Bad heads on RL02: Worth replacing

dwight dkelvey at
Mon Dec 16 18:23:57 CST 2019

The head likely has something on it that you missed. Use your finger to feel the head. Your finger is quite sensitive to tiny roughness. Of course, clean your finger oil off before putting it back in. Make sure that first landing area is smooth and flat. Almost all of the head needs to have the cushion of air. With things stationary, look at how the head comes down on the surface. The larger part needs to be parallel to the surface. Most heads have a slight curve on the leading edge to help trap the air.

From: cctalk <cctalk-bounces at> on behalf of Chris Zach via cctalk <cctalk at>
Sent: Monday, December 16, 2019 3:07 PM
To: CCTalk mailing list <cctalk at>
Subject: Bad heads on RL02: Worth replacing

So one of my RL02 drives (bought on Ebay years ago) is eating RL02
packs. Makes tings, then the disks have errors in my other RL02 drive.
Took a bit to figure out which drive was eating what, but I'm 100%
certain it's this newer drive.

So pulled the heads. The top one had significant gunk on it, the bottom
one a bit. Pics below.


With alcohol and lintless swabs I managed to clean both of the heads up.


Then put them back in the drive and mounted a scratch pack. With finger
on the load/run I let the drive spin up and when I heard tinging I
immediately spun down. Hopefully I didn't trash my scratch pack.

Top head has gunk, bottom one had a few flecks, but looks pretty ok.
Bottom: (picture didn't upload)

Obviously the head is crashing, any idea why and if it's worth replacing
the head or should I put this drive out for parts? Yes I cleaned the
RL02 pack before putting it in.

Never dull.

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