I might as well be printing potato chips.
January 31, 2006 9:15 PM   Subscribe

I picked up an HP LaserJet IIIp printer a few days ago. Its great, I love how the output looks, but any paper that goes through (regardless of which output tray I use) gets ruffled. I just tried an envelope, and the envelope came out with ridges every 1/2" or so. This can't be right... any idea whats wrong and how to fix it?
posted by devilsbrigade to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
Google for the word accordion and HP LaserJets.

Some of the output rollers can harden, and then the paper slips, rather than being gripped. At which, point the force trying to push the paper out crimps it. That could be the problem.

If it is, you can find replacement parts on the net. Assuming the 3p is similar to the 4m. I fixed up a 4m good as new with a $50 overhaul kit that I got somewhere online (don't really remember where).

Often, though, the paper jams with this problem, so it's possible something else is going on.

There's a wealth of HP LaserJet troubleshooting info online.
posted by teece at 9:37 PM on January 31, 2006

As soon as I hit post, I remember something else. If the rollers are really worn (which is likely on a printer that old), and you are really strapped for cash, you might be able to just clean them. Alcohol or Goof-Off seem to work.
posted by teece at 9:39 PM on January 31, 2006

print a sheet and as its in the middle of printing unplug the printer. Open it up, take out the toner. It will be tricky to remove the paper (you might be able to pull it backwards, but usually its best to just pull it the direction it normally prints) but you will see exactly where the crinkle starts. Might be the fuser, might be a damaged toner, might be the entry thingies, might be the exit rollers. Then its off to google to find the best site to help you fix it. Also, can you try a different toner cartridge? Heh. just a throwback to the old tech support days.
posted by psychobum at 9:50 PM on January 31, 2006

More specifically, the IIIp uses the Canon LX engine, which was also used by DEC in the DECLaser 1150. Very common engine.
posted by plinth at 6:22 AM on February 1, 2006

Ditto ditto, most likely the output rollers. Don't use alcohol on them, though - that will dry them out worse. Use warm water with a little soap, and even that is just a temporary solution until you get some new ones. While you've got it opened up somewhat to replace them, be sure to blow it out well and check the fuser rollers and pickup rollers (actually should probably do this before ordering new output rollers, so you can order more parts at the same time, if necessary).

I haven't used it in years, but HP's Partsurfer is great - it has exploded views so you can pick the right part even if you don't know what they call it.
posted by attercoppe at 6:14 PM on February 1, 2006

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