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Thread: Fixed - Zodiac MX8 doing circles, now runs fine

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Orange County, CA
    Posts
    696

    Fixed - Zodiac MX8 doing circles, now runs fine

    So, after about 15 months, I noticed our MX8 doing counterclockwise circles in the pool. It seemed that the drive on the left hand side of the unit had some issues. After reviewing the following videos on Youtube, I was able to fix this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jR_8eapr ... ature=plcp
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lobCDLH3 ... ature=plcp
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UejteXA ... ature=plcp

    These were posted by Zodiac and are very helpful in explaining how to service the MX8. It turns out the the directional control on the left side was getting stuck. I took apart the unit as described in the videos, and removed the left directional control. I disassembled the control and found that one of the two bearings that controls the movement of one of the bevel gears had gotten crudded up with what I think are calcium deposits. So, I simply brushed this out on the inside until the bearing turned freely on its axle. I reassembled the control without too much trouble (you do need to turn the gears until the directional control is in the down position), and then put the unit back together. Now it works just fine.

    The point is that this unit appears to be very serviceable. Parts are available and reasonably cheap. So, if you find your MX8 is not responding properly after a while, try to service it yourself. The videos are a great help!
    38K in ground pool with attached spa. Current equipment: Easytouch 8 (521150) with IC-60 SWCG with web control by Autelis, 1x Pentair IntelliFlo 011018 pump (for filter), 1x Pentair 2HP WhisperFlo pump (for waterfall), 2X Pentair IntelliBrite 5G 12V lights, Pentair MiniMax400 NG Heater, Pentair SMBW2060 DE filter. Zodiac Barracuda MX8 cleaner on dedicated cleaner line. Lighting/home automation controlled by Insteon/ISY-99i.

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Orange County, CA
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    696

    Re: Fixed - Zodiac MX8 doing circles, now runs fine

    Just to revise this...
    A day after the above post, I noticed the MX8 was again doing the same counterclockwise circles, suggesting that the directional control on the left hand side of the unit (Directional Control A) was not functioning properly. I ordered and promptly received a replacement Directional Control A and replaced the defective one. This took less than five minutes (thanks again for those videos!). Now the unit is working perfectly again. I probably could have sent it in for warranty replacement, but the cost of the part was only about $25 and a couple more for shipping. In any event, the unit is working perfectly again now for several days.
    38K in ground pool with attached spa. Current equipment: Easytouch 8 (521150) with IC-60 SWCG with web control by Autelis, 1x Pentair IntelliFlo 011018 pump (for filter), 1x Pentair 2HP WhisperFlo pump (for waterfall), 2X Pentair IntelliBrite 5G 12V lights, Pentair MiniMax400 NG Heater, Pentair SMBW2060 DE filter. Zodiac Barracuda MX8 cleaner on dedicated cleaner line. Lighting/home automation controlled by Insteon/ISY-99i.

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    9

    Re: Fixed - Zodiac MX8 doing circles, now runs fine

    Similar story here but with different conclusion. After working perfectly for most of last season I had a similar issue with my MX8. Zodiac support sent me a new A-side control. That seemed to help for a few days but before long the MX8 ws running in circles again. Over the winter I took the old A-side control apart and found no sign of wear or damage. Checked out everything including treads but it would still periodically run in circles due to either A or B side not driving. What I discovered was that the bevel gears on the drive shaft were not making reliable contact with the gears in the A and B controls. The bevel gears mount on a brass shaft that runs through the paddle that driven by water suction. The solution was to remove the bevel gear (simple size 4 screw) from the drive shaft and place two washers behind the gear. With that modification my MX8 has run perfectly all summer and I now have a spare A-side control.
    DIY IGP 14'x28' freeform. Sand filter. 3/4HP Pump. Zodiac MX8 cleaner.

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Orange County, CA
    Posts
    696

    Re: Fixed - Zodiac MX8 doing circles, now runs fine

    Jguy - Yeah, I was surprised too, because I didn't see any evidence of gear wear in the A-side control that I replaced. Interesting thought about the bevel gear. Any way you could post a picture to show your modification?

    Thanks...

