The photo above shows the deck as it appeared when Steve brought it over, after 30 years of storage in its original shipping carton. The tape head cover had fallen off and its internal shield had come unglued, but otherwise things looked OK until I removed the case and began moving the mechanical parts by hand. The reel brakes were extremely tight and squeaky, the tape tension arms were frozen, the level controls were nearly impossible to rotate, and some pushbutton switches were stuck. Inside, the drive belt had stretched with age and fallen completely off its pulleys.
Was I up for performing an operation on Steve’s prized, sentimental possession? I wasn’t quite sure until I found a scanned service manual for a later, but similar, model online. Having a schematic and assembly drawing, now I could understand the anatomy before undertaking surgery, so with the informed consent of the patient (actually the patient’s guardian) I went ahead.