How to Repair a Panasonic Massage Chair, Part 3

Unfortunately, my rubber hose hack from Part 2 worked only for a few weeks. The belt again stretched, and became loose:


One thing you can also see in the photo above is that I’ve slid the motor as far to the left as the adjusters allow (the slotted holes for the two brass screws). I couldn’t bend the motor mounts any more to tighten up the belt, so in addition to the rubber hose shim from Part 2, I wrapped 4 layers of electrical tape around each of the two pulleys:


Amazingly, this increased the diameter of the pulleys enough that the belt became taut. I have tested the chair for a few hours, and this fix seems to be working well. Let’s see how long this hack holds up…

Previous related article: How to Repair a Panasonic Massage Chair, Part 2

23 thoughts on “How to Repair a Panasonic Massage Chair, Part 3”

  1. Bummer. Are we certain the belts are unavailable? Because if YOU can’t find replacement belts, the rest of us are SOL, too.

  2. You might see if you can 3D print a replacement belt. Come to think of it, being able to 3D print rubber parts seems to be a lot more helpful than the junk that they typically make.

    1. This is the most promising source of belts that I’ve found:
      They only list the newer models of chairs.. it’s quite possible that the belts are compatible, but I didn’t do any research. The other sites I’ve seen that actually list my chair, show NLA status on all the parts.

      As for 3D printing.. that would be nice if it were possible, but not with the FDM and SLA printers that I have.

      1. Here’s the part in the black and white movie where someone says,

        “Why not load it up with 10,000 rubber bands?”

        Then someone says,

        “HEY! That’s just crazy enough it just might work!”

  3. I have a EP 1011 chair and has worked awesome but now as it goes thru the programs it will stop the rollers unless I lean forward enough to let them go again do you think its a belt problem or motor?

    1. If it squeaks when it stops working and/or you can still feel the motor spinning, then it’s the belts. If it goes completely silent, it’s the motors. Most likely, it’s a slipping belt.

  4. I was going to throw my EP1000 massage lounger to the trash can, when I stumbled over this posts! THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH for the info. I cannot find the belts anywhere though. I guess Ill try the rubber band trick mentioned above to see if that works! Thank you again for the info. Extremely helpful

  5. Try a sewing machine/vacuums repair place. If you don,t have one locally try a sparge Print from the hardware store they make great vacuum roller belts.

  6. If you want belts for massage chairs, try Belt Palace in Warsaw, Indiana:

    They know everything there is to know about belts for massage chairs and they will supply you with the nearest fit to your requirements if you give them the codes, usually written on the outside of the item in question, and measure them carefully. They worked wonders for me!

  7. Before you try replacing the belts, try cleaning out the clutch plates. I fixed mine by spraying MAF sensor cleaner between the plates. I did not use the brake cleaner because I am not sure is that is too strong and may remove the lacquer insulation on the motor windings.
    There is an opening to each of the 4 clutches where the wires go in. Just spray between the plates. To spind the motors and clutches, switch on the power and then press the stop button on the control and press the reset button on the main control board for 3 secs. The mechanism will go through it test procedures. You can spray while the clutch spins. Don’t over spray.

  8. note Panasonic EP 1010.hi thank you for your help and info about the clutch shim repair. i did as you suggested although in my case it didnt help. neither rubber discs i saw had any signs like in your post, clean as could be. i still added plastic shim though. i also applied more force against drive belt as mine is loose but to no avail. ordered belt from other author post. in the mean time i started checking power supply to electromagnetic clutches one had 9.5 other zero. there is a glass looking fuse for lack of terminology that doesn’t have any continuity. unfortunately I’m an auto mechanic not Panasonic tech. so any ideas in my case? I’m going to order service manual too as i believe its an electrical issue. hope its repairable! thank you for any help you can give

    1. If the rubbers discs are clean, then you do have a different problem. If there’s no power to a clutch it could be just because it isn’t currently energized. You can test the clutches for continuity. They should all have approximately the same resistance. What exactly is the symptom you’re experiencing?

      I found the service manual for your EP1010. It’s linked in the bottom of the repair article now. Here’s the link for your convenience: If you can’t find info about the blown fuse in the manual, send me a photo of it.

      1. Hello Sir! Dan here. I have the EP1015 model. was going to do the plastic shim trick, as once I start messing with the clutch plates,,,,,they indeed start working!!! But as others have stated, my rubber sound proofing material is not rotten or gooey at all! I can however see the imprint of the clutch plate rough lines in the rubber. Thinking about how this operation works, I’m guessing the magnetic solenoid pushes the shaft upwards to engage the pully system, there by using power for a particular setting on the chair. I’m thinkingvabout trying the shim anyway to rule it out! Did the other person ever figure out the fuse or capacitor problem they were looking into??? I think he said he was a mechanic? Anyway, any other suggestions??? I can get chair to work, but once sits overnight, it’s a no go until I start giving it a little persuasion on the pully nut. It’s easy to know if it’s going to work or not, you can definitely here the clutch click to engage.


        1. I’m a bit confused by your description. Did you have a stuck clutch which released after you took it apart? If so, the shim trick might work for you. The way the system works is that there is only one motor, connected to a few belts. The controller uses the clutches to engage and disengage the various pulleys, thus transmitting force via the belts. If the controller is not able to engage or disengage even just one clutch, then one or more functions of the chair won’t work, depending on which clutch is stuck.

  9. I have a model 1011. When I turn it on the motors and belts spin, but the unit doesn’t move and the massage heads don’t move and then it automatically shuts off in about 45 seconds. On the second or third try the massage heads just start to engage and then it shuts off. Then the next time the unit is fine and functions normally. If I turn it off and on again it is fine, but when it is off for a day or so then this problem occurs. Any ideas? Thanks for your help.

  10. Linc;

    Hello again and thanks for sending the EP 1010 manual! I wanted to send a photo of the circuit board you requested but do not know how to attach one here or when using my iPad. Your email itself stated do not reply. Please let me know or if okay an email address I can use. Thanks for all you do…seriously.


  11. Don’t know how you figured this out, but it worked for fixing my panasonic. Had to put the plastic disk in 2 clutches. Did the up/down one first and it worked, but no roller action. Did the other one on the right and back to working. Thanks much.

Leave a Reply