Tightening the takeup tension on an older AW3 platter

If your AW3 platter is experiencing unusually loose film winding, your takeup arm spring may need replacing.  We have found an inexpensive solution via a spring that produces a nice tight wind, commonly available at the Home Depot.  Set aside approximately 15-20 minutes per platter tree to complete these tasks.  Special technician skills are not needed for anything on this page.  Platter calibration will not be affected.

This is a Handyman spring manufactured by Prime-Line Slide company.  The part number is SP-9611 and a pack of 2 springs costs roughly $3.

Unscrew the four mounting bolts that hold the takeup arm to the tree's arm using a nut driver.

Now the arm assembly is free to be removed.  This may take a bit of fiddling to find the position the arm needs to be in to remove easily.  Do not force!

Here is the takeup arm assembly.

First use a flathead screwdriver and nut driver to remove one of the two bolts.

Then swing the arm around on it's other bolt so the spring is not stressed, making it easier to remove the other bolt.

Here is the arm swung almost 180 degrees from it's normal position.

At this point you want to remove the old spring.  A pair of needlenose pliers makes this much easier.

Here is the spring we have found makes a nice replacement.  You will need to straighten out one end so that it may be fitted to the arm.

Insert one end of the new spring and using your needlenose pliers, compress the end of the spring back so it cannot come loose.

Same as before, insert the other end of the spring in to the arm and compress the end with needlenose pliers.

Now mount the part back onto the arm assembly with one bolt, but don't fully tighten it down just yet.

Now pivot it back around 180 degrees so that the spring is stretched.  Finally, you may need to use pliers to hold the nut into place while you screw the bolt from the other side, since the spring is in the way.  Don't forget to tighten the first bolt.

Reinstall the takeup arm assembly and your AW3 platter will now takeup with an ideal amount of tension.

Special thanks to Darren Crimmins for assisting with this tips page.