Making an RT-11 TU58 Image

Ethan Dicks ethan.dicks at
Sun Dec 7 14:04:35 CST 2008

On Mon, Dec 8, 2008 at 8:57 AM, Tobias Russell <toby at> wrote:
>>   I did just get the correct tubing to fix the gooey TU58 roller
>> though, and have performed a "smoke test" on the machine, so I hope
>> to be able to fire it up "for real" soon.
> Out of interest what did you use to replace the roller and where did you
> get it from? I have a TU58 and both rollers have become brittle and
> cracked so I need to replace them. Any advice on a replacement would be
> very useful!

Tygon tubing from the hardware store.  There's been plenty of
discussion over the years about it as a suitable replacement.  One
foot of it will refurb many drives.  One of the standard off-the-shelf
sizes (7/8"? 3/4"?) is just right.

You have to remove all the brittle (or gooey) rubber from the spindle
then cut a small slice of tubing to about the same size - make sure
it's wide enough that the tape won't fall off an edge - then just slip
it on.   I don't think you'll need any adhesive, but if you have any
obvious slippage, one drop of cyanoacrilate (superglue) should take
care of that and be easy enough to remove later.

I've had to do this to all my drives, but I did it 10 years ago, so
excuse me if I've forgotten to mention any specific problems or
pitfalls.  A search of the list archives will probably reveal any such


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