I love my IBM Selectric but haven't used it in a while. Now, when I type, it only slightly advances, leaving a long black, thick line where the characters should be. Also the spacebar doesn't appear to be advancing.. any suggestions that I can try myself (oil?) before I take it to a repair shop?
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Left Rear chrome lever with ABCDE or - marks should be towards the typist and the red ball next to the typing ballo should be moved to a higher number. Messy printing is caused by paper not being held tight against platen(black roller)
If this takes a selectric II ribbon the Spiked driver may be gummed up. Remove the ribbon, find the latch that holds the ribbon mech. open, release it the ribbon drive should swing freely to the right, if not spray some WD40 on the pivot point, above and below the arm then work it back and forth it should free up.
Several possible causes. Needs lubrication most commonly. Sometimes the velocity cable is hung up on the left side and under the carriage. remove the ribbon and shine a light down on the left side and look for a cable hung up on the pulley, make a hook with a paper clip and lift the cable up and past the pulley
First check to be sure that the ribbon is on the left of the shock wire where it comes out of the cassette, if that is OK then check the ribbon driver it should move freely and swing to the ribbon take up spool. Some WD40 will free it up. Also be sire the ribbon is winding in the direction of the arrows.
on the left far side of the ribbon there is a white vertical post. the ribbon should be on the left side of that. also make sure you turn the ribbon the direction of the arrow (on the cassete) otherwise will need professional repair