Floppy drive lubrication

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Old auto-inject floppy drives often require lubrication to accept and eject disks properly.

Release the heads

First remove the plastic piece in the green circle below by gently lifting the tab in the middle and sliding it off to the right. This will release the head and allow it to touch the other head. Do not lift the head mechanism, lifting higher than it was intended to go will bend a piece of metal resulting in permanent damage.

Floppy1.jpg

Close the loading mechanism

Next, trick the loading mechanism into closing by following the steps below. Step 4 is necessary if the drive is very dirty. If Step 4 comes with resistance, remove the eject motor. This is the black thing in the bottom right corner of the first image. There are 2 screws and it pulls right out. (This motor contains a switch that makes it stop at the right spot, so if this happens, you may want to open it up and check.)

Floppy2.jpg

Remove the spring and line up tabs for release

On both sides of the drive, remove the bottom end of this spring:

Floppy3.jpg

Manipulate the paperclip eject tab until the tab lines up with the opening as seen in the green circle below. Important: Lift up the whole front of the mechanism; leaving the back of the mechanism in place so as not to disturb the area in the red circle. There is no resistance whatsoever if you do this patiently, so do not force any parts.

Floppy4.jpg

Making sure not to disturb the area in the red circle in the previous image, again manipulate the paperclip eject tab to release another point as shown in the green circle in the next image:

Floppy5.jpg

Clean and lubricate

Now the area that you were careful not to disturb is free, you can move the mechanism sideways and completely out of the drive. Completely clean each circled point of contact in the next image. Push the paperclip eject tab back and forth to get at all the areas. The areas in red circles can not be seen in the image because the tab must be pushed the other way. Once they are completely cleaned, reapply white lithium grease to these points. You can see in the image that I used ordinary grease. White lithium grease is the original grease used and is superior. It comes in an aerosol can like WD-40. Once reapplied, work the paperclip eject tab back and forth many times to ensure a smooth operation.

Floppy6.jpg

Repeat the cleaning and re-greasing of all of the points on the part you removed as well. Ensure that all 4 of the little gizmos in the round green circles can turn freely:

Floppy7.jpg

Reassembly

To reassemble, follow the directions in the reverse order. When you return to step 1, it is necessary to gently lift the head so that its little plastic arm sits on top of the plastic piece that you are reattaching. Lift it only as much as necessary or you will cause damage.