V-M 1232 record changer restoration

I've been restoring the V-M 1232 record changer from the V-M 307 portable stereo phonograph that I've been restoring. I purchased a reprint of the 1201 basic changer service manual and Gary Stork's Basic Record Changer Restoration and Lubrication Guide from V-M Audio Enthusiasts. Gary's restoration guide was very helpful. I needed to refer to the service manual to locate the parts mentioned in the restoration guide, so I recommend obtaining both documents.


Here's the changer removed from its base. The first step is to remove the platter.


Remove the idler wheel. I took plenty of photographs to aid in reassembly.


The first step in removing the idler is to pop off the C-clip.


Remove the washer and the idler wheel from its shaft.


Remove the clip ...


... and the wavy washer from the cam gear shaft.


I used naptha and a rag to clean up the old grease and oil.


On the bottom, remove the screw holding the ejector bracket onto the baseplate ...


... and remove the ejector bracket ...


... and the push rod. 

Put your hand over the hole for the push rod and turn the baseplate right-side-up. A ball bearing should fall out into your hand. Remove the turntable platter washers and bearing from the well on the top of the baseplate. (Sorry, didn't take a photo of that step.) Clean up the old grease from the bearings and the well.


Back to the bottom of the baseplate. Remove the two screws on either side of the tangs holding the slide to the frame assembly.


Push the shutoff lever down into the slot in the slide.


Take lots of photos of how everything fits under the slide.




Remove the screw holding the slide bearing ...


... and remove it.



Unhook the spring from the post on the cam gear.



Now work the slide out. I cleaned the old grease and oil off with naptha as I removed each part. 


Here's what's under the slide.


The cam gear shaft was frozen in. I had to soak the shaft with naptha from the top of the baseplate. After it wicked in a bit, I was able to loosen the shaft and pull the cam gear.


Clean the cam gear throroughly.


Clean the old sticky grease out of the bearing for the cam gear shaft.


Remove the screw holding the 7" lever onto its mounting boss on the frame ...


... and remove the screws holding the retard assembly onto the frame.


Now remove the retard assembly.


Then remove the shut-off lever assembly.


Now remove the C-clip and springs from the lift pin. I couldn't figure out how to remove the anti-skating spring. I applied too much force trying to get it free and launched it across the workshop. Fortunately Gary Stork of V-M Audio Enthusiasts can supply replacement springs. Move the tone arm aside and let the lift pin drop from the top of the baseplate. 


Remove the retard lever from the finger and shaft assembly. Remove the 7" lever and clear out the grease well under it.


I removed the on-off-reject knob so I could clean under it.


The speed control knob has to come off ...


... so that the nut can be removed from the control shaft. 


Then remove the two screws also holding the motor plate assembly to the baseplate.


Remove the motor plate assembly from the baseplate.


Pull the three C-clips holding the motor to the motor plate.



At first, I missed the motor mount at the top of this photo. It's normally covered by the spring-loaded lever just below it in the photo.


Remove the motor from the motor plate.


Remove the old motor mounts from the motor plate. Gary Stork at V-M has new replacements.


Take note of how the motor bearings are assembled.


Now remove the screws holding the lower bearing ...


... and pull the bearing from the motor shaft. I cleaned up the bearing with naptha and a Q-tip.


Flip over the motor and remove the nuts holding the upper bearing retaining frame.


Remove the bearing and rotor from the motor. You can't remove the bearing from the shaft without pulling the stepped shaft, so just clean the bearing with the shaft in place. 

Take note of the direction of the rotor in the stator. Reassemble it in the same direction or your motor will run backward.


I put both bearings in a jar of naptha and left them overnight.


The next day the naptha had dissolved much of the old oil from the oilite bearings. Note how yellow the naptha is now. I took the bearings out  to dry. I'll re-oil them when I reassemble the motor.


I reassembled the motor.



I used lots of turbine oil to soak the felt pads in the bearing cups. It took a while to get them filled, one drop at a time.


I received the new motor mounts and a replacement anti-skating spring from V-M Audio Enthusiasts. I gave Gary a bit of trouble on the spring. 

I didn't get a good look at the anti-skate spring before it escaped into the wilds of my workshop, but I was under the impression that it was a conical torsion spring with little right-angle bends at the ends of the spring wire that fit into holes in the mounting. When Gary sent the replacement spring, it looked like a conical compression spring just like the lift pin spring. I went to the egg carton containing all the parts I had removed and found what I thought was the lift pin spring, and it looked identical with what Gary had sent. So I emailed him saying he'd sent the wrong part (they have adjacent V-M part numbers) and returned the part to him.

Gary received the returned part about the same time I got the replacement he'd sent in the mail. Sure enough, the replacement was identical to the first one. It turns out that when the anti-skate spring had taken flight, it landed in the egg carton where I was carefully binning the parts as I removed them. That's why I couldn't find it when I searched the workshop! And when I went to compare against the lift pin spring, I happened to pick up the lost anti-skate spring, so I thought Gary had sent the wrong part!

So, I started re-assembling the changer.


First I installed the replacement motor mounts.


Then I used the C-clips ...


... to secure the motor in the mount. Note that this post uses the smaller C-clip,


while the other two posts use the large C-clips.


There's a spring that puts tension on the pivoted arm that holds the idler wheel; V-M calls it an idler spring. I had to disconnect one end during disassembly, and after that it kept falling off the motor mount and I'd have to go hunt for it.


I used some spring tools and dental picks ...


... to reinstall the spring.


Then I reinstalled the motor on the frame of the changer.


That darn spring came loose again.


I reconnected the speed change linkage.

I then reinstalled the lift pin, the anti-skate spring, the lift pin spring, and the C-clip that keeps everything together on the lift pin.


Next I reinstalled the reset lever and the 7 inch lever, with a good helping of grease in the grease-well under the 7 inch lever.


There's a spring that goes under the reset lever; it fits into a little cup in the casting. There's also supposed to be a spring under the 7 inch lever; I don't remember installing it. Maybe that's why the mechanism brings the tone arm too far in :-)


Next I reinstalled the shut-off level and the retard assembly.


I reinstalled the cam gear ...


... and the C-clip on top that holds the cam gear shaft in place.


I then reinstalled the slide assembly. The lubrication guide from V-M Audio Enthusiasts was well worth the money.


It's a bit tricky getting all the levers back in between the slide assembly.  


Oops, I had somehow lost the escape lever spring from the slide assembly. So another interruption while I wait for Gary to send the part.


You have to compress the spring quite a bit to get it back in place. Don't lose it!


All done!

Now reinstall the turntable and spindle, and any other pieces left over.

I completed the cabinet work and then put the changer back in the cabinet and reinstalled the restored electronics. Time for the smoke test.

The changer hangs up in mid-cycle, but seems to rotate the record at the right speed. I guess that means I need to get a restored idler. It also seems to think that my 12 inch LP is a 10 inch record.

There's also an oscillation at about 1 to 2 kHz in the amplifier; I guess I didn't get all the wires back in the right place when I reassembled the two halves. So the saga will continue.

© Steve Byan 2011-2019