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Old 03-17-2012, 10:55 PM   #1
Docderek05
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Default trouble w 1986 cassette deck

Hi all,

I recently purchased a 1986, with a bose radio and cassette deck,
not really paying attention to that detail when I bought the car, I found a few good cassettes and went to place one in the deck tonight. the cassette would not fully load into the player, and it would just eject in a second, anyone have any ideas what could be a fix..or do you think its trashed..looking into the unit, it's clean, it's rust free...anyone have a similar experience and perhaps a fix?...thanks, Derek.
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Old 03-17-2012, 11:16 PM   #2
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upgrade to a CD player
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Old 03-17-2012, 11:28 PM   #3
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Almost all of my cassettes have gone belly up from age... Dr Don and maybe others probably offer some MP3 input that uses the tape player amp- or even a newer gm radio transplant.
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Old 03-18-2012, 12:13 AM   #4
Frizlefrak
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Send it off to Dr. Don's. He will put it any way you want it. But before doing that, open it up. I believe the cassette mechanism is belt driven. May be an easy fix, and the belts are available.
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Old 03-18-2012, 11:58 AM   #5
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The cassette in my '86 works great. Check inside the unit and make sure it's clean, especially the tape head.
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Old 03-18-2012, 12:51 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Frizlefrak View Post
Send it off to Dr. Don's. He will put it any way you want it. But before doing that, open it up. I believe the cassette mechanism is belt driven. May be an easy fix, and the belts are available.
Mine sounded distorted, cleaning didn't help, so off to Dr. Don's. A little over a week after I pulled it out, I had it back in and in perfect working order.
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Old 03-18-2012, 12:53 PM   #7
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Put an AM FM CD player in your 86 if you have the original Bose set up. A 1995 Camaro Bose unit is a direct fit and it will look as though it came from the factory in your 86. All you need is the antenna and wire harness adapter to mate the old style wires and antenna to the newer style. It takes about 20 minutes to install. The adapters can be found on "that auction site" we all use or you can get them from Dr. Don's stereo repair. He's located in Texas. Check out his website.
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Old 03-18-2012, 02:37 PM   #8
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The cassette part is removable (once the radio is out of the dash) and is theoretically repairable. I've been looking into that option myself.

Unfortunately, repairing it is probably not going to be practical.

As Friz said, it could be a belt and, if so, it's not a bad repair. You can check by putting a clear cassette in and see if the reels turn at all before ejecting. If they don't, it's possible that a belt change will fix it. Dr. Don can do that, or you can do it yourself.

The cassette transport mechanism was made by Blaupunkt and you will need two belts; SBS4.9 and SBS9.2. Unfortunately, the 9.2 is becoming rare. Ken's Electronics was out of them (said more would be coming), but another place I talked to said that they didn't have them and couldn't get them as that belt will probably not be manufactured much longer (if at all).

However, it's much more likely that the problem is in the autoreverse optical sensor. If that's the case you're probably done. The parts aren't made anymore and there is no cost effective way to fix it. Factory Car Stereo Repair says this on their website and I called Dr. Don and got the same story.

I was kind of bummed because cassette was just fine with me, and I really didn't want to install a new head unit; not because a new head unit wouldn't be much better than the original, but because I'm afraid of the increased theft factor. I daily drive my car and often park on the streets downtown (not the greatest area) and really don't want someone doing $1000 damage to the car trying to break in to get a $100 head unit.

So check the belts in the cassette and, if bad, replace and enjoy.

If it's not the belts there's probably no salvaging it, so here are your options (according to my analysis, anyway):

1. Get a new head unit.

Upsides: You'll have better sound and the ability to use electronic media. Does not have to be particularly expensive. You'll have new speakers too (the Bose speakers won't work with the new head unit).

Downsides: You'll have to get new speakers (and perhaps new wiring between them-- some say you have to, others say you don't). The appeal for thieves to break into your car will go up considerably.

2. Get a 94-96 Camaro replacement from Dr. Don.

Upsides: Looks very stock (most people won't know you made a change). Can play CD's. Dr. Don totally replaces the CD player guts, so not only will it play reliably (i.e., won't skip every time you hit a bump), but you can also play CD-R (so you can burn and play your own).

Downsides: Expensive at $450 (but probably worth it since the CD internals will be new, not stock). Can't play mp3's. Theft factor up a bit since the CD slot is visible and many bone-head theives won't know that it's not really worth stealing since it can't play mp3's. However, it's stock looking enough that it will probably cause many theives to pass.

3. Get an FM modulator that attaches to the antenna (not wireless).

Upsides: Cheap (about $50). Decent sound. Keeps the stock head unit and speakers. This is a benefit if you really want the stock look for originality or for theft prevention (would anyone steal a cassette player today?). When properly repaired (see below), many consider the Bose speakers to be excellent (even by today's standards). Can plug in a cheap mp3 player with 1000-2000 songs in it. The plug in port for the mp3 player (and the player itself) can be mounted remotely so not seen.

