I’m spending an exciting Saturday night repairing my VCR, using parts I purchased from http://www.fixer.com , and things are going pretty well so far. But I can’t seem to get the original pinch roller off. This is a rubber roller with a brass core. No amount of tugging seems to release it. Any ideas?
They generally have a little black plastic keeper (kind of a tiny C-ring) around the shaft on top of the roller. You have to pry it off before you can remove the roller. Tweezers work fairly well for this, and are readily available, but I prefer using a dental pick. Be careful not to lose the keeper–it’s tiny, dark-colored, and will fly off very quickly when you pry it loose. If it gets past you, you may never see it again. You put the keeper back on by pressing it down onto the shaft until it snaps back into place.
Speaking as a tech who has since gone into other work, I don’t generally recommend trying to repair your own VCR. It’s very easy to screw up the timing on a lot of decks, and it’s a pain to put it back. An out-of-time deck can even damage your tapes.