Author Topic: HP LaserJet drum problems  (Read 9054 times)

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Offline steve30

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HP LaserJet drum problems
« on: April 05, 2016, 11:58:40 am »
For the last 10 years or so, I've been using an HP LaserJet 4M Plus printer. I don't use it a lot, but it has had several new cartridges over the last ten years, and the reason for me replacing them was because the drums weren't cleaning properly, not because they ran out of toner.

The current cartridge was put in a couple of years ago and has probably only done a few hundred pages at the most. A couple of months ago, bits of the image started repeating on the page (see drum01.jpg and drum02.jpg). Just now, I am getting large amount of the page in grey (see drum02.jpg and drum03.jpg for examples).

Does anyone know why the drum won't clean well on these lightly used cartridges? Is there anything I can do about it? They are all genuine HP ones.

Thanks for any help.
steve30
 

Offline Andy Watson

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Re: HP LaserJet drum problems
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2016, 01:12:00 pm »
i run a Laserjet 4L and had similar problems. After taking the machine apart, building high voltage probes and generally checking everything I could check, I could not find any problem with the print mechanism, nor the electronics. I replaced the cartridgel (and hence drum) with a new full one that I'd had in store. The problem disappeared for a few weeks but then reappear much worse than the previous cartridge. Both cartridges were purchased about 7-8 years previously and both displayed the same problem of repeated images at the interval of one drum rotation.

After much surfing I found out that: The function of the light-sensitive coating on the surface of the drums can be impaired by overexposure to room light, exposure to sunlight will kill it completely and exposure to contaminants, especially hydrocarbons will also have a detrimental effect (and if you touch it with your greasy fingers, the world ends - allegedly ;) ). However, the main thing that I found out is that the drums deteriorate over time and have a shelf life expectancy of about two years. A brand-new cartridge - not NOS - cured the problem.
 

Offline Kjelt

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Re: HP LaserJet drum problems
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2016, 01:18:34 pm »
Sounds very plausible that the life time is guaranteed for 2 years.
Not sure if this still works but 20 years ago when we had such an issue we had to print a 100% black A4 and use that to print another one (so you use a fully 100% black printed a4 as input paper to print again a 100%). Theory was that sticked on toner would stick to the paper and clean the drum. Unsure if this works on modern types.
 

Offline steve30

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Re: HP LaserJet drum problems
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2016, 02:57:57 pm »
Kjelt: I tried your suggestion and it didn't seem to have any effect of cleaning the drum :(.

Andy: I read about the drums having a shelf life a few years ago. All the ones I've bought were NOS, although I've had them several years now anyway. Is there anyway to tell the manufacturing date of an HP 98A cartridge?
 

Offline rf+tech

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Re: HP LaserJet drum problems
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2016, 03:03:55 pm »
@Everyone,

The residual toner that does not transfer to the paper is removed by a rubber wiper blade, where it then accumulates in the waste section of the cartridge.

This wiper blade is under tension against the full width of the drum when new, to ensure complete removal of excess toner. With time and age, the rubber wiper blade takes on a compression set (as all rubber parts eventually do) and relaxes. No longer able to get under the residual toner, the wiper blade is easily lifted and allows some toner to remain. The symptom is exactly as you are seeing.

This wiper blade relaxation is the underlying reason for unopened, aged NOS cartridges displaying ghosting.

Toner pickup by the drum from the supply roller depends on the quality of the photoelectric drum surface to hold sufficient charge. With surface deterioration, the result would be insufficient toner pickup and blacks would not be very dense. Which then implies even less excess toner. So the claim that surface deterioration is the cause of ghosting is suspect.

On the 98A cartridge, I've removed the wiper blade, jigged it to restore the curve, heated the assembly to allow the rubber to relax into this curved state, then set the curve under cold running water. I've performed this procedure three times over the now twenty-year life of a single 98A cartridge, the original drum in this cartridge (emerald) is also twenty years old and shows no sign of the claimed age related deterioration. Each time, the result has been "good as new."

As always, YMMV.

