Kinro Single-Hung Tilt Window - Pivot Shoes Cannot Lock

A friend from North Carolina says:

A few windows at my parents' house are VERY difficult to move. As the first step in resolving this, I removed the lower sash from one window. I did this as I've done other windows, and as every online tutorial says to do it--I opened the window a bit, pushed the tilt latch releases so the sash tilted into the room, grabbed the sides of the window and lifted one side a few inches higher than the other side...and then was thrown backwards by the force of...something. I guess from the spiral balances snapping upwards as quickly as they could.

I'd seen a couple tutorials that mentioned making sure to "un-do" or "loosen" some sort of "channel locks" on both sides of the window's frame. This window had nothing like that.

Anyway, with the sash out, I cleaned the channels and also the edges of the sash, then applied a light coating of lubricant. I figured we'd see if that helped at all before changing the tension, etc. After all, how does the tension in a spiral balance change on its own?? I've not found an answer to that question anywhere.

More likely, the problem is with the shoes. And this is reinforced by the fact that I CANNOT get the window back in. Both shoes are at the "top," because the balances have pulled completely into their tubes. I tried, several times, to put one pivot pin in a shoe, then push that side of the sash lower so I could tilt the sash enough to get the pivot pin on the other side into it's shoe. Every time, I'm able to push the one side down a few inches (with great effort), but before I can get the other side in, the engaged side snaps upward with great force. It almost seems as though the pivot pins aren't fitting in the shoes properly (for one thing).

I read that the shoes lock upon removing the sash, but that one can unlock them so the shoe can be moved and positioned to put the sash back in. The shoes seem to match this one that you sell, #15-134. But I can't get the shoe to lock/unlock. There doesn't seem to be anything for a screwdriver to fit into that would turn...anything.

So, is there a way to lock/unlock the 15-134??

Also, do you have any other thoughts that might be helpful in resolving this problem?

I think the shoes definitely need to be replaced. I'm thinking maybe not the spiral balances, as they seem to have a LOT of tension yet.

I haven't gone any further--removed anything, or tried to adjust the tension--because I don't have a tensioner tool, and there are none available locally. I'd rather order everything all at once.

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!! My suggestion is--never, ever buy a Kinro window, as there is zero customer support.

Thank you very much.

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Paul from SWISCO responded:

Hello,

By lubricating the track and your 15-134 pivot shoe being worn, it could be keeping the rear brake on the pivot shoe from locking. The locking position of the red cam is vertical and the sliding position is horizontal. All your photos are showing the horizontal position of the red cam. 

The 75-006 charging tool would make it easier to unwind and unhook the balance from the pivot shoe. If you have needle-nose locking pliers, you could hold on the spiral between the two pins and unhook it from the pivot shoe. 

Now, hang on to the spiral because it is under tension and slowly turn the spiral to release the tension. With the balance unattached to the pivot shoe, slide the shoe down and turn the red cam vertically to lock it. If it locks, the shoe is still good. If not, you'll need to replace it. To replace it, you will need to completely remove the balance and slide the pivot shoe to the top. There should be a cut out for it, see our video on the cutout method. 

To reattach the spiral balance to the pivot shoe, bring the spiral up to the balance tube and give it three or four turns to charge it. You should feel the tension building in the tube. Pull the spiral down and attached it to the pivot shoe. Hopefully, these directions will help you get started and point you in the right direction. Thanks for posting!

A friend from North Carolina says:
I'm finally following up. (I've too many projects going at once.)
I removed the balances. I haven't yet removed the Shoes, as there isn't a notch cut in the window frame yet, and I'd rather do it all at once. For the same reason, I haven't weighed the Sash, although it seems VERY heavy just moving it in the Frame.
The Shoes never...I couldn't get the cam to move at all. The way they are in the pics is the way they always are--I can't change it to/from horizontal-vertical. I'm assuming this means they're just worn out and need to be replaced.
(Oh--I never did lubricate the Frame. I just took out the Sash and wiped everything down good with a damp cloth.)
I believe I need new Shoes and Balances (and will also be ordering the Charging Tool). My remaining questions:
The ends of both Balances are ORANGE. That color is no longer one of the options. The writing on the Balances is "LA A 2" and "LA B 2". They are 29" long and 3/8" wide. Which replacements do I order?
On both sides there was a foam piece. On one side, this piece seemed to have moved and was jammed in the track. When I pulled it out, it was black and obviously damaged. The foam piece on the other side appeared to still be in place. What are these, what is the purpose, and should I replace them?? (They don't seem available on your site.)
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Casey from SWISCO responded:

Take a look at our S900-29 spiral balance. The tip color would be red even though they often look closer to orange in real life. 

Also, take a look at our 26-139 aligner that resembles the other part in your photos. Thank you!

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