Jump to content

Ongoing Equinox Coil Ear Breakage Issue

Recommended Posts

I was wondering what you folks think about the coil ear breakage issue that continues to plague Minelab with coils for the Equinox.  I have several friends who have had the ears break on the 15" coil and have seen other users suffer this same problem with the stock coil.  This past Sunday I had the opportunity to use the 15" coil at the beach and I loved it.  However, the coil ear problem has me a bit leery.  Even the aftermarket coil stiffeners don't seem to help and for all I know they may actually contribute to the problem.  From what I have seen breakage occurs in two spots:  1.  The top of the "loop" where the coil nut and bolt are attached and 2. At the base.  I also wonder if since these ears are thin that coil bolt over or under-tightening could be the culprit,

It seems that there is a defect in this coil ear design that Minelab should be addressing either by an exchange program with a redesigned  coil or an extension of the warranty on the coil.



Bill (S. CA)

Link to post
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, Bill (S. CA) said:

I was wondering what you folks think about the coil ear breakage issue that continues to plague Minelab with coils for the Equinox.

Coil support epoxied to the coil and ears. Then added 3/16" epoxied supports to each side of the coil.  Never to break again! 



coil 2.jpg

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I use Detect-ED coil saver washers on my Nox, do they stop ears breaking? I don't know.... Ed who makes them indicates they do, and he's primarily a salt water beach Nox hunter so I guess he'd know.   He's gone through a few Noxes by drowning them 🙂 They're just different thickness washers and you use a combination of them to get the exact right fit.

This is what he says about them.....

Rubber Teardrop Washer upgrades for the Minelab Equinox 600 / 800

This pack of 8 x 'Coil Savers' rubber teardrop washers includes two thicknesses of washers for use in the Minelab Equinox coil connector/yoke (4 x 2mm black washers and 4 x 3mm red washers).

The washers can be mixed and matched to give the exact thickness you need for your coil and coil connector/yoke).


- Eliminate coil ear wear

- Reduced chance of coil ear breakage

- Tighter coil (no floppy coil)

- Easy coil bolt tightening

- Suitable for use with Stock Shafts & Detect-Ed Carbon Fiber Shafts.

*Coil and Detect-Ed Red-Belly Carbon Shaft pictured for illustration purposes only

*Detect-Ed does not guarantee that these will stop Equinox coil-ears from snapping. Detect-Ed is not responsible for incorrect use of the Coil-Savers.

*It is up to buyers to use them correctly according to your requirements.

Coil Savers Link - Detect-ED



  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

As an engineer, I've given this some thought and closely examined my coil. And saw the cracks, saw them get bigger, then one ear broke. Mine broke at the bottom, seemingly the most common failure mode.

I think the problem is this:
The teardrop rubber washers should protrude above the clevis recess they sit in, this includes when the bolt is tightened. This is the problem. The washers get squashed until the coil ears touch the clevis, plastic on plastic. This does two things: it allows the coil ears to bend inwards more than they were designed for, and it allows wear of the plastic when the coil angle is adjusted, such as when it's packed away flat. Abrasive dirt can also get into this exposed area, worsening the wear. This plastic wear then allows the coil bolt to be tightened further, bending the ears in even more. Repeat this, and the ears get grooves worn in them, the clevis gets narrower. I recommend you take a look at your own coil ears inner faces. If there's a circular wear groove, you're heading for problems.

The 'solution' I have tried is to insert thin plastic shims behind the rubber washers, to space them out 'fatter' , so the coil ears tighten on the washer, not the clevis body, and they don't get bent inwards so much. Shim plastic is readily salvagable from packaging, household items. Thicknesses around 0.2 mm ( 8 thou ) seem a good starting point, use the same thickness under both washers. Scissors and a sharp craft knife will be enough to cut them out. Use the rubber washers as a template.


The second failure I've seen is cracks running from the ear hole out to the edge, often in multiple places. This is caused by improper moulding. The 8mm hole is moulded into the ear, so the liquid plastic has to flow around some 'pin' in the mould, and then join up solidly on the other side. This creates a weak point, when cooling plastic doesn't fully merge.
ML should consider moulding the ears without holes, then drill the hole afterwards as a seperate process. Ideally the hole should be reamed, to give a clean bore that will be resistant to crack formation.


The solution to ears cracking at the bottom is probably to have taller ears, so the flexing caused by bolt-tightening doesn't cause stress concentration in one small zone. Larger ears would let more/all of the rubber teardrop washer be compressed, instead of just the 'round' part. The tip of the teardrop is further away from the pivot point ( the bolt hole) so it's friction contribution would help resist 'coil-flop' better than the current arrangement.


  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites

So that means the Detect-ED things likely work Pimento, as they're there fixing the exact problem you describe with the rubber thickness.

