Mark Wahlster , Aug 29, 2011; 10:01 p.m.
OH MY do not take the top off the camera to do so without the repair manual (of which there really is none) or at the very least the presettings for the shutter and meter in hand you might as well throw the thing in the trash. Very very few good repair techs will touch a camera that has been messed with and the AE-1 is a boobie trap waiting to spring if you take it apart and don't know what you are doing.
That said where are you and your camera located and maybe someone here knows a repair shop close by that can do a Clean Lube and Adjust (60-120.00) which will normally fix any minor problems.
Nothing inside a Canon AE-1 is simple.