Sean McVeigh - Small Pony Pictures - November 2008

This guide covers disassembly of the Kinor 35H motion picture camera body, lubrication, a bit of general maintenance, shutter synchronization, and reassembly. It does not cover any testing, so as always, run your own tests following any maintenance. Also, up front I shall make the disclaimer that I am not a camera technician by trade. No warranty or liability is implied. By following these procedures, you may well break your camera. I have not triple checked this guide for correctness, and you may very well end up with more parts on the table than you started with. I wrote this guide following a camera seize-up that left it inoperable, so my goal was really to find the problem and troubleshoot it. In the process I decided to lubricate and check everything that occurred to me. No doubt, I have missed a few points, and hopefully someone can suggest additional procedures, or correct any mistakes I have made. This guide is geared more towards the technically abled folks out there who have no problem taking their cars, VCRs, sewing machines, etc. apart for repair or maintenance. For those who consider these sorts of activities beyond the scope of their ability, or who are deeply troubled by the thought of transforming their beloved camera into the following scene, enjoy the guided tour of the inside of my camera instead!


With that aside, on to the guide!

First off, you will want to assemble a collection of tools. Micro screwdriver set (A). Almost all of the screws in this camera are slot screws. I found I needed 3 or 4 different sizes of this particular screwdriver. Light weight oil (B). I am using a 3-in-1 oil here, mainly because it was the only thing other than cutting oil that I had in the house at the time. I am told that 3-in-1 is not a particularly good oil. Mitchell camera oil, Bell & Howell projector oil, or a thin "turbine" oil is much better. I am also told that railroad model shops are a good source for suitable oils. You will likely want to dispense the oil from a syringe to allow for very precise application. I am using a glue syringe. When oiling, you don't want to overdo it. The last thing you want is oil flying around inside your camera! Multi-tip screwdriver (C). Thread locker (D). I used this in a couple of instances where I had to leave screws less than perfectly tightened. 7/32" socket or wrench (E). This is for removing the motor nut. Clear nail polish (F). Used to lock most screw heads. You will probably want to lock down almost all of the screws you encounter. If in doubt, check to see if they were locked down before you begin disassembly. Grease (G). I am using a lithium grease here, but I have no real idea as to its fitness for this application. You want something with the consistency of vaseline (or just use vaseline even). I also made use of a knife for some light prying at times. I also highly recommend you keep good notes of which screws go in which holes and with which washers. You'll be surprised at how many sets of 4 screws you thought were all the same length only to find later than one was 1mm longer than the others. Lastly, give yourself plenty of space and to spread out and plenty of time for the activity. I took about 4 nights to work my way through my camera with no guide, solving problems as I went. I imagine that the next time I need to do this, it could probably be done in a single evening. Make sure you check and double check what you are doing before you do it, and make sure to keep the insides of your camera free of debris. Clean out any gunk you find, and make sure not to scrape film-contacting surfaces with metal (always use an orange stick or similar). And lastly, have fun.


Start by removing the viewfinder block from the top of the camera. My camera has a video tap at the front of the block, which is removed first. This video tap holds a splitter prism in the upper optical path which slides out with the tap. The prism or mirror in your camera at this location is probably part of the upper optical assembly.

Remove 2 slot screws (A) from the viewfinder block.

body top

Then remove 2 philips screws (A) holding the end of the handle down. Lift the viewfinder block straight up to remove. Be careful - the lip at the front under this block is a rather thin rim, and on my camera it has previously been repaired with epoxy.

body rear

Next, you'll need to remove the prism assembly from the upper optical block. Your camera may have a different configuration here, as on mine, the video tap holds a second prism in front of the angled prism and lens in this photo. Undo slot screws (A) and remove the prism. Now you can remove slot screws (B) and remove the lens assembly. Collect any shims that you find in here. My camera has a spacer under this lens bracket. Next, remove slot screws (C) to release the body from the internal shock mounts. There is a piece of tape in this photo, as I am missing the screw cap for this location. You probably have a large slot cap here covering another slot screw that threads into one of the internal shock mounts.

