Does your Fluke 179 have a loose kickstand (tilt stand, tilting bail) that pops out whenever you try to prop it up for use on the workbench? Blog reader LDSisHere from over at badcaps.net contacted me with this problem, and together we came up with this solution. So the following is a new feature on this website, a reader-contributed repair!
This problem can happen on any of Fluke’s “tapered” style meters, including the 175, 177, 179, 77-IV, and also most of the 7x-III series as well. It happens when the plastic crumbles around the joint that forms the hinge where it is supposed to be firmly snapped in place.
[Click on any of the following pictures in this article for a larger view. All graphics used in this article are also available as an image gallery.]
The broken edge of the convex “cup” joint allows the kickstand to pop out. A simple glue repair is not going to fix this.
The cups are supposed to snap onto these raised dimples, which are still OK.
Find some 3/32″ music wire or steel pins and cut two pieces about 1/2″ long. These will be the new hinge pins.
Use a rotary tool and select a drill bit that will allow for a snug fit of the pins.
Using the pre-existing holes inside the cups as a guide, drill through them deep enough so that the pins are able to go all the way in and sit flush with the edge of the kickstand. The shape tends to deflect the drill bit, so be sure to hold/clamp the workpiece firmly.
Mark the a center point on the dimples with something sharp. It needs to be deep enough to keep the drill bit from wandering in the next step.
Drill a hole into the center of the dimple on each side. This will be a best-effort exercise, because you can’t drill straight in. If you have one of those Dremel handpieces on a flexible shaft, now might be the time to use it. Using a pin-vise and drilling by hand is also a good option. There’s not a lot of material here, so be careful not to make the holes too big.
Make sure the new hinge pins are fully pushed in and put the kickstand in place.
Now push the pins back out and into the holes you made in the dimples.
Put a dab of epoxy or CA-type glue on the pins to lock them down. Be careful not to allow the glue to run into the new hinge joint and set up, preventing it from rotating. If you’re using CA glue, the gel type is best, it doesn’t run. But it will still glue your fingers together splendidly.
The kickstand still fits well and the repair is not even obvious to the casual observer.
Put your meter back in service without it falling over!
Thanks LDS, for executing the repair and providing the pictures!