This is a PDF document. If you cannot go there by clicking the link then go to http://www.smithcorona.com and click the FREQUENT QUESTIONS link then the MANUALS link.
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do you have it past the leader ( the red part)? there is a sticky place just before the actual corr. tape starts. you need to pull this loose before you put the tape on. it should turn counter clock wise. the tape should all be on the round spool, not the spool with the knob. if this info doesn't help - let me know. never seen the corr. tape stick so that you can't turn it by hand.
Correction tapes do have a shelf life and can dry out. You should try replacing the correction tape and see if it is better. If that does not fix it, does the tape lift up high enough to cover the entire letter? If not, you have a lifting problem and will need a tech to fix it.
either; 1. you have a non-correctable film ribbon, (it should say correctable film ribbon on the box or the ribbon itself) you can check by taking a piece of scotch tape, hold it next to the letter you want to erase, sticky side towards the paper, and hit the CORR key, CAREFULL YOUR FINGERS AREN'T IN THE WAY. if it corrects, the ribbons ok. 2. make sure the DULL side of the corr. tape is faced toward the paper
Be sure the corr. tape not a tacky kind, then type some thing and correct it watching the mechinism th see which one turns and in what direction. Install the empty spool on that hub thread the L/O thru the guides with dull side facing the paper and then the full on the supply hub. there may be two or more guides depending on the printer.