Getting the left-hand threaded locknut off is a HUGE bitch without the right tooling. You either need an impact driver and a 35 mm socket or special tooling and a good vise I have none of these. Here is the process:
So, I took the variateur to a mechanic friend and he got the left-hand threaded locknut off pretty fast with said pneumatic impact driver and an assistant. The normal-threaded fixed cheek again took two guys to break loose as well.
Upon inspection it was apparent that the fixed pulley cheek was indeed seated correctly agains the shaft lip. It could move no further. Then lip however was located about 2-2.5 mm out too far to correctly limit the moving cheek. This condition allowed the moving cheek to travel too far, beyond nearly he pins to the point when the rollers can escape their slots.
Unfortunately, there is no easy and solid fix for this problem.
Perhaps it is possible to put in some kind of band or ring between the pulley halves to limit the travel of the movable pulley. I thought of this as well but it will need to be very secure.
I’m ready to punt, say fuck it and just buy another variateur. However, I will get it from a brick an mortar store where I can inspect it in advance. Furthermore, I would recommend everyone else to carefully check the throw of the movable pulley cheek of a new variateur to insure it stops where the forks rest solidly against the pins…..if it looks like this don’t except the part: