Suddenly my VCRs are dropping like flies. This one just half-loaded a tape and then I couldn't get it to eject. I took off the top cover and observed that when I powered it on, it would retract the tape into the cassette and then re-engage it before shutting down. So to get the cassette free, I pulled the plug at the point of retraction, then manually removed the cassette up and out through the open door. While the cassette is freed, the VCR remains in an "open door and half loaded" mode. I can provide photos if they will help in problem determination.
I think I have identified the problem, with the help of http://www.studiosoundelectronics.com/repair.htm:
"Certain late 1990's JVC and Magnavox VCRs The carriage drive does not engage because the plastic post holding a spring on a pivot bracket is broken. Picture shows location of broken post, near the front center of the VCR chassis."
"Replacement lever is part number PQ46353, and it sells for $10.44."
The image in the photo shows exactly what my VCR looks like under the carriage, and I can see nothing where the post should be, and the end of the spring underneath the nearby mechanical parts. Now if I only knew how to remove and reattach all the parts, including the broken one. Anyone know how to take these apart?