Olympus XA rewind knob issue

Discussion in 'Olympus' started by adamflynn, May 24, 2020.

  1. I recently replaced the rewind shaft on my XA after one of the “feet” of the shaft broke off while rewinding a roll. I have two questions regarding this repair:

    1. The rewind knob and shaft are loose, and when the lens cover is closed, and the camera is turned upside down, the knob and shaft will “fall out” until they are stopped by the “feet” inside the film cassette chamber. I can’t remember if this was the case with the original rewind knob, or if there should be something holding the knob in the top of the camera body when upside down.

    2. A small metal washer/ring was removed when I took out the broken film rewind shaft. It was bent so that the last quarter of the metal before the “break” in the ring was bent outwards. I tried my best to bend it back into a round ring, with the two ends of the metal meeting up. I then wrapped it into the groove on the top end of the rewind shaft, assuming it was meant to keep the shaft from falling into the camera if you removed the rewind knob via the screw visible when the knob is lifted up.

    Was the bent shape the correct shape of the ring, or was I correct to bend it back into a circle? It doesn’t stay in the groove I placed it in, so as of right now I don’t think it’s serving a purpose.

    Thanks for your time if you’re reading this, and look forward to your expertise!
  2. I don't dare to take mine apart but the rewind knob requires some force to pull it up. So it would not fall out when you have the camera upside down.
  3. Hi Bebu, thanks for your reply!

    I will correct myself, The shaft and knob doesn’t fall completely out, it is stopped by the feet of the shaft. But there is loose play between it sitting in the normal position and to the point where you would pull up on the knob to open the camera back. I’ll attach a video.
    Is this normal, and if not how do i fix it?

  4. m42dave

    m42dave Dave E.

    It is not normal for the rewind shaft/knob assembly to slip like that. Many cameras have a split ring/clip with a spring-loaded ball bearing or similar arrangement that keeps the rewind shaft from slipping (or keeps it in the "up" position when you remove the film cassette). The camera may still be usable like this, though.

    Matt Denton's site has a PDF of the service manual for this camera, with exploded views that show all the parts and their orientation:

    Last edited: May 24, 2020
  5. It's not normal. I suspect the washer was meant to be curved, not straight. However I doubt it will affect the operation of the camera - the problem might be light leaking down the loosened shaft but it seems unlikely. Perhaps try and work a little grease into the shaft to damp its movement. You might also try and get a cheap or broken XA1 or XA2 to practice on and get a new washer from - assuming their rewind assembly is the same. But beware, some sellers "accidentally" describe these as the more desirable original XA.

    Your video is making me feel dizzy.
  6. Thanks for your reply! I’d been staring at the exploded diagrams but apparently i’m not as mechanically inclined as I need to be. I believe the part I bent back into a circle split ring is part CA 873500 (spring), but I’m not quite sure where it goes in relation to the R Fork CE 317200 (which I’ve been wrongly calling the shaft until now).

    There are also parts CE318500 (R Fork Stopper), CE305200 (M Key Spring 1), and CE317600 (R Spring) which seem to be missing, unless they are between the top plate of the camera (which I haven’t removed) and the camera body. The R Spring seems to me to be the piece that would fit over the R Fork, which would prevent the loose play shown in the dizzying video. It’s possible that I lost the spring when I opened the camera after it broke, or maybe it ended up in the roll of film that I was rewinding when I broke it.

    Does it seem reasonable to install the R Fork with a spring over it to prevent the play when upside down? And if so, any suggestions on where to get a small spring that could work? Ebay didn’t turn up any results for any parts I’ve mentioned in this reply.

  7. Thanks for your reply, John. You’re right, I may have to resort to getting another camera for parts, since even the R Fork took a while to come up on eBay. I see people in forums that find XA’s or similar models for around $10 USD for parts, but online it seems to be up around the $70 mark. Sorry for the effect of the video! Hope you’ve recovered.
    John Seaman likes this.
  8. That is not normal. As I said it needs some force to pull it up so it won't fall like that when you put the camera upside down.
  9. Yep, this is what's missing or worn out. The Fork Stopper is the only part that holds the spindle in place when the spindle is down, and provides friction to hold the spindle in other positions, it clicks into the groove at the top of the spindle. When the spindle is pulled back up, the Fork (circlip by another name) springs outwards from the groove by the force of the spindle being pulled upwards. I just screwed the winding knob off my XA parts camera to study what goes on with it. There's some dry grease still in the spindle groove, and it pulls up and pushes back down normally, but the spindle alone can't be pushed right down into the film chamber, something is stopping it, it may be the Fork acting as a "non-return" in the other direction, or something else may be stopping the spindle moving further down.

    The mechanism will need to be replaced by a good one, one that has that definite clicking action of the Fork Stopper.

    This spring is for the rear door lock.
  10. Here's what happened. At some point, the film was rewound into the cassette by rotating the rewind knob counter-clockwise, instead of clockwise. This puts excessive stress on the plastic parts, fracturing the collar and bending the spring that keeps the shaft from sliding freely in and out. (You're lucky that one of the legs of the rewind shaft didn't break, or even the knob itself!) The spring has (had) a flat side/end that goes into a slot in the collar and rests against the shaft to keep it in place. The original steel parts were replaced by all plastic parts not long into production, and were not interchangeable. We (at Olympus) ran out of plastic parts decades ago. The only source of replacements was donor bodies, at least for those of us who still worked on them.
    charles_escott_new likes this.

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