My entrance to Thorens Camp! Techical planning and more please chip in!


Hi I purchased nearly unused Thorens TD 160 made in 1974 and have a hefty line of questions, but prior there's story:

The chassis, platter, arm, motor all around looking very nice, but once I opened to inspect what needs done, problems appeared.

1. I had to clean and re-lube platter spindle bearing-- obvious. I used firearm oil few drops to lubricate.

2. It does not use original belt so switching to 45rpm can only be done by lifting belt than re-fitting back outer platter, because it does not use a belt of correct thickness(smaller than needed) and width size to be able to slide during motion off the speed switch lever. The diameter of belt is perfect, but it more seems to fit those black chassis newer crosley decks with thin and small motor spindle. I'd like to find out the EXACT original belt size. As I'm technically inclined, I'd like to order drive belt from mcmaster catalog that supplies ALL the drive belts in the world of any size and for any purpose(and where I've always been ordering and not only belts for all possible turntable services or repairs) -- so not necessarily will be looking for original belt for $40+shipping from Jerry Raskin. I also noted that there are aluminium pulleys not only plastic. Will I benefit if I find one?

3. WIRES. One channel is out... wiggling RCA plug brings it back so I decide to replace wires and only find in my 'bank' Technics 1200 wires that I possess in quantities. Since there's no patience to hear what it can do, I mounted them in instead of just splicing and repairing original RCA plugs with similar attached. The Technics wires I normally use for my DJ rentals 1200 decks so definitely I plan to change and seek for following best or better options vs. original to consider: 
  a) build RCA female plugs into the chassis and use conventional interconnects or outboard turntable interconnects -- have vintage bonded AR ones with bonded ground wire with spades from 80's with silver plated 22awg copper strands or can make one with thinner gauge. Please recommend descent not pricey interconnects of fine gauge. Will still be thinking of getting probably bulk 26AWG Mogami microphone cable already designed to connect to the conventional RCA plugs. 
  b) when I pulled out the original wires, they didn't seem bad to me at all which are only 33 awg. I was thinking first to re-terminate to the after-market RCA plugs, but want to make sure the RCA plugs have proper solder terminals. I can also make a sleeve accurate enough to be perfect tube shape so my connectors aren't easily breakable with glue gun. I don't think that my aesthetic factor will be higher than conventional commercial manufacturers, but certainly will be very near. 
  c) ground wire. This turntable is self-grounded. Will I benefit from separating the ground onto the phono preamp chassis?
  d) so far on my search the product I can consider to be ready to use is AudioQuest WildCat

4. Finally Chassis and feet. The original chassis looks like new and shiny, however I heard that there are better chassis for this deck. Need to know benefits. Feet of course are joke and would most-probably look for something descent or strip the feed and land it on vibrapods.

In advance appreciate everyone taking time to go through the post and enjoy the rest of weekend.
  

czarivey
You may disregard wire sections (a,b) as I'm almost convinced to go with KAB technics wires -- $54 terminated and ready to be attached to the board. They use Litz strands and better connectors than AudioQuest for less. 


Are you looking to keep this vintage correct or are you interested in "hot rodding it"?
I'm looking to keep this turntable. 
I was thinking of making from it something special, but more-likely will stick to original components. 

So far I'm leaning towards keeping original Ortofon wires and just find right match in terms of connectors. I've got hefty insite from AudioKarma folks and tend to believe that the best is to leave as close to original as possible -- so only RCA plugs probably will suffice.

Chassis I don't need to replace, since I have a very solid floor and very solid stand with dedicated acrylic shelf. Tried to do my aerobics and jumping -- no effect on light-tracking ATN140 set-up at 1.30g slightly higher recommended 1.25, but for benefit fo sho.

Still did not figure how to adjust azimuth -- visually slightly off.
Gun oil is not appropriate for Thorens bearings. You want to buy some Mobil DTE heavy/medium. This conforms to the original Thorens spec, specifically designed for sintered bronze bearings. It can be found on Fleabay. The bearing well should be filled so that it purges some out the top once the platter settles. 
Strange, My particular model recommends 1..3 gauge oil in tiny quantities and specifically blocks from using heavy or medium. That's what in the manuals.
On Technics decks I use 60...70 gauge.
Here's a link to the service manual for the TD-160.

http://www.theanalogdept.com/svcman_145_160_165.htm

Take a look at page 3.
I have exact original print. As I mentioned the turntable is barely used maybe few times after it was purchased new in 1974.