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Beolover SyncDrive: DC Platter Motor Replacement for Beogram 4002 and 4004 (Type 551x and 552x)

Late Beogram 4002 and the 4004 (Types 551x and 552x), which have DC platter motors instead of the earlier synchronous AC motors usually suff...

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Beogram 4004 (5526): A New Arrival From California - Initial Assessment

I recently received a Beogram 4004 (Type 5526) from a customer in California. It was sent in the original box double boxed, i.e. with a second box around it and some bubble wrap cushioning between the boxes. This is recommended since the styrofoam inserts of the original boxes are pretty hard, which in my opinion does not provide enough cushioning for the rigors of UPS or FedEx Ground shipping.

I extracted the Beogram from the box. It came without the dust cover. This shows the unit on my bench as received:

It has pretty decent aluminum surfaces with only minor dings. The platter has a slight stain in the center. I hope it is just some dirt that can be washed off. The keypad is in pretty good shape with only light finger smudges, a minor scratch and some small other damages:
This Beogram will receive the Beolover Commander remote control system, with will ensure that this keypad will not need to be used anymore once the deck is back in service. The keypad coating unfortunately tends to degrade due to contact with the oils and acids of the skin. The Commander remote allows full control of the deck via an Apple Remote control.

The plinth is almost pristine with very good corners:
After removing the aluminum panels I discovered that all three alignment pins are bent grossly, probably in an attempt to fit the plates. This show one as example:
It will be 'fun' to bend them back into their correct positions. Unfortunately, this can be a lengthy task since one cannot really see how their position is relative to the holes in the panels when adjusting them. Only repeat trial and error finally leads to the correct alignment of the aluminum plates.

The rest of the unit seems original without obvious signs of previous repair attempts:
As usual with the 4004, the transport locks bushings are completely fragmented:
I will replace them with my 3D printed nylon bushings when I remove the floating subchassis to vacuum all the fragments out of the enclosure. This needs to be done, since the bits and pieces of the original bushings can become lodged underneath the floating chassis and impede its motion.

After this visual inspection I plugged the unit in and pressed start. The carriage started moving and correctly found the LP setdown point and the solenoid activated. All good signs! From the DC platter motor came a loud rumbling, however, indicative of dry bearings. This will be corrected when I take the motor apart and infuse its bearings with fresh oil under vacuum.

In summary, this should be a fairly straight forward restoration project. Stay tuned! 

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