M4 stiff rewind

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by george_daneliya, Apr 21, 2010.

  1. Just bought my first M - chrome M4. And encountered a problem - film rewind is really stiff. I do afraid to kill the rewind crank, so much tension I need to rewind the film.
    When I push the lever in the front of the camera, the shutter disengages properly (the sprocket cylinder turns freely). Also the rewind crank turns freely as it should, when the camera is not loaded. However, I noticed that the take up spool (tulip) is quite stiff and needs significant effort to be turned in the direction of the film rewind (the shutter is disengaged, of course). Probably this is the reason.
    Is there a way to decrease tension of the take-up spool by DIY? If not, do anybody know a reputable repairmen in Tokyo, who can help?
    Thank you in advance!
  2. Um.. are you really sure you've got the film wind release turned on? I won't go into how I discovered this point....
    If the stiffness persists for more than four hours, see a camera repairman immediately.
  3. Whenever I bought a "new" vintage camera, I've sent it to do a good CLA, to a very good expert. M4 deserves a good hands. I live in Barcelona (Spain) and all my Leica cameras and lenses, I have sent they to Golden Touch (Sherry) -Golden Touch, 118 Purgatory Road, Campbell Hall, New York 10916-2616.-
  4. I had a problem like this with an M2. Heavy rewind. Sent it in for a CLA through Motomachi Camera and it is now golden.
  5. Yes, sound like the camera needs a good Cleaning, Lubrication, and Adjustment. I don't know where you are but Sherry Krauter is the persion I go to for this service.
  6. The irony is that the camera was bought in Ex condition in the reputable shop, and was sent to the reputable repairmen for the CLA directly from the shop, and came to me with this problem... In all other respects the camera operates well.
    To JDM von Weinberg: Yes, I'm sure. My understanding is that if I pushed the R lever in front of the camera, and the cylinder with sprockets (sorry, don't know proper English name for it) inside the camera may be turned freely that means the shutter is disengaged, or should be disengaged, at least. I suppose, if the shutter was not disengaged, I would probably tear my film when trying to rewind it. But that didn't happen, and the film is ok. And I actually sacrified a roll of film to see what is happening inside the camera, when I rewind the film.
    To Alex: Motomachi camera is in Tokyo?
  7. George it looks like this is your first M. I cannot currently check how freely the tulip spins in my M6, but since this M4 has had a CLA, are your sure there is even a problem? The rewind crank has enormous leverage on my OMs and on the Nikon F3 in the house, but the M rewind crank rewinding is a much harder job, especially at the start and at the end. Sometimes with the other cameras I worry that there is no film at all it's so easy.
  8. The M4 utilizes something like a dozen different types of lubricants! And it sounds like one of yours needs replacing. Remember that these cameras ended their production run 36 years ago. Their mechanisms should be gone over about every 10-20 years depending on usage.
    There may be a Leica repair shop closer to you than Sherry K's, but there likely isn't a better one.
  9. From my recent experience, it could be a problem elsewhere in the camera. As others said, send it in for a CLA.
  10. Remembering an M6 I had, if the film spool was not perfectly positioned I sometimes had this problem.
  11. George, this tulip with very little effort, should dissipate/slip as you hold it with your finger while charging the advance. The rewind lever/button has no effect on the "tulip" take-up.
    If it is rough or tight against you finger, then it's possible that you have corrosion, failed lubricant or it's missing the (sometimes there) slip washer.
    It's very easy to remove the "tulip" take-up for inspection by using a proper screw driver. Large parts such as a heavy spring etc. will be loose, so always use commonsense & logic when in DYI mode...
  12. Guys, thanks for your replies!
    Gus, that is exactly the answer I hoped to get. Many thanks! The tullip sits there very tight and it is not easy to turn it with a finger. Some questions:
    1. Should I unscrew the screw which holds the tullip clockwise or counter-clockwise? (just, I remember, it was really important not to try wrong direction with zorky cameras...)
    2. Should I unscrew the tullip with advanced shutter or it does not matter?
    3. What sort of lubricant should be used?
    4. If there is no washer, should I instal any?
    Many thanks in advance!
  13. Where did you buy a camera? If it's a place like Map Camera or Lemonsha, I am sure they will take care of it for you, or even let you exchange it for a different camera.
  14. George,
    1. Counter-clockwise
    2. Advanced, so it can be more stable as you loosen it.
    3. After a good cleaning of both joining surfaces, I use a thin film of synthetic 5w-20W motor oil like Mobil 1, this on the polished surface that you'll see when the "tulip" is out of the way.
    4. If it doesn't have one, then no washer, but later you can acquire the "new version" factory silicon pad washer from Leica.
    When you're done, tell us if it worked out...

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