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We acquired (from Freecycle) a Panasonic SD-206 automatic bread maker where the paddle intermittently slipped. Other Panasonic bread makers have similar mechanisms and this page should therefore be useful to others!
On trying to make a loaf, there was indeed a sound as of something mechanical slipping in the works.
So I went about trying to fix it. An internet hunt for service instructions or other hints proved fruitless. Here is what I found:
I am told that Draper make a tool for removing the security screws on the base: it's a TX-STAR security bit ref. CR-VT-20 (can be obtained from Amazon with 32 other security bits for just over £5)
Having removed the base, it was clear that the drive belt was loose and was slipping. To prove it, there was film of black particles that had been worn off the old belt.
An internet search for a spare belt turned up one supplier - price £14. But they were out of stock. Searching through catalogues such as RS Components revealed many different drive belts, but nothing similar.
November 2011. espares apparently stock the Panasonic drive belt. I am told that The Panasonic ref. for the belt is ASD158-108-W but the informant says that they are now discontinued. The number printed on the belt supplied is MG2051 2513 17 (though that's difficult to read!). The girth of the old, stretched belt is now 438mm. You need a belt smaller than this!
So I found a wide elastic band that has a reasonable fit round the large pulley that drives the paddle and refitted the old belt over the top of this. The elastic band effectively increases the diameter of this wheel so that the refitted drive belt is properly tight.
The motor and drive system are similar on our other bread machine (Panasonic SD 255) though the access to it is different, so the same trick with a rubber band should work here, too.
Cost of the repair was nothing, other than a bit of time wasted searching for information and spares, and a lot in ingenuity!
There can be only two reasons for the use such massive security as modified security screws in a product: either the contents behind the base are dangerous - or you with to restrict servicing to authorised service centres only - who will doubtless charge a high charge for a job that, with the correct tools, will take about 10 minutes. I have no doubt that Panasonic sell a suitably modified tool at a suitably modified price - to their authorised service centres!
This is a restrictive trade practise of the worst kind and results in the scrapping of perfectly serviceable machines. Although the Panasonic machine is a good, well made machine my opinion of them has been severely dented and I shall think twice in future about buying another Panasonic product.
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