I recently saved a discarded laser printer from the trash. Its problem was that it wouldn’t print an 8cm vertical segment. No other problem whatsoever.
This hinted that there was a problem with the fuser sleeve.
In good faith of my diagnostic skills I ordered a replacement sleeve and started the surgery.
First step: Disassemble the printer.
In order to do this, you have to remove all of the plastic covers. Make sure that you have removed the power cable, and the toner cartridge. Then remove the left panel where the USB cable is coming from. Just pull it and it will come off. Also remove the paper dock, and the toner cartridge. That was the easy part.
Now the back and right panel should come off easily.
If it refuses to come off, try pushing the tab on the bottom.
Now we want to remove the metal bracket that surrounds the gears of the fuser unit.
Remove the screw on top of it and it will come off if you wiggle it a bit.
Next, you have to remove the lower gear in order to be able to turn the large gear. Basically we want to remove the screw behind the large gear and in order to do that you have to line-up one of the holes with the screw. If it’s already lined-up, skip this step.
On the other side remove the similar bracket
Now remove the 2 screws that hold the fuser on the left side.
Unplug all the cables you see but make sure that you remember were each one goes. Take a picture if you have to.
Good. Now you’re ready to pull it out. Here’s a photo with the printer without the fuser unit, and the fuser unit on its own.
We’re not done yet! Keep un-screwing
And now we can finally see were the problem is. I was right. it was the fuser sleeve after all. Notice how it’s completely torn that spot. This is normal wear and it will happen sooner or later to your beloved printer.
Remove those little black thingies on the left and right by pushing and twisting until you find the “sweet spot”. They will pop-out so be careful not to lose anything.
Now we can proceed to further isolate the heat transfer rod (or whatever you call it). First un-ravell the cables on the bottom of the fuser unit.
Slide-out the black thingy on the left
and now you can slide out the damaged sleeve.
That black spot on the rod is toner that didn’t transfer to the paper like it should, because part of the sleeve was missing.
Before you install the new sleeve, make sure to clean it properly, and then lube it with some silicone lube. The sellers usually provide some along with the sleeve.
Final thing to watch-out is which way you insert it. If you look closely, the sleeve has a side with a black line. this is the contact area, and it must go to the left side with the black thingy.
Now we’re ready to put everything back together. In my case the printer was super-filthy so I chose to give it a bath first. One option is to pop all the plastics in the dish-washer if you’ve got one. I didn’t do that because I was concerned with the toner being toxic and all. I put it in my bathtub, let it soak in hot water for 30 min or so, and then scrubbed it real good.
Re-assembled everything, crossed my fingers, and everything worked!
Total cost: 8€
Well worth the effort and money, considering the printer was free. (trashware).
Here’s the trial printing with the printers’ history. It has seen some action