    Craig
    38K in ground pool with attached spa. Current equipment: Easytouch 8 (521150) with IC-60 SWCG with web control by Autelis, 1x Pentair IntelliFlo 011018 pump (for filter), 1x Pentair 2HP WhisperFlo pump (for waterfall), 2X Pentair IntelliBrite 5G 12V lights, Pentair MiniMax400 NG Heater, Pentair SMBW2060 DE filter. Zodiac Barracuda MX8 cleaner on dedicated cleaner line. Lighting/home automation controlled by Insteon/ISY-99i.

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: Fixed - Zodiac MX8 doing circles, now runs fine

    Registered to post a big thanks to jguy. I have had a MX8 for about a year and a half. First ten months was almost trouble free, but then I began to have difficulties with the directional control assemblies. I had two replaced under warranty and have replaced three myself. The latest A side replacement only worked for a day. I had not taken apart an assembly until today. After removing and inspecting the numerous gears within the assembly, I saw absolutely no visible signs of wear. I thankfully found this thread and most notably jguy's post regarding the drive shaft not engaging the gears on the directional controls. I applied his solution of a washer on the drive shaft and the cleaner is working as it should. Time will tell if it is a permanent solution but as of this evening I am at least not throwing the MX8 in the trash (which I was very close to doing). Thanks again.

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Orange County, CA
    Posts
    696

    Re: Fixed - Zodiac MX8 doing circles, now runs fine

    Good to hear about this from another. I'll check this myself. Currently, our MX8 is running great.
    38K in ground pool with attached spa. Current equipment: Easytouch 8 (521150) with IC-60 SWCG with web control by Autelis, 1x Pentair IntelliFlo 011018 pump (for filter), 1x Pentair 2HP WhisperFlo pump (for waterfall), 2X Pentair IntelliBrite 5G 12V lights, Pentair MiniMax400 NG Heater, Pentair SMBW2060 DE filter. Zodiac Barracuda MX8 cleaner on dedicated cleaner line. Lighting/home automation controlled by Insteon/ISY-99i.

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: Fixed - Zodiac MX8 doing circles, now runs fine

    Just registered for help. Please help. I have the same issue, I spent 25 dollars to replace side A directional control because the cleaner was just turning in circles. But the replacement behaves very similar to the original problem I had which is I see the black plastic cylinder of the directional engine turning without the tracks but when i put the tracks of side A it seems to get stuck and makes a clanking noise. Why does side A it seem to spin as it should when there is no rubber track installed? When the track makes the control stiffer that's where I have the issue. Yes replaced to brand new tracks as well. Thanks!

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Re: Fixed - Zodiac MX8 doing circles, now runs fine

    Those are great videos but my XM8 is not the same once I take the directional control apart. I removed the gray housing and found myself with a shaft and mitre gear in my lap. In the video the directional control is contained in a clear housing. Mine is not. Do I have a first generation before this was standard? I'm not even sure how to put all the pieces back together now.
    It was running in counter clockwise circles so I assumed the left control was bad and wanted to check it as done in the video.
    Any suggestions?
    Thanks.
    Houston, Texas
    10000 gallon pebbletec
    Salt Water Generator
    Spillover spa.
    XM8 cleaner.

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Re: Fixed - Zodiac MX8 doing circles, now runs fine

    Quote Originally Posted by AcoldStArnolds79
    Those are great videos but my XM8 is not the same once I take the directional control apart. I removed the gray housing and found myself with a shaft and mitre gear in my lap. In the video the directional control is contained in a clear housing. Mine is not. Do I have a first generation before this was standard? I'm not even sure how to put all the pieces back together now.
    It was running in counter clockwise circles so I assumed the left control was bad and wanted to check it as done in the video.
    Any suggestions?
    Thanks.
    Like other users here I followed JGuy suggestion of installing a washer on each shaft end by the shaft gear and it totally worked! Like you, I thought that one of the directional gear was bad because the machine was spinning in circles all the time. After many days of frustration I tried JGuy suggestion and it worked beautifully. So the part that usually goes bad when the cleaner spins constantly is not the directional gear but the gears of the center shaft (I guess the gears lose friction just a bit as they wear out). Many thanks to JGuy.

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: Fixed - Zodiac MX8 doing circles, now runs fine

    same problem, now solved... thanks JGuy! i did it slightly differently, not having any small stainless washers at hand. i slid each arm of the main shaft out of the central paddle wheel hub and inserted small discs of plastic into the holes in the hub which then packed the arms out less than 2mm, enough to firmly engage the cogs in the outer ends. works perfectly now!

