Repairing the magazine takeup belt and pulleys on the VistaVision Butterfly camera

Small Setback on the VistaVision Butterfly Camera

Things were moving along as expected with the VistaVision Butterfly camera. I got all of the 400’ magazines cleaned, serviced, and painted. Got the camera cleaned of corrosion and spot painted inside and out so it looks pretty again. Made a new power cable, serviced the movement, and ran everything. All looked great until I put a takeup belt on the camera and tried to run it with a magazine. Here is when the terrible noise happened. There are two sets of 3 small roller pulleys that guide the takeup belt and keep it from rubbing on the casting so the magazine takes up film smoothly. In its original configuration and with its original motor, the camera could be run forward or reverse. Provisions for the takeup belt on both the feed and takeup side of the magazine were provided. The new crystal motor only runs forward, so the feed side roller pulleys have been disabled.

The takeup side pulleys were unfortunately corroded and frozen in place. So the terrible noise was created by the spring belt grinding against the frozen pulleys. To begin this repair, I turned the camera upside down and put penetrating oil in the threaded axles that the pulleys are mounted to. The idea is that the penetrating oil will eventually get between the camera casting and the corroded parts so I can unscrew them and fix the terrible noise. Hopefully this will only take a couple of days, but we shall see.