Tag Archives: slow speed escapement

Leica IIIa CLA, Clean the Slow Speed Escapement

Before giving my Leica IIIa a semi-complete CLA, I want to tackle the slow speeds being sluggish problem. Thanks to the Internet, I found a few sites that explained how truly easy it is. I mean, anybody can do this task and perhaps bring their 75-80 year old camera back to it’s former glory.

Two screws to get started is all it takes. The hardest part is putting it back in and that just takes some dexterity. This method is possible without a complete removal of the body shell as is needed for the newer IIIb. IIIc, IIIf, IIIg, but if you are planing a shell removal for whatever reason, CLA, investigation of a problem or the like, then by all means, wait until then, it would just be easier to put it back in but taking it out makes no difference.

On the model III and IIIa, the slow speed escapement is easy to remove by just taking the lens off
On the model III and IIIa, the slow speed escapement is easy to remove by just taking the lens off

remove the bottom film plate and remove these two screws. Be careful, they are one flat head and one roundish head remember where they go
remove the bottom film plate and remove these two screws. Be careful, they are one flat head and one roundish head remember where they go. The escapement will practically fall out of the lens opening area.

remove these two screws to take the escapement cover off
remove these two screws to take the escapement cover off

slow speed escapement with cover ermoved. I cleaned it in a bath of Isopropyl alcohol, letting it soak and working the gears then letting it dry
slow speed escapement with cover ermoved. I cleaned it in a bath of Isopropyl alcohol, letting it soak and working the gears then letting it dry

This fork goes onto the post on the escapement. It's a little tricky getting it back on but not too bad.
This fork goes onto the post on the escapement. It’s a little tricky getting it back on but not too bad.

after drying, give these bearings (red arrows) a touch of oil. Sewing machine, watch oil or equivalent. I just put a drop on a piece of paper and touch it with my smallest screwdriver and then touch the bearing and let it wick in. never over oil.
after drying, give these bearings (red arrows) a touch of oil. Sewing machine, watch oil or equivalent. I just put a drop on a piece of paper and touch it with my smallest screwdriver and then touch the bearing and let it wick in. never over oil. the (red circle) shows the post that goes on the fork in the previous photo

same procedure for oiling these bearings
same procedure for oiling these bearings