Strange Sega Saturn CD Drive behavior

I have a NTSC Model 2 VA8 Saturn that is exhibiting some strange behavior when attempting to read a disc. When I close the lid on the cd reader screen, the Saturn will recognize the door as closed and attempt to read the disc. The disc spins, and the laser engages once (does not move up or down the rail), but then the swirling loading image freezes or stutters, like it is going in super slow motion. I'm hoping someone has encountered this issue before I recap the unit.

I have already ruled out the following, as I have swapped in working parts from another unit with no improvements:

1. CD assembly/laser
2. Ribbon cable
3. Bios chip
4. Power Supply
5. I reflowed the vram chips and several other chips on the board (SH-2, SCU, CD Control chip, ribbon cable pin connector), but unable to verify with my skillset/tools if the chips are faulty
6. I don't believe this is a vdp1/2 issue, as all the animations display properly on boot up

I'm not opposed to the recap, but would like to know if anyone has come across this issue before going forward.

Other strange behavior that I believe is related to the cd drive freeze issue:

1. Action replay will not boot, system will go straight to cd reader screen
1.5 However, the system will still recognize an official memory card with the ability to transfer saves to the system

The optical lens seems to operate fine with no disc in the system, lens will move up and down and system will state drive empty (no freezing). The freezing/slowdown only occurs when disc is present. Also, when the freezing is occurring, once the lid is opened, the animations return to normal.