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SC-901 CD Changer Maintenance

Help, Advice and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's extremely popular car line -- Volvo's 1990s "bread and butter" cars -- powered by the ubiquitous and durable Volvo inline 5-cylinder engine.

1992 - 1997 850, 850 R, 850 T5-R, 850 T5, 850 GLT
1997 - 2000 S70, S70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70, V70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70-XC
1997 - 2004 C70

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sleddriver
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SC-901 CD Changer Maintenance

Post by sleddriver » Sat Apr 07, 2018 5:43 pm

Been having trouble recently with the 901 playing CD's. Two of the discs had several fine scratches. For a minute I thought the aluminum layer was actually oxidizing as they're about 20yrs old now. However they polished out fine (fortunately). Even after this, neither disk would play.

The top metal cover is easily removed after removing two small screws on the rear and gently prying up.

Here's a list of things I cleaned using denatured alcohol, q-tips and forceps.
  1. Both upper & lower disc clamps.
  2. Both upper & lower disc roller bars.
  3. Twin blue 'eyes' on bottom, aft of the hub.
  4. Laser lens.
I was able to extend the cartridge carriage by locating its gear train and moving the gears by hand. Once begun, the front tray can be gently pulled out to full extension. I cleaned the tray internals using a Q-tip + isopropyl alcohol.

I also took time to remove dried up grease from racks & sliders and relubed with LPS #1 I collected by spraying into a small glass jar. Definitely don't want to spray anything inside. I also used this to lubricate sliding points and pivots.

If the disc clamp isn't clean, the disc won't be held tightly and will slip, causing the tracking mechanism to lose its place. Many pick up discs by the center hole, thus transferring what's on their fingers to the clamp, which over time gets dirty with it. It's best to only hold the disc by the edges. To hold the clamp in place, I inserted a fine regular screwdriver into a side slot to gently wedge it into place. I was able to clean about 180° at a time, then rotate it, and clean the other half. Also important is the top clamp. Reach way in there with a q-tip held by the forceps.

The disc roller bars move the discs out of and into the cartridge. Over time, they'll become embedded with dust & dirt and loose their grip, causing a "clank" sound when in operation. Clean both from the front. You can rotate the upper roller from the top hole, next to the extend/retract gear. When that one's done, extend the mechanism further and you'll notice the lower roller bar rise up to join its mate. Put the player on its back, facing up and shine a light down inside. Clean both until deep black. I treated both with ReGrip since I had some, but any rubber/vinyl protectant will be suitable.

The laser lens is at the very back, on the right hand side of the hub when viewed from the front. Wet the q-tip with ethanol, then sling it to remove excess before wiping the lens off.

I cleaned and relubed as many sliding surfaces as I could reach with a drop of LPS1.

Result? Instant loading of discs with no slipping, slamming or clunking. Previously "unplayable" discs played with no issues.
1998 V70 T5 226,808 miles. Original Owner.
M1 10W-30 HM

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raivis_rsn
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Year and Model: V70 1999 TDI
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Re: SC-901 CD Changer Maintenance

Post by raivis_rsn » Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:35 am

Did this recently to my SC-901. But now mine has stopped to play fm radio. No sound. It scans for stations but couldn't find anything. Antenna is working fine. CDs and tape work just fine. Any ideas?

scot850
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Re: SC-901 CD Changer Maintenance

Post by scot850 » Sun Apr 08, 2018 11:30 am

Probably obvious, but have you checked the antenna/aerial is pushed fully home in the back of the radio? They sometimes need a bit of force to get them to fully seat.

Neil.
2000 V70 R - still being an endless PITA
2006 XC70
2003 Toyota 4Runner V8 Limited
2015 Kia Sportage EX-L
1993 850 GLT -Sold
1998 V70 XC - Sold
1997 Volvo 850 SE NA - Went to niece in California - Sold
2000 V70 SE NA - New project and test bed - Sold

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sleddriver
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sleddriver

Re: SC-901 CD Changer Maintenance

Post by sleddriver » Sun Apr 08, 2018 11:44 am

raivis_rsn wrote: ↑
Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:35 am
Did this recently to my SC-901. But now mine has stopped to play fm radio. No sound. It scans for stations but couldn't find anything. Antenna is working fine. CDs and tape work just fine. Any ideas?
No I don't.
I suggest you start a new thread though as FM reception doesn't have anything to do with the topic.
1998 V70 T5 226,808 miles. Original Owner.
M1 10W-30 HM

scot850
Posts: 5762
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 2:46 pm
Year and Model: 2000 V70 R
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Has thanked: 9 times
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scot850

Re: SC-901 CD Changer Maintenance

Post by scot850 » Sun Apr 08, 2018 1:22 pm

I wrote up a how to on this also a while ago with pictures, but the main thing is these units often got a bad rap due to bad maintenance rather than the product itself. Glad you got it fixed though as it is a satisfying repair and they are good head units.

Neil
2000 V70 R - still being an endless PITA
2006 XC70
2003 Toyota 4Runner V8 Limited
2015 Kia Sportage EX-L
1993 850 GLT -Sold
1998 V70 XC - Sold
1997 Volvo 850 SE NA - Went to niece in California - Sold
2000 V70 SE NA - New project and test bed - Sold

User avatar
sleddriver
Posts: 975
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2010 6:06 pm
Year and Model: 1998 V70 T5
Location: Tx
Has thanked: 11 times
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United States of America
sleddriver

Re: SC-901 CD Changer Maintenance

Post by sleddriver » Mon Apr 09, 2018 12:30 pm

scot850 wrote: ↑
Sun Apr 08, 2018 1:22 pm
I wrote up a how to on this also a while ago with pictures, but the main thing is these units often got a bad rap due to bad maintenance rather than the product itself. Glad you got it fixed though as it is a satisfying repair and they are good head units.Neil
Hi Neil. Thanks for mentioning your how-to. Didn't realize there was a 900 radio. I was searching for 901. Having a large circular hole like that in the top of the 901 chassis sure would greatly improve inner access! No joy though. I did read the other article you linked to while searching. Good of you to mention the 'disc rollers'. Mine had never been cleaned! Missed them last time I was in there. Clean ones are critical to proper disc transport out-of and into the cartridge.

Last night I heard only a single sound cutout even while driving over several rough roads due to a clean disc clamp and no internal disk slamming due to clean rollers.

I also noticed the tiny spring is no longer in place to hold the cartridge door shut. Odd that...not sure when it fell out.
1998 V70 T5 226,808 miles. Original Owner.
M1 10W-30 HM

User avatar
raivis_rsn
Posts: 61
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2017 10:24 am
Year and Model: V70 1999 TDI
Location: Latvia, Jekabpils
Has thanked: 4 times
Been thanked: 6 times
Latvia
raivis_rsn

Re: SC-901 CD Changer Maintenance

Post by raivis_rsn » Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:30 pm

sleddriver wrote: ↑
Mon Apr 09, 2018 12:30 pm
I also noticed the tiny spring is no longer in place to hold the cartridge door shut. Odd that...not sure when it fell out.
Mine has that issue too. Spring falls off because that holding pin is very tiny and it breaks. I hot-glued needle in its place and got a spring from old Pioneer radio. Works pretty well. :D

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