Downsides: Sound is not audiophile-level quality. It's probably a matter of time until the Bose speakers need to be re-done. They used cheap/bad capacitors in the amplifiers and they will almost certainly need to be replaced at some point (if they're not bad already). Dr. Don will do that for $85/speaker with a lifetime warranty. However, there are many who feel that, even when repaired the Bose speakers are not that great.

I haven't pulled the trigger yet, but I think I'm going to have Dr. Don fix my Bose speakers. He claims I will be absolutely blown away by the quality of those speakers when fixed-- as good or better than anything today. Others dispute that (that's why I list keeping the Bose speakers both as an upside *and* a downside, depending on your point of view), but they're already good enough for me (they just start popping if they're on for more than an hour or so), so if they could be even better I'll be very satisfied.

That will allow me to keep the original head unit (which I want for the reduced theft factor) and I will add the FM modulator with the plugin under the dash and my $10 mp3 player hooked to it via a coiled cord.

When I want to turn it on, I can reach under the dash and flip on the switch and pullout the player to turn it on. When done, the player will retract back under the dash (via the coiled cord) so it's out of view at all time. That will be fine because the display turns off after 10 seconds so there's no point in mounting it on the dash or anywhere else to be visible.

I don't know if my analysis is exhaustive (or even completely correct), so let us know if you come up with any other information and what you end up doing.

Last edited by Jim Rogers; 03-18-2012 at 05:52 PM.
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Old 03-18-2012, 03:53 PM   #9
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I'm not trying to be a jerk but why would you want to fix it? is my question. Jus replace it with a CD player with a USB port.
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Old 03-18-2012, 04:11 PM   #10
383vett
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Swap it out for a working 8 track.
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Old 03-18-2012, 09:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ch@0s View Post
I'm not trying to be a jerk but why would you want to fix it? is my question. Jus replace it with a CD player with a USB port.
I can't speak for the OP, but in my case I'm old school. I have hundreds of cassettes, but if I ever bought 10 CDs I'd be amazed. I also never bought an mp3 player and don't have a cell phone. Plus I KNOW it's the original radio and not just something close.
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Old 03-18-2012, 09:19 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by 383vett View Post
Swap it out for a working 8 track.
I like that. I could finally listen to my old 70s country tapes, especially "Convoy"
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Old 03-18-2012, 09:27 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dukeallen View Post
I can't speak for the OP, but in my case I'm old school. I have hundreds of cassettes, but if I ever bought 10 CDs I'd be amazed. I also never bought an mp3 player and don't have a cell phone. Plus I KNOW it's the original radio and not just something close.
you old goat

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Old 03-18-2012, 10:01 PM   #14
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you old goat

Click the image to open in full size.
And the wife wonders why my motto is "do it...do it"
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Old 03-21-2012, 09:23 AM   #15
Docderek05
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Jim Rogers,

Thanks for taking the time to give me a great analysis,
I appreciate the time and effort to show me options available,
and where to find a solution.


To All, as usual, good and humorous advice, makes ya smile
when you feel irritated by a faulty piece of electronics.

I think the advice to find a good working 8-track is perfect!

Best to you All...Summer is coming !! Derek
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Old 03-21-2012, 09:36 AM   #16
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No problem. Good luck with it.
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Old 03-21-2012, 11:09 AM   #17
87Vetteowner
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My advice, is upgrade to something new.

Unless you are going to do NCRS things, no sense in being stuck in the 80's.

I had a real good Pioneer unit in my 87 with a USB Port. You can put all your music on a small thumb drive.

No one is going to complain when you sell it that you have upgraded it.

Unless, you have a rare C4 , do the upgrading.

Just my 2 cents worth here.
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Old 03-21-2012, 11:20 AM   #18
Frizlefrak
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That is the one REALLY nice thing about a media receiver....you can store a few hundred CD's on a couple of thumb drives. Remember when we carted around a case of 12 cassettes in the car?
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Old 03-21-2012, 12:05 PM   #19
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Well my receiver works fine and I can even tune the station I want because they're on the correct frequencies. The CD works but spits out a CD once in a while and the tape deck also works but I just tried it.
But I put in one of these and works great. I've even got the remote so I can switch tunes when I want. The only thing you've got to remember is to turn it off. I don't know why the designer didn't just add a switch in the rotating wheel and when it was rotating it was on and when it wasn't it was off.

Bye
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Old 03-21-2012, 12:17 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frizlefrak View Post
That is the one REALLY nice thing about a media receiver....you can store a few hundred CD's on a couple of thumb drives. Remember when we carted around a case of 12 cassettes in the car?
My "thumb drive" is when I stick a finger in the tape and spin it around to rewind it
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Old 03-21-2012, 12:17 PM
 
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