The Fresh Loaf

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New AKM Assistent (Electrolux DLX) Mixer Arm Won't Lock

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AmyJ's picture
AmyJ

New AKM Assistent (Electrolux DLX) Mixer Arm Won't Lock

I purchased my new Assistent about 1 year ago and have loved it -- until the past 30 days. 

It seems the locking arm adjustment knob no longer holds the arm set at my desired distance from the side of the bowl (about 2") and as it mixes my dough, the arm snaps back closer to the edge.  Within only 8-10 revolutions, the dough is near the bowl edge and gets "jammed" between the roller and scraper while the bowl continues to spin.  Then I have to bail on the mixer and hand-knead.

I am wondering if a part is missing or worn and have included a photo of the knob assembly.

Mixer Knob

Or am I doing something wrong?  It worked before.  I would appreciate any assistance or solutions.  :)

Thanks,

Amy

Kbone's picture
Kbone

I'm not sure what the malfunction is but until you get it figured out there may be some doughs you can make using the dough hook instead of the roller.

You might want to try placing another washer on the knob to see if that helps. Good luck.

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

Amy, it sounds like something is wrong.  I have the older model, the Magic Mill, but I would guess it works the same way.  On mine, if you hold the arm so that it is in the center of the bowl, and turn the knob until it locks ( about 2 full turns ) the arm stays in the middle.  As you unscrew the knob, the arm starts to fall back towards the outside of the bowl, a little further with each turn of the knob.  Does you knob tighten down so it won't turn any more?  If not, my guess is that the thread on the knob could be stripped.  I would call the place you bought it from and see what they suggest. 

tlmcca's picture
tlmcca

My DLX 9000 that I bought used on eBay is experiencing the same issue. I lock the arm with the roller at the desired distance and it starts slipping immediately eventually riding on the bowl. I removed the locking knob and cleaned the bearing surfaces but it did not really help much.

Terry McCann

AmyJ's picture
AmyJ

Hi Terry,

I was not able to solve the problem.  I was told by a person on the phone at Pleasant Mill Grain that I should use the mixer on a slower speed and maybe that would solve the problem.  That has not helped.  (also, I used the mixer just fine for a whole year without it slipping).  I use this mixer multiple times every week and this has become a very annoying issue.  I do think that the post following yours has some good info for me to follow.  I will try looking into the solution recommended and check back in with my results.  Thanks for asking!  My mixer has been this way for close to a year...I appreciate your input!  Other than this specific issue I positively LOVE my mixer!!

Amy

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

Terry,  I have a friend who had a similar problem and it was a pretty easy fix.  First, we need to confirm exactly what is happening.  Lock the arm where you want it and put a piece of paper tape on the back of locking knob and draw an arrow on the tape pointing straight up, like it is pointing to 12:00 on a dial.  Then turn on the mixer,  does arrow you drew no longer point directly at 12:00 but start to rotate.  If so, the problem is that the  knob does not have enough friction.  It is supposed to have a compression spring that sits inside the knob, and that spring keeps the knob from rotating freely.  Take the knob off, and take it to a hardware store and try to find a compression spring that is the right diameter to fit into the knob.  The length is not all that critical, you just want something to keep pressure on the knob. Another possible fix is to use blue removable loctite - which will make the knob harder to turn.  I would try the spring first.   

AmyJ's picture
AmyJ

Thanks for this advice!  I will try it and get back to you...so appreciate the input.  :)

Amy

tlmcca's picture
tlmcca

The knob is definitely slipping. I marked the position of the locked knob by laying a straight edge along the arm and tracing the extension of that line on tape I placed on the knob. I then replicated the motion of the arm during kneading by moving it toward the middle of the bowl and releasing it allowing it to return to the starting point. After about 20 iterations the roller has moved to within 1/2 inch of the bowl and the mark has shifted to the left.

The spring appears to be fine but I have no way of measuring the tension. I'll call Magic Mill tomorrow to see if they will send me a replacement spring or offer any other solution. As soon as I know something I'll post an update.

 

Terry

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

Terry, there is no problem with calling Magic Mill, but since you bought it used, I doubt it is under warranty.  There is nothing special about the spring, it is a 1/4 diameter, by about 1/2 inch long.  I would suggest you go to a hardware store and see if they have any springs that are 1/4 wide  ( if it is wider, it won't fit in the knob ) and at least 1/2 inch long, though even longer would work fine.  The use of a spring in this fashion is a pretty common method to reduce movement of a knob under vibration, that is why I am sure you won't hurt anything by using a different spring than the one that originally came with the DLX.  The only potential problem with a replacement is that if you got one that was way too long, say 2 inches or so, it would prevent the knob from tightening all the way. If the only spring that they have is too long, see if a friendly store clerk  ( there are some of those around, at both the box stores, and more commonly at the locally owned stores ) will cut it down to about 1 inch.  Springs are pretty tough to cut with household tools, though a dremel or a wire cutter will work.  

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

Amy, it is true that the newer versions have a higher top speed than the old DLX, which is why you should not go to the fastest setting for kneading.  On the other hand, you have paid a lot of money for a machine that is excellent at kneading dough, and I would not accept an answer that involves you having to knead by hand, unless you prefer to knead by hand.  IMHO, the knob should not rotate, no matter what speed, but if you run it at 2/3 of the max speed, and it is still moving, then try the suggestions I made for Terry above.  Let us know how it goes,   I really do think the DLX is the best I have used at  kneading, it is a shame yours is not working for you. 

AmyJ's picture
AmyJ

When kneading bread I keep the speed fairly low.  The only time I ever run the machine at full speed is when making meringues.  It whips egg whites in nothing flat!

