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Author Topic: Z3100 HP printer belt  (Read 2985 times)
hencha
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« on: September 02, 2010, 06:13:00 PM »
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Hello... Am in need of replacing a Z3100 printer belt. It's not broken, but on part of it the grayish 'rubber' covering is / has come off. The printer works fine, but the prints come out with little specks / pieces of that material all over them. Must change the belt, I guess. Anyway, I was shocked at what HP charges to come and replace a simple belt; even a local repair person suggested to me by HP started to pile on the $$$ while telling me what was involved. Have decided to do it myself and was told it's feasible by buying the belt & a kit, etc...

I am quite handy and am fairly sure I could get it done, but nevertheless do not wish to have a bad experience. So, I am asking if anyone out there who has done this could relate their experience. A company named LPS Computer in Escondido, California (an HP sanctioned company, as confirmed by a call to HP) sells a kit with "all that's needed" (I would need to also buy / replace the tensioner). They assured me that someone mechanically inclined CAN do it and I think I can. Any help / suggestions ??   TKS,  Henry   

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hencha
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« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2010, 12:45:49 PM »
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The same thing happened to me (this week). The belt is purchasable from HP for about $46 (24"). I ordered it with expedited delivery at 3pm, and the belt was on my doorstep at 9am the next morning. There's an z3100 wiki at http://z3100users.wikispaces.com  , and the service manual can be found at http://z3100users.wikispaces.com/Maintenance+Tips. FWIW, it's an excellent manual, giving a very good step by step (with pictures) procedure for replacing the belt. Bad news is, you almost have to disassemble the entire printer to get to the point where you can replace it.  It took me a day, but the printer is back up and running. The service manual also has the steps you need to take to run diagnostics afterward, and to re-calibrate the printer.  You'll need #8,10,15 Torx bits, alcohol for cleaning.. that's pretty much it.

good luck!

(seems that *everyone's* belt is self destructing over this last month)
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deanwork
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« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2010, 11:20:54 AM »
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I've used my Z for 3 1/2 years everyday and they finally came by to replace my belt last week. I was noticing the small black rubber particles sticking on gloss media if I didn't blow out the carriage area with compressed air, so it was time. The belt was worn but but not that bad. Eventually it WILL have to be replaced.

It took the tech 2 hours to do it and he did a great job. Yea he had to remove all the outer covers of the printer but it didn't look that difficult just time consuming. You can actually hear the tension being back to the level of a new printer. He also replaced the waste tank assembly and the head cap station on the other side at the same time because I asked for that and everything was taken apart anyway.

 This was sort of like a  3.5 year tune up. He said I should be good for another 3 years. They would like you to keep buying their ink of course.  Unlike the Epson large formats, the actual steel carriage rod doesn't wear out. I was told by this guy that you can keep these machines running for a long time as long as the heads and inks are available if you replace components. It' like a modular system that has it's good and its bad points.  The other component that can go bad over time is the hard drive. In that case they pop another logic board in in 5 min.

The cost of replacing the belt alone would have been $1,000.00 US. That is about the price of my 3 year extended warranty so all this and previous work has been free. Mine seems to run like new and it is totally clean in all respects now.  I have to say that I was very impressed by the skill and professionalism of my tech, who has been here twice. He keeps calling back to make sure I was totally satisfied and all is cool. It all happened within 24 hours of my call. Stay in warranty or face the consequences is my philosophy. If you are happy with the printer I believe you can keep updating the warranty. I might even do that one more time in Feb.

john
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Colorwave
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« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2010, 11:33:42 AM »
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When I just had my belt replaced, they replaced the belt, service station (a big assembly on the right), spittoon (pads on the left), printer carriage, ink supply lines and a few other parts.  With all of those new parts, they still did not replace the tensioner, which seems pretty robust to me.  I would think that if it was at all questionable, it would have been replaced as well.  I wouldn't assume that you need to replace yours unless you have a specific reason, as it is all metal and mainly just a couple of moderately strong springs.
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walter.sk
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« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2010, 09:42:38 AM »
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The cost of replacing the belt alone would have been $1,000.00 US. That is about the price of my 3 year extended warranty so all this and previous work has been free. Mine seems to run like new and it is totally clean in all respects now.  I have to say that I was very impressed by the skill and professionalism of my tech, who has been here twice. He keeps calling back to make sure I was totally satisfied and all is cool. It all happened within 24 hours of my call. Stay in warranty or face the consequences is my philosophy. If you are happy with the printer I believe you can keep updating the warranty. I might even do that one more time in Feb.
john

