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How to go about flushing all ink out of a 3880?

Discussion in 'Epson InkJet Printers' started by W. Fisher, May 15, 2018.

  1. May 20, 2018
    Ink stained Fingers

    Ink stained Fingers Printer Master

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    I think I got astray when looking for printhead refurbishing - I would need some equipment I don't have

    Spot Welder
    Introduction
    This is a very useful machine for the printer head repair...................

    You may try to do some airbrushing with the printhead and your compressor.
     
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  2. May 20, 2018
    berserk

    berserk Printing Ninja

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    Ink Stained Fingers wrote:
    You may try to do some airbrushing with the printhead and your compressor.

    You cannot be serious....
     
  3. May 22, 2018
    W. Fisher

    W. Fisher Fan of Printing

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    Five maintenance tanks of power flushes later and two nozzles of the black are still clogged. Grrrr!!!

    I tried to put a hose onto the MK cart tanks inlet nozzle to pump the solution through to the head, and backflush it too. Problem is there is a spring-loaded gray plastic backboard that covers that nozzle. It's only uncovered when the cart pushes it inwards where it is exposed and fits into the cart's seal.

    Tried a bunch of ways to try and keep the backboard pushed in no avail to attached the hose. Nozzle is also smaller than the silicon lines I got which fit fine over the extraction nozzles that come with the carts for reloading of inks and priming. Need a different approach...

    So I demolished one old cart to see if I could get the cart to act as the silicon line to the syringe using the Epson seal on their cart. Joe "Toolman" had something about taking that valve apart in the cart. I split the case (It unsnaps from the rear, two sides, and the off the front where the nozzle is. Have to cut the paper label at the three side seams too.), pulled out the sealing pressure plastic wrapper, and the snap-in piece that goes over the top of the nozzle and ink bag junction (I threw it out hence all the positioning glue.).

    Took off the front snap-on piece around the nozzle, pried out the rubber seal, and threw away the plunger and spring under it. Cut off the ink bag at the nozzle. Drilled a hole down the middle of the nozzle for some brass tubing (That later will connect to the silicon hose and syringe for flushing.) ling enough to extend out a back hole in the cart. There is some really good glue around the foil bag where it's connected to the nozzle so I just left it there and slathered some JB Weld glue over it and the brass tubing both and installed it back into the cart (No spring or plunger, just the snap-on tip and the rubber seal.).

    Plan is to try and push the cleaner through the MK cart area and suck it back, maybe force it through again to prime.

    Will it work? Dunno... Have to wait and see after 24 hours of the glue drying time.

    W.F.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. May 22, 2018
    The Hat

    The Hat Printer VIP Moderator

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    @W. Fisher, did you ever consider you’re flogging a dead horse, your valour attempts at nozzle cleaning has not worked because the nozzles are most likely not clogged at all, but merely have air trapped inside them.
    Very nice reconstructive surgery on the carts...;)
     
  5. May 22, 2018
    W. Fisher

    W. Fisher Fan of Printing

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    Horse ain't dead yet. ;)

    When I started, there must have been 15+ nozzles missing in the black, and random misses in the others which are all clear now. Now down to two blacks missing (last side-by-side ones too), but those two have been there since day one too. Given the amount of cleaner pushed so far (Five maintenance tanks worth of power flushes which puts to rest that web-wives tale of "Too many power flushes damages the printer." Thing was made to spit ink..), I'd be surprised if there is air at just those two nozzles, but we'll see. When I print out a Calibration Test Page using QTR, there is less banding with each maintenance cart change-out on the black so things are getting better.

    Yeah, seeing what was inside the carts was neat. Now I know how they come apart too as I thought they were glued but just snaps until the glued cellophane over the pressure chamber which is glued as is the tank to nozzle which resisted even being boiled in water to soften the glue so it stayed on as a attachment for the JB Weld glue and brass tubing.

    Didn't need to cut the side out, but I had to see what was holding it all together. Favorite tool so far is a 1/4" blade carpenter's chisel for the maintenance tank's snaps and prying off the cover, as well as the ink carts and their snaps. Have to plug up the cart's air inlet port too to shut the pump off if the thing is powered on. Could add a brass tube there to allow me to read if the pump pressure is adequate, but that's another time and cart.

    W.F.
     
