Question about Televison & Video
The most common cause is dirty, old, deteriorated
rubber parts - particularly the idler tire - preventing the tape from
being fully wound back into the cassette.
I personally would just get rid of that player if it were me, but if you really want to try, you can clean it out...
Things to clean: 1. Capstan and pinch roller. These collect a lot of crud mostly oxide which flakes off of (old rental) tapes. Use as many Q-tips (wet but not dripping with alcohol) as necessary to remove all foreign matter from the capstan (the shiny shaft that pulls the tape through the VCR for play and record). Just don't get impatient and use something sharp - the crud will come off with the Q-tips and maybe some help from a fingernail. Clean the pinch roller (presses against the capstan in Play, Record, and Search mode CUE and REVIEW) and until no more black stuff comes off. Use as many Q-tips as necessary until no more black gunk collects on Q-tip. If the pinch roller is still hard, shiny or cracked, it will probably need replacement. Many are available for about $6 from the sources listed at the end of this document. It is sometimes possible to put the pinch roller in an electric drill, drill press, or lathe, and carefully file off the hard shiny dried out rubber surface layer, but only use a last resort - and this fix is probably temporary at best. 2. Various guideposts including the roller guides (the white rollers on metal posts which are near the video head drum when in play or record mode). When in FF or REW, or with no tape present, these move on tracks to a position toward the front of the VCR. Note that the roller guides with the white rollers and tilted metal posts will be fairly loose when in the unloaded position (but you should not be able to lift them off the tracks). When actually playing or recording a tape, they will be snug against the stoppers at the end of the tracks. 3. Idler tire (idler swings between reels and transfers motor power to reels - clean until no more black stuff comes off. A dirty or worn idler tire is probably the single most common VCR problem. If the idler tire appears cracked, glazed, or dried out, it will need to be replaced. About $.50-$1.00. As a temporary measure, you can usually turn the tire inside-out and replace it. The protected inner (now outer) surface will grip well enough to restore functionality until a replacement tire arrives - and verify the diagnosis as to the cause of your problem. Also, the idler assembly includes a slip clutch. If this weakens, the idler may not have enough force to press on the reel table edges. If it becomes too tight, there may be audio, video, or crickled tape problems and/or excess wear of the idler tire. When in doubt, the entire idler assembly is often available as a replacement part. They can often be disassembled and adjusted if necessary. 4. Reel table edges - surface on the reel tables where the idler contacts. 5. Audio/control head (right side) and full erase head, (left side). Q-tips and alcohol are ok for these. 6. Anything else that the tape contacts on its exciting journey through your machine. 7. Rubber belts. Access to some of these will probably require the removal of the bottom cover. After noting where each belt goes, remove them individually (if possible) and clean with alcohol and Q-tips or lint free cloth. Dry quickly to avoid degrading the rubber from contact with the alcohol. If a belt is trapped by some assembly and not easy to remove, use the Q-tip on the belt and/or pulley in place. However, if it is stretched, flabby, or damaged, you will need to figure out how to free it. Make sure that there are no twists when a square cut belt or replacement is installed on its pulleys. On some models, you may need to unscrew circuit board(s) blocking access to either the top or bottom of the tape transport. Make notes of what went where - particularly different types of screws and routing of wires. Any belts that appear loose, flabby or do not return instantly to their relaxed size when stretched by 25% or so will need to be replaced and may be the cause of your problems. Belts cost about $.30-$2.00 and complete replacement belt kits are often available by model for $3.-$12. Meanwhile, the belts will function better once they are cleaned, maybe just enough to get by until your replacements arrive.
Posted on Sep 30, 2010
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
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