"Gummed Up" Fuze thumbwheel

My son got pancake syrup in my wife’s Fuze and now the thumbwheel won’t turn.  I’m tempted to take it apart and clean it.  Does anyone have experience with this?  Will I be better off just sending it in for repair?  I found disassembly instructions via this forum, but they did not address the thumbwheel.  I don’t think Sansa will fix it if I goof up and it shows up in a Ziploc bag.

I would try and clean it first - holding it upside down and using some kindof cleaner that evaporates easily.  Rubbing alcohol was mentioned in a past thread for this symptom.

If you want to know what’s inside - here’s a Link of dissassembly of the unit with lots of pictures


I took the plunge and disassembled the Fuze in question, following to a point the link mentioned by fireball.  Those directions were pretty accurate and worked well until it came to the thumbwheel removal which is not addressed by that page.  It was not hard to remove (two screws and some clips that actually hold the wheel), and once I had it out and apart I washed the wheel out with warm water dried it with compressed air.  A word of warning:  the thumbwheel assembly has some very small pieces you will need to keep track of.  Work in a clean area with lots of light.  The hardest part of the whole evolution was getting the ribbon cables back in.  This was moderately difficult and impatient people should just not take this thing apart.  Mine went back together O.K. and my wife just took it to the gym.  I hope it works:wink:

I used that site to replace a palm pilot battery.  Disassembling the thing was a bit more of a task than I had expected - the casing did not want to open without a mental gymnastic of how not to break the case while separating - but in the end everything came apart and went together - it’s as good as new - and holds a charge much longer than the OEM battery. 

Got to love the internet.  Hope your fuze repair works well for ya.!

Maple syrup is easier to remove than raspberry.

On the more serious side, at least is isn’t soda, which can attack the circuit board.  Keeping the Fuze face down is important, as liquids and electronics don’t blend too well.

You can moisten a terry cloth with distilled water, or add a bit of denatured alcohol (isopropyl, or 2-Propanol) with the water as a solvent.  Lightly press the Fuze face down onto the cloth, being sure that the device is turned off.

Gently work the scroll wheel / button to free it.  If you use a white cloth, the raspberry variety is easier to see on the cloth.  A few passes to soften and dissolve the goo should do the trick.

Patience is the key.  Don’t get the face of the device too wet, as capillary action will bring the solvent up to the offending sugary ooze.

A paper business card edge is the ideal tool to clean the space between the scroll wheel and the surrounding plastic ring.

Let the device dry for a while before setting it on its back.

Bob  :smileyvery-happy:

Message Edited by neutron_bob on 02-01-2009 11:52 PM

How did you get the ribbon cable back in? Just Pushing it in gently doesnt seem to work.

I had a bad enough time getting my Nintendo DS apart and back together again.  I can’t even imagine doing the same with a Fuze.

That’s why I’m really careful with it.