Teac Reel to Reel Pinch Roller Problems

This guide will step you through repairing one of the most common problems in the
vintage Teac reel to reel decks. This is such a common problem that you should do this
procedure to all of the vintage Teac units if you have them apart for any reason.

Cleaning supplies and tools needed:
Rubber Cleaner.  Be especially careful around plastic case parts as it will leave a mark if it
comes in contact with the surfaces.
Cotton Swabs
Screwdrivers A medium size Philips head screwdriver
Phono-lube This is a brand name of fine grease I use. Any fine grease will work just as

Problem: When the unit is put in play mode the pinch roller either does not come up at
all or is very stiff and doesn’t come up tightly against the capstan. This can also cause the
tape speed to be too fast at the beginning of the tapes and slow down near the end. You
should be able to lift the roller up and down freely. If not, then continue with the
procedure below.

Fix: Unplug the unit. First, take the pinch roller off of the unit. On most units it will
just pull off with the shaft included. On some models you will have to unscrew the silver
cover cap. Next unscrew the silver collar around the capstan shaft and remove it and the
rubber or foam washer that is around the capstan shaft. Now, lay the unit down on it’s
face on top of a thick towel or blanket so as not to damage the tape reel spindles. Take
the back cover off. On some units this is a metal black cover that wraps around onto the
top of the unit and on others it is just a wood cover on the back only. Once you get this
off, you will be able to see inside of the unit. Looking down you will see the main drive
motor near the center of the unit and the metal flywheel just below it and to your left. We
will need to take the flywheel out to get to the pinch roller linkage. Sitting on top of the
flywheel there is a metal bracket about 1” wide by 5” long with a screw in each end. Take
those screws out. On some units there will be two more screws holding the wiring
harness in place. Take those out also. Now you will be able to lift the bracket up and out
of the way. Grasp the flywheel and pull it straight up and out of the unit. Lay it aside.
Around the base of the bearing for the flywheel you will see an “H” shaped piece of metal
with two screws in it. Remove these and the small bracket. Now if you look at the left
shaft that the flywheel bracket was screwed into, you will see a sleeve over the shaft. This
sleeve goes through to the front of the unit and the pinch roller is mounted to it. You
need lift this sleeve off. First you will need to remove one of the screws in the black micro
switch to the left and pivot the switch out of the way. Next you will have to take out the
three screws holding the solenoid just above the switch and slide it back a little. Now you
can lift the sleeve off. Most often the sleeve will be somewhat frozen in place. This is the
source of the whole problem. If the sleeve will not lift up there are several methods of
getting it loose. I use a small butane torch to heat up the shaft. If using this method be
very careful not to burn any of the wiring harness. You can also take a large soldering
iron and heat the shaft or use a little WD-40 and let is soak for a couple of hours. Once
you get the sleeve off, clean the shaft and the inside of the sleeve thoroughly with cotton
swabs soaked in rubber cleaner. Then apply a thin layer of grease on the shaft and slide
the sleeve back down in place. Verify that the lever now moves freely.
This is also a great time to replace the main drive belt. Now you just need to reverse the
procedure and reassemble the unit.

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