Potentiometer disassembly help

This old topic is closed. If you want to reopen this topic, contact a moderator using the "Report Post" button.
Hello everyone,

I have a rather special potentiometer that I want to disassemble and clean. Unfortunately it's held together by some kind of friction plate that's been forced onto the shaft. I don't even know what the thing that's holding it together is called so I can't look up ways to remove it safely. Does anyone know what this thing is called and how it could be removed without damaging the potentiometer (see the second picture)?



  • pot1.png
    374.2 KB · Views: 170
  • pot2.png
    315.7 KB · Views: 162
I do not know "why" you want to clean it...is it a noisy? Because if it is not, do not open it. if is not broken...Do not fix it;) But to take out that thing out( it looks like a safety washer), you can use a small thin flat screwdriver and open some of the "wings" that are holding on. do not worry if it brakes, you can always find it at any big hardware store.
Thanks for the reply lanchile, I should have filled in some more background. The pot is pulled from a 20 year old preamp and is indeed noisy. It also shows some channel imbalance in certain positions. My understanding is that it uses conductive plastic surfaces so it's possible it's just worn away with use, but I'm hoping it just needs to be cleaned.

I'll see if one of my small screw drivers can fit between the wings. The cracks between them are actually very small.
Them thar things are called "retaining washer"
I would drill, most carefully, a small hole in the housing, with a magnet next to it to catch the bits (vaseline if it is not ferrous). Than spray my fave cleaner into it. E
Edit: clean and cover the hole afterward with electrical tape.
Last edited:
The pot is a stack of three metal cups, with each one containing one plate/brush assembly. The back cup is held on with three long screws and can easily be removed, but the rest are held together by the tension from that retaining washer on the shaft.

Drilling is an interesting idea, but I'd rather not damage the casing for an uncertain result. I'm also very curious to see what's inside :)

I've attached a picture from the side for those that are interested. As far as I can tell the casing is gold plated brass. This was pulled from a Sony TA-ER1.


  • pot3.png
    535.3 KB · Views: 123
You can spray or drop appropriate cleaner/lube through the connection pins... do not use something like WD-40.

This unit ought to come apart, as it did go together. Your image does not show the method of construction. Do not drill it, that will likely put metal particles inside the housing.

Snap rings can be removed. Show the snap ring?

If you take it apart you may find this is a fancy housing over a standard pot unit inside. May.

Sony parts are often available. I'd check around to see.

Why three sections?

Last edited:
Hi Bear,

The second picture in my first post shows the retaining washer. I may be able to get it off, but will probably destroy it in the process, so I'll look for a replacement.

It has once section for each brush/plate assembly. It looks like there are two 20 kOhm plates and one 10 kOhm one. Not sure what the third one is for.
This old topic is closed. If you want to reopen this topic, contact a moderator using the "Report Post" button.