My Z3100 is 3 years old.  Unfortunately, I never bought the extended warranty.  I have been noticing occasional black specs on the surface of prints and have wiped the surfaces of the printer clean, which seems to alleviate the problem for a few prints, but then it returns.  I assume now that it is my belt self-destructing.  My printer gets very light use and I am only on the 2nd set of full ink cartridges in the 3 years.  Shouldn't it be possible for HP to use a more durable material for the belt?

In addition, I have had to wipe ink off the inkwell on the right side of the head carriage in order to avoid ink smears on the prints, and I assume that the reservoir is in need of changing.

Do you know if it is possible to buy an extended warranty from HP, in view of the fact that I have never had one?
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Roscolo
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« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2010, 11:44:25 AM »
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Any of you folks who have had the belt replaced, did you take a good look at the replacement belt? The original belt on this printer would seem to be poorly designed and, well, crappy, to not last more than 3-4 yrs. Is the new belt the same as the old crappy belt, or does it look better, stronger, not "flakey?" Maybe it's not just ink HP wants to sell. Maybe it's BELT REPLACEMENTS. Mine is hanging in there, but I'm none too happy knowing I will eventually have to replace it. And I don't even mind replacing it. Clearly it's a poorly made belt. What I DO mind is if I replace the belt, that I will be replacing it with another flakey, crap belt. Notice any improvement in the new belt? Did the tech explain why they made a belt that produces flakes inside a printer that should be kept clean?



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Colorwave
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« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2010, 02:44:56 AM »
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Mine looks the same as the old one.  I think that the plasticisers in the rubber breaking down or migrating out of the rubber, which makes it friable and slightly chalky.  In my case, I thought it might be high ozone levels that accelerated the demise of mine (volcano in my back yard, you know), but after reading more reports of the same, I'm beginning to doubt it.  I was shocked to see that HP packages the belt in a huge flat box to avoid making it take any hard bends, yet the belt makes many thousands of passes around a small diameter pulley on either end during it's lifetime.  The belt isn't HP's finest engineering accomplishment.  I know at least some previous Designjet printers suffer from the same problems.  Do Epson and Canon have the same sort of issues, I wonder?
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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2010, 03:07:01 AM »
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Do Epson and Canon have the same sort of issues, I wonder?

The Epsons use(d) a steel belt that need precise tensioning for the right grip. On the 9000s and 10000s I was familiar with it could happen that they broke instantly in use. Whether with a head/paper jam or on metal fatigue. And not really user replaceable without the right tools.


met vriendelijke groeten, Ernst Dinkla

Try: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wide_Inkjet_Printers/

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deanwork
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« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2010, 05:22:52 PM »
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I think you can continue renewing the warranty at any time. The tech told me the price might be determined by the condition of the used printer and its age. I would give them a call.

john
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walter.sk
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« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2010, 08:03:10 PM »
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I think you can continue renewing the warranty at any time. The tech told me the price might be determined by the condition of the used printer and its age. I would give them a call.

john

Thanks, John.

The problem is that I never had the extended warranty...just the original 1 year warranty.
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hencha
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« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2010, 06:28:27 PM »
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Hello... After placing the original post / question way back on the 2nd, I checked every day for replies that would bring help and boost my confidence that I could do this somewhat intricate job. When I did not get any for days, I gave up checking. However, I just finished the job 2 hours ago and thought to check once more for replies; very surprised & gratified to see many worthwhile suggestions.

