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 Post subject: Reel to Reel - Akai 1710
PostPosted: Jan Mon 21, 2008 4:23 am 
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I finally poked around inside this tube reel to reel to see why it won't play. (The fast forward/rewind works great.)

The belt seems awfully loose, and the large wheel which is behind the capstan (or maybe it's part of the capstan) moves very hard. Way too hard to spin with the belt the way it is. Plus the belt doesn't seem to sit right on the top, near the motor.

Image

Possible problems... Old grease. Has the wheel just gummed up over the years? Or is the belt supposed to be tight? Combination of both.

Any help anyone could offer would be great. This is too good a unit to sit in the corner of a shop.

I am probably going to hire a pro to fix this if its anything too complicated. (Located in Raleigh, NC if you know of someone.)

Thanks in advance.

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PostPosted: Jan Mon 21, 2008 8:09 am 
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The motor and capstan should move freely, so the grease has probably dried out. You will need to pull the capstan and flywheel assembly to clean and relube it. There will be a plate that holds the flywheel down. Also, the pulley on the motor will need cleaning, and possibly the flywheel too. If the pinch roller moves, that mechanism will need cleaning/relubing also.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jan Tue 22, 2008 1:24 am 
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I have not worked on the AKAI machines but I have worked on many TEAC machines. The X-series suffers from stiff, dried grease. That will stop them dead. What happens is that the pinch rollers will not move up and engage the capstan by pinching the tape. Always a grease problem. Also, the belt will become loose and stretch. That too requires replacement. I suspect that AKAI will have the same problem.

As mentioned above, all of the components, the flywheel/capstan, motor and pinch roller should mover freely when turned. If not, they have old, stiff grease. That will usually fix the machines. You should be able to fix it yourself without sending it out. There are businesses that sell replacement belts...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jan Tue 22, 2008 11:35 am 
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Don, Johnny:

Thanks.

I am in the process of trying to get the capstan/flywheel assembly out, and man it is stuck. I can't figure out of it is just grease, or something I haven't dissassembled. I've got a local guy who repairs these who is talking me through it and looking at some pictures for me. I'll post them here when I get a chance.

I appreciate the help.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jan Tue 22, 2008 4:21 pm 
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Location: Detroit, MI USA
They can get stuck so bad that you would swear the parts had been welded or epoxied together. The grease acts like glue when it dries up, and the bond can sometimes be very difficult to free without damage unless you are very careful.

When you are 100% certain there is no other mechanical retainer that has been overlooked, try applying a solvent which may help soften the hardened grease. Make sure there are no plastic or rubber parts which it would damage before applying.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jan Tue 22, 2008 6:13 pm 
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What makes me very cautious is that it will move for about an 1/8 of an inch, but then stops. I'm prety sure I've got some mechanical/dissasembly issue.

Thanks.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jan Tue 22, 2008 7:27 pm 
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Most single-motor Akai decks have a clip holding the flywheel/capstan shaft into the bearing assembly. To access the clip, the plated sheetmetal cover on the front needs to be removed. The attached diagram shows how this is assembled in the M-7, which I believe is very similar to to the 1710 mechanism.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jan Tue 22, 2008 9:18 pm 
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Brian:

Thats it! That's the good news.

The bad news is that the three phillips head screws are not all in the open. There are other pieces of the complex mechanics of this machine which cover up one of the screws (about halfway.) They obviously put the capstan on, then assembled all the arms, levers and pulleys on the front of the chassis. The arm I'm talking about does not move out of the way.


But, I'll just take more of it apart. Dang, I gotta remember where all these -- well, most of these -- parts go.

Thanks everybody.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jan Tue 22, 2008 9:46 pm 
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Brian:

Do you mean part #815? Is that the plated sheetmetal cover? It is like a shiny cap. It sure feels like it is on there pretty solidly. From the diagram, that looks like my shortest route to the clip.

Dave


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jan Wed 23, 2008 1:04 am 
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With respect to hardened grease, I have actually had to use a propane torch to heat the bearing enough to get it to move. Drastic, but the last resort and it worked

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jan Wed 23, 2008 4:58 am 
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traderdave wrote:
Brian:

Do you mean part #815? Is that the plated sheetmetal cover? It is like a shiny cap. It sure feels like it is on there pretty solidly. From the diagram, that looks like my shortest route to the clip.

Dave


Yes. If I remember correctly, it is a tight press fit and it may be glued on, too.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jan Wed 23, 2008 1:38 pm 
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Thanks. This looks like fun. I'll post here when I make progress.

Dave


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jan Thu 24, 2008 7:21 pm 
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If you are near the Middle GA area or could arrange for someone to pick it up I would give you the whole completely working mechanics from a M8 reel to reel that I'm going to use the amps out of as homebrew phono preamps/monoblocks.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jan Mon 28, 2008 12:49 am 
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Thanks Tube. I think this project has taken me as far as I can go in reel to reel repair.

I did get the capstan off -- there was in fact a small c-shaped clip hidden inside. I greased, and reset everything. The capstan/flywheen spin, but the thing bogs down occasionally. I can't seem to consistently record/play.

When I can get it to record, the sound quality in my headphones is excellent. (Not on playback, just the input audio.)


I think I'll try to sell this locally for parts. (It was already on ARF for a few dollars, but shipping is a bear.)

Since it actually can't pick up any radio station, it has limited interest for me.

Thanks to all who chipped in. Basically the operation was a success, but I wasn't able to get the patient to "wake up."

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jan Mon 28, 2008 1:06 pm 
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If you're still interested in fixing it first off replace the belt for the capstain and then use some CaiKleen RBR on the rubber drive wheels as that will clean and rejuvinate the rubber.


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