Healthways Scuba Deluxe Rebuild Problems

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Discussion of diving methods and equipment available prior to the development of BCDs beyond the horse collar. This forum is dedicated to the pre-1970 diving.
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dukenougat3d
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Healthways Scuba Deluxe Rebuild Problems

Mon Dec 12, 2016 10:34 pm

Hey, everyone - I'm new and still learning my way around double-hose regulators. I've been rebuilding a healthways scuba deluxe and I've run across a major problem - when installing a new reproduction silicone diaphragm from thescubamuseum.com, I could not get the clamp to seat properly! The diaphragm itself sits between the cans just fine, but the clamp is too thin to get a grip around the assembly. I was suggested that perhaps the previous owner crimped the clamp tighter to accomodate a squished diaphragm, but I can't seem to stretch the clamp out. Can anyone give me any tips on what I should do, or where to locate a new clamp with enough clearance to secure about 1/4" of space with the cans sandwiching the diaphragm?

The regulator disassembled, original parts shown.
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Replacement parts (still awaiting a new set of o-rings and a high pressure valve seat/plunger).
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The clamp simply won't work! (I apologize for the blurriness, this was the best photo I could take on my phone, I can take higher quality ones if required)
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Improper seating.
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Bronze06
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Re: Healthways Scuba Deluxe Rebuild Problems

Tue Dec 13, 2016 12:08 pm

Duke,

I've rebuilt and dove several using the new silicon diaphragm and they all go on tight due to thicker dimensions. What I do is take a small dead blow hammer or even a wooden handle of a hammer and tap along the outside of the retaining ring to compress the diaphragm rim and secure the can halves, ensuring that my diaphragm is aligned. Start out at one end and tap the retaining ring at various points completely circumnavigating the ring. You will see the ring go down toward the cans. Repeat as necessary. You will find that the cans will close up (with no damage to the diaphragm) and you will be able to insert the securing screw into the screw clamp. Press firmly but not too hard on the reg body when you start tapping. Healthways regulator cans of this eara generally don't match up in too securely even with the old diaphragms. They are very dependent on getting that ring cinched down firmly onto the can lips. Hope this helps.
"Where'd ya get that ol' thang, don't cha' know them thare things ill kill ya!"

Live From the Red Sea,

Russ

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dukenougat3d
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Re: Healthways Scuba Deluxe Rebuild Problems

Tue Dec 13, 2016 12:12 pm

Thank you for the tip! I have actually tried that, but the misalligned cans is really grinding my gears, especially considering the original diaphragm had everything alligned perfectly - I've also heard using a longer stainless steel screw will help with installation of the clamp, but until this diaphragm gets squished a bit, I don't think this issue has an easy fix. I might do the longer screw trick for a while until the issue fixes itself or I have the ability to take on a more complicated method.

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Bronze06
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Re: Healthways Scuba Deluxe Rebuild Problems

Tue Dec 13, 2016 12:28 pm

dukenougat3d wrote:Thank you for the tip! I have actually tried that, but the misalligned cans is really grinding my gears, especially considering the original diaphragm had everything alligned perfectly - I've also heard using a longer stainless steel screw will help with installation of the clamp, but until this diaphragm gets squished a bit, I don't think this issue has an easy fix. I might do the longer screw trick for a while until the issue fixes itself or I have the ability to take on a more complicated method.


Duke,

You need to tap the rim of the ring and use the original screw. Don't let optical illusions that can take place with these chromy regs fool you, I thought I had to do the same thing, but once I tapped it together, I saw that the ring never really quite matches up equidistantly around the can's circumference. What you don't want is to use a longer screw and have the cans fly apart on you on a dive. Once you tap it on, and get the screw in the clamp secured, check to see if the cans can freely rotate. If they do continue to tighten the clamp screw until the cans stop rotating and feel firmly secure. Ensure the horns are about at 120 degrees of total circumference. Put some silicon grease on the diaphragm rim and on the inside of the ring, it helps. Once you get that screw into the hole gently adjust the ring and cans as you go. The clamp will eventually secure the cans and center everything.
"Where'd ya get that ol' thang, don't cha' know them thare things ill kill ya!"

