Replacement Motor for a Vintage Thorens TD 160 Turntable

My son owns a vintage Thorens TD 160 Turntable.  The platter is slipping on start-up an on play.  My son has isolated the problem to the motor.  Any suggestions on where to source a replacement motor?? Thanks
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How much do you love this turntable, and how much are you willing to spend? If your budget is large, you might consider the eclipse motor and motor controller system offered by SOTA. I think it could be adapted for the Thorens. The ensemble is not cheap. The performance will be far superior to what you had before, in terms of speed stability.
My son has done enough checking to isolate the problem to the motor.  So I ask, is it possible to buy a new or rebuilt motor?  Or, are there any shops that can rebuild the motor?

If not, I surmise that the TT is scrap. 

The belt is OK. 
Try this place: 
KAB Electro Acoustics
Preserving The Sounds Of A Lifetime
P.O.Box 2922
Plainfield, NJ 07062
908-754-1479 Phone
908-222-3442 Fax

It would help if your son could post the symptoms (in detail) and what he has checked so far here.

Having owned every version of the 160 except the Super "motor slipping" doesn't ring a bell.

Has he checked the larger capacitor?

To answer your OP there are motors currently available on eBay in the $250-$300 range (supposedly NOS, but no guarantee).

Thanks guys.  

Dekay, ... large cap. uuuhm.  That could be a possibility.  If the cap jump starts the motor, that could be the culprit. My son says that the problem occurs on start up.  He told me that he has to give the platter a push to get it started. 

Let me get more detailed info and I will post it.  Replacing a spent cap is a much better ... and cheaper ... solution than replacing the motor.


Many motors use a cap for the extra voltage required to get going. The value is often printed right on them. Pull the cap, measure capacitance, if it is out of spec you get off cheap. This totally fits the observation. Fingers crossed!
I had  a 160 that either would not start and/or it would start in reverse direction.

I was told it was one of the caps by a friend, but I simply gave the platter as spin in the right direction when powering it on and used it that way for 3-4 years without a problem.

I don't recall which cap it was only that one was tiny like .1 or .047 and the other one was in the 30-50 range.

To this day (I sold that particular 160 in 1986) I still have a habit of giving the platter a little nudge, even though it's not needed.

Currently have a TD125II.


"A motor capacitor such as a start capacitor or run capacitor is an electrical capacitor that alters the current to one or more windings of a single phase AC induction motor to create a rotating magnetic field. There are two common types of motor capacitors, run capacitors and start capacitors.

Some single-phase AC electric motors require a "run capacitor" to energize the second-phase winding (auxiliary coil) to create a rotating magnetic field while the motor is running.

Start capacitors briefly increase motor starting torque and allow a motor to be cycled on and off rapidly. A start capacitor stays in the circuit long enough to rapidly bring the motor up to a predetermined speed, which is usually about 75% of the full speed, and is then taken out of the circuit, often by a centrifugal switch that releases at that speed. Afterward the motor works more efficiently with a run capacitor."

If this is the capacitor in question, it is usually physically large and is mounted outside the motor housing proper.  Is the TD160 motor "single-phase induction type".  If so, then it would have such a capacitor. This helpful reference says the motor is a 16-pole, 2-phase type:

If there is an existing run or start capacitor mounted external to the motor, its value (in microfarads) and voltage rating will be written on the can.  That should be no mystery.
The motors don’t slip the pully does, MOST of the Thoren motors will work.. In other word, there are only a few that WON’T. (111,121,124, 224,134,135,185) They use the E50 motor. The real new stuff no idea.. The older Thoren.. Two motors. E50 and (there was a replacement for it) and the OTHER.. what you have..

ALL the rest will usually work (145-166s).. Just a butt connector change or a motor kit. The motors CANNOT slip.. The pully can. One drop of super glue in the center of the motor pully and let it set over night.
Sometimes you have to glue the bottom of the pully, you have to pull the motor and turn it upside down, so you don’t drip glue around the spindle and seize it in the housing..

