Thread Number: 36167  /  Tag: 50s/60s/70s Vacuum Cleaners
Need help to fix cord reel on SuperJ
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Post# 387796   3/11/2018 at 21:30 (197 days old) by quebecois (Quebec, Canada)        

Well, well, when I thought I was at the end of a short and successfull process of rewinding my cord tighter so it goes in completely and quickly, I probably was a bit too much enthusiastic pulling the cord out and the spring underneath the reel partially popped out.

I then removed the small small ring and washer to be able to pull the reel out , but for some reason it doesn't want to come out. I don't want to pull to hard because one side of the reel is already cracked.

Any help will be appreciated.


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Post# 387877 , Reply# 1   3/12/2018 at 19:17 (196 days old) by rowdy141 (United Kingdom)        

Hi François,
Firstly I'd say I'm no expert, so I may be totally wrong, but I have rewound & reassembled the winder of an Electrolux and a few clocks and clockwork-motors.

We have special winding-jigs for mounting clock springs. You have to be VERY CAREFUL that the spring doesn't fly open and injure you. More-so with these. They're fast, sharp, and forceful. Wear eye protection and gloves!

Has the spring become detached at the inner core? A worn fixing-point on the inner spindle perhaps? A distorted/wonky spool would lose its ability to keep the spring flat and contain it. If yours is already damaged/cracked, that could be the cause.
You have no-doubt tried winding it up tighter, so I'd suggest pulling the spool off squarely as you would in removing a bearing.

Insert two thin wooden discs of plywood/metal/strong plastic or similar - one to hold the spring down - the other to exert even lifting pressure on the whole spool, preventing it from flexing/breaking while you gently lift it a little. You should be able to see what's occurring before you pull too far.

Restrain the main body of spring while working. Use cable-ties or strong wire twists to bind the wound portion, preventing fly-out.

The inner face of the spool is probably the gliding surface that the spring rides against. A distorted spool will fail to keep the spring contained flat. That needs addressing. Perhaps adding a thin flat disk between Spool and Coil?
Repair the crack. Sand the spool flat. Polish it smooth on the inside surface.

Lubricate the wound coil when done. So that tension is even across the whole length of spring, not putting tension at only one point.
Cut the ties/wire at the last minute during re-assembly.


Post# 387882 , Reply# 2   3/12/2018 at 20:14 (196 days old) by quebecois (Quebec, Canada)        

Hey Rowdy! Thanks for your answer, specially the safety advice.

I attached another picture to help you understand what's going on. I just noticed that the spring is still attached to the fixing-point of the inner spool. The problem seems to be the other fixing-point (arrow on the picture). I don't have a clue where it attaches to.

WHen you talk about two plywood discs, did you mean two half-discs, one of each side of the spool, one to hold down the spring and the other one to pry up at the spool? I'm not sure I understand what you mean.



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Post# 387891 , Reply# 3   3/12/2018 at 21:40 (196 days old) by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

madman's profile picture
The way we remove a car's blower fan blade is to have an assistant firmly but gently hold the spool (or blade on a blower) - with two hands like they're choking somebody, (around the inside center part of the spool, where it's still strong, don't hold it by the thin disc-like outer portions of the spool, they will easily break), while you take a medium-small hammer and tap on the center shaft with firm even strokes that should be just forceful enough to get the shaft to move a little bit at a time, but gentle enough to not damage/mushroom the end of the shaft.

You should definitely follow rowdy's safety advice though. That spring will go flying when it all pops apart and it will hurt somebody if you don't take any precautions. Zipties are a good idea, put a couple of zipties around different parts of the spring (where ever you're able) to bind it to itself, but also while you're separating it, make sure you or a third person is FIRMLY holding that spring. Don't use pliers or anything that will scratch the spring though. As long as someone is holding on to it REALLY WELL, it won't be able to fly off anywhere, but it will still pop.

Once the spool is loose on the shaft, you may want to catch the bottom part of the thingy instead of allowing it to separate from the spool, and slowly separate them to minimize chance of spring popping.

Also, hold the whole thingy over something soft in case the back part of the thingy falls down. Like a couple inches above a carpeted floor, or a pillow on a table or something.


Post# 387892 , Reply# 4   3/12/2018 at 21:41 (196 days old) by rowdy141 (United Kingdom)        

Okay. I think I see what's happened. Difficult to help remotely - but your explanations and pictures are helping a lot!

