Philips D8444 and its American incarnation, Magnavox D8443 are big and good-looking creatures. With the same “minor” flaw as D6800 Discman: by now they are all dead because of one failed gear. I bought mine in working condition, and learned about the infamous gear the hard way, after spending a few weeks on restoration.
First I followed an advice found at boomboxery.com and bought D7240 which has the same cassette mechanism as D8444:
Unfortunately, D7240 had exactly the same “amber” gear which disintegrated when I was gently washing it with mild detergent and a paintbrush! My next step was to refresh my Auto CAD 3-D modeling skills and then print this helical gear at shapeways. This once, however, I got lucky: while browsing eBay for the available gears I found two gears which looked like an exact match:
from eBay seller “siliconemind“: Gear for GRUNDIG RR700, RR710 / PHILIPS D8050, D8060, D7030
and another one, molded(!!!) from eBayer “ed-2010“: NEW!!! Gear For Cassette Decks, Boombox Philips with gifts!
One is 3D printed (or laser-cut?), another is molded from seemingly the same kind of soft PE as the original one. This would be my first choice (softer plastic should reduce vibration transfer) but it would need an extra washer to be an exact substitute. I had to choose one, so I started with the one on the Left:
Once everything had been put back together, the noise coming from the transport in Play mode was pretty bad, so I cut a “locking” washer to make this new gear stay put. I used 4.0 and 1.5mm punches and 0.3mm teflon sheet. With washer installed, the noise got back to reasonable levels:
I should add that the quality of 3D printing used for this gear is much better than gears printed at “frosted extreme detail” quality by Shapeways.com and also waaay better than gears available until now for D8444:
At this happy moment (but this once, thankfully, just before everything was screwed back together) it started “chewing” tape. Turns out, all this time pinchroller was seriously misshapen but did not reveal itself until this very last moment: