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Selectric won't type

Keys don't move, like they're frozen

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DO not use WD40 it will gum your typewriter up within 6 months or so and it is hard to get out, use a good gun oil. I have been in the typewriter repair business since 1958 and know it will from Experience

Posted on Apr 30, 2013

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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SOURCE: My IBM Selectric System 2000 Wheelwriter

The plastic cap on the print solenoid is probably broken. We sell them with installation instructions for 20.00 including shipping. DickyO Cleveland Business Machines 216-241-0027

Posted on Jun 04, 2009

JayBlair
  • 328 Answers

SOURCE: The keys on my IBM Selectric III typewriter

First; depress the tab key. If that unlocks it, then you need a return clutch or torque spring replaced. Does the spacebar or tab key work? Sometimes you can gently press everykey on the keyboard and eventually one will release and unlock.

Posted on Jun 05, 2009

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How do I unlock the keyboard of IBM Selectric III???


The Selectric typewriter has several "interlocks" that can cause the keyboard to be locked. When you turn the machine off there is a mechanism that locks the keyboard. When you turn it on the part should move and unlock the keyboard. Sometimes this part sticks and the keyboard will remain locked. When you type any character the keyboard is locked to prevent two keys trying to type at the same time. The machine locks and unlocks very fast. One keys is locked in and prevents others from working. try turning on the machine and hitting every key just a little bit harder and see if it then types. When you shift, as the ball is turning the keyboard is locked temporarily so it won't attempt to type as the ball is turning as that would damage the machine. Sometimes the shift mechanism can cause the keyboard to remain licked as the shift may not have finished it's complete cycle. Also, the return mechanism locks the keyboard temporarily when the carrier is returning to prevent you from typing when the carrier is moving backwards. Only a qualified technician can resolve those issues.

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I have an Olympia Progress manual typewriter. It seems to be in good working order, well oiled and good action in the keys, except the carriage won't advance when I type. I don't believe the...


try typing with a little pressure on the carriage (push with right hand to the left) if it work like that then the carriage pull cord may be broken

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At this point almost all selectrics suffer from a case of the gummies.
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If you haven't changed the pitch for a long time the lubricants dry up, if you have some WD40 spray it in the slot inthe margin bar where the L. & R. margin levers ride. Give it a few minites to work.

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Under that key is the metal rocker that it operates you should be able to operate it without the plastic keytop. If you know how to remove the case it is fairly simple to replace the plasti part.

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Move the grey lever on the R. side of the carrier to the R. and remove correction tape, try the machine, if it seems to work OK install a new correction tape.

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Correcting IBM Selectric II Typewritter correcton ribbon won't engage


Selectric I and II type elements are identical (88 char) where Selectric III uses a different element (96 char). The 88 character element will have white lettering and the 96 character element will have yellow. Directly underneath the lift-up tab to remove the element will be a 3-digit number. That's the last 3 digits of the element's part number, which will be preceeded by 1167 for 88 character, or 1352 or 96 character. For example, if you have a '052" stamped on the element, and it's an 88 character style, the P/N will be 1167052.

The correcting mechanism is an intricate additional function of the backspace function. To test it/adjust it/or repair it requires the machine be hand-cycled using a hand cycle wheel which is screwed into the right hand side operational shaft. It's unlikely that an un-trained party would be successful repairing this..

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