Question about Brother MFC-640CW All-In-One InkJet Printer

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How to replace the printhead? Or should I?

My MFC-640CW was wonderful until it quit printing in red and yellow. May have been the cheap ink I was using. I went through many cleaning cycles to no avail. I bought some cleaning solution and made up some dummy ink cartridges with it, but many more cycles yielded no improvement, and the printer finally gave the "unable to clean" call. So, I figured the print head was beyond repair. I bought another broken MFC-640 on eBay with the intention of swapping printheads. This one won't feed paper and cries "paper jam". So, here's my question: which one should I try to save? Would it be easier to swap printheads and fix my original printer, or salvage my printer to fix the gear problem in the other printer?
I'd be inclined to do the printhead swap if it's not difficult, as at least I know the history of my printer. But how does one swap printheads?

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Re: how to replace the printhead? Or should I?

Firstly, yes the cheap ink has KILLED your ph! The missing of some important additives in the ink get you there. Saty away from generic ink carts!!!! Do refill the original brother ones with a reliable and good DYE ink.

To get it clear what error code does the eBay one give to you after pressing menu then start bk copy then 4x arrow-up?

Plz post it here. (might save our both time and energy).

Posted on Dec 10, 2007

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Brother MFC-640CW All-In-One yellow not printing

if your print head is removable (the thing your ink cartridge clips into) remove it and clean it out with asorbic alcohol on both the print face and the ink inlet area- If your yellow has been empty for a while before you bought a new cartridge, it is possible that ink has dried in the ink channels of the print head and this is almost impossible to repair and you would be better off buying a new print head- Also if you have a fairly new printer you can contact the manufacturer about your issue and they may or may not send you one for free- My KodaK AIO had the same issue and Kodak replaced the print head for free all I had to do was take the time to call them

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MFC640-CW how to remove printer head

DO NOT remove the ph!

What you can do is to run the initial set-up for carts:

Place ORIGINAL ink carts into machine!

Press menue then start b/k cpoy then fourtimes arrow up. machine turns to maintenance mode. press 7 then 6 then 4 then start b/k copy. machine initializes the carts and do some very special cleaning. When finished press 7 then 6 then 3 then start bk copy. Machine runs an exrta power cleaning. press 0 (Zero) then 9 to print a test print.

If your lucky the cheap ink hasnt affected the ph nozzels.

Do refill the original carts with a mixture of glycerol (from drugstore) and DYE ink (e.g. jettec) only:
For C/Y/M mix 3ml of 85%-Glycerol with 10ml of DYE ink.
For BK mix 2ml glycerol with 20ml of BK dye ink!

Shake very well and wait a few minutes to let the airbubbles out of the mixture before refilling!

The glycerol prevents the nozzles from drying out ;-)

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1 Answer

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Error 50: encoder strip (foil paralell to ph traveling path) is out of the ph sensor. You have to push the ph to the very left, open ph cover and reinsert the ph so that the foil is in place within the ph. check by pushing it left /right: the foil must run plain without a wave infront ph.

Buy a new waist ink tank as a spare part from a service partner near your home who can be found at the brother homepage of your country.
NEVER CLEAN A WAIST INK TANK! The cotton will be as stone after it dried up and refuses to take up waistink. Ink will destroy the inside of the machine (and furniture beneath the printer).

You have to do a reset within the eeprom. When you ve bought the new ink absorber plz post here again. Will give you the code then.

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Unplug printer from power. Wait a minute. Take all carts out. Plug machine to power. mfc demands carts. Reinsert carts (have a look if they all filled with ink!!). If asked press 2 (No change) despite you use a new cart press 1 Yes cart changed.

Should work!

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Did you use third party carts?

If yes, buy original brother ink carts and do the cleaning cycle again. If you are lucky the printhead isnt clogged due to the third party ink which has not the additives and glycerin needed for the printhead to run without probs.


In case the head is clogged there is nothing more what you can do. Sorry!  A replacement might costs more than a new mfc 440cn!

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Do use original ink carts though these wont drain and give correct info to printer. You can very simple refill them with dye ink. Dye ink only!!!

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