Printer and Photocopier Troubleshooting and Repair Collection : HP LJ Series II bad bearing noise and ot..  
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HP LJ Series II bad bearing noise and other comments

"Got one that started making unpleasant noises about two weeks ago. It is in a church office environment, so they have to turn it off unless they need it for a short while. I took part of the cover off and decided it wasn't the top fan or the small motor on the right side. The sound comes from the right rear at the grilles at the bottom of the machine. It sounds like a bad bearing or something rubbing a fan."

(From: Ralph Wade Phillips (ralphp@techie.com).)

Bad lower fan. Part number RH7-1056. I'd check at http://www.pcservice.com and register and order XX-RH7-1056 (it's under $20) and just replace that fan.

I'd also consider replacing the upper fan (go look for it with the search engine - it's about the same $ for the generic 3rd party version) since a failure there will ALSO cost you the fuser gears, thereby costing a fuser assembly.

As to removing the bottom cover - Eh? Put the top back on, flip it over, and remove those screws you see around the rim. Remove all cartridges also. Slip the metal cover off, and viola - There she is!

Big warning - Do NOT run the machine with the lower fan disconnected. This is known to damage the DC controller board (at least a $60 part, EXCHANGE - over $300 purchase!), and can cause massive problems later down the road ... Take a look at http://www.printerworks.com and look (and print, if possible!) their exploded parts diagrams. Yes, books are available, but will outrun the $150 the church is paying for it (worth it, though, with as many LJ2/LJ3/QMS/LWII and other SX-based printers out there, IMAO.)

(From: Al Savage (asavage@iname.com).) Probably the most-commonly-replaced part is the lower fan on the 33440A. Yes, it's very noisy when bad, right up until it becomes extremely quiet .

Well, buying 10 year old hardware and then wanting to depend on it not breaking isn't very realistic. As reliable as the LJII/III is, they DO break, especially lower fans, the 14T fuser gear, paper pickup roller, pickup photosensor, AC power supply, registration assy. It's just that they'll commonly print half a million pages in the process, and many contemporary printers aren't designed for a service life a third as long.

To replace the lower fan, have a vacuum cleaner with a brush handy (or an air compressor). Remove toner cartridge/drum unit. Close lid, remove all cables (power, data), flip printer upside down. On a LJII, you're looking at steel square pan; on a LJIII, you're looking at a large plastic tray and you have to remove four Phillips-head screws to get it off first.

On both models: remove any optional memory card(s) by first removing the access hatch for them on the left side. This hatch is the one WITHOUT the 1/4" hole in it. Remove any circuit board you find under there: they just pull straight out.

On the back of the printer, remove any optional I/O card (HP JetDirect, Appletalk, etc) that may be installed next to the normal Centronics data port. This isn't always NECESSARY but when it isn't it just makes things easier. Once again, just remove two screws and pull on the I/O card.

Now you can remove the lower pan. Nine Phillips head screws later, lift the front edge of the pan, wiggle it to get it off over the Centronics port cable clips.

Vacuum the pan out -- it will be filled with dust bunnies -- and any dust you see collected on the mainboard. You can now see the lower fan. It's a squirrel cage design. Remove the short wire harness and the four screws to remove it. Note the position of the small bracket under two of the screws, as you will need to put that bracket back!

Reassemble in reverse order. One screw on the lower pan does NOT go in the left rear corner, but that's only a problem is you have the upper plastic off as well. You can't put it in wrong if the upper half is still assembled.

The fan is about $20 wholesale, often close to $40 retail. Do NOT attempt to disassemble and clean it. I've tried several times, and no matter what I try it will either still be noisy, or will fail again within months.

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