8 track player speed adjustment

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Does anyone have some insight on adjusting the speed of the 8 track player (circa 1972)? In all honesty you would think I 'd know this, but was before my time at Ford in audio systems. I do know some things about the players but not sure where to start here. I don't think it ever got a lot of play time in the 50yrs/17,000 miles before I got it. I know on some other brands and older home systems there was an access hole to reach a pot for adjustment. The system works great otherwise and is acceptable for 70's mobile audio... It's not a Shaker 500 or B&O by any means, but the nostalgia is the cool factor. The few tapes acquired from eBay all play slightly fast. I'm sure the radio will have to be on a bench but that will also give me a chance to fix the green diffuser dome on the heater controls when the center stack is disassembled.

BTW the AM/8 track Stereosonic player was almost as expensive as the automatic transmission ... go figure!

TIA!
 
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Does anyone have some insight on adjusting the speed of the 8 track player (circa 1972)? In all honesty you would think I 'd know this, but was before my time at Ford in audio systems. I do know some things about the players but not sure where to start here. I don't think it ever got a lot of play time in the 50yrs/17,000 miles before I got it. I know on some other brands and older home systems there was an access hole to reach a pot for adjustment. The system works great otherwise and is acceptable for 70's mobile audio... It's not a Shaker 500 or B&O by any means, but the nostalgia is the cool factor. The few tapes acquired from eBay all play slightly fast. I'm sure the radio will have to be on a bench but that will also give me a chance to fix the green diffuser dome on the heater controls when the center stack is disassembled.

BTW the AM/8 track Stereosonic player was almost as expensive as the automatic transmission ... go figure!

TIA!
I wish I had your problems and had an OEM 8 track to figure out! All I recall from back in the day was my older brothers using a q-tip and rubbing alcohol to keep their players and tapes (3 dog night/Beatles/Jethro Tull/Supertramp) clean and running. I know that’s not much help but I do cherish and miss the good old days!
 
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Found this thread on the Corvette forum, not sure if the Ford 8 track will be the same, but it should have a similar adjusting procedure:

Some more suggestions from an Audio forum:
 
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I wish I had your problems and had an OEM 8 track to figure out! All I recall from back in the day was my older brothers using a q-tip and rubbing alcohol to keep their players and tapes (3 dog night/Beatles/Jethro Tull/Supertramp) clean and running. I know that’s not much help but I do cherish and miss the good old days!
Ha right....the matchbook cover was another quick fix...I've put a lot of skin in my 88 convertible keeping it going for 34 years and 235,000 miles...time to enjoy the 72 in its delayed prime.
 

Sheriff41

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I'm on travel for another week but if you haven't solved it by the time I return I can copy info from the service manual for you.
1652353494828.jpeg
 
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Thanks... I'll take the leads here and see if I can dig up the same info but if I hit a dead end, certainly appreciate it... Back in the day, I could go to Royal radio in metro Detroit (who did a lot of work for Ford) but they went out of business during my tenure in Michigan.
 

1973grandeklar

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The 8-track tape cassette has the tape pinched in rubber like rollers (of a specific durometer) that run against a motor that pulls the tape across the magnetic read heads. The alcohol trick mentioned above is to clean the residue off the rollers and head. If they get dirty or coated with debris, they tend to pinch harder on the rollers and this slows down the motor.
I have also had to take apart old 8-track players, clean the inside mechanisms as any "factory" lubricant is probably hard as a rock and only hinders the proper function. A good clean correct lubricant can usually get these working quite well.
I should point out that the tapes themselves can be quite bad as well. They sit in the hot car, exposed to heat, and the tape tends to stick to itself as it tries to unroll through the cassette. When checking I try to use what I think is a newer, really nice condition tape. The old tapes also tend to break and then they get eaten by the player. A real pain and adds to the dirty problem inside the unit.
One final observation, the electronics are usually the last thing to fix because surprisingly, these things were built well back in the day.
 
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I don't know the average age of the Mustang owners on this group but seeing this is just cool... or should I say groovy :)
 

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If you are interested here is my post from years ago on the original 8 Track cassette for your 72 playing in my 72. I did send my player off to get cleaned and reconditioned during my restoration. If you google 8 track repair you should find some vendors if interested. I sent mine to a guy in Canada way back in 2013. It still work today.

 
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I don't know the average age of the Mustang owners on this group but seeing this is just cool... or should I say groovy :)

Billy Joel is well known on the radio since I was a kid. May have a 8 track tape too in a shoe box... I like his tunes. But counts an age of 41 already to the old farts club? My body seems to say yes the more the time goes by...
 
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"Drive 'em, don't hide 'em!"
I'm on travel for another week but if you haven't solved it by the time I return I can copy info from the service manual for you.
View attachment 63427
Hey Sheriff, Did the best I could to locate the info but never got past the 1st page... If you could capture the speed adjustment section of that manual, I would appreciate it... I did have the radio out and even with the top cover off didn't find anything that spoke to me. This radio is a little odder than most as the station dial memory tabs are are the top of the radio and the tape is on the bottom... TIA!
 

Sheriff41

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Running fast looks like parts. Running slow could be cleaning and lubrication. The manual section for AM/8-track is 17 pages long. I'll try to scan the parts diagrams for you when I have a few minutes.
 
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Thanks so much... It's one of those things do you leave well enough alone (fast in this case might 5 BPM faster) ... The music is still recognizable and really is for more effect than purpose... But is was good to try ... Streaming/Bluetooth stereo speakers through my phone is providing near perfect audio for the cruising...
 

1973 Mach-1

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I have an 8-track player in my '73 Mach-1 as well. If your tapes run a little fast, (in my history,) it's a belt problem. Most motor drive wheels are barrel shaped, so that the proper sized belt rides in the center. If the belt was replaced and is too thin, it will ride in the "valley" of the barrel shaped drive wheel and move the weighted spindle that moves the tape too fast.
In general, a good head cleaning on your player, and (when you find a decent tape) check the presser pads that they aren't crunchy or missing. Also make sure the foil that joins the tape and changes tracks isn't dried out, or it will pop loose, and the tape will disappear into the cartridge.
 
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