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Leicaflex SL2 - Light Meter Battery Contact Repair - Unable to Remove Bottom Casing


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Hi there,

I am attempting to repair the battery terminal for the light meter on my SL2, which corroded and snapped off some years ago. I have seen a repair video for the same issue on an SL model on YouTube  and it certainly looks achievable: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXSjrAUj0EQ

I am having trouble removing the bottom casing though. After removing the 2 screws and either end of the body, it's clear it is still fastened in the middle, however there is no drive hole to unscrew inside the tripod mount. It's possible that it has been stripped off if it's soft aluminium. I have attempted with a Robertson bits and Hex bits and there is nothing in there to grip - but I can also see that there is nothing to grip....

Is it different between the SL and SL2... or if it has been stripped, is there any other way to remove the screw/cover?

Thanks in advance...

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Any chance there's a bit of metal that got pressed in by a tripod screw covering the drive socket? I doubt if Leitz would have used a soft metal like aluminum for that part, and it doesn't look stripped in your photo.

You might check with Don at DAG for ideas, and he may have a replacement part if you have to destroy the socket to remove it.

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Check eBay item# 312832975328 for pictures of the inside of the bottom cover. As you can see, there are threads on the protruding part where the tripod threads are visible from the outside of the cover. To remove the cover from the camera, first remove the two screws at the outside corners, then loosen the nut inside the tripod screw. Note this "nut" is a small square hollow about 2.5 mm or so on each side on the undamaged part. Yours seems to be stripped, probably by someone using the wrong tool. This special nut is actually right hand threaded (you can see that in the eBay pictures), so you must unscrew it clockwise since it is the female part you're driving off the male thread which is on the inside of the bottom cover. Think of it like a valve stem cap on your automobile tire that you have to remove from the perspective of inside the valve stem.

Ideally, you can find or make something that will fit the original square drive area without slipping so you can remove the special nut. Take the camera to a hardware store and see if you can find some square driver tool that fits tightly, or modify a slightly larger one by filing a taper at the end of it. If successful, this would be a  mostly non-destructive method of removal.

If the square inside is completely stripped, I'd probably try using a Dremel tool and a small burr to carve slots for either a screwdriver or maybe a hex key in the area where the square should be. I would then file a suitable tool to fit my carved slots and try to gently turn clockwise to remove the special nut. This would be a destructive method of removal. 

You would want to find an undamaged special nut to use when putting the camera back together.

Good luck!

Neal 

Edited by nbgronlie
Original suggestion was incorrect.
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Thank you @AndreasG and @nbgronlie for this information.

It is good to know others have experienced and overcome this issue. The drive is definitely completely stripped. I have drilled a slot and added some oil to lubricate the special screw... but unfortunately it a combination of tightened too much and the aluminium is too soft. The slot is becoming wider with use of the screwdriver, but not budging at all. Initially I tried drilling 2 holes on opposite sides of the hole and then using 2 nails inside the holes as a 'screw bit', but the nails bent.

Perhaps it is like this because someone did not know they were meant to loosen it clockwise and instead tightened it and stripped it at the same time.

I'm not sure which route to take now. Will be keeping my eye open for a spare to salvage parts from.

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