You can test it by simply holding the spindle coming out of the motor housing with a pair of needle-nose pliers, and see if the pully spins on the shaft. IF you can spin the pully on the shaft it requires a simple repair.. If not the belt is slipping on the outside of the drive pully.

The only goof is if you get a motor with a 50 hz pully, LOL don’t do that.. you’ll get pissed..

Clean the pullies with rubbing alcohol and let them dry, for belt slippage, and a new belt..

LISTEN to the old mechanic... I use to sell my 160 or 165s for close to 1500.00 with a heavy plinth (60lb) and 2K with a SME tonearms.. They still sell for that.. They are NOT a throw away AT ALL.

Every now and then one of my TT come up for sale, usually rose wood veneers I did 15 in Teac, 20 in rosewood, and 22 in mahogany before they ban the selling of Brazilian rosewood, and made it so hard to get decent mahogany.

Stone stock.. 1500.00, heck of a table if you know what your doing.. Even if ya don’t..

I’m pretty sure I have at least 3 or 4 motors if you can’t fix it.
I’m looking at a pull from a 145 or 47 right now and a 165 that just arrived 2 weeks ago.. A lot of parts if you know where to look..

One drop of Super glue should fix it though..

Best of luck OP..
Just figured out that the large cap in mine was probably labeled in MF terms and 330MF would be .33UF (as that which came up in my search).

My recollection of 30-40 was most likely (in reality) 300-400.


The brief description of "slipping" by the OP, via his son, does describe the problem I experienced years ago in that the platter hesitated and just did not seem to want to go/turn.

As I understand it you are suggesting that the belt spindle wheel may be loose from the spindle, which would be easy to check as the deck can be operated without the main/outer platter.

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LOL I forgot about them running backwards.. I've seen that a time or two..
 Cap kit, knock kit, belt and dampening kit are about 125.00.

"330MF" = 330 microfarads.  It's an unfortunate fact that in some cases some companies abbreviated "microfarad" with "MF".  Otherwise, you might think MF means "millifarads", in which case 330MF would equal 330,000 uF, not .33uF.  That would be one big mother of a capacitor.
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Thanks to all for the comments and helpful suggestions.  I passed everything to my son.  He told me that he is taking the Thorens to a local electronics repair shop and told the shop to check all the caps that can be seen, especially the jump start cap.

I'll report back as soon as my son hears from the shop.         
I would like to thank everybody again for their helpful comments. 

So, ... as I mentioned above, my son took his TT to the local shop for a look-see.  He asked the shop to pay special attention to the big caps and other passives.  The shop reported back that the caps and other passives checked out ok.  The motor checked out ok too. 

The problem was far more pedestrian.  There is a little metal arm that adjusts the belt when changing platter speeds.  The shop said the metal arm was slightly bent and somehow affected the platter start-up.  Not seeing the TT or its innards, it is hard for me to visualize exactly what my son described.  But straightening the metal doo-hickey fixed the problem.

The shop put a tiny drop of oil into the motor and cleaned what needed to be cleaned.  Total cost:  $70. 

Motors either work or they don't. It is a high probability that the pully is slipping on the shaft. If there is no grub screw to tighten turn the motor up side down. This will be a fun job. The platter and sub platter have to come off and the tonearm tied down. Or you can just take the motor out. Get some ultra thin cyanoacrylate glue. Satellite City makes a great product. Place a drop or two at the junction of the shaft and the pully and capillary action will suck it right in. Leave it upside down over night then put it back together and give it a spin. Let us know what happens.
I’ve opened many Thorens motors, there is nothing to go wrong. Check the oil in bearing, belt....
the pulley is meant to slip on the axle, it’s a clutch.
If I can help anymore send me a message....
Thanks again.  So far, the fix seems to be working. 

I just bought my son an Ortofon 2M Bronze for his birthday, which I think will be good match for the Thorens TP 16 arm (7.5 grams effective mass) and his system. 

I checked the Vinyl Engine website and used the cartridge compliance tool.  The Ortofon 2M is a high-compliance cartridge that should mate well with the TP 16 tonearm.

I'll report back as soon as I mount the cartridge.