RF+Tech
 
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Offline boffin

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Re: HP LaserJet drum problems
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2016, 03:14:34 pm »
Check that the fuser unit (the hot rollers post-toner) doesn't have a tear on the roller. 

the fuser is a simple replaceable unit, and companies re-man fusers for under $100

I've used these guys on multiple occasion: http://www.comlaser.ca/clt-inc-s-fuser-assembly-remanufacturing-process-exposed/ but I'm sure there are lots of others, or look on ebay
 

Online SeanB

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Re: HP LaserJet drum problems
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2016, 07:16:52 pm »
Does look too close to be the drum ( easy way is to measure the repeat distance, divide by 3 and see if this is the diameter of the drum or the fuser) so my bets are on the fuser roller being worn. the actual roller IIRC is a red silicone foamed roller thay contacts the top of the paper to put pressure on the toner to fuse it to the paper, heat being applied by a quartz halogen lamp in a PTFE coated tube below. With age both do deteriorate, and are easy to replace.

I still should get around to fixing the one I have, bought the kit on eBay, and should spend the day it takes to strip this unit down to get the ( non replaceable by user) fuser assembly out and change the steel roll it needs.
 

Offline techricky

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Re: HP LaserJet drum problems
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2016, 05:41:12 am »
I had the same problem with NOS cartridges and RF+Tech I think describes the problem I had exactly.

In my case the toner had run out and the 'new' cartridge had  the problem, so I  emptied and swapped the old wiper blade and receiver section onto the new cartridge.. been working fine for ages.

I was wary of experimenting with the rubber blade as I wasn't sure if it could damage the drum, but now I might go and have another look and see if I can reform one..
 

Offline kwass

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Re: HP LaserJet drum problems
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2016, 09:05:57 am »
I use my 20 year old LaserJet 6P almost every day for light volume.   I've never had to do anything to it other than replace the toner cartridge.  Does this use a different drum technology from the earlier models?


-katie
 

Offline OldTechUK

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Re: HP LaserJet drum problems
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2016, 09:31:46 am »
Hello,
I owned a HPLJ4M about 10 years ago.

Switch it off.
Unplug Mains lead.
Turn printer around so the back of it faces you on the table.
Pull down (Open) the back cover.
You may need to release the plastic straps that hold the door up.
At the bottom of the printer will be a black metal (Very Hot when working) Fuser Assembly.

Remove it by undoing two vertical philips screws at the bottom inside base of the printer facing you.
Pull it up slickly and towards you sliding it out of the bottom of the printer base.

Be CAREFULL when handling the fuser assembly as it's easy to snap off the plastic bits.

At the back of the Fuser a metal cover can be raised so you should be able to see the Roller.

You may see that the roller has some previous bits of print that are stuck to it.

You can wipe this off with Isopropanol cleaning wipes.

Turn the Roller using the side gear wheel by hand to check a complete rotation of the roller.

Ensure it's clean and NOT Damaged.

Slide the Fuser back into the printer, make sure the gears of the fuser re-mesh ok.

Screw the two Philips screws back in, reconnect  the back door.

Turn printer  around so the front faces you.

Remove the Toner cartridge the check the paper path and make sure there is no Toner spillage from
the front of the printer inside to the Fuser input roller.

Re-install the Toner cartridge, power up and try a a few Test Prints.

The ghost print is usually caused by Toner leaking from the Toner Cartridge and going
down the paper path into the Toner Assembly; then forever "stamping" future prints
with the same info !

Do not shake toner cartridges. Toner is like Talc. Move it Left to Right Gently !
Also it's not unknown to have "new" leaky Toner Cartridges.

Speaking as an EX - HP Engineer !

Try to find a Maintenance Manual PDF .

It should detail every thing you need to know.

Good Luck !
 
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Online tautech

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Re: HP LaserJet drum problems
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2016, 09:53:51 am »
Welcome to the forum OldTechUK

Thanks for sharing your priceless knowledge.   :)
You've just earned your first thanks.  :-+



6MP user
« Last Edit: April 06, 2016, 09:55:33 am by tautech »
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Online tautech

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Re: HP LaserJet drum problems
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2016, 10:02:12 am »
I use my 20 year old LaserJet 6P almost every day for light volume.   I've never had to do anything to it other than replace the toner cartridge. 
+1
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Offline wblock

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Re: HP LaserJet drum problems
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2016, 02:53:56 pm »
I had a couple of LaserJet 4M printers many years ago.  If it comes to any non-trivial work on them now, I would recommend just looking for a LaserJet 4050 instead.  They are better printers than the older models, with instant-on fusers so there is no long warmup wait time.  They are also much easier to work on.  Many of the parts can be replaced without tools.  The fuser does have two screws, but that's all.  I have an article that covers some of the general details of these used laser printers: http://www.wonkity.com/~wblock/docs/html/usedlasers.html.
 

