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Laser Printer Repair experience

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The model of the printer doesn't really matter. This is basically a "first time" experience. Maybe it doesn't belong here?

I found an accordion shaped piece of paper in the paper tray and it would not pick up the paper any more from Tray 2 (The normal stacked paper tray) and the control panel indicated a jam. It would also make a rumbling noise when the printer powered up.

The printer is probably 8 years old and has like 35K pages on it just from me. The recommended duty-cycle is:
  • 10,000 single-sided pages per month (maximum)
  • 1,000 single-sided pages per month (average)
So I have about 35 or 3 months of use on it in say 8 years.

Now what?

My laser printer experience has been limited to firmware upgrades and installing drivers on various OS's and replacing pick-up rollers, so I know what a bad pick-up roller looks like. The weirdest is having to add an entry into the computer's ARP table. Oh, and one guy in the office kept being annoyed by a FAX machine, so I forwarded his phone to a real FAX. The problem solved within minutes.

I found out as much as I could about the printer from the service manual and youtube. I was about ready to buy a maintenance kit, but before I did that, I used the printer embedded web server and looked at the error log. Most were paper jams. There was one or two communication errors. This still has me concerned because this particular printer has a has a "bad formatter PCB" issue. Apparently this was early in the transition to lead free, so a BGA looses it's connections. There is an oven-bake procedure that usually restores this.

The maintenance kits usually contain pick-up rollers which pick up the paper; separation pads which help pick up one sheet; and transfer rollers which transfer the toner and would affect image quality.

The first step was to see if I could get the errors from the embedded web server (EWS). There were two communication errors which could be formatter board related and lots of paper jam errors.

The next logical step was to try to print a config page from the printer's panel using the aux multi-purpose tray (manual feed). It worked.

So, now it's time for the inspection so I moved it to a better work area. The tray looked OK. The pick-up rollers looked OK. I remembered a small plastic flag that sat on top of the paper in the paper tray. I could not find it after removing the tray.

Turned out it got jammed. I freed it and the printer printed again.

Time for a cleaning. I found a few of the hard rollers with a lot of crud on them and I cleaned some toner from where the toner cartridge sits and cleaned the pick-up roller (multipurpose tray) by removal. I cleaned the main tray roller without removal.

The face down rubber rollers I renewed with a rubber renewer. So, those, and the opposing hard rollers should really be replaced. One of the hard rollers is at a slight angle. Eventually, I found that the hard rollers were re-engineered, but I don't know if I have the re-engineered one. I think I do.

The noise was caused by a lack of lubrication.- I lubed the bearing surfaces for the moving parts. There was previous visible lube present. I also lubed the edge of the paper tray and the latches for the manual feed. Both made a big difference. I think the latch for the multipurpose tray should be a magnet for smoother operation.

It prints without noise – and the fix didn't require a lot of disassembly.

Currently trying to track down the obsolete parts which I don't plan to install which I'll call an Insurance Policy. You buy the parts that are not essential and they end up never having to be replaced.
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