upper optics

Next, remove the 6 slot screws (A) from the motor-side of the camera body and remove the entire electronics section.

body side

Here is a photo of the motor-side of the camera assembly with some points of interest noted. Motor (A). Sprocket roller drive pulleys (B). Pulley dynamo speed sensor reed-switch assembly (C - I'm not 100% sure what this is for, but a pair of small magnets are mounted on a clutch mechanism on the upper drive pulley that actuate it when the wheel is spinning fast enough). Body connector (D). Elecronics connector (E). Motor connector (F). Heater (G). Main drive belt guide pulleys (H). Internal shock mounts (I). Mirror-shutter (J - not shown, since it is closed). Motor drive sprocket (K).

motor side

We'll return to these points of interest later. For now, disconnect the body connector (D), since we are going to be releasing the camera from the body.

Turn the camera over and remove the 7 slot screws (A) releasing the camera body from the internal shock mounts. The 2 uppermost screws in this photo hold the electronics connector in place.

body bottom

Move to the lens mount next. Remove the 2 slot screws (A) securing the locking handle and remove the handle. The locking ring can now be rotated counter-clockwise several turns and be removed. Remove the ground-glass by loosening the slot screw (B). This is proably not necessary, but will keep it out of harm's way while you are working on the camera. Remove the 4 slot screws (C) that secure the lens mount to the camera. On my camera, the entire lens mount, including the rubber gasket can be removed. I'm not sure if this is the case on all cameras, since mine appears to have been glued in place at one point. I am not sure if the camera assembly can be removed without detaching the lens mount. There may be spacer shims between the mount and the camera assembly, so make sure not to lose those as the flange focal depth of the camera will be out of whack when reassembled. You should now be able to carefully slide the entire camera assembly out of the body. Pay close attention to the mirror-shutter and its backing shroud when removing the assembly from the body. When you are resting the bare camera assembly on a table, be sure the mirror-shutter is retracted so as not to mistakenly rest the camera on it.

lens mount

You should now have something that looks like the following photo. Note that this picture was taken after further disassembly. I've marked some other points of interest here. Roller sprocket drive belt tensioner (A). Double drive gear (B). Motor shroud (C - motor has been removed). A shock mount (D). I am not entirely certain, but I believe due to the positioning of this mount point, that a drop of oil in here will make its way down to the upper drive pulley bearing. Again, this is just conjecture at this point, but I just find it odd that this shock mount has both a screw and a cap that connect it to the body. Take a moment here to examine how the mechanism works. The motor couples directly to the shutter assembly at the front of the motor shroud (C). The motor also drives a belt around 2 tensioning pulleys that leads to the double drive gear (B). This gear couples via a shaft through to the other side of the assembly where it directly drives the film movement. The second (inner) belt connects the double drive gear to the sprocket roller drive pulleys via the tensioner (A).


Since this guide was compiled mainly after I had reassembled my camera, some of the following photos are taken while the camera assembly is still inside the body since I did not feel it necessary to fully disassemble my camera a second time.

The next thing you will want to do is remove the gate so that you can get at the movement assembly. This should be a familiar operation to you, but in case you have never done it, here is a howto. Advance the movement using the inching knob (A) until the claw aligns with the marking on the plastic shroud (B). Disengage the registration pin by moving the release arm (C) to the right fully. It should snap in place. Flip open the edge guide (H). Rotate locking latches (D, E) counter-clockwise and pull them to remove the film gate from the camera. Rotate the pressure plate upper locking latch (F) counter-clockwise. Push and rotate the lower latch (G) counter-clockwise. The pressure plate is carefully removed by pivoting it clockwise about the upper post so that is is clear of the registration pin and claw, and then by sliding it towards you off the upper post. Clean any emulsion buildup from the chrome lapped surfaces and edges around the gate and pressure plate. Rub a light coat of vaseline on the chrome and wipe if off very thoroughly. You want this surface to be as frictionless as possible, but not in any way wet or sticky. At this point, you should also remove the plastic shroud secured with the 2 slot screws (I).

