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Successful Mb 144 Nib Swap


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3 replies to this topic

#1 kcunvong

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 09:48

I bought a burgundy 144 with a mangled nib off of eBay. I have a spare nib/section combination from a black 144. My goal is to swap in this donor nib and then align it to the ebonite feed of the other pen. (I am keeping this pen, so I see no harm in swapping in a single-toned for the mangled two-toned one.) Due to a lack of an abundance of resources, I decided to make this post to help others. This was not easy at all and it took a lot of patience because all the parts are extremely fragile, especially the feed and the tines. Looking back, the complete disassembly was unnecessary if you're going to do a mere nib swap; I initially thought it would be more helpful because I was planning on swapping feeds also. Maybe if you have to do more than just a nib swap, you'll find this useful. Please use this as reference and follow at your own risk. I am not responsible for any damages or loss due to your doing. Feel free to correct me, also.

I wish I made more photos of the steps in the beginning, but alas I did not know I was going to make this post.

You need:
Spark Plug Wire Boot Puller Tool
Hair dryer
Pliers with the nose rubber coated
Dental floss
Good fingers

Removing the good nib from the donor section
With one hand I grabbed the housing. With the other, I used my thumb and pushed against the nib, nudging it back and forth. I then used my fingers to pull. I repeated this process until the nib slid off. It is a very tight friction fit. At first, it felt like it wouldn't move, but eventually it gave way. If you look closely at the base of the removed nibs in the photos, you will notice that they are asymmetrical, with a wavy dent on the left side. This is to keep the nib fixed in place. I had trouble removing the feed, so I left it alone.

Posted Image
*Both nibs had this wavy dent. It keeps the nib fixed to the black casing.

Casing Removal
I started off with a 144 with a mangled nib. I first unscrewed the section from the barrel, so to isolate the nib/section. Here is the difficult part: I warmed the section gradually. During this time, I grasped the section with one hand and with the other, I grabbed the nib/feed and I turned, counter-clockwise. Be careful, ebonite feeds are soft and overheating will mess up the feed. So, if the section gets too hot, take it away from the blow dryer. Also, be careful with damaging the fins - they easily bend. Eventually, the black case (still holding the feed and nib) came out. Now, we have several pieces: the black case with nib/feed, a gold ring, the burgundy section, and the gold piece that screws onto the barrel.

The burgundy section houses the nib/feed and their black case. There is a gold ring that goes around.
Posted Image
*The photo above was taken after the swap, with the new nib. The nib is not yet aligned to the feed yet. I do not have photos of the actual casing removal, just this mock-up.

Nib Removal
I tried the same technique written previously on how to remove the nib, but it was too tight. Instead I used a Spark Plug Wire Boot Puller Tool and I grasped the remaining tine with a set of pliers. I wiggled and pulled. Off it went. I would've been more careful if I wanted to save the nib, but since it had only one tine, I had no use for it. You might want to be more cautious. Either way, it's friction fit - wiggle, pull, wiggle, pull.

Nib Install
The new nib had to be aligned perfectly with the feed, because the nib does not go in if it's off centered. Make sure the tines are correctly centered over the feed's center. Push. No tricks here, just use your fingers and push at the nib's shoulders. Be careful with damaging the nib alignment. Eventually, it gets in there, but not quite all the way. What I did next to push it in further was to use the Spark Plug Wire Boot Puller Tool again in the method shown in the photo below.

Posted Image
*The Spark Plug Wire Boot Puller Tool hangs over a table. I pushed the nib in gradually with my left hand, as shown. My right hand supported the Spark Plug Wire Boot Puller Tool. The nib popped in. I made sure that the wavy dent was pushed into the black casing.

Assembly
Inside the burgundy section are a pair of ridges. Line them up with their matching portions of the gold piece that screws onto the barrel. It slides right on. Next, take the gold ring and slide it onto the black casing. Be careful, it only goes on one way. The ring is supposed to hug its matching portion on the black casing. See the image below.

Posted Image

Posted Image
*Assembled. You will notice that ink marks maybe indicates that I should've pushed further. Maybe I should have, but it did not want to go anymore. The donor pen had a different feed, so maybe the nib distance is different, also. I don't know. In the end, it worked out fine at this distance.

Now, screw in the black casing. You're almost done.

Nib and Feed Alignment
Since the nib is from a donor pen, it did not align with this pen's feed. No problem. I took a piece of dental floss and slipped it between the nib and feed, right above the level of the most first distal fin. My left hand held the pen, and my right hand held the ends of the dental floss. My left thumb held the feed closely to the nib. With my right hand, I pulled the dental floss. If the floss slips into the feed section, it's not a big deal, it won't damage the feed because the floss will simply splay. Pull the dental floss carefully for a few moments and let go. Ebonite here is very soft, so it will easily bend. The idea here is to use the floss as a fulcrum and while you pull with your left hand to make the feed bend towards the nib. Evaluate the nib/feed alignment. Repeat as necessary. When you are done, the nib should be touching the feed. No gaps.

Posted Image
*Before

Posted Image
*Another before

Posted Image
*After

I would've done a mock-up of the dental floss between the nib/feed, but the nib and feed are so well mated that I can't slip the dental floss in.


There are probably Montblanc tools to do all this, but I don't have any. I hoped you enjoyed reading this and that you somewhat found this useful. Good luck.

Best,
kcunvong

Edited by kcunvong, 18 June 2012 - 10:06.


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#2 Paul Raposo

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 15:38

Excellent photos and instructions, kcunvong :clap1:

Definitely a resource that can be used by future repairers. Great work!
There are a thousand thoughts lying within a man that he does not know till he takes up a pen to write.
--William Makepeace Thackeray


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#3 jslallar

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 20:04

Thanks.

Worth pinning I would say.
Enjoy your pens
Have a nice day
Junaid

#4 kcunvong

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 06:37

Thank you everyone! ;)






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