Live From the Red Sea,

Russ

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dukenougat3d
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Re: Healthways Scuba Deluxe Rebuild Problems

Tue Dec 13, 2016 12:43 pm

The clamp's on as tight as I can screw it and I've been tapping the rim as instructed, but I just can't seem to get those cans to match up. Nothing's rotating or feeling loose, but the fact the edge of the cans just barely peeks out from under the clamp (not illustrated in the bottom pic) in certain places really makes me worried.
Image

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Bronze06
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Re: Healthways Scuba Deluxe Rebuild Problems

Tue Dec 13, 2016 11:13 pm

Duke,

Did you use some silicon grease on the lips of the can, the outer edge of the diaphragm and the interior of the retaining ring? If so, lossen the screw just to the point of being able to slide the cans to where they are more or less centered then re-tighten the screw. I see that you have full compression of the ring by your photo. That being the case, the cans cannot come off. This is as good as it gets with the new diaphragm installed on the inherent rolled lip design of this regulator. Firmly pull on the cans to ensure that both are within the ring after tightening, ensuring that you don't bend the horns. If you are worried about perfect centering, don't be. The cans will not separate now that you have the ring fully screwed down.
Attach a hose assembly and place the reg on a tank. Go ahead and open the tank valve and do a breathing check. After this, place the entire SCUBA w/ tank in a bath tub filled with water and do a visual check for leaks around the can and yoke area. If everything is good, if you can, do a shallow pool dive to check functioning and look for air leaks at the yoke/tank connection again. I am positive, that even though it might look like the can edges are outside the lip, that they are actually seated and that the ring is doing its job.

PS; One thing that I have found on the new diaphragms is that some have a rather high pop rivet end on the outside of the diaphragm. This can interfere with breathing effort due to the tip of the pop rivet hitting the inside of the outer (top) can. What I have done is to cut the end down a bit using a side cutting plier, and gently tap down on the remainder ensuring a solid flat piece of metal is underneath the diaphragm. By cutting the pop-rivet end down a bit, it will allow the diaphragm to full expand and will help you dial in the lever hight to gain a better breathing effort. If your diaphragm already has a relatively flat pop-rivet end, disregard this advice.
As far as ring placement, I would suggest that the connecting clamp screw portion go to the bottom of the regulator instead of the top as you now have it, due to the possiblity of your head scraping against the screw clamp on a dive, even if the SCUBA is placed correctly between the shoulders. JMO
"Where'd ya get that ol' thang, don't cha' know them thare things ill kill ya!"

Live From the Red Sea,

Russ

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dukenougat3d
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Re: Healthways Scuba Deluxe Rebuild Problems

Wed Dec 14, 2016 12:07 am

I'll try all that out as soon as possible, thanks! Do you know anything about refinishing cans? I'll need to have these cans replated eventually. I'm also considering altering the exhale can to install a duckbill to avoid the supposedly common issue of the diaphragm locking the mushroom up. I've seen people make small diaphragm stopper platforms next to the valve to prevent it from contacting the valve, but my interest in modding for a duckbill comes from the heavily dented and warped mushroom valve seat that has a lot of corrosion under the box. I wouldn't want to put in a lot of money and effort making the cans look nice to have a spot for corrosion to easily collect where I can't monitor for it along with a damaged valve seat.

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Bronze06
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Re: Healthways Scuba Deluxe Rebuild Problems

Wed Dec 14, 2016 5:15 pm

Duke,

Never had a problem with the umbrella valve being locked up on these regs. even with a new main diaphragm. I wouldn't alter the outflow valve. You will hear of duckbill lock up on US Divers and Voit Regs due to the duckbill valves tendency at rare times to geat reversed into the horn if a diver hasn't checked it after rinsing the reg. It happens rarely. That is why you always do a predive check to ensure the duckbil or unbrella valve is operating correctly and after the dive rinse, rinse, rinse in warm water and do a post dive check with air to the system after your reg dries out a bit. We need to do this to all regs regardless of type after a dive, but many people just dip it and hang it up without giving it the proper care a life support device deserves. I have been guilty of this on occasions in the distant past and it cost me some bucks to fix it.

