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8 Track Player Help Needed

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by haroldd1963, Jul 1, 2010.

  1. haroldd1963
    Joined: Oct 15, 2007
    Posts: 1,154

    haroldd1963
    Member
    from Peru, IL

    I purchased an 8 track player with FM tuner off of eBay a few months ago. Believe it or not, it is brand new and was still packed in it's original box. There is a manufacture date of 1969 on it.

    I installed it in my Galaxie.

    The FM radio works fine.

    When I put an 8 track in it, I can hear the mechanism working inside the player...but no sound at all comes out. I tried switching tracks with no luck either.

    I have tried several different 8 track cartridges with the same results.

    Any ideas on what my problem could be?
     
  2. LowHeat
    Joined: Apr 4, 2007
    Posts: 74

    LowHeat
    Member

    I forwarded your question to my buddy who is an 8-track master. We'll see if he chimes in.
     
  3. TexasDart
    Joined: Oct 11, 2007
    Posts: 853

    TexasDart
    Member

    not sure about 'hearing the mechanism' but are you sure the belt is installed properly and the tape is actually moving. That or maybe the head is not adjusted properly and it's not making contact with the tape.
    Have you tried popping the case off and then putting in a tape to see what is happening?
     
  4. danspeakin
    Joined: Jun 19, 2008
    Posts: 2

    danspeakin
    Member

    There are two things in an 8 track player that time is not kind to. The belt and the grease used to lube the moving parts when it was built.
    You can remove the top cover and inspect the belt. It may be relaxed and too loose to do any good, or it may be dissolved. If you find lumps of black goo in place of the belt be careful. That stuff will stick to everything and is difficult to remove. I use household ammonia and a stack of paper towels.
    If the belt is loose or missing I do sell them. I also rebuild players in my spare time.
     

  5. jonly
    Joined: Mar 15, 2010
    Posts: 215

    jonly
    Member

    I agree, there's next to no way that belt is still functional.
     
  6. haroldd1963
    Joined: Oct 15, 2007
    Posts: 1,154

    haroldd1963
    Member
    from Peru, IL

    Thanks for the info guys! Now I know what I'll be doing this weekend.
     
  7. -DMC-
    Joined: Dec 8, 2008
    Posts: 278

    -DMC-
    Member
    from Ohio

    If it is brand new it could be the belt got old and broke or stretched out. Maybe you can get a marker and mark the tape itself. Then put it into player and see if the mark moves. Even with a bad head, you should still get a sound...
     
  8. Another problem here are the 8 Track cartridges themselves.

    Where the playing head contacts the tape there is a sponge backing pad behind the tape. Over time the air gets to them and they oxidize. The sponge rubber in car seats suffers this same problem and it just crumbles to bits. The result is that you insert the tape , everything sounds like its working but there isn't the pressure from the sponge pad to make the tape properly contact the playing head. Check your tape first to see if it is playable.

    Only solution here is to split the cartridge case and remove the metal holder that the sponge is attached to and replace it.
    From memory there were two types of cartridge case that I recall. One had a screw in the middle which is covered over by the label/artwork on the top of the cartridge. The other variety had a series of pins and barbs at the corners of the cartridge. You have to pry the barbs off their seat and at the same time pull the case halves apart.

    The downside here is that if you have a mint cartridge the cover artwork will be damaged by either the need to slice it at the seem between the two cartridge case halves or the need to perforate the artwork on top/front face which covers the centre screw.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2010
  9. photofink
    Joined: Apr 14, 2007
    Posts: 651

    photofink
    Member

    Check the pads on the tapes...sometimes they just deteriorate
     
  10. I remember I used to take my comb out of my back pocket and jam it under the tape- right side or left, memory fails me...

    Thank God for CDs.
     
  11. garcoal
    Joined: Nov 15, 2006
    Posts: 277

    garcoal
    Member

    before you get all excited put a known working 8 track back in, then pull it back out just slightly. i too just purchased a brand new fm 8 track player a craig . went to play it and nothing happened, pulled it back out and slim whitman in all his glory came out my speakers. also a known working 8 track remember they are between 30-40 years old
     
  12. yeah make sure its a good tape........the belts gotta be junk by now but easy to find,clean the old lube put and relube it,do this on the bench not in the car........Ive got a couple and yes they work
     
  13. HELLBILLY
    Joined: Feb 9, 2003
    Posts: 682

    HELLBILLY
    Member

    Fold over book of matches always worked great for me stuffed under the tape.... thats Traditional.



    Rock Candy Baby! Montrose! che ka (go to next song) che ka (go to next song) che ka
    lol:D
     
  14. -DMC-
    Joined: Dec 8, 2008
    Posts: 278

    -DMC-
    Member
    from Ohio

    ^You always need a book of matches in car, for some tapes...^

    Also, if he tried multiple tapes, it isnt the tapes...
     
