Remanufacturing the Toner Cartridge or the Minolta SP101 Engine <I>— An Update —</I>
Steve Skinner has more than five years of hands-on experience in the office products recycling industry and is a valued member of the Color Image technical staff.
Color Image is a toner manufacturer located in Norcross, Ga. For information about products and their application methods, call Color Image's customer service at (800)
783-1090/(770) 840-1090 or fax (800) 783-9010/(770) 840-7029.
Introduction Date: November 1989
Print Speed: 6 ppm
Resolution: 300x300 dpi
Paper Handling: 250 Sheets
Yield: 6,000 pages at 5% Coverage
- Dry Compressed Air or Vacuum
- Spring Hook
- Phillips Head Screwdriver
- Screw Starter
- Small Flat Head Screwdriver
- Type Wash 'R' (or a like cleaner)
- Cotton Swab
- Cotton Applicator
- Wiper Blade
1) Begin with the cartridge on its back and the waste section facing you. Tape the drum shutter to the waste section (see #3). Remove the two small Phillips head screws from both drum axles (see #4).
On the left side of the waste section, locate and remove the two black plastic pins using a small screw starter. Gently push on the pins while turning to the right. When you feel the screw starter catch on the
pin, pull straight out (see #5 & 6).
2) Remove both drum axles (see #7). With your left hand, push on the hopper and the waste section simultaneously to make room for the drum to be removed.
3) Lift the drum straight up from the spur gear end (see #8). If you plan to reuse the drum, clean all toner from its surface and set aside in a light-proof area until final assembly. Remove
waste section by lifting and pulling from the left side (see #9). Holding the waste section upright, remove the spring from the center using a spring hook (see #10). Locate and remove the two small black plastic pins from each end of the wiper blade, pushing from the inside out (see #11). Once the wiper blade is removed, a black plastic piece to the left of the spring will be free and should be removed before cleaning. (This piece engages the printer to supply tension on the wiper blade.) With the wiper blade removed, dump the waste toner and thoroughly blow or vacuum out the waste section. Replace the tension piece, wiper blade, pins, and spring. Set this section aside.
4) The next step is to separate the corona assembly from the toner hopper. There are two ways of doing this. You can cut through the label at the seam and remove the top connecting screws or you can remove the label completely. I prefer to remove the label. It may add a couple of minutes of labor, but I think it looks more professional (see #12).
5) With the cartridge right side up, hold the corona section to the hopper and remove the two Phillips head screws from the top of the hopper (see #13). The corona section and the hopper will now separate. Using a cotton swab dipped in 99% alcohol, clean the corona wire (see #14). Flip the section over and, using a dry cotton swab, gently clean the rubber blade behind the corona (see #15). Set this section aside.
6) Remove the Phillips head screw from the side of the hopper that holds the cap on and remove the cap (see #16). Holding the large gear in place, remove the Phillips head screw and then
the gear (see #17).
7) Remove the small transfer gear to the top right of the large gear (see #18). On some models, this gear is held in place by a locking washer. Therefore, it does not need to be removed. Using a small flat head screwdriver, pry up and out on the toner fill cap from the side closest to the large gear (see #19). This will add some stability to the ridge around the fill cap. If damage is done to the fill cap, replacements are available. Dump remaining toner. (Note: Do not blow or vacuum the hopper until the developer roller is removed.)
8) Remove the small black retaining rings from both ends of the developer roller (see #20). Remove the developer roller by lifting on both ends at the same time (see #21). The stepped gear just below the developer roller can now be removed (see #22). Inspect the post that supports this gear for damage (see #23). It is quite common for this post to break during the factory cycle. If it is broken or damaged, repair kits are available.
9) The toner hopper can now be cleaned using dry air or a vacuum. When cleaning the hopper, turn the gear that drives the small metal roller toward the back of the hopper (see #24). When looking at the hopper from the gear side, turn the gear counterclockwise. The plastic piece that overlaps the roller can be damaged if turned the wrong way. After cleaning with air or a vacuum, inspect the roller for damage or embedded toner. Usually on the virgin cycle, the roller's condition is good enough to obtain the proper tribocharge. However, on the second cycle, it may be necessary to chemically clean the roller. Unfortunately, the hopper must be split to thoroughly clean the roller or to install a seal. Detailed instructions on splitting the hopper can be obtained from suppliers.
10) Wipe any toner dust from the developer roller with a soft, dry, lint-free cloth. Every developer roller I have encountered has had embedded toner on the foil sleeve. In order to obtain maximum print quality and transfer efficiency, the sleeve should be cleaned with a chemical cleaner, such as Type Wash 'R.' Using a cotton applicator dipped in the chemical, clean the surface of the sleeve being careful not to bend the sleeve ends (see #25). Use a cotton applicator dipped in 99% alcohol to remove any residue.
11) Notice that the OEM applies a black solution to the metal blade located just below where the developer roller was. I believe that this is some sort of lubricant to reduce friction at start up. The edge of this blade should be chemically cleaned to remove all signs of the solution and any embedded toner. Using a cotton swab dipped in the Type Wash 'R,' clean the metal blade just below where the developer roller was. Wipe with another swab dipped in 99% alcohol (see #26). Be especially careful to not bend this blade or get any chemical on the foam pieces located just under each end (see #27).
12) With the hopper in an upright position, replace the transfer gear (if removed), stepped gear, developer roller, and retaining rings. The hopper can now be filled and recapped. Replace the large gear. Hold the gear with one hand when replacing the screw so it does not move (see #28). This is done so that the small metal roller does not turn the wrong way against the plastic strip that overlaps the roller as mentioned in step 9.
13) Replace the cap on the side of the hopper (see #29). Attach the corona section to the hopper (see #30). Turn the cartridge on its back and replace the waste section (see #31). Using
the same method used to remove the drum, replace the cleaned drum (see #32). Be sure to use a dry lubricant on the drum and wiper blade such as Zinc Sterate, Kynar, or fresh toner.
14) Finally, if at all possible, post-test the cartridge. This will distribute the toner to the developer roller. If you do not post-test, the roller will be dry when your customer installs the cartridge and his first few prints will not have the proper fill.
Special Note: There are three main users of the Minolta SP101 engine, Epson, NEC, and, of course, Minolta. The Epson version can be used to test all three with a slight alteration. On the guide rails of the Epson, a small plastic tab extends over the top of the rail to prevent the NEC version, with its "tear drop" on the top right, from being used (see #33). Simply cut off this tab and you have a machine that can test them all.
This article originally appeared in the April 1997 issue of Recharger.