There have been some printers that seem to be more prone to the fuser drive gears failing well before they seem like they should be having a problem. Most printers seem to go for hundreds of thousands of pages before there is a problem with this part of the printer.
The bigger boxes even approaching a million sheets before having trouble. This area of the printer does take a lot of stress or torque from the stopping and starting of the fuser unit and drive assemblies so wear is to be expected at some point in the printers life.
The more the printer has to start and stop will of course shorten the life of any moving part so how the printer is used will also determine how long parts will last. Once a printer is up and printing it’s much easier for it to keep going rather than stopping and starting again, like when only small jobs are being printed. So the page count alone is not the only determining factor in how long these parts will last. This will hold true for other moving parts in the printer as well, such as the fuser and other drive assemblies.
The HP 42XX/43XX series of printers has the now famous swing plate problem. This assembly of two gears that engage the main drive unit to the fuser is prone to failure. The gears slowly erode, the teeth wearing down making noise and then finally jamming as the printer can no longer drive the paper through the fuser.
Tell tale signs are the noise of course but if you were to remove the fuser unit,(with the power off ) you might notice a pile of what looks like paper dust. This is actually the plastic gears that have ground themselves down. Whenever maintenance is performed these gears should be checked for any signs of wear and replaced.
The HP P3005 and the HP 2400 printer drive gears do not show any signs of wear until after you have replaced the fuser unit. What happens on these models is as the fuser ages the plastic bushing that holds the pressure roller wears down. As this occurs it will put more downward pressure on the set of gears that drive the fuser. The plastic residue from the worn bushing can be seen on the fuser frame itself.
When the fuser is replaced it now sits back in the original position. The fuser drive gears most likely will not mesh correctly now. A rattling or grinding sound will occur if this is the case. It’s not the fuser that’s the problem but the fuser drive gears themselves that need to be replaced when the fuser is changed. These are available in a kit, a package of the 5 gears.
The HP P4014/4015/4515 printers have a set of gears that drive the fuser assembly as well. It appears to be a re-designed version of the swing plate from the 4200 series printer. It’s not an assembly but 6 gears comprising the fuser drive section. They incorporated a much bigger and stronger looking gear that’s connects to the fuser unit. These are failing as well and only 3 out of the 6 gears are available at this point. This printer is pretty noisy to start with so you might not notice the gears wearing away.
The HP color CM6030/CM6040 MFP and the HP6015 color printer can develop a problem in the fuser drive section as well. These models might come up with 50.7 fuser error, which is a pressure release mechanism failure. Replacing the fuser makes no difference as the error does not clear.
The problem is not with the fuser but with the gears that drive the fuser. There are 2 gears that engage the fuser and one of them just splits causing this error. There are 3 pieces involved here, RC1-8925 damper gear, RM1-3247 one-way gear assembly and a ball bearing, XG9-0586 in case it gets lost in the printer.
More HP LaserJet Printer Maintenance Resources
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