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Repairing A BRC/Thorn Tuner

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repairtun This addresses the problem encountered on Thorn mechanical, single standard tuners. The fault being the plastic washers degrade and crumble thus preventing successful latching. The method was originally devised by Mikey405, I’ve documented my attempts with photos.

Follow the steps and there are example photo’s of a tuner I recently repaired, just one of many in the crusty collection. The problem is the plastic parts that lock each tuner button when pushed. I have used this method on at least 5-6 tuners, all with success.


All you need are some M6 cup washers for use with 19″ rack equipment and some M6 “penny” washers.

  1.  Remove the four screws holding the tuner latching mechanics to the tuner itself.
  2.  Remove the tuning bar spring and separate the two sections. Put the tuner section to one side.
  3.  Remove the customer knobs and put them to one side.
  4. Release the latching bar by straightening the two tabs and pulling the latch bar forward.
  5.  Remove the latching bar and spring and put both to one side.
  6. Undo the four Phillips screws INSIDE the square-section push-bars. These can be very tight so the correct size screwdriver and a pair of pliers can be useful. Put the screws to one side.
  7. Turn the spindles in a clockwise direction (as viewed from the customer-end) and remove the square-section bars.
  8. Remove the four rear-most circlips (nearest the customer) that stop the spindles from returning too far and put them to one side.
  9. Now the spindles can be slid back enough towards the customer end to remove the spring.
  10. Remove the remains of the plastic collars from the square-section bars and throw them away.
  11. Remove the springs.Slide on to the spindle the metal M6 “penny” washers so that they touch the cir-clip at the end of the spindle thread.
  12. Take the springs and push each one into the cups of the plastic M6 “cup” washers and then push both back onto the spindle so the back of the “cup” washer touches the “penny” washer.
  13. Slide the square-section bars (slotted end towards the spindle) through the square holes and onto the spindles taking care to make sure the spring doesn’t get trapped or tangled.
  14. Screw the spindles anti-clockwise (as viewed from the customer side) a dozen-or-so turns to join the square-section bars to the spindles.
  15. Replace the rear-most cir-clips onto the spindles taking care to make sure the rubber and thin plastic washers are on the customer-side.
  16. Screw the four Phillips screws back into the end of the square-section bars. Make sure they’re reasonably tight.
  17. Check the action of the spindles and springs – make sure the square-section bars don’t come out of the slots when the spindles are turned fully anti-clockwise. The bars should be flush with the “chassis” – If they can be turned too far back then an extra “penny” washer is needed.
  18. Replace the latching bar by pushing it through the slots and bending the tabs very slightly and re-attaching the spring.
  19. Check the action of the latching bar on each spindle.
  20. Replace the customer tuning knobs, Re-attach the tuner and tuning bar spring to the mechanism.

tuner1 tuner2 Repairing A BRC/Thorn Tuner 1 Repairing A BRC/Thorn Tuner 2 Repairing A BRC/Thorn Tuner 3 Repairing A BRC/Thorn Tuner 4 Repairing A BRC/Thorn Tuner 5 Repairing A BRC/Thorn Tuner 6

Replacement M6 Cups


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9 years ago

Wow thanks for the tip I shall be able to fix my 1972 Ultra 12″ black and white set. Its stuck on one channel at the moment others gone are very loose, will get back to you how I got on. Thanks

8 years ago

would I be right in suggesting the old red and white servisol contact cleaner is responsible in part for the breaking up of the plastic mounts in many – particularly thorn sets – the collars look like they have been zapped too !

8 years ago

Hi Stu,

Not entirely sure that is the case, let me explain why.

An engineer contacted me when I was in the process of repairing a tuner, he stated that he had some NOS collars in stock and that he would fish them out for me. I thought excellent and what a result, however a few days later he contacted me again which shattered that euphoria. He stated upon finding and opening the NOS packets, the collars had suffered the same disintegration. It would seem the plastic material used after 30+ years just degrades..

6 years ago

I’ve just repaired my 1400 tuner, quick and easy fix which should last years. Only took about 30 minutes from start to finish.

5 years ago

Many thanks for the tip. I have successfully repaired the tuner in my HMV 2807 (BRC 1500) using this method. I have recently ordered a quantity of the recommended plastic cup washers, which will enable me to fix my Ultra 6649 (BRC 1400) plus a pair of Marconiphone 4816 (BRC 1590) portables. When I eventually get around to restoring my Marconiphone 4711, thatwill probably require the same treatment.

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