Technics SL-P550 CD Player not working, laser seems stuck
My Technics SL-P550 CD has stopped working. It randomly skips backwards or forwards, and will not play any track other than the first. I've tried to research the problem today and have seen a lot of talk about dirty slide rails in other machines, trouble is that, without pictures, I'm not certain of what's being talked about. I can see 2 rails that the laser is held between and rides on, but there are also some magnetic sled looking things to the left of that, underneath a metal plate featuring a carbon track that is secured by 2 screws. The rails don't look dirty to me, nor do they feel it. However, there also doesn't seem to be any lubrication as there was nothing on my fingers after feeling both areas. What really doesn't seem right is that the laser is completely stuck as I can't push it along the tracks. I don't know if it is only moveable when the machine is on but I recall being able to move it when I inspected the inside of the machine upon receipt a few months ago. The fact it doesn't go past track 1 makes sense given this.
The service manual is quite thorough in terms of disassembly instructions, but does not offer the information I am looking for regarding which parts may need lubrication and what to lubricate them with.
I don't want to go cleaning or lubing anything yet as I'm not certain on which of these areas I should tackle or what specific types of oil I should lubricate them with. I also don't know whether or not the optical pickup needs to be fully removed, which involves desoldering and then of course soldering, making the job a lot bigger.
I would appreciate it if somebody with experience can tell me what part(s) I should be looking at exactly, whether or not I need to desolder the laser, and also what oils I should use for lubrication. The only two I have at the moment are Technics Motor Oil for Direct Drive turntables and Electrolube Special Plastic Grease which I have successfully used to lubricate automatic mechanisms in Turntables. I am quite comfortable working on equipment and know how to solder, trouble is that I have never worked on a CD player beyond giving the laser a clean, which has always been a simple job of taking the top cover off. I have restored a few Technics turntables.
Please save the comments re: buying a new player. I want to hear from people that have actually tried to solve this problem or similar, not disappointing speculations. I will buy a new player if the job can't be done or the laser is fried. This is a very nice player, and it's the rarer silver version in top condition with the remote and original manual.