Offline Totalsolutions

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Re: HP LaserJet drum problems
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2016, 02:59:37 pm »
 T'is fuser roller indeed. Normally cleaned, and apply fuser oil or a wick may be used to apply fuser oil (silicon oil) to prevent double image.
Ex Kodak Copier/Duplicator engineer.

Sent from my GT-N7100 using Tapatalk

Paul
 

Offline rf+tech

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Re: HP LaserJet drum problems
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2016, 01:07:04 pm »
@Everyone

steve30 (the OP) asks:
Quote
Does anyone know why the drum won't clean well on these lightly used cartridges?

Will all of the respondents to this thread PLEASE look at the OP's photo showing toner haze on the drum.

While all of the advice given about the fuser is good, this advice FAILS to address the question asked. Yes, many printing quality issues can be traced to the fuser. What does that photo have to say about the fuser?
 
Quote
Is there anything I can do about it?

@steve30 -  new replacement wiper blades are available. Just a vinyl strip bonded to a metal carrier that is screwed onto the side of the waste toner receiver section of older tech cartridges. Newer cartridges may also have caulking to better seal the wiper blade to the receiver.

A simple test easy to perform is to take a soft cloth and gently wipe away the toner haze on the exposed drum surface. While holding the toner cartridge as it would be when installed, use your fingers to rotate the drum through one or two revolutions in the direction of normal operation. This direction is into/against the wiper blade. Now look at the drum to see if the clean spot has again acquired a toner haze. If it has, then surely the fuser must be the cause :o and Quantum Entanglement is transferring toner from the fuser to the drum in your hands ::)

@techricky - reforming a vinyl wiper does require close attention to the heat applied so as not to melt the soft vinyl. I've clamped the metal wiper plate to a length of flat aluminum sheet .125" thick, with a length of flat straight .032" brass stock to lift and hold the free edge in the correct direction. Then the assembly was warmed uniformly with a heat gun to "about right" and cooled under cold running water to set the new shape.

Or take the simpler route of installing a new wiper blade. As for myself, I enjoy the challenge of doing what seems impossible/impractical just to say I succeeded. Others may not be so adventuresome.

One important detail when servicing the wiper blade is explained in this video by Hendo:

<iframe width="854" height="480" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/uEABd2OEFuc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

A thoroughly clean wiper blade does not like to slide freely on the drum and can actually get flipped/pulled over into the waste toner receiver, as Hendo mentions.

RF Tech
 

Offline steve30

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Re: HP LaserJet drum problems
« Reply #15 on: April 07, 2016, 02:46:15 pm »
Thanks for the replies everyone.

As rf+tech says, it is definitely the drum and not the fuser. I did however, take the fuser out to check it, and it seems fine.

A couple of years ago I took apart some of my old cartridges and had a fiddle with the wiper blade, but didn't really do anything to "restore" it. I'll have to try and restore it sometime.
 

Offline paulhm81

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Re: HP LaserJet drum problems
« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2016, 07:49:51 pm »
hi

ghosting on the page is a common problem with laser printer and the most common culprits are as follows:
-if there is also a faint grey uneven background then the problem is with the wiper blade
-if the page is clean and only the ghosting appears then the problem is the primary charge roller (pcr) wich is the rubber roller that presses on the drum. It's role is to whipe the polarisation that the laser imprinted on the drum so it's clean for a new cycle, but if it's surface is uneven or it looses it's conductivity, the drum remains partially polarised and toner gets tranfered on the new cycle
- the fuser can also be the culprit but there is a simple way to test it. Start a print and cut power to the printer before the paper reaches the fuser. Open the door, get the cartridge out and look at the print if it's clean. Be careful not to make a mess because at this stage the toner is not melted on the paper and it smears off.
 

Offline steve30

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Re: HP LaserJet drum problems
« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2017, 12:50:08 pm »
It took me a while to get around to it, but I had a go at following rf+tech's suggestions.

