Lubrication On The X2000R Deck

The Capstans are oiled when you do the new belt. I do it by removing the motor mount plate with the 5 larger screws from the rear of deck. Then I pull the flywheels out one at a time and place AMS synthetic oil in the bearing. I put about 3-4 drop in there.

The shaft, once cleaned, is also oiled and the flywheel worked in and out to distribute the oil inside the bearing. KEEP in mind there are oil retention washers that need to be put back on and the working area of the capstan shaft must be cleaned with denatured alcohol before the deck is tried. Every occasion of belt replacement (Marrs 16.8″) not others is the correct one. If you use a Teac 17″, then it is like putting a stretched one in and it will only last 6 months. I have had to change them in that little of time.

If you are talking about the Pinch Roller Linkages. These are NOT oiled, but are taken apart, old grease cleaned out with alcohol and then new grease put in to them, which will be the final fix. Lubriplate 105 grease is far superior to the grease that hardens up, and it will not give trouble from then on. I use it all the time.

A word about oil: You can use general run of the mill oil and I have in the past. This is not 3 in one, but sewing machine or Zoom spout oil, and then some Hoppes Gun oil. BUT, the best stuff I have found is that AMS premium grade motor oil which is synthetic. I oiled capstan shafts of the low end machines, like the Teac A2000R, and, when expecting wow and flutter figures like .05 or .07%, I was surprised to see that this oil allowed a measurement of .02% wrms wow and flutter at 7.5 IPS. If that does not tell you what a good oil can do, I don’t know what does.

If you need to do the Pinch roller linkages, then there have been write ups about that in the past. The X2000R is not the easier of any of the X series and is, in fact, the worst of all of them. More stuff to take off and deal with.

There is low level maintenance that can be done and then, the correct type. The type I describe is the type I do because it is correct and more effective. The moving of the oil retention washer can be done with a flat screw driver. The reason I do not oil capstan bearings like this is because the capstan bearing is long and has a void in it that is suppose to contain some oil. As oil is expensive, they probably did not put much in there so when it dries up, there is not much.

I have seen capstan wear and lack of lubrication cause high values of wow and flutter. Sometimes as high as .15%. After oiling and cleaning the value went down to .05%. If using a more correct oil applied as I have said, I have seen X1000 decks go down into the .02% on occasion- some of this is the Marrs belt and some the correct Pinch Roller pressure and lubrication as well as tension being set right.

If your Technician did not lubricate the flywheels when the belt was changed, then that is a sign you need to get a better Technician, and that means one with a Tentelometer, which is required. I have advised customers to ask to see a shop’s Tentelometer when giving them a deck for repair. If they do not have one, then DON’T leave the machine with them. They can not do the right job without it.

Owner’s manuals are for users- They are not tasked with repairing or making sure a machine is working to specs. A Technician, and those long time in the field, are the guys who know what they are doing because they have consistently repaired decks the right way. Not all of the work is fun and fast- some, like the Sony brake job I had to do, was another one of those headaches I have to overcome. These are not simple problems to overcome. They are no way straightforward like the
Teac product and so the delays create a long line of backlogged units as they then take more time to get it right.

These decks are complicated units to figure out many times. The one I had on my bench that was very worn had tape looping in the reverse direction and no problem in the forward.

Some of the issues I have found are these-

  • The Capstan belt, when past 5 years old must be changed.
  • If you have a sticky belt in the unit, it can burn out the motor and they are not sold anymore.
  • Also, the lack of the proper tension on the flywheels from E bay or even a Teac belt can be a problem that I always get to resolve. This is why I say get a 16.8″ belt from Marrs and that would be the best solution.

You are talking about tape skew that is happening at the Pinch Roller. The Pinch Rollers in these X series deck MUST be kept very clean as they aid in the travel of the tape in the right way. I have seen dirty ones loop tape even on my own machine, but not cause skew- anything is possible.
Skew can also be cause by dirt on the capstan shafts. There are rings that can grab a tape and cause it to start to skew and then once it starts, it likes to go its way. The system is a finely balanced type that does not like to fool around with poor maintenance.

I have found a few machines that were greased by hobby people or maybe local shops that leave the hardened grease at the base of the linkage- a fast and sloppy job is their way. The Pinch Roller is really not in the proper position and so this can promote skew. Then, there are those that take the whole capstan assembly away from the front deck to clean it. I find this going over the top, but if people want to do it, then it is not my place to tell them.

So what so I see when they do this?

I find the counter sunk screws in the base are often times loose and so this does not establish a good base reference between the heads and the capstans. In the X2000R model, I have also had some machines where the heads were tilted so much that not only did they have bad wear patterns, but they also caused the skew in that direction.

I can tell you that there are times I even have trouble with this model trying to get them correct and so they cost more money because of this. I find myself dismounting heads and drilling out larger holes in the mounting so as to get more penetration on some worn heads. I have said in the past that this was a quick to market design with very little checking. The jumpers on the power servo board are excessive, but if that was not bad enough, they are all soldered with lacking wave solder methods. It is common for me to spend 1 hour correcting this because my warranty does not allow for the fault that this would provide.

So many local shops are so incompetent as well. I got a call from a client and he had the Technician there- I ended up talking to the technician telling him what the problem was. When the deck got to me, these guys did not even check the power supply and they were ready to start changing microprocessors. It needed a R166 1 ohm resistor.

After these other things, I check the meet up of the roller to the capstan shaft. Put a white business card behind the shaft with good lighting and push the roller up until it starts to tough the capstan. It should meet in the middle first as the rollers are still made with an arc. If it meets up opposite the side that it is skewing this could be causing it. You need a special tool to make these corrections and most times it should be a last resort. I wonder how these are getting bent out of position?

The Capstan shaft in these deck are becoming scored by the tape. I have found that my pinch roller trick with sandpaper around the rollers helps mitigate this problem of a irregular capstan surface You can also turn the Pinch Roller around to see if it makes a difference.

I start by taking the capstan belt out and measuring it on a metal rule that shows me the length, which needs to be less than 8.375″. A pinched together belt can be measured on a ruler and it’s length doubled for a near exact IC (Inner Circumference) so 8.375″ times 2 is 16.75″ IC which is very close to the 16.8″ belt Marrs sells.

I have had decks come to me with 18″ belts in them. eBay belts can say they are for a machine, but these people are only selling belts and have no integrity- how many belts do you think get sent back? Forget eBay as Marrs is the best place to get the 16.8″ belt also used in other X series and the X1000R as well.

Image of a screenshot by John Flanagan from Youtube

So... what do you think? Please leave me a comment.


  • Vale: Thanks for sharing these tips!
  • skywaveTDR: Man, sometimes I think I should come up for a breath. But at least those that understand this are way ahead in getting the deck running right. Not everyone can.
  • Vale: Maybe you could a blog post on this for dummies too :)
  • SkywaveTDR: Seems to be pretty complete to me. There are always small little things that are off the main road to take care of. Neoprene bumpers is one of them.

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