I must have accidentaly dropped the bag or had it go through some other unfortunate event for this to happen. But facts remain facts, the rewind crank is warped - Making film advance nigh on impossible and film rewind a slow, grinding affair. So my question, how much will it cost to fix this? It looks like a fairly straightforward affair, but one never knows how much straightforward affairs might cost.
    Apologies for the slightly blurry photograph, but it gives an idea of the situation:
  2. Morgan, my M6's rewind crank was warped just like yours did. Few months ago I got a replacement from Leica UK for something like £30. Installation is pretty easy, all you need is a Philips 000 screwdriver to loosen the locking screw at the base of the crank.
    I think M6 shares the same rewind crank with M4, just call your local Leica service centre for a quote.
  3. Thank you very much for your reply Koray, it was such an angst-inspiring incident when noticing it - Much calmer about it all now though.
  4. I was going through that maybe 4 times yet...For some reason the current MP's have the more impact proof old style rewind knurl.
    On location, I did just bent the thing back into place, with a plain screwdriver wrapped with a piece of cloth. Look closely at it, which part is touching the body, and lift it up. It is die-cast material which might break if you stress it too much, but my DIYs just worked out fine.
    Later on you could replace it if needed, because it is difficult to bring it back into the original shape, depending on the impact your crank suffered.
    Good luck!
  5. Morgan, I recall seeing a video on where the guy takes apart a Leica (I think an M3). One of the first things he does is remove the rewind. It might be helpful.
  6. Probably best to get a replacement knob-crank from a Leica or related service centre. it is the weakest part of the M series bodies (other than the know rewind early Ms and MP).
  7. I will get in contact with my local Leica repair center/repairman and get a replacement lever - Whilst waiting for that spare, I will try my hand at unscrewing and bending the warped piece of metal back into place. As mentioned above, having a spare for a part that is (relatively) likely to give me issues again can't be a bad thing... And having the spare on order is good in the event that I botch my attempt at saving the warped lever.
    And thank you for the tip Michael, I too recall seeing that video but didn't think of it until you mentioned it. Will be sure to check it out. Thank you to everyone for the feedback,
  8. Morgan, the M3 is completely different.
    Better & safer than prying with a screwdriver while mounted to the body; it's best to remove the knob unit, put it on a flat sturdy surface, and gently give it a hammering. Rubber mallet and wooden punch is prefered.
    "Bigger problem, get a bigger hammer" Just love that quote...
  9. Here is the link to the youtube video showing Leica M6 top plate removal:
    First two minutes show how to remove the rewind crank. I think removing the crank and hammering with a mallet to form it back to original shape is worth trying.
    Good luck!
  10. In 1975 my crank broke on an M4 I had at the time. I sent to Leica for a replacement and it cost $18. It was a black chrome M4 and maybe that was more than the regular chrome part. I thought that was a fortune at the time for such a small part. But I was able to fix it myself very easily.
  11. OMG, that video made me laugh and cringe at same time.
    1. Always remove the battery first.
    2. Take the strap off.
    3. Get a bigger than postage stamp protective pad under the camera.
    4. Don't use a screw driver in place of a spanner tool.
    5. Use tape in the area where you're going to be appling any of the clamp wrenches.
    6. DON'T slip at all when using any of the tools. Do what ever it takes !
    7. It's a rewind fork on the inside and a knob on the outside.
    This kid certainly meant well and was informative, but his technique is very common for techs who weren't mentored by someone who knows what a perfectionist Leica owner demands in a returning repair...
  12. DAG camera has the rewind knobs for $70 or $80, depending on the color (black of silver), this is about half what Leica charges for the same parts.
  13. Thank you for that tip Jeff, will definatley look into DAG camera - Especially considering it's been a few days now since I e-mailed the Leica repair center in Denmark my inquiry about purchasing a part from them.
  14. Jeff, I don't think what you say is correct, I remember calling Leica USA prior to Leica UK and I was quoted $89 for the part. It is about the same with your DAG prices, but more expensive than Leica UK.
  15. I've had this happen to myself. Just hope that it didn't bend the shaft that the knob turns on.
    What you do is:
    Flip open the lever arm and locate the very small phillips-head screw. Loosen that, no need to unscrew.
    Get a flathead screwdriver now and place it in the top center of the knob. The threads to remove it are REVERSE THREAD, so the "righty tighty" rule turns into the "righty loosey" rule.
    Either hold the knob still and rotate the screwdriver, or hold the screwdriver and rotate the knob.
    This should get the knob off, and you should be able to rewind the film with a screwdriver after this. Then in turn determine whether or not the shaft is bent. If the shaft is bent, this could end up in costly repairs. If it isn't, then all you have to do is order a new one and replace it.
  16. The shaft isn't bent, I actually managed to rewind the film I had in the camera with the warped knob still on - Oddly enough without it marring the paint of the camera body, only the paint of the warped knob was marred. I got the knob off by following the M6 disassembly video linked above... I have also e-mailed both Leica Denmark (or rather the company responsible for Leica sales in Scandinavia) and Leica UK asking for quotes on a spare rewind knob, or indeed, if one compatible with the M4-P is availible. I am living with the hope that the ones currently used on M7's and MP's are the same as mine. When I order a new one I will take my brand new rubber mallet to the old rewind knob to see if I can make it straight.
    What worries me a bit is that the washers underneath the rewind knob have also been warped, but those should be alot easier to flatten out.
  17. Leica UK just got back to me with a quote on the rewind crank which fits all Leica M's with angled rewinds - 26£, a decent price by any standard.
  18. It's actually, "Righty Tighty and Lefty Loosey" but I get your inference.
    Reverse thread is just that, there isn't a reminder rhyme for it.
  19. Morgan,
    I think washers in my camera were bent too, it should be a design feature for providing springy-ness. If I were you I wouldn't try flattening them. Leica UK should be able to ship them out to Denmark, too. I was impressed with their professionalism and courtesy at three different occasions before.
    Good luck!
  20. Almost 10 years ago I sent my m6 for a faulty lightmeter to Leica (France) for repair. They fixed it but also managed to replace the rewind crank which had a very very minor bump (no practial effect), there was no way I could ask it to be left alone. I do not remember he price but it was stiff, (not to mention the business practice...). Official answer to my protest was "we must ensure the camera is reurned to you in 100% operational condition"as if a bent lever would prevent its use. Well well....
  21. Old thread, but I have updated info as of Nov 14, 2011. Dropped my M6 Black classic the other day and smashed the heck out of the thing. Tried to return to natural shape and had a hard time. They really are made like crap these days. I emailed Leica parts dept at Got a quoted price of $85.95 for a replacement (this is from the service center in NJ, USA. Someone else commented about this and said that DAG was a good source. I'm getting an old M4 Chrome replacement from them for $70. It will be mismatched, yes, but I don't mind. Esp considering the old m4's had brass rewind knobs (much tougher).

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