I'll be brief... After calling 3 or 4 places and being told it would cost $$$ (HP = $1066 !!!!!!) and require this and that, I decided to call LPS Computer in California and bought their "kit". Took a few minutes to look at the manual and realized this was going to be quite involved. One practically takes apart half the printer simply to get to / change a belt. What a lousy design !!  Might be purposely done this way, to be able to charge big $$, as most people would not attempt changing belts themselves on their printers. The actual belt changing is about 10% of the job.

Imagine the serious daily 'stress / strain' that car belts operate under and, yet, they last YEARS through heat, cold and high speed !!  In comparison, how much stress is a printer belt under, really ?  HP could never convince me that they could not produce or manufacture belts that could last at least 9-10 years through thousands of prints. The belt used in this printer is simply too thin and not wide enough. Examining the damaged belt I removed from the printer convinced me of its low quality...  I'll keep that in mind when buying my next printer, even if years from now. HP shoud think of a better design.

By the way, this belt changing CAN be done by a reasonably handy & PATIENT person, if willing to take time to follow the steps. This aside, this HP 3100 is an excellent printer, producing consistently great prints. I just made 2 large prints to check my work and all seems OK.

Simple suggestion = might want to consider less tension on the belt (adjust the tensioner...). The printer came with the tensioner all "OUT" to its tightest position; I think that might have been too much 'pulling stress' for such a thin belt. I adjusted the new one with about 30-40% less tension (estimating...) and still seems to work well, although i'll keep an eye. 

TKS,  Henry
 


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hencha
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« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2010, 12:00:09 PM »
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Same thing happened to me. I have the belt sitting here waiting to repair right now. Specks of rubber falling off and the whole 9 yards. Very annoying. Seems like a really shotty belt. I have a designjet 800 sitting here for about 8 years now and no problems.
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stevenf
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« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2010, 11:42:55 PM »
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Does the z3200 have the same belt?

Thanks Steven
http://www.friedmanphoto.com
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Damir
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« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2010, 03:58:37 AM »
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Any of you folks who have had the belt replaced, did you take a good look at the replacement belt? The original belt on this printer would seem to be poorly designed and, well, crappy, to not last more than 3-4 yrs.

I suppose that elasticity of belt is reversly proportional to the precision of work. If you have elastic belt that will last longer it will stretch unpredictebly therefore it will not be able to position heds properly and with desirable precission.
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deanwork
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« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2010, 01:03:46 PM »
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Good question! Are they still offering the same crappy belts to us when we need the part? I'll bet they are. I didn't see any difference in the one they replaced on mine. The tech said they have not changed the belt design because I asked a few months ago when they did mine. If it wasn't so difficult to change it wouldn't matter, but it IS quite difficult or most of us.

The heads are cheap, reliable, clean running, and quite durable, and can be changed in a few minutes, which is the best situation out there. The carriage bar is very well made and won't wear out like most of the Epsons over time,.... and then they go and put this sad driver belt in the mix.  Listening HP?

It wouldn't be done on purpose though, no way. Fact is they want these machines to keep working, they hate bad press, believe me, they don't want you moving to Canon or back to Epson. The printers and repair, and phone support is where they loose money, where they make money is you continuing to purchase those 130 ml ink carts. It is All about those ink carts and media.

john
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Colorwave
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« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2010, 01:16:28 PM »
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where they make money is you continuing to purchase those 130 ml ink carts. It is All about those ink carts and media.
That's the whole marketplace, in a nutshell.  Ink, ink, ink.  I have no idea how much money they lost changing my belt at the end of my extended warranty, but it involved a plane flight, a rental car, and a whole day for the technician. 
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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2010, 01:38:52 PM »
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The heads are cheap, reliable, clean running, and quite durable, and can be changed in a few minutes, which is the best situation out there. The carriage bar is very well made and won't wear out like most of the Epsons over time,.... and then they go and put this sad driver belt in the mix.  Listening HP?

john

If you do a google on Designjet + belt you will see it is/was a common repair on all the Designjet models. I guess HP sees it as something that should be replaced within the lifetime of the printer. Service, ink and media are bringing in most of the money for printer manufacturers. Whether they get it up front with a service contract or later on in repairs.


met vriendelijke groeten, Ernst Dinkla

Try: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wide_Inkjet_Printers/



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