Sometimes You Can't Put Off Things Any Longer.

Doghouse Riley

Senior Junior Member
I like to play the two jukeboxes I have in our summerhouse, which I built in 1987, when I'm working in the garden.

Here's a video I took of it the other day.



This is the younger of the two jukeboxes, a Rock-Ola 468.

It dates from 1976. They were produced for hotel foyers and high-end bars, where "Silver Age" machines were considered to be out of place. The graphic is a reproduction of Monet's Sunlight Under the Poplars.
I've had it about fifteen years.


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Over time, I've had a problem with the carousel motor, running slow, to the extent it would often activate the trip that protects the mechanical side.
I took it out and gave it a bit of a service a few years ago, but it was recently doing it more frequently. It meant that sometimes if the next selection was a couple of dozen records further away in the carousel than the last played, it would stop. I decided that although it was easy enough to press in the trip button to get it going again, one day it will "have had enough" and lead to an expensive repair.

So I "bit the bullet," and took it out Thursday morning. This was no easy task. A question of removing three bolts.
Sounds easy, but it's a nightmare.
It would have been impossible without a set of spinners.


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There's no way you could get any sort of regular open-ended or ring spanner on the bolts.


To be able to see anything, the front had to come off. It's just two latches that secures it at the top.
I've added a 60w heater, which gets turned on during the cold months, as these machines, "don't like it cold or damp."


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Then the small back panel.

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This is all you can see. The three bolts that secure it to the chassis are out of sight.

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It was a question of finding the bolts by "feel" and then getting a spinner on them. You have to do this, by lying full-length on the floor. Not too easy when you're 84.

Before taking the motor apart, I rotated the carousel by hand to make sure it turned freely. There is always a bit of resistance as there's a thin strip of stainless steel that stops the records falling out when they are in the underside of the carousel, on which their edges rub as it turns. But it was fine.

These motors are exceptionally well-made. They had to be, as most jukeboxes in their time were working all day, every day.

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There was a lot of scoring on the armature. This happens if dirt gets between the brushes and the armature.

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I'd attempted to reduce this on a previous occasion, but it was difficult, so didn't do it that well.

But this time I used a tip given me by another jukebox enthusiast. I put it in my electric drill and then locked the drill in the vice on my bench. Then wrapped a thin strip of emery paper lengthways around half a pencil. Just a question of turning on the drill and holding the pencil against the armature. A few changes of paper and the job was done in a few minutes. Then I carefully ran the tip of a Stanley knife blade to scrape out a bit of the insulation between the segments, as these need not to be proud of the rest of the armature.

I also checked the gearbox. This has a nylon cog wheel. The grease in it was still quite soft, but I changed it anyway.


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I did connect it up and had it running to check it out before I started to put it back in.

Getting it back into the jukebox is a bigger nightmare, as you're doing it by feel. I put Blu-tac around the bolt and the head of the spinner to stop it falling off. I managed to wedge a Philips head screwdriver through one of the holes in the motor bracket and the jukebox chassis to line it up, So I could screw in the first two bolts.
Sounds easy, but it took me half an hour to get it back in.

Now in perfect working order.
If I'd called out one of the very few jukebox servicing companies, no way would they have wanted it to do it here. They'd want to take it back to their workshop and raise it off the ground to a working height. This would have cost "an arm and a leg."


It cost me 59p for a sheet of emery paper.
 
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Thanks for the kind words.

Here it is in operation. It has 30 x 50/60s pop. 30 x 70/80s pop, 10 Doo-Wop and 10 x classic standards.



The other box is a Rock-Ola 443, from 1969. This was in pretty good condition when I bought it 15 years ago.

Original eBay photo.

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The graphic and record card insert (that round thing, you can remove it an substitute a new record's sleeve) were both faded, they tend to go mostly blue. But the chrome was and still is excellent. It had been in private hands for twenty years.
I managed to get a replacement record card insert "new-old stock" from Victory Glass and I remade the graphic from overlapping bits of A4 coloured acetate. I repainted the white reflector behind it. Then a good clean and a "lube job." I also replaced the new "thin" 28" fluorescent tubes, for new thicker ones. I also replaced the turntable motor support post gromits. These harden after time anmd the cartridge can pick up the noise of the motor vibrating although it's not audible other than through the speakers, as a background noise.

There are two stainless steel strips one at the top and one above the graphic. They used these as chrome would wear more quickly. I could buff them up to remove the scratches, but I've not bothered, it's part of its character.

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This has 50 x MoTown and similar records.

I have to confess, this box is a bit "lesser known girl groups of the sixties heavy." But that's a personal choice.
(no Diana Ross).

This is a Goffin/King song.

 
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This might seem a bit of overkill. But I've these in our front room. "Vintage meets contemporary."



Here's a bit of jukebox trivia for those who can remember the ones that played 45s.

If you went into a bar, saw a jukebox put a coin in and selected a track you liked. Then purchased a drink, took a seat and after a while, "your" record started to play.
It didn't matter how many people selected the same record, either before or after you. If it had not yet been played, it would only play it once!
 
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I made another video this evening. This shows how well the motor is now working.
As well as the weight of the carousel, it also has to overcome the friction of the edges of the records, that are only stopped from falling out of the bottom half, by a thin strip of stainless steel which contain them as they rub against it, as the carousel turns.

 
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