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Re: Fixed - Zodiac MX8 doing circles, now runs fine

    Another new member saying thanks for this information. I had the same issue with my MX-8. I had dismantled and inspected both directional gear mechanisms and concluded neither was faulty or showing any signs of wear. I could hear the gears from the main drive shaft to the directional gear boxes were slipping. The suggestion of adding a washer was most helpful. I removed the gears so I could determine the correct size stainless steel washers to buy, but then found I had some suitable plastic spacers just the right size (and they won't rust!), slotted them on and returned the gears and reassembled. Now looks to be working correctly.

    As an engineer (albeit in Electronics and Communications), I found the operation of the directional gearboxes most fascinating. A very clever bit of design work there.

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Re: Fixed - Zodiac MX8 doing circles, now runs fine

    I finally figured this out about 3 months ago. I added a washer on the drive shaft and put it back together. The cleaner started working and is still working like a champ.
    You would think the Zodiac people would incorporate this in their design.
    Thanks for the help. This site is where I always come first.

    Edit: Christmas 2013. The fix with the washers is going on nine months now and I have had no problems with the cleaner. It just baffles me that this fix is so easy and logical. Has the manufacturer incorporated a fix yet?
    Houston, Texas
    10000 gallon pebbletec
    Salt Water Generator
    Spillover spa.
    XM8 cleaner.

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    San Diego, California
    Posts
    1

    Re: Fixed - Zodiac MX8 doing circles, now runs fine

    Another big shoutout for the washer fix. Works like brand new and I'd just like to say thank you, thank you, thank you. I am very mechanically inclined and was looking for a solution but for 10 cents, this was by far the best investment. If the manufacturer uses it, they should send you a dime for every unit sold.

  14. Back To Top    #14

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    Aug 2014
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    Tecumseh, Ontario
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    1

    Re: Fixed - Zodiac MX8 doing circles, now runs fine

    Thank you very much for this. I was happy with the performance of the MX8 till it started going in circles. Found the fix here. Just not happy it only lasted less than 2 seasons. That's 5 months of use!!!

  15. Back To Top    #15

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    Apr 2015
    Location
    Alvin, Texas
    Posts
    1

    Exclamation Zodiac MX8 needs to sell bearings


    I have had my MX8 for 4 years and every year I have had to replace the directional drives. The bearings that the drive shaft fits in keeps wearing out and you can not buy the bearings which takes about 20 minutes to replace and would cost maybe $2.50 for a pair. But instead you have to purchase the entire directional drives for $25.00 each.

    How can they justify not selling a simple fix? I called Zodiac and they said they make their own drives so that means they have the bearings. I am to the point of going to a different cleaner since I am spending $50.00 a year. I know I only spent $300.00 for the cleaner but I am half way to a new cleaner on what I have spent already.

    I would tell anyone that it is a great cleaner but buy something else that you don't have to buy major parts so often and one that they sell all the replacement part for.

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Patterson, CA
    Posts
    5

    Re: Zodiac MX8 needs to sell bearings

    Quote Originally Posted by tsetzer View Post

    I have had my MX8 for 4 years and every year I have had to replace the directional drives. The bearings that the drive shaft fits in keeps wearing out and you can not buy the bearings which takes about 20 minutes to replace and would cost maybe $2.50 for a pair. But instead you have to purchase the entire directional drives for $25.00 each.

    How can they justify not selling a simple fix? I called Zodiac and they said they make their own drives so that means they have the bearings. I am to the point of going to a different cleaner since I am spending $50.00 a year. I know I only spent $300.00 for the cleaner but I am half way to a new cleaner on what I have spent already.

    I would tell anyone that it is a great cleaner but buy something else that you don't have to buy major parts so often and one that they sell all the replacement part for.
    I know this an old thread but wanted to share that I have found the MX8 gearbox bearings ... I looked at them closely ... They are stamped with Polaris. I went to the Polaris site and searched and found a bearing which should be the same one (as per measuring the hex shaft hole and outer diameter) ... I inquired and learned that they are a KMS 2045 special bearing. You are able to purchase on the KMS site for $3.61 each. I also made an additional mod to the gearbox ... this cleaner has never worked as good as it does now! I'll post what I did with pictures in awhile.

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