I checked the spring and knob and it does seem to be the issue.  The knob is rotating.  So are you saying that a replacement spring is all that is needed?  I will check at the local hardware tomorrow for a replacement.  Any idea how often springs need replacing?  Sure hope this does the trick.  And yes, I did pay a fair amount of money for my DLX Assistent...so it would be nice to have it working properly.  I bought it new from Pleasant Hill Grain and the problem started at the end of my first year with it. 

Thanks again for your help! 

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

Amy,  I can't say how often the spring needs to be replaced, but the whole idea of the spring is to apply enough pressure that the knob does not spin on its own.  I have an old DLX and AFAIK, the spring has never been replaced, and it works fine.    Try a new spring and see if that helps.  There are  other solutions,  one is to put blue loctite on the bolt - that is a compound that is designed to make it hard for a nut to turn a bolt.  The problem is that it if you use just a little too much, it will make it pretty hard to turn the knob,   The goal is for the knob to turn easily when you want to adjust it, but to stay there when you stop turning it.  Hopefully, a new spring will work for you.  

tlmcca's picture
tlmcca

I've ordered a replacement spring from Magic Mill which should arrive by the end of the week. The cost from them is $6.00 plus $2.85 S&H. I'll post again when I've tested the new spring.

Terry

AmyJ's picture
AmyJ

Well, I got a new spring from the hardware store.  Same problem is happening.  We'll move onto trying the blue loctite that you mentioned and see if that helps.  Clearly the problem is with the knob slipping.  What a minor, frustrating detail to an otherwise wonderful piece of machinery.  I can't wait to get this solved and get back to enjoying how I know this mixer was designed to be.  I wonder if others are having this issue?

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

I know PHG has a phone number of a company in New Jersey that does repairs on DLXs.  I suggest you call PHG and get the phone number from them.

 If you call and explain your problem to them they will more than likely tell you what is wrong and how to repair it yourself.

Janet

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

Amy, did you try putting in both springs?  All you are trying to do is put enough tension on the knob that it will not turn freely.  

tlmcca's picture
tlmcca

The new spring for Magic Mill made no difference. I tried to put the knob on with both springs as barryvabeach suggested but I wasn't able to do so. The knob would slip when I tried to compress the exposed spring sending it flying across the room. I am awaiting delivery on 1/4" x 1/2" springs from Home Depot hoping they are a bit stronger than the OEM part. I'll post an update after trying them.

In the meantime, if anyone has tried the LocTite route please post your experience.

Thanks,

Terry

AmyJ's picture
AmyJ

Terry...I have decided to not try the loctite until I've talked to Pleasant Hill Grain again and get the phone number of the repair place mentioned in an above comment.  And yes, there would just be no way possible to put a 2nd spring in there.  I can picture the scene that ensued when you attempted to stack 2 of them in there.  Ugh.  I will post what I learn from my phone call to PHG.  In the meantime, I'm going to make some cinnamon rolls to cheer myself up.  :)

Amy

tlmcca's picture
tlmcca

It looks like the new spring fixed my problem. I just finished mixing and kneading a 100% whole wheat recipe which is about 44% hydration and the knob didn't slip.

I still plan to post my results using the springs from Home Depot since they are a much less expensive solution if the work as well as the OEM spring.

 

Terry

AmyJ's picture
AmyJ

Terry,

I'm so glad to hear this!  Can you tell me the length of the spring?  I'm assuming it's a 1/4" diameter spring, but wondering what length worked for you?  I am so happy for you!  I would love to have the same results.  The spring I purchased was only 70 cents, so I'm glad to go buy another one if a different length will do the trick. 

Amy

tlmcca's picture
tlmcca

... is the official part from the manufacturer distributed by Royalux in NJ and cost $8.00 including shipping. It is 1/4" x 1/2". The ones I ordered from HD are the same dimension and were $2.39 for a bag of six. Of course, I won't know until I get them whether they will do the job.

Terry

tlmcca's picture
tlmcca

Amy,

The springs from Home Depot arrived and they feel springier than the OEM part from Magic Mill when I compress them between thumb and finger. I haven't tested the HD spring by kneading yet but just manually moving the arm in and out feels like it may work at least as well as the OEM spring.

If you have an HD store nearby you can order them via this with free shipping to the store:

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Prime-Line-1-2-in-L-x-1-4-in-D-Compression-Spring-6-Pack-SP-9700/100158719?quantity=1&str_nbr=1973

If that's not convenient I'd be happy to mail a couple to you.

Terry

tlmcca's picture
tlmcca

I used the mixer with the spring from Home Depot for KAF's 100% Whole Wheat recipe and I can report that the arm did not slip at all. I would recommend these springs over the OEM both for cost and performance.

Terry

AmyJ's picture
AmyJ

Hello Terry,

Thanks so much for your report!  There is a Home Depot nearby and I will give their springs a try.  Out of curiosity, when you make the KAF Whole Wheat recipe do you follow the directions as given?  I know from watching videos on using the Assistent mixer that it is recommended to mix all the wet ingredients together first and then add in the flour.  Just curious about the method.

Thanks again for your information on the spring!

Amy

tlmcca's picture
tlmcca

Amy,

My HD did not have the springs in inventory so I ordered them shipped to the store for pickup.

Regarding the KAF recipe: I mix the wet first before adding the dry and I've had good luck with following the recipe as written. I do, however, measure by weight so I get a consistent amount of flour each time. I think if you measure by volume you need to follow the recommendation of adding the flour until the dough forms a ring around the roller.

Terry