gate removal

Next, remove the 3 slot screws (A) that hold the movement assembly in place. Pull the entire plate out. The plate is registered with some locator pins, so it won't simply rock loose. I find it useful to insert a screwdriver between the main assembly and the movement plate beneath the upper gate post (B) and pry it a tiny bit to get things started. Then I work my way around the edge of the plate with a very small screwdriver slowly lifting the entire plate up off the posts. You should be able to use the posts and inching knob to pull the plate out. Just take your time.

movement assembly

Now we get to disassemble the movement. Again, note that this photo is not of the removed movement assembly, but was taken while the movement was still in the camera. Start by removing the 3 slot screws (A) that hold the inching knob mechanism in place. Remove the inching knob mechanism (B). You should now have good visibility of the entire movement. Take a moment to study all friction points. On my camera, one problem area was the pull-down claw outer bearing bracket (D). When the screws securing it (C) were tightened down all the way, this introduced a bit of stiffness in the shaft. My solution ended up being to back the screws off about 1/8th of a turn and locking them in place with a thread-locker and a good coating of nail polish to lock the heads. The shaft must have experienced some sort of lateral distortion at some point (perhaps by missing a perforation in the film), so it causes an almost imperceptible motion in that outer bearing. I will simply have to keep my eye on these screws to make sure they don't start to loosen. Try advancing your movement using the shaft on the rear of the plate and see if you can identify any tight or sticky spots in the cycle. Continue doing so at each stage of disassembly and reassembly so you can easily locate the source of the problem. Moving on with the disassembly, remove the 2 slot screws (C) that hold the pull-down claw outer bearing bracket (D) in place. Remove the bracket. Next, remove the 4 slot screws (E) that secure the registration pin guide cover in place (G). Collect the cover. Remove the slot screw (F) securing the registration pin assembly to its cam shaft. Collect the washers and carefully lift the registration pin assembly out of its guide. I should mention at this point that you really don't want anything touching the registration pin itself, or the actual pull-down claw, since these are precision machined and lapped to very tight tolerances. I would lift this assembly out using the release lever. Take detailed notice of exactly how the registration pin assembly is mounted on the cam shaft. It rests on a 4-sided peg with a couple of rounded corners. You should probably mark the position of this peg for re-assembly, as found I had to try it in all 4 orientations before I was satisfied with the play. Next move on to the 4 slot screws (H) securing the pull-down claw guide cover (I) in place, and remove the cover. The claw is mounted on a cam-shaft which connects to the drive gear with a screw (J). Remove this screw and collect the pull-down claw. One other thing to do at this point is to remove the slotted cap from the center of the drive gear (K) and apply some oil to the sponge that sits in the shaft. Replace the slotted cap (K).


Here are a couple of the parts you just removed. Registration pin assembly (A). Registration pin assembly guide cover (B). Pull-down claw (C). Claw guide (D). Claw guide cover (E). Claw guide upper bearing bracket (F). Inching knob assembly (G). I'm sure you can identify some other parts in the picture by now too.

