Disassembling Traditional Rotary Valves

Disassembling a rotary valve is necessary to properly clean and maintain its functionality. Some

players may be nervous about removing a rotor, but quickly become more comfortable with a little

practice. Rotors should only need to be removed for cleaning once or twice a year.

1. Prepare a clean, soft, lint and dirt free area to work.

2. Remove hand slide and all tuning slides and place bell in work area.

3. Remove all screws and/or strings connected to lever and linkages (note: do not remove the

lever from the horn where the spring is located). If you have double rotors, you may want to

keep linkages separated and lay them out in the order you remove them.

4. Remove the rotor cap. If it is stuck, tap lightly on the rim of the cap with a rawhide mallet.

Repeat until cap breaks free. DO NOT use pliers of any kind.

5. Loosen the screw holding the stop arm on the rotor spindle 2 turns. DO NOT remove the

screw too far or it may bend during next step.

6. With the bell laying flat on work area, gently tap on the head of the screw with a rawhide

mallet until the screw touches the stop arm. Loosen the screw another 2 turns and tap again

until the screw touches the stop arm. Repeat.

7. Your back plate will come out of the rotor housing during step 6 (this is why they horn needs

to be laying on its side and not standing up).

8. Once the back plate is off, repeat step 6 until the stop arm comes off the spindle and the rotor

is free from the rotor housing.


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