Repair / Replace old GE Disposall

Anyone know about these old GE Disposalls ?? The model number must have fallen off. No number on it. The thing is broken. The motor runs but the blades don't turn.
It looke to me like there was once a bolt head right in the center of the thing, as you look down the into the hole. Looks like the bolt head has snapped off because the shaft of the bolt spins as the motor runs, but the shaft isn't connected to anything (anymore).
The head of the bolt must be down in the trap now, or maybe just snugly off in a corner somewhere.
The motor spins at the usual speed, but it doesn't turn anything except the shaft.
The "cutting assembly" moves freely, by hand, around the shaft, and even moves up and down, off the shaft, so nothing is stuck.
In a perfect world, it seems I could just take the old Disposall out, take it to a machine shop where they could extract the headless bolt, then just buy a new bolt, reassemble the thing, replace it in the sink and then have a cold beer and relish a job well done.
I'm trying to avoid spending a fortune having a plumber come in and fix / replace it.
Am I right about the bolt?
I called the GE answer center 800 number and the guy was pleasant but said he couldn't help me without a model number !! (even though I told him it was probably a 1985 or 1986 )
I might end up buying a new insinkerator, but I still want to know if I'm right about the bolt theory.
Thanks
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On Mon, 17 Dec 2007 09:45:58 -0800 (PST), utilitarian

Replace it and do it yourself. After 12 years of daily use mine stopped working (it rusted out) and I bought a slightly more powerful and quieter model. This is an easy procedure for most DIYs. You'll need some plumber's putty to put under the strainer and a screwdriver. With power off, remove the bottom plates from both disposals. Secure the white, black and green wires and replace the bottom plate. Follow the directions included with your new disposal. Turn the power back on, test your disposal, then have a cold beer.
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Uh, don't forget about the dishwasher drain plug. If you have a dishwasher that drains through the disposal, you gotta knock out the plug where the dishwasher drain hose attaches, otherwise you got a mess. This should be a basic part of "following the directions", but I have seen a few threads on this newsgroup where people have forgotten that little step.
Jerry
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I recently replaced a 2 year old disposal and didnt disturb the top part, justr unhitched the old and installed the new one.
quick easy 45 minutes of uncomfy work with my dad watching from a wheel chair
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If you have the skills to remove it, you have the skills to replace it. If might be as easy as you say to "take it to a machine shop", but even if you had a friend in the business, it's a lot of effort to try to fix it, and you are saying that it is 22 years old, which is probably well beyond the average service life of a disposal.
JK
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