movement parts

At this point, I recommend slipping the claw into the guide and making sure it slides smoothly. My guide actually was a bit tight, so I gave it a light sanding with a 1000+ grit paper. I suggest cleaning both parts thoroughly (make sure not to touch the actual claw tip) with vaseline or a similar grease (I actually used a lithium grease compound as it was the only thing I had in the house at the time). Apply it to the guide channel and wipe it off. Repeat this a couple of times. Polish things up nicely. Perform the same check and cleaning with the registration pin assembly and its guide (which you don't need to remove from the movement plate). Things may appear to glide smoothly when they are disassembled, but you should also re-check this once you have the cam-shafts re-attached. This was how I discovered that my claw guide was a bit tight. On the up-stroke, things started to seize up a bit. Make sure to oil the drive gear bearings and the bearings where cam shafts connect to the gear. Also make sure to flip the movement plate over and check for oiling points around the main drive shaft. Next, reassemble the claw and registration pin assemblies. Make sure to give the guide channels a shot of oil before installing the claw and registration pin. You may wish to leave a light coat of your grease compound on the claw shaft (there is a recessed channel on both sides). This will allow the shaft to self-lubricate in operation. The registration pin assembly can be tricky to reassemble. You actually need to actuate the release lever all the way, opening up the slot in the assembly before fitting it over that square-ish peg. Make sure to oil any points where metal-on-metal friction occurs when you are reassembling. After the claw guide cover and upper bearing bracket are back in place and screwed down, check how tight things are. Back off the bracket screws if necessary. Lock all screw-heads with a clear nail-polish or other hardening compound that can be removed without too much effort (ie. not epoxy). You'll actually notice that there are holes in the claw arm that will line up with bearing shaft intermittently as the movement is advanced. You can re-lubricate the claw arm / guide interface in the future via the hole in this bearing shaft. This should probably be done as part of regular maintenance. When replacing the washers and screw in the center of the registration pin assembly, you may need to make sure not to tighten it all the way down. In my case, I had to back it off a 1/4-turn or so and lock the head to the washers with a good dose of nailpolish. If it was tightened down all the way, the movement became harder to advance, and the release lever wouldn't easily actuate. You want to be able to give the main drive shaft a good spin, and the whole movement should continue advancing freely on its own for a bit. I found that a half-twist of the shaft with my thumb would lead to the movement advanding about one and a half cycles. Re-attach all of the movement pieces and lock all screws in place. Set the movement aside for now. Don't re-mount it in the camera yet, since we want to perform some maintenance on the rest of the camera and identify any tight areas. It is much easier to do without the added load induced by the movement.

Return to the motor side of the camera assembly. Remove the 2 slot screws (A) that secure the belt guard. Collect the belt guard. Next remove the 2 slot screws that hold the outer belt tensioner pulleys in place (B). Collect the tensioner pulleys. The outer belt will now pop off of the motor. Remove the 3 slot screws (C) that hold the motor in place. Disconnect the motor connector (D). Slide the motor out of its mounting. There is probably a spacer shim between the motor and the mounting, so collect it too. When the tensioner pulleys are off, you should be able to unscrew and slide the pulleys off of their individual brackets for cleaning and oiling. Reassemble them and set them aside for later.


If you look down into the motor housing tube (A), you will see the mirror-shutter hub coupler. The motor will actually mate with this coupler in 2 orientations. You should make note of the orientation of the sprocket on the rear of the motor with respect to the shutter position. If you reassemble this backwards, then the mirror-shutter will park in the opposite orientation for viewing (shutter open). I actually ran into this problem and had to pull the motor back out and rotate the shaft a half turn before re-fitting. I had incorrectly assumed that the mirror position sensor was down near the front of the camera, and not actually based on the chopper circuit inside the motor itself. Go ahead and shoot a bit of oil around the bearing down the housing tube (A). You may also need to attack it from the mirror-shutter side. Next, remove the slot screw (B) holding the inner belt tensioner pulley in place. You should be able to remove and reinstall this pulley without needing to touch the tensioner screw (C). If things are too tight, go ahead and release the tension. You will not yet be able to remove the belts until we return to the other side of the camera. You will also need to remove a small belt guard adjacent to the main drive double gear located beneath the motor housing (A). It is held in place by 2 small slot screws. Next, go ahead and remove the slot screws (D) that hold the two sprocket roller drive pulleys in place. Make sure you don't mix up the washers that were under these screws when you are reassembling. Remove the 2 slot screws (E) that hold the reed-switch board (F) in place. Make note of how much clearance there is between the reed-switch (the small glass tube on the rear of this board) and the pulley. It should be about 1mm or so. Note in the next section that I am not 100% sure if it is necessary to remove this board.

