Nizo S800 metal fatigue?

A little while ago I received a beautiful Nizo super8 film camera from Rik to use in my video series on Super8 filmcamera repair. When I loaded some batteries to try it out I found that it had two major problems. The first was that the viewfinder didn’t seem to work. The second was that the motorized zoom wasn’t functioning at all despite the fact that every thing seemed to have power. When I opened it up I found two interesting things.

First, the mirror inside the viewfinder light path had come loose. Luckily that was easy to fix that with a little glue (just make sure you glue the right side of the mirror 😉 )

However, the motorized zoom was beyond repair. It turns out that the mount for the electromotor for some reason has become extremely brittle causing the motor to break free from the chassis which in turn caused the gears to lock up completely. Now I’d guess somebody tried to move the zoom lens by hand with some force causing stress on the motor mount but the weird thing with the mount was that it literally crumbled to pieces as I touched it. I think it is supposed to be made of some kind of cast aluminum or metal or something but it felt more like terracotta clay. I have no clue what could be causing this so perhaps somebody with a metallurgy background can chime in?

On a sidenote this camera really is an amazing piece of engineering. The amount of functionality they managed to cram into such a relatively small enclosure is amazing and I will dedicate a future episode to these cameras just to show you how much technology is packed inside that wonderfully designed camera body.