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Correcting IBM Selectric II Typewritter correcton ribbon won't engage

We have an IBM Selectric II Typewritter that will not correct. When you press the correction key it goes back but the typewritter ball and correction ribbon don't engage at all. They correction key is merely acting as a backspace key. Any suggestions? Thanks for your help!

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  • Cambs May 27, 2008

    After replacing the ribbon on 2 separate machines (both of the machines are IBM Selectric II's) the correction function is no longer working. The correction tape and ribbon are properly installed but the tape is not lifting the characters off of the paper. I can see where the correction tape has been striken and the character on the page even appears to be 'slightly' lighter than the others after a correction is attempted but it is not completely lifted. Could it be possible that the ribbons that were recently installed in the 2 machines are "non-correctable"? :(

  • kstockman Jan 08, 2009

    I am having the identical problem. After trying 3 different brand new correction tapes - no luck - the correction function is no longer working.
    The correction tape and ribbon are properly installed but the tape is
    not lifting the characters off of the paper. I can see where the
    correction tape has been striken and the character on the page even
    appears to be 'slightly' lighter than the others after a correction is
    attempted but it is not completely lifted. Can't seem to find anyone near Franklin, TN who works on these so maybe someone out there will have a suggestion. Thanks, KS

  • sulli002ink May 15, 2009

    SAME AS ABOVE. WORKS AS A "BACKSPACE" AND DOES NOT CORRECT.

  • James Cagle
    James Cagle Oct 06, 2014

    are you using a ribbon with a yello or orange core?

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Elements with white lettering on the top will work on the Selectric I and II. Elements with yellow lettering on the top will only work on the Selectric III and Electronic Models 50, 60, 65, 75, 85, and 95.

Elements with a solid triangle are 10 pitch only.
Elements with a open triangle are 12 pitch only.
Elements with a solid circle are proportional spacing and will only work on certain models of the early electronic machines 95, 85, 75 and 50 I believe.

Posted on Feb 01, 2015

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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..

Posted on Apr 19, 2009

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When you hit the correction key and it backs up, does it stay in the same spot but not correct or does it space when you type the character again? Your problem could either be a sticking mechanism that is preventing the parts to move freely, poor supplies or the machine may need some adjustments. I am an ex-IBMer and these machines are not easy for the untrained person. I could tell you if I saw the machine but to tell you specifically what to look for and where to look would be to time consuming.

Posted on Feb 04, 2015

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I have witnessed many times that the supplies from certain vendors do not do as well as other vendors. Some of the cheap lift off tapes and ribbons are not doing you a favor. I have also discovered and shown customers in the past that recycled paper can cause this trouble. Fine adjustments may also be needed.

Posted on Oct 24, 2013

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I know my 88 charter type ball(s) a.k.a. type elements will work on my IBM selectric I. Will the same 88 charter type ball work on the IBM correcting Selectric II?

Posted on Jul 05, 2008

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Elements with white lettering on the top will work on a Selectric I and Selectric II. Elements with yellow lettering will only work on Selectric III's and electronic models 50, 60, 65, 75, 85, and 95.

Posted on Mar 20, 2009

  • ibmcollector Mar 20, 2009

    On correcting Selectric II and III machines, make sure the ribbon knob is either yellow or orange and that the correction tape is orange and not yellow. Correction tapes that are yellow are dry lift off tapes for electronic machines. Selectric correction tape needs to be tacky and have orange spools on them.

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I'll try this again. On IBM Selectric correction you must press the correction kry then press the letter you are trying to correct.

DickyO

Posted on May 19, 2008

  • Dick O Reilly Jun 02, 2008

    To Cambs



    Sounds like you have very old supplies on a non correctable ribbon on the T/W. Correctable ribbon have a yellow or orange knob.



    DickyO

  • James Cagle
    James Cagle Jan 02, 2012

    do you have the correction tape on with the shinny side facing you?

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