Yesterday I removed all the gear from the mount, and removed the mount and adjustable mounting plate from the pier – per the previous post, to lower the mount to sit directly on the pier-top adaptor and not on those 3 threaded shafts.
This meant drilling new holes in the pier-top adaptor, as the mount’s mounting plate attaches to the pier-top adaptor with 4 1/2″ bolts. I used stainless hex bolts with lock-nuts. This procedure was delayed by one day because one of the lock nuts jammed during a test install, and it took a long time to get it off – I eventually had to break it off by putting a 1-metre extension on a ratchet handle and turning until the bolt broke. The replacement, and all the other bolts, went on with no problems.
The plate and mount are now back on the pier, without the flex-inducing leveler bolts.
I remounted OTA, camera, etc., and re-balanced the mount on both axes. Tomorrow, I’ll go through a complete maintenance regime, cleaning and regreasing both gears then adjusting plunger springs, cam stops, mounting screws, etc. Recabling everything will require some thought, as I was using the space under the mount as an equipment shelf for certain power supplies. Instead, I’ll mount those to the pier with Velcro or find other places for them.
Then I’ll need a new polar alignment, having taken the mount off. I’m looking forward to the first PE check after this is all done.