My question relates to oiling the rails when installing a new belt.
I took my 1998 2500CP plotter apart, took out the old belt, which was worn but not completely broken (No small job).
I put a new belt in and the carriage juddered as it went down the rails - it would not run smoothly - but only when under tension from the new belt.
I tried a few things, but in the end had to put the old belt back on - which works fine - so it probably wasn't an installation issue.
The (friendly) vendor is worried that I may have used the wrong lubricating oil.
Can you help with a simple guide to the best oils and grease to buy?
If you watch plotter servicing videos about changing belts etc , done by apparently specialist plotter guys, the impression given is that many light oils (including sewing machine oil), are OK. Some say do not use WD40 - except on the belt, according to one!
- and you too seem to suggest any light oil would be fine.
On the other hand - a HP official lubricating and cleaning video shows a product DB2-68 from the service kit.
Googling that I found an ebay seller wanting $275 for a bottle - mamma mia, can't be right - and why is the picture Photoshopped?
My 1998 2500CP has printer plodded on for many years with no fresh lubrication and the old belt now works OK again.
- so you would not think it was that fussy about lubrication
Incidentally, I probably should put some more of that pink silicone grease on the plastic gears too.
That product seems cloaked in mystery too and I suspect that one of the many third-party silicon greases would be fine.
A small and simple list of suitable compatible types of silicone grease and oil would be good!
Many thanks, Dominic
For more than six years I have exclusively used mineral oil (also known here as Baby Oil) for lubricating the rails. I have never had a problem with anyone over oiling and never had a problem with the rails drying. Sometimes when the carriage has dirt under the bushings I have taken a syringe and needle and directly squirted mineral oil 1-3 cc's under the bushing and then moved the carriage back and forth and then done it again. This will often cause old dust and dirt to show up on the rail as I move the carriage. If it does, I keep repeating until I don't see more dirt coming out from under the bushings.
They are right when they say don't use WD40...it turns to snot on the rails and makes an awful mess. You CAN use triflow or sewing machine oil. HP will sell you rail oil for $40 USD per ounce. But if you are going to throw away that money, send it to me and I'll sell you baby oil for that amount!
When I first get and old machine, I strip it down and clean up the inside of old dust and ink and then I remove the old belt and use a dental pick to take out black residue on the motor gear and on the tensioner wheel (if it is the style with three grooves around.) If you don't do this the gear teeth on the motor can't smoothly move the belt.
Next I empty the spittoon, if there is one and replace it adding a "Mr Clean Magic Eraser Sponge" as it will absorb lots of ink and keep it from overflowing if someone moves the machine in the wrong direction while relocating it in the future.
Now I put the new belt on and put 5-7 drops of oil on the rail and vigorously move the carriage all the way to the right and all the way to the left. I also put a few extra drops in front of the cutter on the rail and manually slide the cutter all the way across and back. After all this I wipe off the rail with a paper towel and look to see if there's lots of black residue, if there is I start over again with putting more oil on the rail and moving the carriage and cutter. I keep repeating until the rail is clean and nothing shows on the paper towel and then I add oil drops again and call it complete!
These machines are so sensitive to any friction on the rail that this cannot get too much oil or too much attention!
The white plastic gears don't really need anything...I've never seen any wear on these. However, I always scrape the pink grease off the edges and put it back on the gear surface as a good will gesture to the machine! But you can use any third party silicone grease. I've also used silicone plumbers grease.
I see these old machines like classic cars and give them so much attention when I'm rehabilitating and refurbishing them. They are like beautiful old ships and almost as big! I call them "she" just like they were boats...and when they don't work they are just big boat anchors!!!
The only other thing that I can think of that might cause juddering/shuddering would be if you put the bushings for the carriage on backwards. I've only seen that once before and it didn't move as smoothly as it should.