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I have acquired an Amiga 500 that seems fully functional, but the floppy disk drive seems to have mechanical issues.

I could get it to read a few floppy disks until the last one wouldn't pop out when pushing the release button of the floppy drive.

I disassembled the Amiga 500 and got the floppy drive out of its metal casing to diagnose the problem.

Apparently, the little plastic arm that is supposed to pull back the floppy disk's metal shutter and push the floppy disk out doesn't move when pushing the release button. Pushing it with a screwdriver unstucks it and makes it push the floppy disk out.

There seems like there was lube on it at some point but it seems dried out.

Also, when I fix it, it ends up with the same problem after inserting and popping out a floppy disk for a few times.

What can I do to fix the Amiga 500 floppy disk drive? If I need to lube it, where should I and how should I do so? Or is it that the springs are too loose and old?

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It is possible that the old lubrication on the sticking part has absorbed some fluff or grit and so is no longer working as a lubricant. The build-up of muck could be around the point where the arm latches. Your screwdriver trick could be freeing it enough to work for a while.

I would clean the part as much as possible. Use a residue-free solvent - I always use cigarette lighter fluid - dabbed gently on the part to lift the old lubricant and clean the parts. Brush with an artist's paintbrush to flick off any debris. Also use the same cleaning technique on the springs themselves. Any muck that is may stick adjacent coils together will impair their function.

Once the solvent has evaporated and you are happy that the part is clean then use a very light lubrication. The best lubricants I have found for these purposes is Teflon-based, e.g. Triflon. However, they are expensive and not always easy to find. Watchmaker's Oil is a close runner up. Put a needle into the bottle to pick up only a very small drop for transfer onto the mechanism.

That should give you a few more years of service.

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I managed to fix the floppy disk drive mechanism.

I completly disassemblied the floppy disk drive mechanical system and cleaned each part with lighter fluid.

Then I applied a very light lubrication to the areas where the parts where in contact with one another. Only a really small amount of lubricant is needed (I used an unfolded paperclip to apply it). I couldn't afford teflon-based lubricant so I went for "3-IN-1" oil (cleans, protects from rust and lubricates).

The first time I did that and put it back together, I forgot to clean and lubricate the metal piece on the bottom of the mechanism (the part that holds the eject button), so I had to disassembly it once more, clean and lubricate it.

After reassembling the floppy disk drive and the Amiga 500, it works fine, even if the mechanism feels a little weak when it ejects the floppy disk (I don't know if that the case of every Amiga floppy disk drives as I only have this one).

P.S: If you do so to repair your Amiga floppy disk drive, be REALLY careful. The springs are easy to lose and some of the plastic parts can be broken easily (I broke a small piece of plastic that was supposed to fit on the bottom a the PCB, thankfully, this piece seems useless).

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    The lubricant used for low torque / no maintenance mechanical devices is very commonly white lithium grease; it is viscous enough to not drip, sticks to metal, is not corrosive and will not dry out. Over time it can collect dust, and metal particles but this is not a problem during the normal device's lifetime. It is used on floppy drives, VCR and audio tape mechanisms, etc. – Thomas Dec 8 '16 at 21:31
  • @Thomas Thank you for the insight. "3-IN-1" oil is not corrosive and should be able do work for a good time before drying. The only downside compared to lithium grease is that it's way more liquid, so it could drip if too much of it is used. – user2109 Dec 9 '16 at 23:28
  • I have successfully used Nivea cream on an Atari 1050 drive's head guides to make it quiet! it's amazing how the head movement became silent; it would last a couple days and require more cream :D once I properly rebuilt it, there was no damage and it kept working afterwards, but yeah.. don't do that ;) – Thomas Dec 9 '16 at 23:33

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