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E-trac / Explorer upper shafts...

Knipper

Active member
Curious as to how many of you with older E-tracs notice that after time, the upper shaft clamp assembly doesn't hold the lower shaft tightly in place any more? Mine are not allowing the lower shaft to 'slip' , but the lower stem can shift the angle of the coil on occasion, when I'd rather it stay straight and tight. Does anyone know if these can be repaired or tweaked in some way to apply more pressure to the lower shaft? i ordered two new upper shafts to have on hand, but would rather repair what I have, if possible... Knipper
 

Elmy

Well-known member
it could be the square part at the top of the shaft is worn a little , allowing it to wiggle...that is what keeps the rod and coil inline .....

I have never done this but.... what about a thin coat of something like polyurethane on the square piece or some sort of varnish ? It will eventually wear off again in time but you could re-coat it .
 

Knipper

Active member
it could be the square part at the top of the shaft is worn a little , allowing it to wiggle...that is what keeps the rod and coil inline .....

I have never done this but.... what about a thin coat of something like polyurethane on the square piece or some sort of varnish ? It will eventually wear off again in time but you could re-coat it .
Elmy, I removed the pin on the cam lock and had a look. The cam lever itself is a bit worn and doesn't apply the pressure to the red plastic pad below it as it did when new. The red plastic pad makes contact with the actual shaft of the detector, and holds it firmly in position. The 'square' shape at the end of the lower shaft does not make contact with the pressure pad, and is only a 'coarse' method to prevent the round lower shaft from completely turning around in the square upper shaft. By itself, the square section of the lower shaft does not make for a tight wiggle free fit. So, I've contacted the MInelab service center to see if I could buy the red 'pressure pads' and some new cam levers. Haven't heard back from them yet. Until I do, I found that a small piece of duct tape, appied to the curved section of the pressure pad, compensates for the wear on the pad, and holds the shaft more tightly in place. I may put on two layers of tape, as one made a noticeable difference!
 

Elmy

Well-known member
Elmy, I removed the pin on the cam lock and had a look. The cam lever itself is a bit worn and doesn't apply the pressure to the red plastic pad below it as it did when new. The red plastic pad makes contact with the actual shaft of the detector, and holds it firmly in position. The 'square' shape at the end of the lower shaft does not make contact with the pressure pad, and is only a 'coarse' method to prevent the round lower shaft from completely turning around in the square upper shaft. By itself, the square section of the lower shaft does not make for a tight wiggle free fit. So, I've contacted the MInelab service center to see if I could buy the red 'pressure pads' and some new cam levers. Haven't heard back from them yet. Until I do, I found that a small piece of duct tape, appied to the curved section of the pressure pad, compensates for the wear on the pad, and holds the shaft more tightly in place. I may put on two layers of tape, as one made a noticeable difference!
cool...now we all know....hopefully you can just get the pads and levers....probably want to sell you an upper shaft instead.....keep us informed....nice work !
 

Knipper

Active member
cool...now we all know....hopefully you can just get the pads and levers....probably want to sell you an upper shaft instead.....keep us informed....nice work !
Yes!....I ordered two extra new upper shafts, just to have them on hand. They're not cheap! You're paying for the metal tube as well as new cam locks, when a couple of inexpensive plastic parts will solve the problem. Sad to think a company wants your $$ so badly that you have to pay more for an inexpensive fix. It's like buying a new car if your windshield wipers wear out! The upper stem assemblies run $57.00, and the parts would cost no more than a few dollars each! We'll see... Minelab USA has not responded, so I emailed the main service repair center in Australia. Shipping will be highter, but I'd still come out ahead over buying the entire upper shaft!
 

Ted S

Well-known member
Keep us posted...I think I need new cam locks..The upper shaft will fall out of my Explorer.
 

Jim Robertson

Well-known member
Knipper keep the emails coming make a call or two. Just remember the squeaky wheel get the grease. Worry the hell out of them they will break. Best of luck.
 

Knipper

Active member
Keep us posted...I think I need new cam locks..The upper shaft will fall out of my Explorer.
Keep us posted...I think I need new cam locks..The upper shaft will fall out of my Explorer.
Well, my temporary fix works pretty good. Take off the upper shaft and look down the portion where the cam lock is. You should see a red plastic pad there. It will raise and lower as you move the cam lever up and down. Cut a strip of duct tape about 3/8" wide by 3/4" long, and using a tweezers grasping the very edge of the tape, insert it into the shaft and on top of the pad. It takes some maneuvering to position the tape and get it stuck down initially. Remove the tweezers and insert your finger to press down the tape on the pad. This will increase the pad pressure against the lower shaft. If the pad is REALLY worn, you may have to add one or even two more strips of tape. The tape shouldn't work loose, as when the cam is unlocked, the pad drops down and breaks contact with the shaft, so no rubbing. Let me know how it works for you! Sure beats spending another $57.00 for an upper shaft!
 

Elmy

Well-known member
I have an old upper that came with my first etrac so I will do that and let you know...Thanks...you are a great money saver a lot of us etrac users here as I would have ordered a new upper instead of fixing it.
Thanks again...
E L M Y
 

Elmy

Well-known member
LIFESAVER.....DID knipper's fix but used a tooth pick instead of tweezers and 2 pieces of grey duct tape 3/8 x 3/4 and it works on my original upper shaft !
It even has a little groove worn in the pad where the rod hits. Works perfectly now !
Thanks knipper...saved a bunch of money !!!!(y)
 

Knipper

Active member
LIFESAVER.....DID knipper's fix but used a tooth pick instead of tweezers and 2 pieces of grey duct tape 3/8 x 3/4 and it works on my original upper shaft !
It even has a little groove worn in the pad where the rod hits. Works perfectly now !
Thanks knipper...saved a bunch of money !!!!(y)
I'm glad it worked for you Elmy! There may be some better material other than duct tape; I'm going to keep looking. I'm sure some company sells some stiff 1/32 or 1/64" rubber sheets (like for making gaskets) that would work better. I'd use some rubber based adhesive in that case.
 
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Knipper

Active member
Another thing to watch for....(it happened to me) . When the cam is locked, the cam surface makes contact with a small steel plate on the underside of the pad. That prevents wear to the red rubber pad. The adhesive holding the metal plate separated on mine and the little metal plate just fell out. Fortunately I found it again. If this happens just put a little rubber cement on it and slide it back in. Engage the cam lock to press it down until it the glue sets up. I'm thinking one could also replace the little metal plate with a thicker piece and that would also solve the problem, putting more force against the pad from the underside. I make knives, so have the tools and machinery to make one but most won't. It's thin, but one could find a thicker piece of sheet metal or shim stock, cut it to size and replace that. Otherwise, the tape will work and can be replaced if necessary when it wears out.
 
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