The spring obviously has two ends. One (still attached) goes to the Inner-Spindle of the Spool. The other end is the problem? It has to be secured. Otherwise the spring would just turn and turn.

These often slide over a POST or fit into a SLOT to secure them. Then the spring has something to pull against as it coils-up and tension builds.

In your first posting, Picture-2 shows FOUR posts. Assume we number them left-to-right 1,2,3,4. I'd say Post-1 or Post-4 look like the ones that stray end fits over/into. My money's on Post-4. It has the room around it for the thick metal.

I'd try prying up the end highlighted by the arrow and hooking it over Post-4.
Bent needle-nose pliers would grab it and allow you to manoeuvre it. All while keeping the remainder of the spring trapped by the spool. You can usually pull these around a fair bit (within their elastic-limit) and they retain their original shape.

When I tried describing discs, I meant something like a circle of hard-flat material that would slide between Spool and Spring-coil to prevent the coil from suddenly jumping apart. In your latest picture, it looks as though the spring is wanting to escape already, and you've only lifted the spool up a little bit. But if you don't have any tension on the coil yet, don't worry too much about restraining it any more than you are.

(BTW: You're not wearing your gloves in that picture)


Post# 387896 , Reply# 5   3/12/2018 at 22:13 (196 days old) by quebecois (Quebec, Canada)        

Rowdy wrote (BTW: You're not wearing your gloves in that picture)

Yes you're right, but it was just to take a picture or two...

I could be totally wrong on that one, but I think the loose end of the coil spring was winded around the small plastic spool on the left on the first attached picture. I can't recall for sur I saw it there when I rewinded the cord, but I remember that small winged spool turned every time I gave the big spool a spin. The shape and size of the small coil on the right tend to tell the same story. Actually there seems to be exactly the right space to fit the spring between top and bottom wings on that plastic spool. Gray deposits on bottom wings are another hint

What do you think ?


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Post# 387898 , Reply# 6   3/12/2018 at 22:16 (196 days old) by rowdy141 (United Kingdom)        

I've just noticed a hole in the casing near Post-1.
Was there a Retaining-Clip at that location, which has snapped-off or gone AWOL?
That would indicate Post-1 to be the anchor-point for the end of your Spring.


Post# 387900 , Reply# 7   3/12/2018 at 22:32 (196 days old) by rowdy141 (United Kingdom)        

That's a better angle. I think I see what that WHITE Spool is doing now. I had presumed it was just part of the ratchet mechanism.
Now I THINK the Spring winds from one Spool to the other.

At rest, when the cable is fully retracted, the Spring is tightly wound onto one Spool (WHITE).
As you pull the flex, the GREY Spool spins, and the Spring is transferred from WHITE Spool to GREY. It might be the other way, but you see the principle?

Look for an Anchor-Point at the centre of the WHITE Spool.


Post# 387901 , Reply# 8   3/12/2018 at 22:39 (196 days old) by rowdy141 (United Kingdom)        

Is that a HOLE at the point of your Red-Arrow? Spin the WHITE Spool, let's see more of it if it will turn freely. I think it will have a HOOK for that HOLE.
That's how Clock Springs attach.


Post# 387902 , Reply# 9   3/12/2018 at 22:42 (196 days old) by rowdy141 (United Kingdom)        

I so wish I could reach into my screen!

Post# 387905 , Reply# 10   3/12/2018 at 23:01 (196 days old) by quebecois (Quebec, Canada)        

Rowdy wrote: "Is that a HOLE at the point of your Red-Arrow? Spin the WHITE Spool, let's see more of it if it will turn freely. I think it will have a HOOK for that HOLE.
That's how Clock Springs attach."

Yes, there is a key hole at that point. I rotated the white spool and didn't see any hook, so I presume that hole was useful to hold the spring while giving it its original coil shape at the spring shop.

I think the spring was just winded around the white spool and held there just relying on its shape, it works as long as you don't stress it too much like I obviously did. This is my understanding at this stage, we will see more clearly when the gray spool is off.


Post# 387906 , Reply# 11   3/12/2018 at 23:13 (196 days old) by rowdy141 (United Kingdom)        

Okay. It could be that the spring attaches to itself, or as you say, winds around enough that tension holds it in place - never unwinding fully-enough to come off.

You may not need to remove the large Grey Spool. If you can jiggle the stray end over the White Spool and wind it on a few turns, that may be all you need to do.

At least we've determined where it goes now. You were right, the tell-tale sign is that metallic deposit on those white Fins.


