Re: Suunto Core button failure. (Fix with Pictures)
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Thread: Re: Suunto Core button failure. (Fix with Pictures)

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  1. #1
    Member doing_time's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014

    Re: Suunto Core button failure.

    Echo, ecohooo....
    200 views and one response says either you guys are all in warranty, or more likely you just don't give a sh1t lol. Anyway, Im only bothering my arse posting this incase another poor cheap ass second owner out of warranty soul feels vastly let down by his Chinese built/Finnish designed core.

    Tigeryear's thread Suunto Core disasembly photos showed me how to dismantle it, and the link I posted in post four where Gejo mentioned fixing the same problem spurred me on to have a crack off it.
    Maybe its just me but that's all I could find here or elsewhere re fixing a faulty button on a core. Excuse and ignore this post if this is already in the brain trust, but I couldn't find it.

    Sharp thin bladed knife to pop off the bezel.

    Comprises two parts, the other part is what enables the 'click', note alignment of holes and pins for reassembly.
    Incidentally when reassembling use a tiny smear of silicon grease on the inner ring. Makes the click feel less plasticky and more like it should. Feels nicer to me anyway.

    This is what your left with. Clean the area with a cotton bud before going at the screws with a.......

    .......Torx T5. Its a tiny bit. Allen bit will not fit you must use a torx.

    At this stage you can lift off the crystal/ring. Chances are the o ring gasket will be stuck to the underside of the crystal. Peel off gently and clean off any crapola that's collected on it. Set aside with the screws, lose any of these and your up the creek.

    This is where you are now.
    Actually I lie, this is last shot before buttoning up, I have at this point removed the works, cleaned everything all the dust and grime away at this point, greased the crystal o ring and reinstalled it in its seat/groove. I used dielectric grease on the o ring. Just a smear between two fingers and lightly pulled the o ring through my fingers.
    Im sure there will be some brainy types aghast at using that but essentially its inert silicone grease, to me that's aok as it doesn't mess with any rubber, will feed it afik.

    Point of interest re seating the o ring. There is one, and only one way to install it, note the 9 oclock position. It is not symmetrical with 3 oclock, there is a small inward curve here. If after cleaning and greasing your left puzzled why it wont fit you have turned it inside out. Hold at 3 and 9 oclock and flip/rotate the o ring so its correctly orientated for its seat.
    Failure to get this right means water ingress down the line.

    I'll use Tigeryear's photo to illustrate the next bit.
    The works just lift out, but be aware its tethered by the lead to the case back where the baro sensor is housed pressed fit by a tiny o ring, lose it and lose your waterproofing. You can pull the sensor out and lift the works away entirely but Id advise against it. If you mess up that sensor your core becomes just a big watch that tells the time.

    Ok, back to the fix, what happens is when the button pushes the tab down it hits (or should hit) a corresponding contact below to allow it function. Anyway, either its a case of the material used does not have sufficient spring, or its a case of bad design allowing over torqueing of the tab by the buttons excessive travel which can result in it bending. If its bent enough contact becomes impossible via the button. This was so in my case.

    When I lifted the works out and pressed the contact with my finger the button worked, ie; functions scrolled. So you know, when lifted out and pressed like this it wont beep though, I assume that's something to do with the speaker not being grounded on the case back to sound, but either way, if you can operate the buttons function by hand directly on the tab proceed, if not button up and send it off to Finland and hope your one of the lucky 'no charge to fix' people.

    I inserted a trimmed down match where the red line is and used another to bend the curved portion downwards. The wedged in match raises the tab high enough to bend the contacting part enough to allow it touch down when the buttons pressed, ya get me?.
    Go easy here, a couple degrees is all that's needed! This is the fix, or it was for me.
    Keep the battery in it to allow you test once you put the works back in the case and try the button. Great feeling when the 8astard beeps and does as it should.

    I didn't use an earth strap, should I have?

    Wear unpowered nitrile gloves and wear a size smaller for good grip.

    Cotton buds, or q tips as I think you lads call them, are good for cleaning the inside of the case/o ring seat, but beware leaving fibres behind.

    If you pull out the baro sensor don't clean the white head no matter how dirty, that goo is there by design, remove and you may goose the watch. Best leave it in situ and work tethered to the case back.

    Dust or any particulate will show like you will not believe on the face so work clean with lint free cloths. If you must clean the inside of the crystal shine a light from underneath afterwards to highlight any dust/lint/smear left behind. Cleaning the lcd face is not a great idea, its slightly matt and shows any and all marks. Try to not touch it.
    If your clean and change gloves after greasing the o ring and are careful to re seat it without touching the lcd screen you will be rewarded with no imperfections. This is harder than it sounds as these are probably assembled in a cleanroom in Vantaa.
    I did it but it took a second attempt as I noticed a spot of dust which annoyingly would not wipe away post assembly grrrr!

    When torqueing down the crystal don't be gorilla. Too tight and the o ring is squashed. Very little torque required, note and remember how little it took to undo and replicate. Torque opposing sides in stages.

    Bezel with correctly seated plastic ring sandwiched flush will click back easy as its so thin (on the light green). Other core models with beefier bezels less so. Press it home evenly. Use a clean table with a cloth below to press it back.

    Of interest to me and probably no one else here - going by the amount of replies - is the case of my other core, a year 09 all black.

    Bezel is waay harder to pop. Used two blades at opposing sides.
    Manky eh!

    Note the difference in the design of the tabs a year on from other 08 light green model as pictured above! A redesign perhaps with the button issue in mind? The tab is shorter so less prone to bending.
    Id lay a bet that our Finnish friends when fixing a button issue like this swap this contact tab cage over to the later design?
    I dug into the all black as the mode button was a tad sticky. I removed it by taking off the small retaining circlip and pushed the button out. Cleaned and regreased the o rings = sorted.

    Anyway, all sorted and no, those specks of dust are on the outside of the crystal lol!

    Set the sea level pressure on both wore them on a wee hike. Incredible how both were always showing the same or very nearly the same readings. Also, had to laugh when the two chimed, within seconds of each other, to indicate reverting back to baro mode from alti after getting home. Nice to know the calibration is spot on.
    wemedge likes this.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    I also completed this operation just last night, using your post. I documented it too. Should I post pics to add to the knowledge?
    A thoroughly successfully operation saved a pretty penny!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2015

    Re: Suunto Core button failure. (Fix with Pictures)

    doing_time - thank you for these instructions!! This worked great to get the lower left button working on my 2009-2010-ish Core black/orange.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Re: Suunto Core button failure. (Fix with Pictures)

    Reviving an old thread... sorry. But I haven't seen where anyone has made a video on this process. Thanks so much to the OP for sharing this info. It helped me as I developed my repair strategy. I don't repair watches for a sorry if I did 50 things wrong in this video. I seem to have fixed my own watch... and that's what's important to me.

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