TASCAM 3030 Belt Changing Woes


Apr 28, 2013
What I thought was going to be a simple operation has turned into a nightmare.

Anyway, so the trusty 3030 was showing signs of needing a new belt: pitch would slow during play, would not engage in 15 ips speed, and so on. I didn't think much of it at first. So I ordered a belt (more on this below) and when it arrived, opened it up. And that's when the troubles began.

Having easily changed the belt on X-1000R's before, I went into this thinking it would be a breeze. Now I must confess I made this assumption blindly without actually examining the decks innards first. I was always under the impression that most or all X series decks (the 3030 is really a Teac X-2000M in disguise with just a few cosmetic differences) were the same. So right or wrong, I made a faulty assumption. Obviously that was not the case here. And now I'm wondering if I didn't order the wrong belt. The one I got says it's for the X-10R, X-20R, X-1000 series, and X-2000 series. But the ones that's in there appears to be a different size. I can't get it out, and I don't want to cut it. So I can't say for certain. At least not yet.

So all of that said. Am I just overlooking something or is there really no feasible way to perform this task without literally dismantling the entire deck first? As I said above: I've changed belts on X-1000Rs before and it was a cinch. Disconnect the capstan motor. Thread the belt through the pulleys. Put it back together. Done. Thirty minutes or less. Needs nothing more than a Phillips head screwdriver. That's definitely not the case with this deck.

But I can't for the life of me figure this one out. The capstan motor-which is what I'm trying to get to-is held in place to a plate by three screws. One is easily accessible, no problem. The second one-I can get to but only if I remove a secondary PCB panel. Now here's where we run into the real problems. The third one-cannot be reached at all unless I remove the main PCB board-which-ironically-is also preventing the capstan motor from being withdrawn far enough to thread the belt. Classic Gordian Knot stuff. Upon further scrutiny, even the main PCB board-which is only bolted on with six screws-likewise cannot be removed. Why? Because of the way the wire bundles and clamps are attached to it. No slack and no room at all to move. Not without doing some major cutting and untying. And the plate that protects the flywheels? Also blocked in by: You guessed it. Both PCB panels and non movable bundles of wiring. So I don't know. I am truly feeling at a loss and defeated. It seems like it's just one-possibly two screws that are the root cause of this.

Please note that both flywheels are protected by the chassis. The capstan motor is held by three screws. Only one of which is accessible. The other two can only be reached if both the main and a secondary board are removed. But even that doesn't look like it would work; there are wires bundled that don't appear to have any slack to them. Meaning that even if I did manage to remove all three capstan motor screws, I still wouldn't be able to get in because there would be no way to pull it out due to the bundles impeding the space. Is there any way to actually do this? This one has me stumped.

I sat and stared and poked and prodded and pondered for a solid three hours last night and I honestly don't see any way to do this. Not without having to go through the worst possible sets of motions involving a Russian doll of "take this off to get to that, take that off to get to this, take this off to get to......" and so on and so on.

Is there something I've overlooked? Can someone walk me through this?



Chief Journeyman
May 1, 2011
Savage, MN
Not sure if this helps, but can you find a copy of the service manual on the web? Some companies are known to build a product at times in which zero thought was given towards service (remember the car engines that needed to be pulled to change spark plugs!). Good luck,



Veteran and General Yakker
Jun 12, 2010
Deep in the Sonoran Desert SW
Hey Matt, I wish I could, that looks like a freakin' copy machine, waaay too much going on in there, if you can't figure it out I don't know who could.

I just had a thought, over on AK, there is a Rabi that lives here in Tucson, he's an expert on these, also Skywavebe here, lives in Chicago, poor guy...might know something. Good luck buddy, very nice deck!



Jun 13, 2010
Bensenville, IL
Work too much
In the Tascam 3030 deck I did belts changes in they were easy BUT the belts I ordered and put in were from Marrs.
There is nothing similar about the 3030 to the X1000R but they may be closer to the Tascam 32-2B deck. This deck due to the higher speed needed two belts. The Flywheels and capstan bearings should be oiled- a thing that many people bypass and only think the belt make the difference. The Bearings need their oil and that of AMSoil that I have been using for a year or more does better that any oil I have ever used. It is motor oil of the Signature Synthetic type 10W30.