asked Apr 23, 2007 at 3:37pm
Lexmark Lexmark Optra R

Optra R (4049-RB1) dirty prints after unit idles

I purchased a used Lexmark Optra Rt+ (4049-RB1) on craigslist, which I have rebuilt. The D-roller tires and the fuser thermistor had to be replaced - and the unit had to be thoroughly cleaned - but the unit came back nicely and works well.

I have one problem left. If the printer is turned on and left idle for more than 24 hours, the first few prints out of the unit will have a single horizontal smudge about 1/4" down from the top of the page, and there will be grey background on both the front and back of the page.

If I print enough pages, this goes away and printing will work properly again until the machine is left idle for a few hours - at which time the problem returns and I have to print several pages to clear the residual toner again. The problem recurs every time I leave the printer to idle long enough for the printer to go through a few of its normal refresh cycles.

I have checked and cleaned the cartridge drum with 99\% isopropanol - and note that the drum and the transfer roller get dirty again in short order after the cartridge is returned to service and the printer is left to idle long enough for refresh cycles to occur.

From reading this forum and the info at the Oasis Imaging website, I suspect the cartridge wiper blade is defective. I have inspected the cartridge and it has been remanufactured (there are screws in the holes for the guide plate and there is a non-factory sticker on the top of the cartridge).

Since the cartridge prints well when printing is done frequently - I expect the rest of the cartridge is in reasonable shape. Is it practical to simply replace the wiper blade in this cartridge or should I be looking at a replacement cartridge?

I also have another empty cartridge (which is newer) that is an original and has not been refilled. Could I transfer the toner that is still in the defective cartridge into the empty cartridge? What procedures should I follow to do this?

I am an advanced computer tech with years of experience rebuilding hardware. I am quite comfortable with board-level repair, so the idea of disassembling the cartridge and working on something "fiddly" does not bother me.

Has anyone else seen a similar problem? Am I on the right track?

Thanks for any help you can provide.
A long, long time ago, I was at Future Graphics, which is a major supplier of toner and rebuilding supplies. I was picking up some toner and the discussion turned to Lexmark cartridges. They were rebuilding hundreds of them a month and I was surprised to learn they weren't replacing the wiper blades. It turned out they didn't know how. I let it slip that I knew how to do it and 10 minutes later I was giving an impromptu class to all their cartridge techs. I would assume that most cartridge rebuilders don't know how or don't want to expend the effort to replace them, so you can be fairly certain you have an old blade in there and there is 100\% probability that it is causing the problem.
by moe on Apr 23, 2007 at 5:08pm Add comment
Hi, moe. According to Oasis' technical documents, the wiper blade can be replaced by removing the waste-toner-hopper cover and replacing the wiper blade. Is this all that is required or should the other components in the Oasis list be examined as well?

(I think the cartridge is OK, other than the wiper, because the cartridge works properly when used frequently. However, you have far more experience with wonky cartridges than I, so I am asking your advice as well.)

I am comfortable with the idea of disassembling the cartridge - but I see no point until I know more about what parts I need to replace in order to competently rebuild the cartridge. I also need to know where to obtain these parts in small quantities (1 to 10 items).

Oasis is vague on the details regarding the procedure required to reaseal the waste-toner-hopper cover once the wiper blade has been replaced. Any suggestions there?


- yesman
It has been a long time since I worked on one of these but from what I remember and do not hold me to it the high voltage ps and contacts are located on the left side and you can press down on the pins and they pop back up. What you want to do is remove the cover and clean the bottom part of the contacts which mate with the high voltage ps. Over time they arc a bit and when you do not have good contact excess toner can be applied and as you use it more the contacts make better contact and the situation improves. Give it a try, nothing to lose.
by dmzcompute on Apr 23, 2007 at 5:09pm Add comment
Hi, thanks for responding. As far as I can see, the HVPS on this unit is a sealed assembly. I have already used 99\% isopropanol and q-tips to clean the spring-loaded contact-probes on the HVPS risers that carry the various voltages to the cartridge.

When I was examining the cartridge itself, I checked the matching contact plates on the cartridge and found they were dirty - i cleaned these with 99\% isopropanol and q-tips as well.

When you mention poor contact in the HVPS, are you talking about inside the sealed HVPS assembly? I can remove the HVPS - is there anything special I need to know about disassembling the HVPS?

I have done repair work on monitors and TVs, so I am familiar with high-voltage handling procedures. What exactly am I looking for if you want me to check inside the HVPS?

Thanks for any further info you can provide. - yesman
From what I remember you can separare the top from the bottom and just check the spring contacts at the bottom.
by dmzcompute on Apr 23, 2007 at 6:16pm Add comment
On the cartridge you need to cut the plastic rivets on the waste hopper. I use a single edge razor blade. When resealing it, I use some silicon adhesive. To get the blade out, just take a small flat blade screwdriver and pry up under each end and it will pop out.
by moe on Apr 23, 2007 at 6:25pm Add comment