Pioneer PL 518 Tone Arm Return is jumpy

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Slaydetrioter
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Joined: 15 May 2018 01:22

Pioneer PL 518 Tone Arm Return is jumpy

Post by Slaydetrioter » 15 May 2018 01:39

He’ll All, my PL 518 is having an issue with the tone arm return. Its working but not smoothly. The arm stops twice during the return cycle. How can I remedy this issue?

musicmn
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Re: Pioneer PL 518 Tone Arm Return is jumpy

Post by musicmn » 15 May 2018 21:39

Hi, it sounds like your turntable is in need of a good servicing. The grease used to lubricate the mechanism has dried up causing this issue. As you can see from my picture there is not a lot to this mechanism so it's very easy to service. You will need to remove the parts where the red arrows point to and clean out all the dried up grease with alcohol and a rag. Then lubricate the areas lightly with fresh grease. I like to use Super lube grease on these mechanisms it will make it work much smoother. The only to areas that DO NOT get grease are the spindle and the silver trip pawls on the white main cam wheel. The spindle will need to disassembled,cleaned and a couple of drops of fresh sewing machine oil put into the housing and one on the spindle as you install it back into the housing. Be careful as you disassemble the spindle there is a small ball bearing in the bottom of the spindle housing you don't what to loose it. The silver trip pawls on the cam wheel need to be disassembled and clean with alcohol then just assemble them dry do not lubricate them. I hope this helps.
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Slaydetrioter
Posts: 4
Joined: 15 May 2018 01:22

Re: Pioneer PL 518 Tone Arm Return is jumpy

Post by Slaydetrioter » 17 May 2018 01:53

So I took your advice and cleaned and lubed the locations you specified. While the motion is better it’s still not as smooth as I think it should be. I didn’t completely disassemble the unit, but I was able to clean and apply lubricatant to said components. Either I didn’t do the job properly or it’s something else.

musicmn
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Re: Pioneer PL 518 Tone Arm Return is jumpy

Post by musicmn » 17 May 2018 03:16

Hi did you remove the white cam wheel and clean and lubricate the groove on the under side? That's a very important area to service for a smooth auto return. Also make sure you remove the lever that has the pin on it that rides in the groove on cam wheel (far right arrow is pointing to part of it). There could be old dried up grease under it that can cause issues with the tonearm return.

Slaydetrioter
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Re: Pioneer PL 518 Tone Arm Return is jumpy

Post by Slaydetrioter » 17 May 2018 03:32

I noticed in the photo that it’s a belt driven table and mine is direct drive. I did not remove the cam. I will try that. Is it easy to put back together? I’m not exactly a technician. Does removing the cam involve the spring?

Van_Isle
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Re: Pioneer PL 518 Tone Arm Return is jumpy

Post by Van_Isle » 24 Jul 2018 16:58

There's a current discussion going on over at Audiokarma about the jerky auto-return I've noticed on a PL-518 I just acquired 3 days ago. I haven't explored any further yet but the response on that issue, from a well respected member who has gone through 6 or 7 of this series of table is that:

1. all had a jerky return
2. lubrication of the return cam or slide had no effect.
3. suspects that the rubbery strip on the tonearm lift is 'grabbing' the tonearm as it slides across.
4. lubricating the strip isn't the solution as it needs some 'grab' to counteract the anti-skate when cueing the tonearm at any point across the record.
5. final assessment is ... you'll have to live with the jerky movement.

So, as I said, I haven't explored this further ... but it makes sense to me.

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