champion sash window repair

A quick learner from Texas says:
GREAT website with lots of useful information! I am trying to service or repair my 30 or so Champion window sash balancers that are 15 years old. I am finding the part numbers i need by looking over your many discussion subjects but can't find any reference for servicing my spiral balancers.

The failure mode for these balancers appears to be that the grease has dried out on the spirals making the balancer lock up. As the sash is forced up, the jammed spiral bends and/or forces the carrier bracket from the sash frame. The balancer then unwinds and the clip is sometimes bent.

I'd like to remove all the balancers, clean and service with new grease while replacing any that are already ruined.

My questions are; what kind of lubricant should I use on the spiral once i have cleaned it up?

How do I get the new or serviceable balancer back up the side of the sash and through the nylon v-block at the top of the sash without further damaging the spiral or clip?
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Paul from SWISCO responded:
What you are describing sounds like the Champion non-tilt builder's grade windows. These sashes don't come out, unfortunately. It was a poor decision from the manufacturer, but there are ways around it. It's just going to take some work.

I'm going to guess that you have the 3/8" spiral balance Series 306 with a 15-073 sash clip attached. Can you confirm? To remove these old balances, you will need to first raise the sash up and have someone to hold it there while you disengage the 15-073 clip from sash with the 75-005 tool. Then remove the top screw holding in the balance tube and drop the balance down behind the sash. From there, you can pull it out.

Installing the new balance is basically just reversing that process. Have some one hold the sash up again while you work the replacement up behind the sash. Install the top screw and again raise sash up. While it's up, use your finger to raise the spiral up to meet the sash and just before you engage the clip, give it three turns with the 75-005 tool to charge the balance. Then use that tool to install the clip. Do the same on other side.

Many service people use white grease (lithium) for lubricating the spirals.
A quick learner from Texas says:
Yes, they are the series 306 with green tip and 15-073 clip attached. They are easily removed from window frame, but replacing back into the window frame is near impossible due to tight fitting v-block and no access.

I had success by removing the spiral and cleaning. I used dry film lube on the spiral, not "wet" grease as it'll just attract more dust, dry out and freeze up again.
Then using a endoscope camera to peer up into the sash frame, I could see the end of the balancer tube as I fish the spiral back into the tube. NOT EASY!

I first tried to pull the balancer up from the bottom with .032 safety wire but the force required tore out the hole in the tube as I pulled it though the v-block. You're right, an unfortunate design!

I'll need two S306-29 balancers with 15-073 clips attached, and a 75-005 winder, (do I have the correct?).

Thank you for your very informative website and all your kind help!
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Paul from SWISCO responded:
Yes, it is difficult. I really wish the windows were easier to repair, but that did not seem to be a chief interest of the manufacturer.

As for the balance, we can definitely make that for you. Can you just confirm the color of the tip and the length of the outer tube? Those are the last bits of information we need. If the balance does not have a colored tip, then I will need to know the sash weight. I know that will be tricky to get. The best thing to do is place a scale on the sill and gently lower the sash on it. It's not exact, but with these kind of balances it should be enough.
A quick learner from Texas says:
They have green tip, and are 29 inches long by 3/8 inches dia.
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Tom from SWISCO responded:
Great. Check out this custom spiral balance request form that I've started for you based on your specifications and fill out the rest of the information. One of our representatives will get back to you shortly thereafter with a price quote and an item to add to your cart.
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