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Old 09-22-2021, 10:51 PM #1
EJosephs EJosephs is offline
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Cassette Deck Repair / Parts Replacement

-- I want to keep the radio original, even though a new replacement radio would be much better and possibly cheaper. Definitely with a lot less trouble. So I'll fiddle with it for a long time, if that's what it takes! I use the cassette deck with an adapter, which has worked without issue for almost 3 years now, until the tape deck itself seems to have failed (it doesn't work even with normal tapes). I'm hoping to avoid the ridiculous $150 used OEM radios, when you can buy a new touchscreen for 2/3rds of that.

A few weeks ago, the cassette deck decided to stop working. It would try forward, then backward, then just turn off. It would switch to radio or CD or just go dark, and refuse to go back to cassette, and couldn't eject. After cycling power a bunch of times I could get to eject occasionally.

I just got around to removing the radio, opening it up, and getting the cassette module out. It's an overcomplicated incredibly compact assembly, and I couldn't find anything out of place- Although I couldn't figure out how the posts would engage with the gears. The system appeared to be locked up and unable to engage the gearing, but that could simply be because power was off and I'm not engaging the right mechanics.

Has anyone repaired one of these, or have a spare one they would sell that I could use to pull the cassette module from?

I cleaned it up, put it back together, and reinstalled it. Same issue, no change, but now I can't even get it to eject. All I've ruled out, is that it wasn't because it was dirty!
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Old 09-22-2021, 11:07 PM #2
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Cassette Deck Repair / Parts Replacement

i've got an oem stereo that i've got for sale if you're interested.
fortunately, it's the cd drive that doesn't work well on mine. cassette works though!

if you're interested, lmk! i won't charge you 150$ haha


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Old 09-23-2021, 02:44 AM #3
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I have repaired cassette decks and taken apart the cassette player in these 3rd gen 4runner. Most common issues on these stereos cant be fixed, the parts on these aren't available, ANYWHERE.

It seems like 2 companies were contracted to make them, Fujitsu Ten and Panasonic. Fujitsu Ten parts for these radios dont exist, neither do the service manuals that give you part names.

Panasonic also made these, the service manual for their radios can be found on the internet. But yet again the parts are a giant question mark. I can find some parts on Panasonic website but they are notorious for leaving stuff up long after they stopped having it.

The six CD changers that where equipped on later 4runners and early highlanders (the model not the 4runner) also frequently have issues, and you cant get parts for those either.

The model I have the most experience with is the 86120-0C020. I've taken apart 2 of them. The issue I was having was the cassette player no longer could play the tape in the other direction without buzzing. The culprit for this was a cracked plastic cog gear. Part numbers for this aren't on the internet, and there aren't spares anyway. I tried buying another stereo for parts, but this had 2 cracked cog gears so it was useless. After 20 years the plastic in every one of these stereos is at the point where it degrades whether it was used or not.

The ejection mechanism works like this. You push the cassette into a carriage, this trips a secondary motor that uses a plastic worm gear to finish pushing the cassette in. Once the cassette is in, the carriage sinks down to be level with the tape head. The worm gear then pushes the cassette to the right side of the player to engage with the tape head. The worm gear is on the left side I believe, if you spin it by hand you manually see how this process works. Mine is still in pieces sitting on a shelf next to me so I could take some photos if you like. I bet your player either has cracked plastic or a bad switch. In either case the unit is good as dead, you cant get parts. Everyone selling these on ebay as working usually only mean radio AM FM and the CD player. When I bought my parts radio the seller said everything worked, but the cassette player was fubar when I opened it up.

I might still have photos. I also chronicled this on Tape Heads forum, the model radio I initially gave was incorrect.

I am still considering contracting someone on Alibaba to copy and make me a batch of replacement cog gears, though I have stalled sense getting the cog gear out is difficult because it is so intertwined with other components. Your worm gear is much easier to access
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Last edited by Pyral; 09-23-2021 at 03:01 AM.
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Old 09-23-2021, 07:45 AM #4
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An some info from a slightly different perspective since I watch a lot of "how does this work" and repair/restoration videos... All fo the tape players I've seen addressed had 2 Common failures, grease that was either gummy or dried up which caused sticking or outright failure of the plastic parts it was intended to lubricate. And rubber bits failure (at 20 years, it's no wonder about that). Sometimes there's an electrical issue, some component or another that went bad, but those tend to be exceptions and not really common.

So, I'd recommend a good cleaning. Iso Alcohol is safe for electronics, won't damage plastic and is your tool of preference here. Combine that with q-tips (just mind the fuzz they leave). Try to find the greased areas, not sure what to apply but it'll be Tiny amounts. That'll also get you inspecting the parts that move for damage and the rubber bits for failure/damage.

I held onto my stock HU for about a year before pitching it in the trash, sorry. I'd give it to you for shipping if I hadn't done that, but there were Zero posts talking about retaining the stock unit between the time I've joined and now (~3 years?)
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