The Commodore 1541 floppy diskette drive is notorious for breaking down. The Commodore SX-64 floppy drive is no different. As I continue my Commodore SX-64 restoration, I find that the 1541 floppy drive doesn’t read diskettes any more and makes a chattering sound when attempting to read a disk. In this video, I walk through how to diagnose the SX-64 floppy drive as well as possible remedies before finally replacing the 1541 mechanism with a standalone drive.
One of the finishing touches that got cut from the Project Essex Commodore SX-64 restoration video on element14 presents was replacing the “transit card” (officially known as the “Head Vibration Protector”) from the 1541 floppy diskette drive. The transit card is a specially-shaped piece of heavy card stock that slides into the disk drive and holds the head assembly in place to prevent damage during transit and is essential to taking proper care of the SX-64 due to its “portable” nature. This card will replace Commodore part number 251171-03 and fits all Commodore 5.25″ floppy disk drives.
To build it, I printed the attached PDF at 100% (no scaling) on 110lb card stock paper, then glued a second sheet (doubling the weight) before cutting out the design. You’ll need to cut out the center hole for the spindle to fit through as well.
Slide the card into the drive like any diskette and close the latch any time you’re going to be moving the assembly (or just keep it in there for storage)!