The R-390A Frequently Asked Questions Page

Reconditioning the Veeder Root Counter Mechanism

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This document is a compilation of the wisdom shared by members of the online community of R-390A enthusiasts. As such, it is advice to those who endeavor to maintain and restore the R-390A family of receivers. The information is shared without warranty, expressed or implied. This information is in the public domain and can be freely copied or shared.

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Note: The following article was posted by Nolan Lee on the R-390 list on 1998-May-18. Nolan's technical writing style is unique and can be best described as the language of 'Redneck Engineering'. Translations are available for those who are techno-colloquially challenged.

"rippin' apart the counter..."

The hammer I used for this was a 2oz one. This is one case where a "bigger hammer" ain't good bubba. Put that 4lb maul DOWN!........NOW!

Also, your counter may be a different part/casting number and assembled differently. It's also been 20 years since I took mine apart. My memory might be faulty and your milage may vary......I accept no responsibility. I don't think they were made to be taken apart, but I liked the challenge.

I used a small punch to remove the small counter shaft. At least that's what I called it. It was the one with the little "10X" multiplier cogs on it. It was pressed in from one side and then the casting was peened over the end of the shaft. Oh, as you slide the shaft out, all of the little cogs will fall off. Watch where they come from. Some of them were different.

I then bored a couple of holes to intersect the bottom of the two rivets that held the cover to the body. This was the little cover plate that covered the gaps between the digits when viewing the counter from the front. I then drove them out with a small punch. The cover is real soft and will bend/kink/distort real easy. While I had mine off, I stripped it and repainted it and baked it in the oven.

Finally, the primary digit counter wheels of both the MC and KC segments are pinned to each of the drive shafts (the shafts that have the bevel driven gears attached). These pins were driven out. It's been a hell of a long time and I don't remember for sure but I'm pretty sure that those pins were tapered and had to be driven out from ONLY one direction. You'd want to inspect them VERY carefully and see if they ARE tapered before driving them out. If they are tapered and you attempt to drive them out from the wrong direction, you will probably bend the shafts and total out the counter assembly.

After pulling the two shafts, the entire assembly should "fall apart", either in your hands or into the shag carpet. Oh, watch where the little thrust washer/spacers fall from. They'll need to go back in the same spots. Don't ask, I don't remember.....

I cleaned everything while I had it apart and actually waxed the counter wheels with automotive paste wax. I then reassembled it using an untra- fine powdered graphite as a lubricant. Keep the graphite off of the digits or it can stain them. Suspecting that this could happen is the reason that I waxed all of the counter wheels BEFORE adding the graphite. 20 years ago, the paint on my counter wheels had more than enough adheasion to survive the waxing. I don't know about yours......

Best of luck and may the force be with you.


  • Nolan Lee

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Version: 3 - - Last revision: 2006-Oct-01