FE Repair Help! - Winder lever prob

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by philip_wagner, Dec 8, 2008.

  1. My FE (Serial 3971616, so it's an old guy...) is having a winder lever problem. Wondering if there is a quick DIY, or if I need to send it in for a repair.
    More often than not, the winder lever gets to the end of it's range of motion, advances the film properly, but then doesn't return to "lock" in the "film has advanced, meter on" position - it just continues to be able to be moved as if to advance the film. The shutter release button doesn't unlock to allow an exposure when this happens. Occasionally I can move the winder lever back and forth to release the problem, but there isn't any reproducible motion I can make with the winder arm to solve the problem (or I wouldn't be writing in here!)
    This happens with or without film in the camera, on any shutter speed, and doesn't seem to be an electrical problem - seems to be something mechanical with the lever arm.
    If there's no DIY fix, can you recommend someone reliable in New York City to take the camera to for the repair?
    Thanks in advance.
  2. It's likely to be a problem with the levers, springs and cams under the baseplate. However, if you have not opened this area to see how everything works when everything is functioning properly, it's sort of difficult to figure out what is amiss when things aren't functioning properly.
    I'll include a couple of photos from an FE2 (similar, if not identical mechanicals) that had a similar problem (I could wind multiple frames without releasing the shutter). That might help, but beyond that I can't offer any suggestions.
    Before shutter charge/film advance ...
  3. And after shutter charge/film advance ...
  4. With respect, just get another one. They're so cheap and plentiful that repair cost would probably exceed the price+shipping on a "new" oldie. The last one I recently bought in nice shape was about $50, as was a clean F90x(N90s).
  5. This sounds like what I just experienced with a FA-I posted a thread about my "fix", such as it is.
    Anyway, if you look at this picture that Michael Freeman posted, where the wind crank is (I don't know the proper terminology-it's the big round piece with the slot cut in it, the "B" lever connects to it) at about 6 o' clock you will see a small metal pawl with a spring attached. In my FA, that pawl was catching and holding the wind crank thingy and not letting it snap back as it should, so I spent a bit of time stoning the face before I decided the heck with it and left it out. Now my FA winds and cocks without having to fool with the wind lever, but if you short stroke it, it doesn't cock the shutter and you have to start over from the beginning-I'm thinking it might waste a frame or 2 of film but not sure if there would be any other effects.
    Something to try-when the wind lever gets to the end, let it snap back. You may have to snap it a couple of times, when it is ready to play nice you can hear a "zittt" sound.
    Keep in mind that I am not a qualified service personnel on cameras-I am a qualified service personnel on big honking color photo copiers and I like to tinker with hopeless devices so those are my sole qualifications. Hope this helps.

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