My jukebox world seems to be mainly one of bits recently. The Lyric is in bits waiting for chrome as I slowly dismantle the mech down to its base plate. It is an interesting but complicated business, a lot harder than an upright mechanism, which is why hardly anyone will ever bother to do it. The W2500 is in bits waiting metalwork as I slowly service each part ready to put back together. The Tele-disc is waiting for the amp. And the Rock-Ola regis is in bits waiting for metal polishing and....one day I will get round to working on it. But when the metalwork does come back, the reassambly is the fun part because everything looks so pristine.
Lyric flat mech, being stripped to its bones for repainting.
W2500 base plate freshly painted and waiting reassembly.
I have been nibbling away at a W2500 for restoration inbetween doing up a Lyric F and saving the planet etc. I stripped it to its cabinet and sent the metalwork away for polishing and chrome. The estimated time for doing the metalwork is 3 months! They certainly don't seem to be having problems with a recession. 3 months wait!
I also found a mysterious lever on the Tele-disc which hinges up. I wonder if that is for the lid?
I have found that the whole mechanism tilts upwards on hinges at the back but you have to clamp the mechanism down to a frame underneath first. Whatever method was used is now missing but I have made a couple of clamps and can lift it up. Underneath is a totally useless compressed air strut like on a hatch back door so I am having to prop it up with a piece of wood to work on it.
Amusing anecdote of the week: I went to a callout for a Rock-ola which sounded like a simple problem with a microswitch on the cam. When I got there things were not doing what I expected. "Tell me what happened exactly," I asked. "Oh it is hard to remember," he said. "It was seven years ago."
I have an interesting new juke just in for repair. A Wurlitzer Tele-Disc made in 1983. The smoked perspex dome actually gives it a 60s look but it is very impressive and a lot bigger than I thought when looking at pictures. The mechanics are the same as the electronic vinyl jukeboxes of the period so that doesn't hold any fears but I wonder how the lid is supposed to be held up? No support struts. Plus the electronics is hidden underneath somewhere.
I also got to play with a Wurlitzer 2000 this week. I have had the privelege of restoring two of them but it was several years ago so I haven't seen one close up for some time. I still think they are impressive but those page turners are very unreliable. In fact they became such a problem that in later models the operators replaced them with an ugly static title rack which was so large it covered most of the visible mechanism.
I finally got the gear assembly back in place and the whole mechanism in the box. But the gearing is the least of my problems. Because it was adapted to 45 rpm the tone arm settings are completely wrong and there seems to have been some creative adjusting taken place to allow it to play 45s in the first place. I now have to work out what is missing and what was never the way it is now.
The W1100 must have been a wonderful machine when it was new and all tuned up. The mechanism is as robust as a steam engine and about as dangerous if you get your fingers in amongst it all.
Painted the base plate. Dismantled and serviced the selector drum and keyboard. Grill and speakers painted and then the whole thing reassembled with the fully serviced amp. Just need to make a cashbox door and give it a full test and it is done.
I am doing a full refurbishment of a Wurlitzer Lyic F. I have done three of these in the last few months so it is quite relaxing. It is all in one piece and doesn't need rechroming so it is just a case of stripping everything down and make it it clean, repainting it and servicing the various mechanical parts, selector drum, keyboard etc.
It looks a bit mildewy and full of muck but they all do when I get them so that doesn't bother me at all. When you see the end result you will see how nicely it comes out. So first thing to do is break it down. The arch comes off...
This week I will mostly be doing.....the restoration of a Wurlitzer Lyric F...but I also have on the go a refurb of a Rock-Ola Tempo 1 and a Wurlitzer 1100.
This is the mechanism from a W1100. I had to remove the gear set because the customer wants it converting back from 45rpm to 78 rpm. It is an absolute dog to get out like some sort of Chinese puzzle. It will be 'fun' trying to get it back in again.
The gear on the right is the main drive and the one on the left is the turntable drive, so to make the turntable go at 78 rpm instead of 45 rpm that left gear needs changing. Unfortunately in order to do that you need to get the pin out of the righthand gear and it has decided that it is definitely not going to move for anyone. I have had to take it to an engineering company who can get the pin out without damaging the gears or the casting (I hope!).
I have also been putting together a Rock-Ola Tempo I and servicing the various parts as I go. The selector drum needed taking apart, then each pin needs to be cleaned individually and the whole thing put back together and thoroughly testing. It can take about 8 hours and even more if one selection wont work and it all needs taking apart again.
The Tempo I is on hold as the amplifier decided to go into nuclear meltdown and had to go away for repair.
Welcome to The Jukebox Doctor's new blog. It might take me some time to get the hang of all the whistles and bells, putting photos up and such, but I'll see what I can do.
I repair and restore vintage jukeboxes made by Wurlitzer and Rock-Ola from about 1954 upwards. I also have a lot of experience of the Wurlitzer One More Time jukebox which is still being made today.
I will do callout repairs if they are within 50 miles