Opening a Corroded Battery Compartment on K1000

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by william_roberts|4, Jul 9, 2010.

  1. Hello, I just got a K1000 SE and some lenses. I was trying to put a new battery in the body, but it seems like the compartment is corroded shut. Rather than wrestling with it and messing up the body, is there any way to open it, maybe some cleaner or something that won't mess up the body?
    Also, is there a source for the tiny screws that tighten up the focus ring on lenses?
    Thanks for your help!!
  2. How about removing the bottom plate, battery cap and all. Tht would allow you to acces it with different tools. And even buy a bottom plate in better ccondition.
  3. Hi William,
    Generally for corroded battery caps I set the camera upside down and either let a drop of Ronsonol lighter fluid or WD-40 drip around the cap and sit overnight. Usually helps.
  4. Unscrew the bottom plate like Charles recommended. Then, use some lemon juice or vinegar on a cotton swab to clean up the
    battery spillage. Use penetrating lube like PB Blaster as a last resort.
  5. If the battery has been in there a long time it might have expanded a bit thus jamming the cover. In cases like that we have had to apply heat with a soldering iron to make the metal expand a bit or, if that didn't work, grind through the rest of the slot so a proper screw driver could be inserted and spin off the cap.
  6. Thanks everyone for your help, I ended up taking off the bottom plate and using some cleaner to loosen up the battery cover. So now I have to get a battery and test the camera out... might have to sell one of my other cameras so I can keep this one......
    PN is one of the most useful websites...
  7. Tom Cheshire , Jul 09, 2010; 08:25 p.m. wrote: "If the battery has been in there a long time it might have expanded a bit thus jamming the cover. In cases like that we have had to apply heat with a soldering iron to make the metal expand a bit..."
    Tom, really?
    I'm no expert, but I have seen many battery packages with a strong warning against tossing depleted batteries into a fire.
    Heating the camera's battery cover (thus, the battery beneath it) with a soldering iron seems like a not-so-good idea.

  8. There's heat, and then there's heat. Tom's talking about warming it up a little bit - just enough to get the metal to expand slightly. He's not talking about hitting it with a blow torch.
  9. Batteries usually 'explode' in a fire due to the boiling of the electrolyte and the issuance of steam. If the battery has leaked, it's probably all dry and when 'cooked', no steam just roasted cell is the probable result.
    The typical electrolyte used in mercury batteries was either sodium or potassium hydroxide. Thus, using an acidic solution will aid in the dissolution of the 'hoarfrost'.
    Leakage also plays havoc with copper wires. I've fixed some older rangefinders wherein the wires drew up the electrolyte (capillary action perhaps) from the battery holder and slowly had dissolved over time.
    We all know we should remove batteries from stored equipment, but I dare say we seldom do. I'm guilty.
  10. Well, okay, Frank.
    If the cover loosens before the battery explodes, a beginning repairman will know he hasn't warmed it too much.
    On the other hand...
    "It will explode, it has happened to me."
  11. Good luck with your camera, I got the same about a month ago and love it.
  12. The K1000 (thankfully) doesn't use a Mercuric Oxide battery. It uses a "76" cell, either Manganese Alkaline or Silver Oxide (best).
    Removing the bottom plate and soaking in vinegar seems best to me.
  13. Yeah, what Jim Momary said...
  14. FWIW-
    I had a battery cover quite firmly corroded in place on a Spotmatic. The problem was exerting sufficent torque on the cover to have it come free. I wasn't able to do this with the coin slot.
    I removed it by drilling two small holes in the battery cover near the outer edge. I then inserted two finishing nails to act as pins and applied some WD40 around the circumference of the cover. After about a twenty minute wait, I slipped a slender screwdriver between the "pins" and used it as a lever to twist off the cover. It came right off for me. I was able to clean the threads on the cover and reuse it.
    I did this with the bottom plate on the camera - one might have to do something like this even if the cover is off the camera.(Use a hand drill to make the holes, not a high speed electric drill)
  15. It might be more cost-effective to use a separate meter or none.
  16. Thanks everyone for your responses. What I ended up doing was taking the bottom plate off and soaking the battery cover with lemon juice and then there are two notches on the inside of the battery cover that needle nose pliers fit into snugly and then loosened it up that way. I think I need to clean the battery compartment and check the wiring because the meter isnt working. Thanks again for all the suggestions!!

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