Pioneer PL-518 Auto return. Need help

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11art
Posts: 2
Joined: 26 Jun 2018 14:12

Pioneer PL-518 Auto return. Need help

Post by 11art » 23 Feb 2019 14:27

Picked up a Pioneer PL-518. Works nice, but the auto return never engages.
I've adjusted the return point (under the rubber grommet), but it still doesn't engage.

Would I get to the mechanisms from the top, or bottom of unit?

Any ideas would be welcome.

musicmn
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United States of America
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Location: Milwaukee Wisconsin

Re: Pioneer PL-518 Auto return. Need help

Post by musicmn » 24 Feb 2019 00:31

Hi, to access the mechanism just remove the platter then the metal plate under it. Almost the entire mechanism can be seen by doing this. This model pioneer turntable has a very basic mechanism and is very easy to service. The two things you need to check are the trip pawls (red arrow) located on the white cam wheel, and the trip lever (yellow arrow). The trip pawls must move freely they usually are stuck from old grease. As you can see a small E clip is used to hold them in place and if you want you can remove this clip to clean them. Or just take a thin rag dipped in alcohol and slip it under the trip pawls and in between them to remove all the old grease. Once they are clean if you have some very light grease use that to lubricate them. But just a small amount is needed. Or you can just leave them dry of lubricant they do work either way. The trip lever might not come off with out removing the tonearm base, if it feels free then leave it be for now. If does feel as if it could use a good cleaning then remove it from the post it's mounted on and clean the post with alcohol. Then again just a small amount of grease is needed on the post. Leave the cover off and and with the turntable unplugged from the power source move the tonearm all the way to the spindle and make sure the trip lever is pushing on the trip pawls. This is how the return of the tonearm works. Once the trip pawls are pushed out and are hitting the tap on the spindle gear. Turn the spindle by hand and the tonearm should return to the rest stand. Hope fully all you need to do is to clean this two parts and the return function will work as it should. I hope this helps.
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Pioneer PL 518 turntable 003 (Copy).JPG
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musicmn
long player
long player
United States of America
Posts: 2457
Joined: 02 Jan 2012 22:05
Location: Milwaukee Wisconsin

Re: Pioneer PL-518 Auto return. Need help

Post by musicmn » 24 Feb 2019 00:58

Hi, after looking at my pictures of a 518 I found another issue that is very common to this model. It's the piece that's in my pictures. This part is mounted to the bottom of the tonearm and as the tonearm moves this part pushes on the trip lever until the trip lever engages the trip pawls on the cam wheel. As you can see in my pictures this part is made of plastic and cracks over time moving it out of position so it cannot move the trip lever. I remove this part then clean it with alcohol and use epoxy to fix the crack. Then once the epoxy is dry I install it back on the tonearm and adjust it where I think it should go then I assemble everything and mount the tonearm base. Then put the platter on and a record and check the lead out if I'm lucky I can get the lead out set by adjusting the lead out screw. If you cannot get the lead out set with the adjustment screw then you will need to remove the tonearm base loosen the screw on this piece and adjust it again on the tonearm. Assemble it and try again, it can be a bit fiddly to get it set just right but it can be done. Like I said in my other post hopefully the trip pawls just need cleaning and everything will work correctly. If not then remove the tonearm base and flip it over and check this part. You can try to fix this part with the epoxy while it's still attached to the tonearm just make sure it's in the correct position before you glue it. If the glue sticks to the post that this part is mounted on you may not be able to move it into the correct position again. I hope this helps.
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Pioneer PL 518 turntable 014 (Copy).JPG
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Pioneer PL 518 turntable 017 (Copy).JPG
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11art
Posts: 2
Joined: 26 Jun 2018 14:12

Re: Pioneer PL-518 Auto return. Need help

Post by 11art » 24 Feb 2019 04:26

MusicMN,

You're the man! My TT is now running perfectly thanks to your detailed and informative feedback.

Very much appreciated. And now my fear factor of tearing into it has lessened. I own 3 of these tables and just love them.

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