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One of my recent projects on my car was to (attempt to) fix the original head unit. The radio played fine, but the equalizer sliders and fade knobs had dead spots and the cassette deck only played out of the passenger side speakers. I sprayed a ton of electronics cleaner in the sliders and knobs, and they work perfect now! No more dead spots or crackles when moving them around.

On the other hand, the cassette deck decided to exchange one issue for another. I cleaned the reader and the little pegs that moved the tape very carefully with rubbing alcohol and q tips multiple times. It finally plays out of all 6 speakers, but the audio sounds very distorted and warped. It could just need to be demagnetized, but I doubt it. I'm considering taking a chance and buying another one, but I'd rather fix it if possible. Does anybody have any advice on how to fix it? If it isn't worth fixing, can someone help me find one that is known to work? I really don't want to take a chance with untested ones from Ebay that could be worse than the one I have now. Thanks in advance.
 

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Welcome!!

There's a guy over at Allpar that is very knowledgeable with radios/decks.

I forget his name but he has some articles, maybe Jeremy Schrag??

Thanks
Randy
 

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Not knowing the inside of this particular deck but,...
1. Usually, there is a belt that runs around various pulleys inside that run/drive the capstans (they look like shiney pins that stick up). Make sure that the belt is clean and then put some life back into it. This can be accomplished using something like Armor All or we used to use stuff that was called NA Trading belt/rubber cleaner.
2. Then the next thing is the pinch rollers. These rollers are free spinning and should be round. Many times over the years of leaving a cassette in the deck, the rollers end up having flat or capstan spots on them which degrades the sound of the deck by not allowing the tape to stay consistently inline and on the head or azimuth. You can also use the same cleaner/rejuvenate on them as well to soften them up.
3. If you can find the NA product, use this as well on the tape head/azimuth as it will release any sticky residue from the splicing tape (manufacturing of the cassette tape).
4. Once all of these areas have been addressed, and allowed some time to soak in the rejuvenate/cleaner, remove the excess residue of the cleaner with some electronic contact cleaner. Note that you may need to replace the belt and/or pinch rollers if they are degraded too much. Someone else may be able to chime in for the parts for these decks.
Best to you in your endeavors!
 

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I've seen these old cassette decks on ebay that have been refurbished and modified with bluetooth.
 

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I remember in the old days selling TEAC/Tascam kits that had 2 separate liquid cleaners - 1 for the rubber capstan wheel and one for the record and playback heads.
Cleaning the rubber capstan roller with alcohol will dry it out, so be careful not to do that.
We used to demagnetize tape heads of the multi-track recorders in recording studios.
We did that every after 24 hours of use.
Checking to make sure the playback head is in alignment is a good idea also.
 
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