Milco Div. Aluminum Window

A from Chicago, Illinois says:
My building has these windows. The only markings are as shown, including the "unlocking" port with a half circle opening. The windows have become almost impossible to open - clearly whatever lift mechanism is broken. I have no idea what's inside or how to access whatever mechanism there is.

The building management wants over $300 per window to do what they say is retrofit a lift mechanism. I have 10 of this operable windows. I am an aerospace engineer AND architect with a variety of tools and a basic understanding of disassembly, assembly, mechanism adjustment, etc.

Do you have any idea how to fix this window, what tools and parts are required, etc.

Thanks so much in advance!!!
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Paul from SWISCO responded:

Okay I think we can help you. First, I will need you to raise the sash a few inches, tilt it in, and remove it. It looks like you need a screw driver inserted into the hole to release the tilt latch so try that, just make sure to raise it a few inches first. 

Once the sash is removed, take photos of the balance channels. Showing the top, code number stamp on the channel, and clip on the end of the cord. Also measure the metal channel length. Finally, please take a photos of the pivot shoe.

You have kind of a complex setup but we should be able to get to the bottom of it. 

A quick learner from Illinois says:
Milco window retrofit.

I had a local window company come to repair ONE window. They basically took ALL the old parts out and replaced them with new parts and a new spring mechanism (in a tube not a rail). The existing spring rails are 32". They also used two small 1/2 crescent tools to remove the sash.

This took a guy 40 minutes and cost me $300!! As an engineer (albeit better with rocket engines and wings), this looks like a no brainer for me if I had the tools AND the parts.

Can you help me? Do you have these parts? What other information can I provide to help?
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Paul from SWISCO responded:

In the first photo showing the yellow pivot shoes, we carry the 15-106 and 15-107 left and right hand replacements. These are designed to work with a 15-054 brake and 15-124 metal cam. They come this way so you don't have to remove the complete window frame to replace them, you just twist them in the window track. 

As for the other parts, we will need more information. I need dimensions of the tilt studs screwed to the sash, specifically their width, height, and depth. The wire hooks attached to the balance cords is the 15-036 but the two middle parts i'm not familiar with. Your second photo of the 32" balance channels shows the back of the channel, but I'd need the spring stamp code on the front. 

These are definitely old parts that will be tricky to get a hold of. That might explain why your contractor charged you so much, though that's still a lot. We'll do our best once we have that information.

A quick learner from Illinois says:
The repair company did NOT use new old parts. Rather they used an Ultra-lift KO 37-65 on each side. So whatever I order, everything has to be compatible with that.
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Paul from SWISCO responded:

I'm sorry for misunderstanding. I thought you wanted to use your old parts, which are less expensive than the new hardware the installers used. We can supply the new hardware if you'd prefer that.

It looks like the pivot shoe they used is a match for our 15-129, which is 9/16" thick. The Ultra Lift balances will need to be a custom order. These are special hybrid balances that can't be supplied as stock parts. It sounds like you need a gray tube at 37-1/2" long and with a 3765 stamp. In order to proceed, I'll need to know how many you need altogether. Once I know that, we'll email you an order link and price quote for that quantity.

A home owner from Chicago, IL says:
Hi! I'm 99% sure I live in the same building as the thread owner. I'm having similar problems with my windows. All are incredibly hard to open, and some drop down immediately after opening. Can I piggyback on this thread and figure out some new parts?

I was able to remove the window. Pictures as follows:

1. Window itself, inside is on the right side of the photo.

2. Frame of the right side, near the base of the window. Seen also is a white string that's just flopping around. I feel like that should be attached to something...

3. Frame of the right side, near the middle of the opening / the bottom of the top pane.

4. Frame on the left side at the top. The spring has popped out of the top on this side.

Thanks!
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Tom from SWISCO responded:

It definitely looks like you need new balances and even a new pivot shoe, though your hardware is different from what was posted above. Your balance looks more like our Series 770. Carefully look over the photos and information we show on that store page and let me know if you agree.

For the pivot shoe, I need you to remove what you have and show me a picture of it out of the window. I also need to know its width and thickness.

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