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MCI deck-rotating tape lifter rods-How to?
Old 14th March 2013
Gear Nut
juniorexploder's Avatar

MCI deck-rotating tape lifter rods-How to?

Hi - I have a MCI JH110C-8 (1") -there are very small flat spots on the faces of the tape lifter rods (nothing drastic) -I've read a post somewhere by the venerable Brian Roth where he suggests rotating the rods so that there's round metal showing...I'd like to do this as the flat spots tend to encourage a bit of shedding on older tapes...(even after a baking)

Has anyone out there actually done this? I realize this question may seem slightly over-cautious on my part, but I don't want to just assume that it's as simple as clamping on to them with a pliers and giving them a good crank!....Much to my dismay I've found that what seems like a common sense tactic sometimes turns out to be the absolute worst thing to do!....( plus finding replacement parts for these seems to be getting harder and harder)

well, y'know...better safe than sorry!

Thanks in advance for any suggestions! (BTW I've posted on the MCI site as well!)
Old 16th March 2013
Gear Nut
juniorexploder's Avatar

Anyone....anyone....? Maybe you've done this on another brand deck?....

Them pliers are startin' to look reeeeal purty!

Someone stop me!
Old 16th March 2013
Lives for gear
analogtodd's Avatar

I've done it with electricians tape around pliers, its brute, but thats what MCI is sometimes.
Old 16th March 2013
Gear Maniac
ktf's Avatar

I have done it to Tascam, Otari, Ampex and I think I remember rotating a Studer and probably MCI. It was a common practice. And it is just getting a firm grip, stay well away the tape path and giving it a twist. I think vise grip was the tool used. Those posts are so hard that you will probably not see any tool marks.
So bottom line is it will probably work but YMMV.
Good luck
Old 16th March 2013
Gear Nut
juniorexploder's Avatar

Thanks Gentlemen!

I'm gonna first remove the headstack & top panel and try it with some visegrips wrapped with electrical tape.... I figure I can clamp on to the rods well below the tape path without the panel on. I'll post the results....

Again, much appreciation for the replies!....The minor embarrassment I experience in posting what may seem like such an obvious question pales in comparision to having to starting a thread that goes something like :

"WTB- tape lifter assembly for MCI JH110-C-8"

Old 17th March 2013
Gear Nut
juniorexploder's Avatar


I removed the headstack, rollers, capstan, etc. and took the cover/lid off. (I can't imagine doing this with the headstack on...VERY dangerous!) I used a Black Sharpie marker to mark the flat spots. Then clamped on to the lifter rods with visegrips wrapped with electrical tape. I used the smaller slim, needlenose visegrips. The first few tries and the rod would NOT budge- took the visegrips off- and cranked the tension screw on the visegrips a LOT tighter...(to the point where I needed another pliers to release the tab on the visegrips) and after a tiny little "tic" the rod finally rotated....and even then it was very tight. Obviously I repeated this for the other lifter rod.

I would suggest that anyone attempting this use small visegrips and really clamp them on there! I can't imagine getting this done with regular pliers -(I imagine analogtodd is a much stronger man than I am!) Also taking the cover off allowed me to get well below the tape path on the lifters as the visegrips did leave a tiny ding in one of the rods.(even with the electrical tape on them!) Finally cleaned off the sharpie with some denatured alcohol.

Just reassembled the machine and ran some old tape on it- not a speck of shed!

....Thanks again for the advice!
Old 17th March 2013
Lives for gear
analogtodd's Avatar

Glad to hear you still had some shiny spots left on your rods. I've had some that have been turned so many times, they are flat every which way you turn them!
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