  15. sololobo
    Joined: Aug 23, 2006
    Posts: 8,254

    sololobo
    Member

    Wow! I am impressed with the helpful responses to this request. H.A.M.B. rocks! ~Sololobo~
     
  16. TexasDart
    Joined: Oct 11, 2007
    Posts: 853

    TexasDart
    Member

    we had 8 tracks back in the day...when the were new. We know what can and did go wrong. My first 8 track that I bought was Deep Purple Machine Head. I can still hear 'Highway Star'.....:)
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2010
  17. motorhead711
    Joined: May 7, 2008
    Posts: 736

    motorhead711
    Member

    Belt shot, or roller pins spinning but not turning the tape.
     
  18. Jonnie King
    Joined: Aug 12, 2007
    Posts: 2,077

    Jonnie King
    Member
    from St. Louis

    One other thing that hasn't been mentioned is that the azimuth of the head could be off and needs to be adjusted.

    If you've checked the belt, capstan, pinch roller, et al, and providing your tapes & pads are good, the head could be out of alignment. If it's WAY OFF you might not hear anything, 'cause it's not able to read the signals on the tape.

    Had that problem a number of times with Home & Car 8-Tracks "back in the day". Luckily, working at various Radio Stations, I could call on some of my engineer friends to adjust what I couldn't.

    (My first new car was a '68 Cougar XR-7 that I custom ordered with a built-in 8-Track Player ! I still have the Demo Tape & instructions that came with this new "StereoSonic" Marvel !)

    Best of luck to you...AND let us know if you find out what the culprit is.

    JK
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2010
  19. ProtoTypeDesignFlauz
    Joined: Jul 29, 2007
    Posts: 1,257

    ProtoTypeDesignFlauz
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I fixed many 8 track players in the early 80's. Used a rubber rejuvenator on the pinch roller, cleaned the head with alcohol, and installed a new belt. Three simple maintenance items, and tunes were playing again. I loved the CLICK sound as the next track was automatically selected.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2010
  20. Don't forget the old tried and tested procedure of loosening a tape when the dry-lube on the tape wears out and the tape starts dragging no matter what you do.

    If the belt is fixed, the parts are cleaned, and other tapes work fine, nearly always the dragging tapes can be given new life again- for a while - by finding the metal tape splice at the track-changer spot in between songs (sometimes in the middle of a song, curses), cutting the endless-loop tape, unwinding the tape a couple turns to loosen it, and then resplicing the tape. Right by the track-changing metal-splice is the best place to cut and resplice the tape.
    A "loosened" tape will sometimes last a good while before the dry lube on the tape is completely gone. Be careful not to loosen it too much and end up wth a tape that is easy to mangle. Only loosen it by one turn or two. No more or you can get a tangle when playing.

    I used to have some of that tape-lube to help rejuvenate old tapes, but I forgot what it is called or where to get it. That was decades ago.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2010
  21. yblock292
    Joined: Oct 10, 2006
    Posts: 2,937

    yblock292
    Member

    in the mid sixties, Bill Lear of lear jet fame, deleloped the 4 track.About the size of a shoebox and the tapes just slightly smaller. Install one in my buds 57 chevy, 4 speakers, sounded like shit but was kool
     
  22. I had a few of the Muntz 4/8 track blue light units back in the day, man i wished i had them now. found a box of 8 tracks the other day in the shed, that brought back a lot of memories.
     
  23. Tom davison
    Joined: Mar 15, 2008
    Posts: 5,439

    Tom davison
    Member
    from Phoenix AZ

    Yeah, likewise!

    My passion is 4-tracks, since I have a bunch of those cartridges from the 60's I'd like to digitize. I followed that link to ebay and did a search for 4 track players but didn't get any results. Anyone know if they are still available?
     
  24. jonly
    Joined: Mar 15, 2010
    Posts: 215

    jonly
    Member

  25. JC Sparks
    Joined: Dec 8, 2008
    Posts: 729

    JC Sparks
    Member
    from Ohio

    You have to get high before you put the tape in. JC
     
  26. I used to play 4-track tapes in my Kraco 8 track player and a Montgomery Wards player. It worked well.

    I remember buying blank 8-track tapes and recording my 45 records onto 8-track tapes so I could play my favorites in the car. I liked those new high fidelity high-tech devices which took us from monaural recordings to space age stereo, and the new transistors that made them portable.

    People joke about them today, but they really were great world-changing advancements.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2010
  27. danspeakin
    Joined: Jun 19, 2008
    Posts: 2

    danspeakin
    Member

    A lot of well intended but inaccurate information being disseminated here.

    Here's a source for lots of accurate info about the endless loop formats:

    www.8trackheaven.com

    Enjoy!
     
  28. Jeff J
    Joined: Mar 15, 2007
    Posts: 958

    Jeff J
    Member

    Just had to repair my 8 track home unit, the belt broke . (Bought it from Monkey Wards with my paper route money back in 1967 ) I don't know if I did it right by using a rubber band but Buddy Holley & the Beach Boys are playing again !!! Still have my Craig 8 track car unit Too.
     
  29. Interesting site, thanks for the info.......................I still have my 8T recorder, gotta check and see if it still works.
     
  30. lo-buk
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 298

    lo-buk
    Member
    from kcmo

    I still have an old pioneer 4plus 4- 4 and 8 track player that has not been used in years. Played a lot of tunes on it in its day.
     

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