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SC-816 tape player keeps reversing, won't play cassette

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.

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SonicAdventure
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SC-816 tape player keeps reversing, won't play cassette

Post by SonicAdventure » Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:56 am

My OEM Volvo Radio stopped playing cassettes last week. It just keeps reversing. Since they are so easy to remove, I was thinking maybe this would be a good time to pull it and see if I could clean it or something. Any ideas what causes the tapes to keep reversing even when no buttons are pushed?

I also have lightbulbs out on the left side of the unit, are these available? I like to get this thing up to pace thanks.

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Re: SC-816 tape player keeps reversing, won't play cassette

Post by scot850 » Fri Oct 12, 2018 5:00 pm

Yes the bulbs are still available, can't recall part number or type. There used to be a how-to on here to replace the bulbs.

Normally when the unit reverses it is because it has an auto-reverse feature which operate on tension like when the tape gets to the end. If it is doing that then it may just need a good clean. If not the junkyards are full of them usually. On sale here they are $15 on the 50% off sale.

If you need another I'm sure someone here will sell you one they have lying around. Worst case, I have a spare with code. Shipping is the issue. If you want it PM me with your Zip Code and I can work out shipping to see if it works for you.

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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Re: SC-816 tape player keeps reversing, won't play cassette

Post by RickHaleParker » Fri Oct 12, 2018 5:11 pm

Platform: P80 1998 C70, B5234T3, 16T, AW50-42, Bosch Motronic 4.4, Special Edition package, Plant: Uddevalla Sweden.

Platform: X40 (Nedcar) 2003 S40, B4204T3, 14T twin scroll AW55-50/51SN, Siemens EMS 2000. Plant: Born Netherlands.

Platform P2 2005 XC90 T6 Executive, B6294T, 4T65 AWD, Bosch Motronic 7.0,
Plant Torslanda Sweden.
----------------------------------------------------------------
1997 S90, B6304S, AW30-42, Bosch Motronic 4.4 - Sold

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Re: SC-816 tape player keeps reversing, won't play cassette

Post by matthew1 » Fri Oct 12, 2018 6:55 pm

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1997 850 T5, MSD ignition coil, Hallman manual boost controller, injectors, R bumper, OMP strut brace [gone]
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Re: SC-816 tape player keeps reversing, won't play cassette

Post by BEJinFbk » Sat Oct 13, 2018 1:16 am

You have a broken belt in the tape drive.
Since there’s no tape movement, it just
keeps thinking that it’s reached the end
of that side and continually autoreverses.
'98 V70 R - Well Equipped for Life Up North... ;)

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Re: SC-816 tape player keeps reversing, won't play cassette

Post by wizechatmgr » Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:36 pm

Wisdom requires knowledge as a prerequisite, but knowledge can be developed due to a lack of wisdom.
In order to learn how to fix something, you must first learn how to break it.
1999 V70 XC AWD - ~187k miles

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Re: SC-816 tape player keeps reversing, won't play cassette

Post by SonicAdventure » Sun Oct 14, 2018 10:54 am

So - I went to the junk yard yesterday and pull an SC-816. Got the code from Volvo, plugged it in and all the lightbulbs work! Really nice to see the full illumination and not just the lower right corner light up like my old one. CD player and radio work fine, but on this new one, when I put a tape in, it will not even lower it into the deck.

So now I have two Sc816s, both with broken cassette decks lol. I ordered some belts on eBay to try to fix the other one, but what is usually the cause when the deck will not even accept a tape? The tape fits in, it’s not like there is a stone in there or something, but it just will not read it or lower it.

If I get the tape deck working in my other one, can I swap the deck into the new radio I got that has all the bulbs working?

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Re: SC-816 tape player keeps reversing, won't play cassette

Post by BEJinFbk » Sun Oct 14, 2018 11:13 am

Probably. I haven’t been into an 816, but nearly
all of Alpine’s products have modular cassette drives.
It’s usually just a few screws and a couple of connectors
and that sucker will swap right out.r

And while it’s easy to reach, get a little
Everclear and some q-tips and clean up
the tape head.
'98 V70 R - Well Equipped for Life Up North... ;)

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Re: SC-816 tape player keeps reversing, won't play cassette

Post by SonicAdventure » Fri Oct 26, 2018 7:16 am

Well I have to say these radios are quite well built. Not sure why anyone would be in a rush to swap them out with a $150 radios from Walmart with big flashy dials, but to each his own I guess.

I completely disassembled mine last week. I like how all the screws are the same size, well all but four from the rear panel that I ended up not needing to remove anyway.

Once I dug all the way down and got the tape deck removed, there was the broken drive belt on the lower circuit board. I had gotten a mixed bag of cassette belts for a few dollars online. Thanks to RSPI, who posted the video showing the belt routing, I managed to get a belt on, get it back together and I can confirm that the deck is now working again.

One issue though...since two of my three faceplate bulbs were dead, I removed all of them and replaced them in different sockets, operating under the assumption that perhaps some corrosion had gotten between the connectors and that switching them around might get all of them working again. Well, no luck. I now have no faceplate illumination other than the display light. I guess I could swap the faceplate with the other SC-816 I pulled from the junkyard as and keep everything left over for parts.
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BEJinFbk
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Re: SC-816 tape player keeps reversing, won't play cassette

Post by BEJinFbk » Fri Oct 26, 2018 8:25 am

Sounds like you’re on the right track!
I’m with you on the stock deck. Alpine
was building sturdy units for Volvo.
But the draw of the BT side is strong...

One other tape tip. Before you close it up,
drop a high quality prerecorded tape in and
you can align the head for best performance.

Find the adjustment screw on one side of the
head, and listen to the high frequencies while
the deck is playing. Adjust for the highest
treble response and you’re dialed in.

Now get an SC-901 ! 😎
'98 V70 R - Well Equipped for Life Up North... ;)

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