Post# 387912 , Reply# 12   3/13/2018 at 06:36 (195 days old) by quebecois (Quebec, Canada)        

THank you Madman for your answer and your concern about working safely. I also understand what you mean when you talk about mechanic fix, I've wrenched on motorcycle carbs and waterpumps several times thru the years.

Unfortunately i'm alone on this project so I'll work with zip-ties for sure.



Post# 387984 , Reply# 13   3/13/2018 at 19:46 (195 days old) by quebecois (Quebec, Canada)        

Now I'm really upset. I had to struggle with a real curly mess during almost an hour and when I thought everything was ok the attach point in the center of the big spool slipped off and the spring came loose again, but that time around the big gray spool !!!

I'd give it another try if someone could suggest a way to make sure the spring won't come off its attaching point again, otherwise I think i'd give up and reel the cord around the vac itself for the rest of its life.


Post# 388012 , Reply# 14   3/14/2018 at 07:54 (194 days old) by quebecois (Quebec, Canada)        

AFter what happened yesterday, I looked at the pictures I took in the process, and I thought i'd take advantage of the two small holes in the end of the spring to put two screws to hold it tight. I don't know how much material I'd have to screw in though (thickness of the spool core).

Before that, i'll try reeling the free end of the spring loose around a baseball bat of something like that, to prevent it from messing with itself like yesterday.

Other suggestions will be appreciated.


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Post# 388061 , Reply# 15   3/14/2018 at 17:13 (194 days old) by quebecois (Quebec, Canada)        

I'd like to report that I successfully rewinded the spring and all is fine and dandy with the cord, it retracts all the way in. The battle with the curly mess (see picture) was a lot easier this time because most of the spring was on the small white spool, blocked with a zip-tie.

THe fun part was to put all that back in the case, with clumsy leather gloves to protect fingers, being careful not to let go the spools.

I think that I will do a knot in the cord before the end in there, just to make sure I don'T put to much stress on the spring to prevent it from slipping off of the small spool again.

Now back to square 1, the big gray spool: what kind of glue and material would you suggest to fix it? WOuld epoxy give good results on this plastic? May I use a piece of margarine cover as a reinforcement?


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Post# 388082 , Reply# 16   3/14/2018 at 23:47 (194 days old) by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

madman's profile picture
Type of glue/repair to the spool really depends on the type of forces acted upon it. If the breaks are clean and it's not warped or missing chunks, I'd say Gorilla gel super glue, then reinforce with some kind of epoxy glue. Especially on the top part of the spool with the square indent pattern, because there's room for epoxy glue, it won't interfere with any moving parts.

Post# 388097 , Reply# 17   3/15/2018 at 08:20 (193 days old) by quebecois (Quebec, Canada)        

AS shown on the picture below, there are two cracks (enlighted in red) the one close to the excentrifugal latch (or ratchet or lock) is wider, obviously due to the repeated shocks transferred from the latch to the spool at that point. The spool is a bit warped through the inside in the section between both cracks but not by much. THe repair would be to secure that section.

I'm planning of sanding very carefully that section and epoxy-glue a piece of scrap plastic on the outer surface of the spool, and gently clamp them together for a few hours.


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Post# 388169 , Reply# 18   3/15/2018 at 21:04 (193 days old) by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

madman's profile picture
I would still highly recommend getting as much gel super glue into the cracks on that and let that dry nice and good before continuing with the epoxy.

Post# 388194 , Reply# 19   3/16/2018 at 02:01 (193 days old) by rowdy141 (United Kingdom)        

Well done getting that far. These are always a nightmare, they try the patience of a Saint. [glad the zip-tie-trick helped].

My first experience of fixing one of these was when I was a Teenager.
My Mum's brand new Electrolux with built-in cord winder had just arrived and I was fitting a mains plug for her (they weren't moulded-on in those days).
I accidentally knocked the cord-rewind button and the flex shot into the machine!
So I took in all apart.
When my Mum arrived home, the first thing she saw was her lovely new vacuum in hundreds of pieces scattered all over the lounge floor!


Post# 388225 , Reply# 20   3/16/2018 at 11:03 (192 days old) by quebecois (Quebec, Canada)        

I have a type of super glue, it's called Rapidfix dual adhesive system, in two tubes: one of them contains a thin powder to fill in the cracks , other one is the glue itself (very fluid). I almost forgot I had it in the fridge.

THis is an expensive product, I used it with success on white ceramic pottery, very effective, it says it'S good for plastics too, so I'll give it a try.





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