It sounds like a mechanical push open/close, but if it is solenoid then you will have to open it up and find out what has it jammed. my best advice is to take it to a service center and have it worked on.
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Michael, What do you mean with may have put it in wrong? Up side down? because every cassette has 2 sides. It is almost impossible to put a cassette in, up side down. Or you must have used enormous force and then opening would not have much sense, because you must have damaged a lot.
If you want a manual, you could try this site, but you have to sign in, for a user and or service manual. Nakamichi 480 Manual Two Head Stereo Cassette Deck HiFi Engine
Depend on your location and willingness to ship the unit. The cost of the repair must also be weighed in. If you don't want to put $100 into it I don't think most shops these days will want to open it up. Dual cassette deck are notorious for failure due to cheap design. Look around at all the problems. I have been fixing units for 40 years and even at Sony and Sony authorized. I can look at it at Skywave Tape Deck Repair in Chicago area if you want. Google it.
The more detailed the description of the problem, the better for diagnosing the root cause. Thanks.
It sounds like you have a couple of problems. I'll address them as you have them numbered above.
1. Decks typically have belts to drive the various 'reel' mechanisms. Therefore, they can slip without breaking anything inside the machine or the tape. Your first symptom leads me in that direction.
2. That it migrated is mysterious, unless Sony is using a common motor to handle both decks' reel duties.
3. This symptom may have something to do with the root cause of both sides jamming...
Do the cassette well doors come off, say, for cleaning? Could they be dislodge? If so, they may have something to do with the jamming problems in # 1 and #2 as the doors play a part in positioning the cassette and holding it in place against the reel motor cogs. How do the doors operate with NO tape inserted?
Does it take excessive force to close the door only WITH a tape? make sure the tape is fully seated before closing the door. The capstans (directly below each reel cog) have to engage through the small holes at the lower edge of the cassette. They should be straight and clean. Any dirt or oxide on them will cause problems as these are what move the tape at the precise speed necessary for good playback or recording.
My hipshot recommendation, otherwise, is to look around inside the cassette wells very carefully for any foreign matter, debris, dust bunnies.
The problem here is that the unit is stuck in a partial position. The "reset" by unplugging and plugging back in usually causes the unit to reset to a known position. If there is no activity (no motor sound), it will need to be opened up and reset manually. If you hear the motor running for a short period, it is attempting to reset, but the belt is most likely worn or broken. These units are relatively simple, but a bit tricky to dis-assemble. This repair should not require anything other than a belt or 2. Figure on $3-$10 for parts plus the local labor rate for the repair.