belts off

Disregard the missing screws (A). There is no need to remove these. You should now be able to pull the roller sprockets (B) off from the movement-side of the camera. If they are tight, give the shafts a bit of a push from the motor-side using something like a counter-sink, or a center punch. Try not to resort to removing the retaining assemblies as shown in this photo as the springs under them (C) are a pain to re-position. Disengage them, but don't remove them. When the rollers slide out, I believe the drive pulleys on the motor-side will slide out (if they don't, then there was no need to remove the reed-switch circuit board in the previous section). I seem to recall that they slid out at least partially to allow for oiling the bearing that they are mounted through. Oil the bearing if this is the case. Clean and polish (grease and wipe) the roller shafts and then re-assemble the roller sprockets to the drive pulleys. Reposition the reed-switch circuit board on the motor-side. Don't bother re-fitting the belt, since we are going to be pulling the main drive double gear assembly. Remove the 3 slot screws (D) and carefully push the assembly through from the motor-side. Make sure you don't cinch the belts while doing this. Once removed, search the double gear shaft for oiling points and give it a good oiling. I do not have directions for fully disassembling this part, as I did not feel it necessary when I was servicing my camera. This shaft is apparently one of the most troublesome areas in these cameras, since it is relatively difficult to get at for regular oiling (ie. is neglected), and it has a fair bit of lateral torque applied to it by the 2 belts, causing the bearing to wear down. On my camera, there was a slight coupling tightness between this shaft and the movement drive shaft. If the movement was pulled out ever so slightly, then the tightness went away. Instead of shimming the movement (which would result in a minor frame shift), I had to remove a tiny shim that was behind my double-gear to push it into its mounting hole slightly further. I also did a bit of filing down of the coupling claw. Re-position the double-gear, making sure that the belts clear it on the motor-side, and re-install the 3 screws (D). Reinstall the belt guard that sits adjacent to the double gear and make sure that there is sufficient clearance between it and the outer belt. In my camera, I could swear there was a bit of friction here when the screws were tightened down, so I shimmed it up ever so slightly.

no movement

Back on the motor-side of the camera, refit the inner drive belt. Oil and reposition the tensioner pulley. The belt should not be too tight, it should have a bit of give if pushed laterally. Too much give and it could jump the teeth on the drive gear. Too little give, and everything will be overly tight, causing the motor to overwork and potentially fail, and wearing down the bearings quicker. My belts have about 3-5mm of deflection. Give the sprocket rollers a spin, there should be no tight spots.

Oil any bearings you can locate on the motor. You can actually pop off the end-sprocket by removing the nut with a 7/32" socket. And from there, I believe you can get a closer look at the bearing (A) underneath the sprocket (I can't recall if this was the procedure, but I do recall having the end removed and looking into the motor at the optical chopper feedback circuit). Reinstall the motor into the housing on the camera making sure to align the couplers correctly as you noted in the disassembly stage. If you get it backwards, that's okay, you'll just need to reposition it after you test out the camera. Re-attach the motor connector (B). With the motor back in place, re-install the tensioner pulleys (D) and route the outer drive belt from the double gear, through the pulleys, and around the motor drive sprocket. Take up the slack in the pulleys so that there is a bit of give in the belt (about 3-5mm). Orienting these pulleys correctly is important to keep the belt from wandering too far to one side or the other. Ideally, when you spin the motor sprocket, the belts should remain centered on the tensioner pulleys (see D). Simply loosen the screws, twist the pulleys one way or the other, tighten the screws, and re-check by spinning the motor. This can take a few iterations to get it just right. Don't bother re-installing the belt guard (C) just yet, since you are going to have to return to this step again later when you synchronize the mirror with the movement.

motor reassembly

At this point, you should have a fully assembled movement that spins freely, and a fully assembled motor / belt assembly that spins relatively freely without any tight spots. Double check that everything feels smooth. Reinstall the movement plate into the camera, aligning the guide pins, and making sure you align the couplers in the shaft correctly. They will only fit together in one orientation. Before tightening it down, check that everything still operates smoothly when you twist the sprocket on the end of the motor clockwise. As you tighten down the 3 slot screws (A), keep checking that things do not get tight. Spinning the roller sprockets may give you a better feel for whether there are any tight spots due to their higher gearing ratio. If you've got the screws (A) tightened all the way down and things feel smooth, then congratulations, you're almost finished! Go ahead and slip the plastic movement cover back on and secure it with its 2 screws.

