Michael Condon

asked Jan 21, 2007 at 9:35pm
Hp HP DeskJet Plus

HP Laserjet 4 Plus input feed problem

I have recently acquired a Laserjet 4 Plus printer (made 1995, printed around 91,000 pages). The print quality is great and the MP feed tray works perfectly, but it seems to have problems picking up the paper from the cassette as I can hear the pickup mechanism having to work twice to get the paper to the transfer roller area. I am not getting any paper jams or error messages and it's not picking up multiple sheets..... it just has to work twice as hard to pick up the sheet of paper (and slows down the printing).

I have removed and inspected the cassette pickup roller and it is in perfect condition - not really any signs of wear and rubber still nice and soft. I noticed however that there is a small black roller underneath the front left which contacts the plastic roller at the front of the paper cassette. This black rubber roller is very shiny and is apparently only meant to turn in one direction at it's connected to a clutch gear in the pick-up unit. I checked with my finger and it turns easily in the wrong direction (sometimes won't turn.... usually does).

Is it likely that this is actually the problem? If so, could you please advise me on the best course of action to rectify it. Also, is it possible to purchase a replacement for this roller.

Many thanks,

The tray 2 pick up roller tire can be rotated if it is worn, that roller is the most common failure for feed problems from the tray.

It's not the softness of the rubber that matters, it's the grip.

You can clean the tray 1 & 2 rollers with water, or soap and water.

Best cleaner for the black rubber rollers is:


Watch the paper feed from the back of the machine with a flashlight, I think you'll be able to see if the tray 2 feed roller is picking the paper up on the first try or slipping.
by Stephen on Jan 22, 2007 at 10:05am Add comment
Thanks for your reply.... I have already given the cassette tray pick up roller a clean. It seems to have plenty of grip.

The failure to transfer the paper seems to be happening when it reaches the small black roller at the front left of the printer.

Thanks again,

by Michael Condon on Jan 22, 2007 at 3:26pm Add comment
I have seen that rubber slip on the shaft. If you grab the roller and move it back and forth, it should have very little movement. If it's moving 1/8 of an inch, that would be enough to disengage the gear on the other end. Easy way to fix it is to stick a small flat blade screwdriver between the rubber and the metal shaft. Pry upward and it will slip down on the shaft. You'll have to do it a few times to get it far enough back.
by moe on Jan 22, 2007 at 5:42pm Add comment
Many thanks for your reply.... and being so patient with me!!

I've had a look with a flashlight as suggested and the the paper is definitely stopping when it gets to the front of the cassette and the pickup roller has finished doing its thing.

I'm not quite sure how to slide the rubber with a screwdriver... it certainly rotates more than 1/8 of an inch. There's not any room between it and the black plastic at the left hand side and there's a sort of metal flange at the right had side of the rubber roller.

I have read elsewhere that this problem can be caused by a gunked-up clutch gear in the pick-up mechanism. Is this a possibility?
by Michael Condon on Jan 23, 2007 at 2:53pm Add comment
The rubber is not glued onto the shaft, but there is too much resistance to move it with your fingers. If you put a screwdriver between the rubber and the shaft and pry on it, the rubber will slide down on the shaft. When you get it down far enough so it has just a little bit of in and out movement.
by moe on Jan 23, 2007 at 3:09pm Add comment

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