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  6. May 22, 2018
    Ink stained Fingers

    Ink stained Fingers Printer Master

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    why not trying to get to the printhead directly, get a maintenance manual, @PeterBJ most likely can give you a good link, and get to the dampers of the printhead, cartridge like inserts in the printhead carriage connecting the ink tubes to the ink channels in the printhead. Those dampers typically contain a very fine mesh wire filter which tends to clog over time, and they can be replaced pretty easily with genuine or Chinese dampers
    https://www.aliexpress.com/wholesal...B_20180522080755&SearchText=epson+3880+damper
    You can get there to the ink connectors directly and and attach a tube and syringe to flush them with a cleaner.
     
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  7. May 22, 2018
    W. Fisher

    W. Fisher Fan of Printing

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    Thanks, but I'm trying to avoid taking it totally apart. I've done that before with another 3880 and it is a total PITA to take it apart to get down in there and why the things become throw-away printers for the labor alone. I think it took me 3 days last time to get it apart and back together again. I left one wire off the bottom of the capping station and got some error code on reassembly, but then it dawned on me I had left that one wire off and took it apart again which fixed that error code. (I got the 3800 manual offline somewhere, but it's close enough to the 3880 to rip it apart.).

    I'm guessing should I go that deep (again) I might be able to back-flush those dampener filters. I was surprised to see the two pads in the capping station become white for all the alcohol/water mix I put through the thing. Wouldn't surprise me if the filters inside the dampeners were white again too.

    W.F.
     
  8. May 22, 2018
    berserk

    berserk Printing Ninja

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    You don't by any chance have a MRT – Magnetic Resonance Tomography thingy hanging around in some corner.
    Then You could study all problems and clogs in 3d and virtually go through everything and expand/rotate the "picture" to a size like You walked through the printer tubes and nozzles and say hello to the worms and tell us what other interesting things You'll find in there. (Hey - I didn't say damages done!!!)

    OK - just some serious thinking....:pop

    Please continue the show, man!
     
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  9. May 23, 2018
    PeterBJ

    PeterBJ Printer VIP Platinum Printer Member

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    As suggested by @Ink stained Fingers

    A service manual covering the Epson Stylus Pro 3880 and other models is found here: https://www.manualslib.com/manual/820107/Epson-Stylus-Pro-3800.html

    I don't know much about Epson printers, but unlike Canon printers the print heads are not easily replaceable by the user. Often special hardware tools is needed for proper positioning of the head and a special software tool is needed for calibrating the print head after install.
     
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  10. May 24, 2018
    W. Fisher

    W. Fisher Fan of Printing

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    Back to the grind...

    After the Epson cart mods to make a flush device, it would fit. Seems the brass tube was too far into the nozzle so I had to make another flushing cart. Brass tube has to be about 1/2" behind the nozzle tip so the inlet nozzle in the printer will go down into the seal.

    Then another matter. The Epson tanks are keyed so they only go into their proper slots via some plastic indexing tabs under the area in front by the nozzle. The refill tanks do not have the indexing tabs so they can go anywhere (e.g. The dark bottom tank at the bottom of the stack in the photo with the green circle.). The two white Epson tanks with the red circle show the plastic indexing keys. Have to remove them or use the proper old Epson tank for whatever color nozzle you are trying to clear.

    I am now down to only one nozzle still plugged after this endeavor. Maybe 6-7 maintenance tanks changed too, but I have the resetter for those carts and use six blue shop towels as disposable diapers for those two tanks I alternate between. The 50:50 isopropyl alcohol/distilled water "ink" is cheap.

    I located the printhead on top of a folder paper towel to see if any ink would come out while pumping the syringe. Some did, but very little. The handle of the syringe barley moves even a ml worth over a minute, but seems some does leak onto the towel (Printer is OFF too.). Then I pulled back on the syringe too as some online videos show. I pumped the syringe like I was doing CPR on the thing, then did a few pull cycles. It barely moves at all, but the towel says some alcohol and distilled water is moving. I also had to use the PK Black as the Epson cart was keyed to that chamber and I didn't cut their indexing tabs yet. Also set the ink changer switch from Matte to PK Black as well before shutting it down and moving it onto the paper towel under the printhead.

    So I've moved from maybe a dozen plugged black nozzles along with differing black densities in each too, down to only one black nozzle still fighting me. All the blacks are beginning to show evenness too. Might try another CPR flushing treatment with the syringe later, but for now I'll leave all the carts with a alcohol/water mix loaded in the printer until I feel it won't improve any more with the black.

    W.F.
     

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