Link to post
Share on other sites
"So that means the Detect-ED things likely work, as they're there fixing the exact problem you describe"
It certainly looks like that's one part of their solution. I've not seen them in the flesh, of course, so they may be softer ( or harder ) rubber blends, with different friction levels. If less force from the bolt is needed, to achieve the same resistance to clevis movement, that could be useful.

"Coil ears don’t break... people break coil ears. Seems like nearly all the breakage reports are from surf users."

Few people detect surf here in the UK. It's mostly inland, though crop stubble and grass can create a coil side-load. Most people report the ear(s) broke when not in use, the EQX was taken from storage/ a carrying bag etc and it was found broken when the machine was assembled. That was how mine failed. Simply putting the ears under strain continuously for months is enough to cause failure.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Minelab equinox is a fantastic machine the market is pushing for giving hunters all the bells whistles with there new products hopefully minelab keep giving us upgrades with software and addressing probs /you get a lot more bang for your buck these days than just couple of years ago /maybe the treasure is in the hunt and  the journey the tools just keep getting better

Link to post
Share on other sites

My coil ears broke on a high school soccer field this summer.  I had a coil ear stiffener attached - didn't help at all.  I don't use it anymore.  Replacement coil took about a week - kudos to Ft Bedford Minelab repair depot team.  Both ears broke at the base and the coil just fell off, dangling by the cable.

I spoke with John at Ft Bedford I asked if anyone knew what was causing the problem and how aware Minelab was of the problem.  John said he felt over tightening of the coil bolt appeared to stress the coil ears causing them to break.  He also said Minelab was very much aware of the problem.  The replacement coil came with the washers, coil bolt and coil cover.  I keep the coil bolt looser now - so far, so good.

The 800 is going swimming tomorrow - we'll see how that goes 🤥

Coil ears, drowned control pods and the annoying weak sound pinpointing issue.  Will these problems ever be remedied?

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Similar Content

    • By Allen M
      Hello I live in Las Vegas anybody have suggestions where I can go. I have a equinox 800 and I believe I have problems with it. Have not found any gold and getting frustrated with very little help from Minelab. Need ground I can test it out on tkk on se if there is a problem with it. 
      any help would be appreciated 
    • By phrunt
      It was election day in NZ yesterday and it was already well known we were going to have a landslide victory to the current government due to their Covid handling more than anything, it was the Covid election rather than a political one so rather than staying home seeing that on TV all day I decided to go for an afternoon hunt.   Mitchel drove the other day 4 hours for one nugget, while I can't match that I was going to drive an hour for similar results only if I found a nugget it would likely be smaller than his 🙂
      I was going back to a place right near JW's house mainly because it's the shortest drive to a gold area from my house but we have both absolutely slammed it especially with it being only a few minutes drive from JW's house too.  This particular little area we've spent days on end at, many days.  We've both done well at it but the gold dried up, JW said he's done with the spot but I wanted to try one more thing before giving up on it, my 8" X-coil there.   I honestly didn't think I'd find anything but with only a few hours and even less if I drove off further it had to do.   I could explore other areas in the similar area but I wanted to try the coil at this spot where we'd both done well on the gold before. 
      My first target was one I knew was there, I'd hit the target many times in the past but never bothered to dig it knowing it was junk but my curiosity got the best of me so I dug it up.

      It was down deeper than I expected for such a booming target.

      It was a little old tin, a shame the miner that threw it out or lost it didn't have the gold stashed in it 😞
      I was detecting around for an hour or so with very little targets at all other than shotgun pellets that I was just ignoring with the double blip the GPZ does on close targets and if they disappeared in a scrape or so they were rejected for the next guy 😛
      I then had a really nice sounding rather faint signal, one that was pretty confident might be my first gold of the day.  I dug, and dug and got down quite deep and the target was now screaming so I went over to my bag and got my Nox to try narrow down where it was as the GPZ was roaring on it so I couldn't pinpoint it, I had a feeling at this point it wasn't gold as the signal was too good, if it was gold I was in the wrong country as it was too big 🙂
      The Nox was giving odd ID's, for such a big screaming target it was favoring the lower ID numbers between 1 and 10 or so, I was a bit confused but narrowed it down to being a rock 😞
      What kind of rock would behave this way? I smashed it open and it had tiny little flakes in it that was sparkly like a silvery type colour.

      I put the Equinox down in the hole to try show how deep the rock was.  It didn't really work but it was deep.

      They didn't sparkle as much in the photo or on camera as in the sunlight.
      After that disappointment I was struggling with wanting to continue, I'd had that I'm giving up feeling thinking I wasn't going to get any gold and i got another faint signal quite close to that last signal, a couple of feet at most.  I thought here goes, it's another rock.

