ZX Spectrum +3 floppy drive belt change.

A couple of weeks ago I was fortunate to win a small collection of ZX Spectrum hardware on eBay. Amongst the contents wasd a ZX Spectrum +3, which as you may know is the model with the floppy disk drive.

ZX Spectrum 128k model +3.

However, as advertised the floppy drive was no longer functioning but the gentlemen I brought this from had also included a brand new drive belt but hadn’t got around to fitting it.

I was heading down to RCM HQ this afternoon with some spare parts for their MAME  arcade cabinet and SAM Coupe,  so I thought I’d take my Spectrum along and fit the belt whilst I was there. Plus – I’ve never fitted one of these before so I thought it’d be handy to around friends that had!

I’ve not actually tested the computer yet the so before I started taking it apart, thought it’d be wise to do this first 😉

After a succesful test of the computer and failed floppy drive read test it does indeed sound like the drive isn’t spinning.

Clearing myself a little work room, I removed the case screws and had a peek inside..although it’s difficult to concentrate with all these goodies around me 🙂

After removing a fair few screws and various drive cables, I finally had access to the original floppy drive belt and you can probably see here that it has indeed snapped. Not only a faulty part, but over the years, the rubber belt had turned to a black sticky goo which had covered the drive wheels.

Most of it came off quite easily by scraping it off with a flat-headed screwdriver but for the stubborn bits, I had to use a little Acetone.

With both the main drive wheel and motor wheel clean again, I fitted the new belt, reconnected all of the cables, hunted out a test disk and crossed my fingers!

Yay, it works!

At some point I may replace the original 3″ drive and mod/install a standard PC 3.5″ drive instead as this opens up a whole host of homebrew options…but for now, happy that everything is working o.k. and look forward to running some more +3 disks.

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3 responses to “ZX Spectrum +3 floppy drive belt change.

  1. What kind of disk this computer uses? I heard it use non-standart double-sided unique disks… do you have any clues where I can buy these disks nowadays? I’m a collectioner, so I’d like to have some…

  2. Hi there,

    Yes the Spectrum +3 used those horrible 350k 3″ floppy disks that Amstrad were using at the time. I usually get spares from eBay although I’m currently looking into modding my +3 and fitting a regular 3.5″ pc floppy drive like my friend has.

    Thanks for visiting

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