nakamichi cdp-2a unfixable disk tray - what to do?

I found a Nakamichi cdp-2a with the TDA 1541 dac chip at value village for $25. It wasn't working but I managed to get it going, however the disk tray is missing a part that lowers the disk onto the spindle. Since the part is missing there is no fixing it. I can use it but I have to keep the case open and slide the disk onto the transport instead of using the disk tray open/close. I cant have an open chassis because I have small children.

What can I do with a player without a functioning disk tray? Would it be possible to make an external transport? Might I be able to replace the transport with something similar? If I can't fix the tray is there a way I can put the dac chip to use?

Its a great sounding player. I'd love to be able to use it.
 
In the picture is the clamp part of the mechanism (image from Lampizator). Which part is missing? And how is it possible to play a CD without it being clamped to the spindle?
Anyway, the tray/clamp looks pretty much typical of many Sony/Philips CD players. I am sure you can find a donor.
 

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If you look at a picture of the disk tray when it is ooen you'll see four small openings on the outside of the circle. These should have pieces in them thst hold the disc in a raised position until it is over the spindle. These are missing. Ive not seen this mechanism before but my experience is limited to what ive seen in stores or peoples houses.

The only other optiion I can think of would be to cut an opening in the top and try convert it to a top loader. Seems a bit iffy though.
 
On the back burner because I found another CD player I like. Panasonic of the same generation with a MASH Dac. I would have scoffed at the idea of this being worth listening to but I really like the sound. The critical thing for me is that compared to the Nakamichi it has a more coherent audio scene. Can't complain for $15.

I did experiment with cd 'pucks' to replace the spring loaded disk clamp but I didn't remove the drawer and it was rubbing and creating an unacceptable level of noise. I'll get back to it and update.
 
I pulled the cd drawer out this morning and devised a clamp using the spinny part from the disk clamp, a magnet, and a coin for weight. That worked to stabilize the disk so it is mechanically silent for the first time. It now works like a top loader but the transport will have to be relocated slightly so that the disk doesn't have to be inserted around the top edge of the front panel.

Bigger issue is that it doesn't sound great next to the panasonic. Side by side the panasonic is far more engaging and reproduces a sweetness in acoustic instruments I'm not accustomed to. I guess I could start replacing caps but I'm not sure this is the best use of my time.

I think this one is going down to the basement for the time being.