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How do I fix a take up spindle that won't turn?

I bought a Sears cassette player-recorder recently and was very excited to begin to use it instead of only being able to listen to cassettes on the road. Unfortunately, after cleaning it, regular tapes that go through end up with tape coming out and me having to reel it back in manually. The cleaner tape went through fine, no issues. The player-recorder also has issues rewinding, but I can live without that function. I'd just really like to know what's causing the problem and how to fix it, or where to take it to have it done.

It plays the tape, sound quality seems to be fine.

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As explained by B G, there should be a rubber belt driving the takeup spool and a rudimentary clutch to automatically adjust take-up tension to continually spool tape without inducing extra tension to create distortion in playback speed. If new, the drive rubber bands may take a set from being stored unused. If this is a used unit, the belt may be stretched beyond service and require replacement. A simple way to tell if the take-up spindle works is pressing play and observe the take-up spindle for rotation. Depressing a latch switch with the cover opened will allow you to gently grab the take-up spindle as it turns. There should be a strong resistance against attempting to stop the spindle from rotating.


Thank you!! It's great to know where to start, and I'm totally new to tape player put-together stuff. Thanks for being so helpful!!


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Gewählte Lösung

Sears Catalog number is 57C 2160 as seen in the 1975 Sears Wishbook. It appears to be a model 564.21600300

It sounds like the capstan and pinch roller near the head is working fine, so it plays.

My suspicion given that the unit is older, is either the drive clutch on the takeup spindle (if it has one it's right under the takeup spindle) could have worn out or is missing a part like the spring that puts pressure on the clutch. The cleaning cassette that you ran is short, and since these units would not have autostop features (to my best guess) the takeup drive could keep spinning while the spindle can't turn. This could ruin the clutch or possibly break teeth on a gear from shock since they would likely be plastic and old. This would explain why the take up reel isn't turning, while the capstan and pinch roller do. I believe the capstan is belt driven, and since it works the belt is likely fine.

I'm not sure how to check these parts except by disassembling the unit. If you disassemble it you will be able to see how it is driven. They may have used belts and the belt was allowed to slip deliberately to function like a clutch since this was an inexpensive model made in Korea at the time.

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If I'm not mistaken, the capstan is the motor and shaft turning with the pinch roller roller pressing the tape against the shaft for correct speed, pulling the tape past the playback head for the electronics to amplify magnetic pickup into sound. If mistaken, let me know and I'll delete this comment.


That is correct, the capstan works to pull the tape which is held against it by the pinch roller. That is why I have called the shafts or sprockets which go through the holes in the cassettes the spindles. From what I can guess the capstan is either directly driven or belt driven, and the spindles are driven through gears and a clutch from the capstan drive. No need to delete the comment The take-up drive is connected through a clutch to the spindle in most units to accommodate the varying diameter of the reel by allowing it to slip relative to the capstan as tape goes on to it.


Thank you!! I adore taking things apart and fiddling with em, I just wasn't sure where to start since I've never had something like this before. This helps a ton!!


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Atlas wird auf ewig dankbar sein.

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