      I scraped away at the ground and the target moved.... here goes, a pellet.  I was a bit puzzled by that as I'd done this exact spot before with the GPZ and 10" and the Nox, even the Gold Bug 2 and Monster had been over this little area so was puzzled I'd missed a pellet.  It's right near where I found various nuggets weighting around 9 grams not too long ago and JW had also got another 2 or 3 grams from it too.  No target was left I thought, but I was wrong... maybe gold does grow back 🙂

      Maybe the little guy was on edge of something and fell over onto the flat or something, I have no idea. I was very surprised to find it.   This is my new scoop, I absolutely love it, I saw it was the one Steve used so figured I best try it out.  The flat base makes life so much easier recovering tiny targets getting them close to the coil, and it has sharpened edges for scraping which is very handy, much better than the round traditional scoops people use.  The little gold riffles I thought was a bit of a gimmick but they do really work.

      I found a big spider too, you don't see many big spiders in NZ and none are harmful except a small colony of Aussie Red backs that were accidentally introduced into a small area in the same region, they haven't spread though and are isolated to one spot.  I still jump a bit when a spider comes out, especially a big one after spending most of my life in Australia where they all want to kill you. 🙂
      No more gold for the afternoon so time to head home, it was starting to rain a bit anyway.

      So my little nugget, it was 0.058 of a gram until I cleaned it, should have left it dirty 🙂
      The other good news, my WM12 has started working, I was having a lot of trouble with it on previous trips with the audio constantly dropping out, this time it was fine, no idea why or how, different location so maybe it was some weird interference at the other spot that kept making it play up even on multiple days.  It dropped out a few times but in normal scenarios you would expect it to drop.   This time I was using the WM12 with my SP01 as I'd rigged up my harness how I liked it, it meant I ran the GPZ volume on 4 and let the booster do al the work previously when using the GPZ here I'd just run the WM12 with no extra speaker or SP01.  I really think a low GPZ volume with the booster doing the work makes faint targets stand out more, the GPZ appears to run smoother.
      So nothing too exciting from my afternoon hunt except the weird rock!
    • By calabash digger
      How does the new Apex stack up to the Minelab 6 inch coil????
    • By Xergix
      I don't know which site these photos were taken from, I don't know if you have already seen them, I must say Ukrainian technicians are really good at modifying metal detectors, but my question is : why ML didn't think of such a thing ?
      Single keyboard for all commands, no mechanical keys that can break easily, all  reach of your thumb finger, simple!

    • By Steve Herschbach
      Anyone who spends much time comparing targets with a Equinox and a Vanquish knows that a Vanquish will hit most targets an Equinox will hit. The performance is closer than people may want to imagine for most normal metal detecting, making Vanquish a genuine value.
      Vanquish came out with a different set of coils than the Equinox, to the chagrin of many Equinox owners, since they are not compatible.
      What is interesting is that the Vanquish coils are quite a bit less expensive, even in cases where they are physically larger than the Equinox coils. Part of this may be the windings and tolerances possibly being different. Vanquish coils seem thinner and lighter, and being able to keep the price down on them is critical to keeping the price of the detector down also. However, it is a mistake to think retail price has anything more than a loose connection to manufacturing cost. The rule is charge what the market will bear. And true story for anyone that wants to bother with the research - accessory items for expensive detectors often cost a lot more than the same accessories for lower price detectors. This is because most people who spend a lot on a detector are willing to spend more on accessories. Just ask any car dealer who sells both inexpensive and expensive cars.
      So while I do not know the exact details, the fact is Vanquish coils sell for les because they have to. Nobody is going to buy an accessory coil if it sells for as much as the detector itself. This adds to the value proposition however. Not only does a Vanquish get very close to Equinox performance for a lot lower price, but the accessory coils can be had for quite a bit less.
      I kind of get now why Minelab did not make a set of these coils for Equinox. Would Equinox owners be willing to pay about $100 more for the same coils across the board (even though they would be different coils)? People will say, no, just sell me the coils for the Equinox at the same price. But Minelab can't do that - it undermines the Equinox detector and accessory price structure. If that seems unfair, let me remind people the 11" round coil for the CTX 3030 sells for $349, a good $120 more than the 11" coil for Equinox! Minelab may have decided to simply avoid that can of worms by keeping the lines completely separate and distinct as far as the coils go.

    • By TripleT
      I was river hunting yesterday and came across a solid +1 in 4.5 ft of water.  After spending half an hour digging down approx 2ft. into the gravel bar, the signal broke into 2 centers.
      I finally gave up because of depth of water and size of hole.
      Anyone else have an idea as to what is down there... the site is about 1/2 mile down stream from a bridge, and the river has been close to flood level all summer.
  • Create New...