Question about IBM Wheelwriter 30 Typewriter

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Wheelwriter 3500 only printing top half of letters

Our church's school has a IBM 3500 wheelwriter which started only printing the top half of the characters. I pulled the ribbon and it looks like it is being lifted to the correct position as the imprints are in the middle of the ribbon but is only the top half. I have pulled the type wheel and it looks ok and locks in place correctly. I manuall move the hammer and it looks like it it hitting correctly but not sure.

Help and thanks,


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  • 3 more comments 
  • BMoorman Dec 16, 2008

    My wheelwriter 15 is doing the same thing. I have put both the letter wheel and the ribbon in another machine and they work fine. I would try the solution already suggested but what is a platen?

  • Anonymous Feb 19, 2009


  • Bookssu Apr 14, 2009


  • makesomebull May 20, 2009

    I also have the same exact problem, the ribbon is correctly in place and the wheel is working well, but the only depression that is made on the paper is the top half of the letter.

  • Anonymous Mar 26, 2014

    Half of the letter show up only.


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Sounds like the platen is not fully seated in the side frames, align the black latches with the frames and press firmly on both sides of the platen. the latches do occasionally crack in witch case you may need a platen replacement.


Posted on Mar 20, 2008

  • cnward Jul 06, 2011

    The Platen is the big black roller that the paper wraps around so the hammer can strike the character against the paper solidly. The solenoid is the cylinder that drives the pin to push the arm that swings the hammer.
    DickyO's solution worked for my Wheelwriter 15. I also cleaned stickers out from underneath it and cleaned ink off of the pressure rollers located under the platen.


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