Changing Printwheels

Print-wheel characters are somewhat delicate, so changing them requires close attention. If you take proper care of your print-wheels, the characters will last almost indefinitely. For more information, see the page on Print-wheel care and maintenance. Before changing print-wheels, make sure your machine is up to operating temperature, then follow these steps. . .

Be careful when working anywhere near the print-wheel heater-box. The heater-box, print-wheel, print-wheel retainer, and everything around this area is HOT.

1. Lift the front guard. This will shut off power to the machine, and the print-wheel will tilt backwards.
2. Place your hand under the left spindle side-plate and lift so that the heater-box tilts forward, then open the heater box door. You can now let go of the spindle side-plate. The heater-box door will contact the front cover of the machine and keep the spindle in place.
3. Insert the T-handle tools into the print-wheel.
4. While holding onto a T-handle, loosen the spindle retainer bolt with the print-wheel wrench. Remove the retainer and set it aside. Be careful: the retainer will be hot.
5. Holding onto the print-wheel with both T-handles, carefully pull the print-wheel off of the retainer and remove it from the heater box. The print-wheel fits closely inside the heater box - be careful not to damage characters by banging them against parts of the heater box.
6. Set the print-wheel aside and remove the T-handles.
7. insert the T-handles into the new print-wheel. When installing the print-wheel normally, the serial number should be facing you when inserting the T-handles. When installing the print-wheel for reversed stamping, the serial number should not be visible.
8. Holding onto the print-wheel with both T-handles, carefully move the print-wheel into the heater-box. Again, be careful not to bang the print-wheel against the heater box.
9. Rotate the print-wheel so that the alignment pin in the spindle nose-piece fits into the key-slot in the print-wheel body. If the wheel is cold, it won't fit easily over the nose-piece. Don't force it. Instead, loosely install the print-wheel retainer so that the print-wheel won't fall off of the nose-piece. It will sit crookedly over the nose-piece. Don't worry about this for now. Just make sure that the retainer is installed finger tight so the wheel doesn't go anywhere.
10. Remove the print-wheel wrench and T-handles, Lift the spindle and rotate the heater-box forward, then close the heater-box door.
11. Lower the front guard. Power to the machine will turn back on.
12. Wait for the machine to heat up. The print-wheel is designed to fit very precisely over the spindle nose-piece. When a print-wheel is cold, it won't fit. When it has been heated, it expands, allowing it to slide down over the nosepiece. After the wheel has been heated somewhat, you may start to hear a slight rattle. This means that it can now be properly installed. The print-wheel should be at least 150ºF (65ºC) before it will fit easily over the nose-piece.
13. Open the heater box door again, insert the T-handles, and carefully remove the nose-piece again.
14. Verify that the print-wheel properly fits over the alignment pin in the spindle nose-piece, and re-install the retainer. Don't overtighten the retainer bolt, just make sure it's good and snug.
15. Remove the tools, close the heater-box door, and lower the front guard.

You've now changed the print-wheel. Make sure the machine is fully up to temperature before stamping. Also, when installing a reversed wheel, make sure that the wheel orientation has been properly set in iStamp.