movement reassembly

Reinstall the gate and pressure plate if you haven't already done so. Go ahead and remove the belt guard (E) if you had previously reinstalled it. It is now time to synchronize the shutter and the movement. The way you do this is by slipping the outer belt on the motor drive sprocket. While looking into the front of the camera, rotate the movement until the shutter is starting to cross the film gate (the shutter rotates counter-clockwise when looking into the front of the camera). You can rotate the movement using the inching knob or the motor sprocket (A). You want to keep your eye on the shutter and the pull-down claw. When the edge of the shutter crosses the very top of the gate (shutter closed), this is the point at which the pull-down claw should be engaging a perforation. I find it is easiest to gauge this by snipping a length of film, installing it in the gate only, and keeping my finger on the edge of the film, just above the gate. When looking into the front of the camera, as the shutter closes, if I can just feel the film starting to be pulled, then I know is is in sync. If the film starts moving before the shutter is fully closed, you need to go back to the motor, loosen the tensioning rollers (B), move the belt one tooth counter-clockwise (C), and re-tighten the rollers. If the shutter closes, but there is a delay before the film starts pulling, you need to adjust the belt clockwise (D). The tolerance here is fairly tight. If the film starts advancing too late, you will know because as the shutter starts to open, the registration pin will not yet have engaged. The film is only allowed to move while the shutter is closed, and conversely, when the shutter is open, the film must be stationary and registered. This adjustment only takes a couple of minutes to get right. When you have it dialed in, adjust your tension roller orientations to center the belt and make sure you still have a bit of deflection in the belt. Reinstall the belt guard (E) when finished.


You should now be ready to slide the camera assembly back into the body. Make sure all connectors are re-attached, and ensure that no wires are touching the belts or pulleys or rollers. Move them out of the way if they are, and or tie them off somehow (elastics, tie wraps, etc.). Retract the mirror shutter and slide the assembly back into the body, making sure to line up the shock mount points. Be extra mindful of the shutter. Reinstall the screws into the shock mounts through the top and bottom of the body. Rotate the shutter and make sure it is not obstructed by any part of the body. Re-fit the electronics connector to the body (2 screws on the bottom of the body) and mate the 2 halves of the camera body back together. Push them together nice and tight. At this point, you should connect the battery and verify that the camera operates. Switch it on and off and wait for the mirror to park. Check that the mirror parks in the closed position. If it parks in the open position, then you coupled the motor out of phase. You'll have to pull the motor out a few millimeters and spin the shaft 180 degrees while holding the shutter in position, and then tighten it back up and re-synchronize the shutter and movement. If all is well, screw the 2 halves of the camera back together (6 screws) and return to the front of the camera. Re-install the ground glass. Slip any shims into place and re-fit the rubber lens mount gasket and the lens mount, locating them over the guide pins in the camera assembly. It can be a bit tricky to get the rubber gasket to sit flush. Take the time and get it right. My camera has some glue residue on this rubber gasket, but I am not sure if it is standard practise to cement this in place. Reinstall the 4 screws in the lens mount and then start threading on the locking ring. Install the dust cap and continue rotating the locking ring until it tightens up. Install the locking ring lever with its 2 slot screws. It should be back in a familiar position. Turn the ring counter-clockwise to unlock and remove the dust cap. Try to fit a lens, if it will not fit, then you may need to remove the lever and back the locking ring off a full turn. Re-install any shims in the upper optical block and assemble any prisms and lenses in that area. Refit the viewfinder block, being very mindful of the thin lip that seals the bottom of it and screw it back in place with the 2 long slot screws and the 2 philips screws at the rear of the handle.

That should complete the re-assembly. Fire the camera up and let it run for a while. I have not actually gone through the process recently of disassembling my magazines, but they are not too difficult to figure out. They also should be undergoing far less wear and tear than your camera body, since the spools rotate much much slower.