Can I save my tape deck?

I own a Hitachi D-E44 cassette deck that I bought about 24 years ago. About a year ago, we started doing some work on our house and I packed my whole stereo system up and put it in a closet to keep it from getting damaged. A few weeks ago, I got everything out, hooked it all up, and discovered the cassette transport drive won't maintain constant speed now. I narrowed the problem down to the rubber capstan drive that runs the take-up reel. It’s either worn down or has become hard, causing it to slip. The machine is so old; I doubt that parts are available for it.

Any ideas??
 

Netlist

diyAudio Moderator Emeritus
2003-01-18 9:50 am
Try replacing the belts, it's perfectly normal these are worn out after all these years. It should be possible to find at least good replacements if the originals are nowhere to be found.
Original Hitachi spare part#:

46880312 = 75,15 X 3,4 X 0,4 cm.
6354663 = ?

/Hugo :)
 
I was able to find belts to fit (from MCM Electronics) and put them on (should have mentioned that in first post - sorry), thinking that was the problem.

The take-up hub is driven by a rubber wheel (is capstan the correct term?) that goes between a drive shaft and the take-up hub itself. on longer or older tapes, it starts slipping causing the tape to start bunching up inside the cassett until the device that senses the take-up reel isn't turning correctly shuts it down.

If I push in on the rubber wheel a bit, it runs perfectly. I've tried to find a way to adjust the tension on this wheel, but there doesn't seem to be any. Just a spring which isn't stretched out of shape or anything. It just seems like the rubber is old and doesn't have enough friction anymore.

Any thoughts?
 

Netlist

diyAudio Moderator Emeritus
2003-01-18 9:50 am
The rubber wheel is called the pinch roller or pinch lever and is most likely the culprit. Also, between the two take-up reel wheels behind the faceplate that covers the mechanism there could be a rubber idler wheel. Usually, when the cassette has difficulties to REW or FFW that wheel needs replaced too. Hope you can find the necessary spares.

/Hugo :)
 
I couldn't help but read that you are havng a problem with the pinch roll on your D-E44.

I own a D-E66 and I love it. I had the same problem a few years ago and i replaced the belts, as they stretch out over the years. Pinch rolls when they get older dry up and lose their "stickyness," so went and bought a little bottle of magic called RE-GRIP rubber cleaner/revitalizer by Rawn. You can find it at a site called Garage-a-records.com . All you do then is soak a cotton swab in that stuff and rub the pinch roll. you will see the blackness of age come off. You may need more than one swab. then let it sit for about a 15 minutes then wipe it clean and you've saved the trouble of finding an almost irreplaceable part!

Cheers,
John