I Just finished cleaning one of my Corsair II PTO's recently and I have a few
thoughts regarding the process. Ten Tec sells a kit for approximately $20.00
if you want a complete set of new mechanical parts for the rebuild. However,
most of the time simply cleaning the existing parts works fine and may give
the same longevity results as replacing the parts, IMHO. I believe where the
brass PTO shaft is held in place by three steel ball bearings in the front of
the PTO is where most of the brass filings that impair performance are
generated. It is my belief that after the shaft has worn some, it does not
contribute as much debris from the filings and may last as long as a new kit,
again, IMOH. I have cleaned a number of PTO's over the last 5 years and they
are all still going strong. I do this for a few friends and myself. I have 6
Corsair II's and they are all EXTREMLY EXCELLENT RIGs ! !
The following are some suggestions with a little humor that may save you some
grief as you rebuilt your unit. It is not difficult but can be a little
tricky if you don't make a few notes. I do recommend purchasing the PTO Kit
from Ten Tec as it is contains an excellent internal drawing of the PTO, a
complete set of mechanical parts and some high viscosity grease, as well as
reassembly instructions. Only $20.00 or so while supplies last; who knows if
the parts will be available in 5 or 10 years.
To get the PTO out, you will need to take the front panel off to get to the
screws in the front of the PTO. Don't try to cut corners here, just take the
front panel completely off. Be careful to not scratch the FP when taking the
mic hardware off. The meter leads go to a connector on the topside of the
unit and can be disconnected there. This also gives you an opportunity to
clean the 5 toggle type switches with a good cleaner such as DEOXIT. This is
an excellent time to clean the front panel with all of the knobs out of the
way. The front panel comes off fast and look at the Corsair II book for
information on getting the dial skirt back on. If you clean the Plexiglas
piece, use a soft cotton rag and a little diluted 409, half water and half
409, this is also good for cleaning the knobs. A discarded toothbrush can
really clean the knobs and give the Corsair that fresh, just out of the box
look. If you are careful and take your time the front panel can be off and
out of the way in about 10 minutes.
Next: get a note pad and make notes of how you proceed from this point. You
will not regret this simple step and you could go nuts if you don't take the
time to document your moves or worse, damage the unit.
Before proceeding with the rebuild, take a few precautionary steps and the
job will go smoothly. Allow around 2 hours the first time and half that the
next time. I would rate this job as easier than rebuilding a carburetor with
less aggravation and unlike the family car carburetor, you can do the rebuild
inside without breaking your back.
I will defer to Ten Tec's PTO Kit instructions for the actual reassembly
information but the following may be helpful supplemental information.
1) Disconnect the phone near your work area ! ! ! Otherwise, some
telemarketer will try to sell you a Time Share or trip to Florida exactly at
the point when you are trying to reinsert the little pin that goes back into
the rear of the PTO shaft. I don't know how but they always know exactly when
2) Take a white towel and stretch it out over a work table and get a
comfortable chair, don't even think about doing this job standing up.
3) Bring a bright light to the area, very important step.
4) Tell your wife and children that you are not to be disturbed for the next
two hours unless the house is on fire and if so allow enough time to get all
of your coveted Ten Tec gear outside. Oh yea, be sure the kids get out as
5) Put a sign on the front door letting the Jehovah Whiteness people know
that you are already saved but both of your neighbors are HELL-Bound and need
their help desperately. Your Neighbors may start cutting their grass at 5:30
AM on Saturday mornings to get back at you but your PTO will be working
perfectly and you will be up anyway snagging a new DX contact.
6) Put the Cat, Dog, lizard and especially any annoying, loud birds outside.
After thePTO has been reinstalled and the Corsair II is working great, leave
the Bird outside; the Corsair II will surely work better as a result. I had
an African Gray Parrot that liked to mimic CW during contest. This QRM was
settled once the bird found a new and loving home. Hope the new owner liked
sloppy, left footed CW.
7) One of those magnets on a wand is handy if you happen to drop one of the
steel ball bearings, springs or locking pin on the carpet. Sorry but the
magnet will not help with the brass parts no matter how much you disagree
with the laws of Physics. You will also need a #1 and 2 Phillips screwdriver,
needle nose pliers, lots of low lent, shop towels. I like the blue ones from
the Auto Stores. Other items needed are Q-tips, a small 1/4 inch open-ended
wrench, 71% Isopropyl Alcohol. Don't clean the pistol or other plastic parts
with the Alcohol just the metal items. I cleaned the Pistol and plastic parts
with a Q-tip and a water moistened towel.
You will need a few drops of Super Glue such as Radio Shack Future Glue, part
number 64-2331. Ten Tec uses high viscosity axel grease such as Exxon's,
Unirex N-2 and enough to do several PTO's comes with the Ten Tec kit.
I prefer using 1 Synthetic Universal Grease from Mobil, bar code 71924 96102.
This product is available from automotive stores for less than $5.00 for 12.5
ounces. This grease is optimized to minimize wear while working under very
high temperatures and pressure. I can say that I have not observed any wear
between parts using this product for several years and absolutely no CW
chirp, at least chirp generated by the PTO.
8) There is a little locking pin that has to be removed and reinstalled in
the PTO shaft. I use a worn, and very small diameter Allen wrench and the
butt of ascrewdriver to tap the pin out. Just gentle tapping is all that is
required and once the pin starts moving, it can be pulled out with needle
nose pliers. To reinstall the pin GENTLY grip it with a small pair of wire
cutters and once started, press the pin in place with a miniature pair of
channel lock pliers.This is the worse part of the rebuild and isn't that bad.
If you happen to have a paper shredder under your work area, either remove or
empty it before disassembling the PTO. Finding the steel ball bearing in a
shredder full of paper is time consuming, believe me ! ! ! Same rule applies
to waste baskets or boxes of hardware.
With preparation accomplished, remember to make notes on how the unit comes
apart and the placement of the parts. As mentioned earlier, the rebuilt kit
from TenTec can be a lot of help with instructions and drawings. Without it,
proceed very carefully while disassembling and reassembling the PTO.
Once accomplished the Corsair II is again a joy to operate and should give
three to five or more years of excellent service. Your wife and children will
be proud of you for being able to fix something and your friends will be
impressed with your MENSA like intellect. Expect a promotion and large raise
at work, after all, if you can rebuilt a PTO in one of the worlds most
excellent CW rigs, you are certainly a person of great character and worthy
of all praises and rewards afforded by our society. Well, at least you will
enjoy using the your Corsair II...
--- StripMime Report -- processed MIME parts ---
text/plain (text body -- kept)