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Ribbon issue The ribbon will not advance on my Selectric will not advance.

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Make sure it is outside the wire with the plastic sleeve located just past wher the ribbon exits the cartridge on the left side and that it is not in stencil position.

Posted on Jul 25, 2008


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I have a IBM Model 5651 Memory Typewriter (Selectric II carriage), and I cannot make the ribbon advance while typing. If I turn the ribbon it will type until the ‘ink’ runs out. It’s just not advancing. ...

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.


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Go to and click your way to publications there you will find a manual with pictures and instructions on the ribbon.


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The ribbon won't advance on my IBM Selectric III typewriter. It's a new ribbon and it's on the outside of the shock wire and the lever is closed.

When the lever closes does the driver move to the right and aganist the ribbon, they get gummed up and stay opened. If this is a generig ribbon the top of the ribbon cassette will sometimes get in the way. If the ribbon isn't lifting you may be in stencil .


Jan 29, 2010 | Lexmark Wheelwriter 15 Series II...

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The ribbon is probably not threaded to the lift of the white slacker finger just left of where it comes out of the cassette.


Sep 30, 2009 | Lexmark Wheelwriter 15 Series II...

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IBM Selectric II Ribbon Not Advancing

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.


Jun 15, 2009 | IBM Office Equipment & Supplies

1 Answer

IBM Correcting Selectric II; correction ribbon frozen in front of typing ribbon.

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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Don't know how to load and string the ribbon on an ibm selectric

Selectric III has two different ribbons the selectric II ribbon tha the ribbon guides are part of the macine and the "bicycle" ribbon that has the guides bilt into the ribbon. to replace the "bicycle" ribbon move pull the red lever on the right toward you, drop the ribbon in turn the knob a few times in the direction of the arrows, move the red lever back done.
The other style move the lever, drop the ribbon in, be sure the ribbon is left of the slacker finger sticking up on the left,thread it tru the guides, turn the knob inthe direction of the arrows, move red lever back,done.


Feb 24, 2009 | IBM Wheelwriter 30 Typewriter

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Ribbon not advancing on Selectric II typewriter

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

Nov 18, 2008 | Office Equipment & Supplies

1 Answer

IBM Selectric III Typewriter Ribbon help

There are two different ribbons for the selectric III one has the ribbon lift guides built into the ribbon the other the guides are part of the typewriter. The first is a General Ribbon T=387 the other is a G.R. T-385.

Hope this helps;

Sep 01, 2008 | Lexmark Wheelwriter 15 Series II...

1 Answer

IBM Selectric III - ribbon won't turn

Make sure the ribbon cartridge lever is closed and that the ribbon is on the outside of the shock wire (where the ribbon exits the left side of the cartridge)

Jan 20, 2008 | Lexmark Wheelwriter 15 Series II...

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