I removed the wiper blade, heated it up, and fiddled around with it a bit. It worked fine for the first few pages but now the problem has returned. I will have another go and try and bend the blade some more.
 

Offline steve30

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Re: HP LaserJet drum problems
« Reply #18 on: January 23, 2017, 05:53:15 pm »
I had another go, and the result is better, but I am still getting streaks on the page, so its not worked as well as I'd have hoped.

I've attached some photos of the wiper. It is definitely straighter than it was.
 

Online edavid

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Re: HP LaserJet drum problems
« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2017, 06:12:46 pm »
With my LaserJet 2200, I find that about half the NOS toner cartridges that I buy have toner leaks.  I am clumsy enough that I don't try to repair or replace the wiper, since I'm sure I would make a huge mess.  I just make sure to buy from suppliers with a good return policy.  When I get a cartridge that is good when received, it generally stays good until empty.
 

Offline kwass

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Re: HP LaserJet drum problems
« Reply #20 on: January 23, 2017, 06:26:19 pm »
I use my 20 year old LaserJet 6P almost every day for light volume.   I've never had to do anything to it other than replace the toner cartridge. 
+1
+1 again.

The 6P is a fantastic machine that lasts forever just feeding it toner and paper.  My experience with the LJ 4 machines was not so good.
-katie
 

Offline SL4P

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Re: HP LaserJet drum problems
« Reply #21 on: January 23, 2017, 06:27:35 pm »
As several have mentioned, daylight, hydrocarbons and many things can cause thee symptoms - but beyond all - don't move the printer with the toner installed!
Don't ask a question if you aren't willing to listen to the answer.
 

Online coppice

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Re: HP LaserJet drum problems
« Reply #22 on: January 23, 2017, 06:29:10 pm »
I use my 20 year old LaserJet 6P almost every day for light volume.   I've never had to do anything to it other than replace the toner cartridge. 
+1
+1 again.

The 6P is a fantastic machine that lasts forever just feeding it toner and paper.  My experience with the LJ 4 machines was not so good.
I used to use a number of LaserJet 5P's and 6P's, but all the rubber parts turned to goo quite a few years ago, and they were thrown out.
 

Offline rf+tech

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Re: HP LaserJet drum problems
« Reply #23 on: January 24, 2017, 12:54:27 am »
Hi steve30,

Good to see you have had a little success with the wiper blade. The rubber does like to relax back into its set state, if it wasn't heated high enough. The intent is to undo the years of curvature experienced from being pressed against the drum. Going a little beyond straight can help. If you have another cartridge/wiper to sacrifice and like to experiment, pull that wiper and see how much heat it takes to deform it. Then try reheating this wiper once more.

The LaserJet 4M Plus is built around the Canon EX+ engine and uses the Canon EP-E/HP92298A/HP98X/92298X cartridge. After searching on various part number keywords, I found 10-packs of replacement wiper blades in stock from Quickfill Online for $10.90. :-+ At that price, I'm going to order a 10-pack myself:

http://www.quickfillonline.com/wiper-blade-exwb20-10-pack.html

When rebuilding toner cartridges, it is recommended to use Kynar padding powder, to prevent damage between the new wiper and drum. At $7.95 for a two ounce bag, it is cheap insurance and should last for many years:

http://www.quickfillonline.com/kynar-padding-powder.html

Please provide an update on whatever course you take.

Cheers,

RF+ Tech
 

Offline boffin

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Re: HP LaserJet drum problems
« Reply #24 on: January 24, 2017, 01:33:07 am »
I'll add a plug for a company I've used many times (although not recently) to get Laser Printer parts here in Canada

Commercial Laser Technology.  http://www.comlaser.ca/
They sell /re-man all the fusers pickup wheels etc etc, for very reasonable prices.

Probably not useful for someone in England, but if it helps one person, I've done my good deed for the day.
 

Offline steve30

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Re: HP LaserJet drum problems
« Reply #25 on: March 25, 2017, 03:17:33 pm »
Just an update, I haven't used the printer since I last posted a few months ago, but I dismantled the toner cartridge today, and the wiper has definitely deformed. Here's a photo for comparison to the ones above.

I'll try heating it to a higher temperature and see what happens. I have several 'bad' cartridges so I'm not too fussed if any get damaged.
 


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