On my recent reg. the 4th generation Siebe Heinke 1963, they ran into problems with duck bills being restricted due to the over sized diaphragm closing the duckbill. They fixed the problem intiially with a cross bar attachment in the top can on the 5th generation and finally redesigned the 6th generation to have a full restriction plate inside the reg. All I did was just replace the original high ceiling diaphragm with a new silicon US Divers one, works great. The British had a tendency to really over-engineer and over think stuff at that time.

In the case of your Healthways, you have an angled umbrella valve box. This allows the umbrella valve to flow regardless of diaphragm "Press" into the top can. The idea behind it is that with such an angled outflow "box" even if the diaphragm is pressing onto the valve, you will still be able to exhale due to that angular tilt of the umbrella valve box not allowing full restriction by the diaphragm and thus force the diaphragm back to its rest postion. It does not take much air on the exhale to do this at all. So to answer your question again, don't mess with the outflow box.

If you want to re-chrome the body, all I can say is find a well recommended chrome shop. I am over in Saudi Arabia and I have a guy down in Riyahd that does a fairly good job, but I don't think his quality is up to US and European standards. As far as the valve "spider" support. As long as there is good brass underneath the verdigrised and decayed chrome, you should be good to go. A good chrome job should fix this problems. A little light tweeking at the cross beams of the spider support is needed at times to ensure that the valve seals up well. Just play with it gently and tweek it lightly until you are satisfied, to wit; suck and blow into the exhaust horn. If it is pushed in, take a plastic or wood dowel or other stick like device and gently push up from the inside through the horn to get the spider more or less leveled up. Level the spider out as best you can BEFORE you send it into the Chrome shop. Just remember that Healthways did have nice chrome, but their can bodies and design were somewhat less robust and well fitting than a US Divers or Voit reg. So tell your Chrome guy to be careful when electro stripping the body to get rid of the old chrome, copper wash and such. In other words, this is not a 1957 Chevy bumper so your chrome guy needs to tone down the juice in his stripping vat. Remember that a good chrome job starts with really good cleaning of the item to be chromed and that item needs all of its old chrome and copper wash removed before a good re-chroming. JMO.

Here is a Youtube link that shows some of the regs I rebuilt a couple of years ago, to include a 1955 Healthways in action.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JilzDSJ41DI

Russ
"Where'd ya get that ol' thang, don't cha' know them thare things ill kill ya!"

Live From the Red Sea,

Russ

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dukenougat3d
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Re: Healthways Scuba Deluxe Rebuild Problems

Wed Dec 14, 2016 6:28 pm

I've gotten the seat spider as straight as possible and the valve even doesn't buzz when blown through, so I suppose I can tolerate the slight warping since the valve will cover it (plus it might look better rechromed, anyhow). Most of the finish underneath just appears to be mildewed and/or salted over, with only one spot of blue corrosion from what I can see. Hopefully the replating job will be thorough and longlasting enough to prevent it from happening again (with frequent and careful inspection and cleaning, of course). Now all I gotta do is just get the scratches buffed out a bit and get the can rechromed. Also waiting on a new set of o-rings for the main body valve (it interestingly was missing one when I opened the assembly up, but all the metal parts in the valve were very clean).

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dukenougat3d
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Re: Healthways Scuba Deluxe Rebuild Problems

Fri Feb 03, 2017 2:19 pm

Wow, haven't touched this thread in a while - done a lot to my Scuba Deluxe since I last updated on this thread - I've sent my cans out to BAR Platiing for a rechroming and just got them back today - They did a really nice job on the outside, but unfortunately the inside leaves a bit to be desired - tons and tons of irregularities in the finish, barely even polished anything inside (if at all), and nothing done to attempt to further straighten out the mushroom valve seat spider, as I was afraid of. But still happy with the outside.

That infernal clamp is still giving me pains, and I still need to think of a method to flare out the edges of it without unevenly distoring it. I've come to accept the cans will be slightly off-center no matter what I do. Currently waiting on a Hope-Page Non-Return Mouthpiece Valve bought from The Scuba Museum and will soon be buying some 1" EPDM Hoses and a Gum Rubber Mouthpiece to finish off this gal. Despite bumps in the road, I think I'm doing okay for my first rebuild.

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Evidence of pitting and corrosion left unattended to around the mushroom valve seat.
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