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How to disassemble a Panasonic JU-253 floppy drive?


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The JU-253 floppy drive in my 1581 failed. It has a hard time starting the spindle motor even though it spins freely. It appears a small cap on the drive board as leaked, which is apparently a common failure for a similar model.


The problem is I cannot get the bloody thing apart. It appears the retaining spikes inside the floppy guide and holding mechanism are pressure fit into the chassis.


This drive is used in both Amiga computers and Commodore 1581 disk drive, so I am posting here rather than crossing in both the Commodore and Amiga subs.


Does anyone know how to get this thing apart? It has been a very reliable (long-lived, anyway, until, well, you know, it failed) and QUIET drive and I would like to bring it back to life.

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Thanks but the purpose of my exercise is to repair this unit if possible and thus that is the information I need, not pointers in a different direction.


Using a standard PC floppy drive requires modification which is not my gig. Plenty of other people are doing modifications but so far as I can tell the JU-256 has no modifications to use.


Correction: a JU-256 modification is here and it looks pretty straight forward. The settings on the JU-253 are similar but the -253 is a DD drive where the -256 is n HD. Interesting, but not the direction I plan to go.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I put a little turbine oil on the spindle on the under-side of the drive and pushed the spindle around a few times while watching some videos. Then reassembled the 1581 resting it up-side down and have been running non-stop drive operations to keep the motor running. So far it is going without a problem.


I did notice, however, at the front of the drive an SMD cap appears to have leaked. There is no way to easily get to this component since the drive is resistant to disassembly so this might be a moot issue within a short time. I will clean the leakage and corrosion as much as possible, at least.

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  • 1 year later...

Sorry I only just got to this.

To dismantle the panasonic take the top cover off (two screws at rear), remove the plastic eject button (lift clip and pull off).

then push the eject metal back and the top of the drive just lifts out forward. Support the head as you do this and take care not to lose the collets (4) that drop the top down when a disk is inserted.

The cap is easy to get at then

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