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Fixing a Smith Corona Typewriter

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Even in this day of computers, tablets, and smart phones some people still like to use an electric typewriter. Repairing one can be a challenge, as you will probably need to do the work yourself. This is a guide about fixing a Smith Corona typewriter.
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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
July 30, 2015

I have a Smith Corona Super 12 Coronomatic typewriter. When the X key is pressed the letter strikes the page repeatedly until the key is released. When you press the other keys they strike the page only once no matter how long you hold the key down. What is wrong and how can it be fixed?

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Anonymous
May 12, 20160 found this helpful

They are designed to repeatedly strike on certain keys. It has to do with the pressure and duration of the key depressing.

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October 7, 20160 found this helpful

Mine does the same thing!

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October 7, 20160 found this helpful

What if it's not typing across the paper as I'm hitting the keys? Could that be fixed/could I fix that myself?

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October 25, 20160 found this helpful

I have a Smith Corona XL 2500 and I found 2 small springs inside the case when I lifted the top. Where do they go ?

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December 1, 20160 found this helpful

My type writer was working one day and then next, carriage won't return. What do you think this might be. I don't like to type on pc. Want my 1989 typewrter.

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By 0 found this helpful
April 11, 2016

I have a Smith Corona electric typewriter that has recently stopped working. It turns on, but seems like there is no power going to the keys.

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April 13, 20160 found this helpful

Typewriters are an obsolete technology, and you are going to have a heck of a time finding anyone who can fix it. Since you are asking questions online, why don't you just switch over to your keyboard and a printer?

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September 4, 20160 found this helpful

Is this really your answer??

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October 25, 20160 found this helpful

My Smith Corona electric typewriter was working yesterday, today the lock button is flashing & I don't know what to do or what it means.

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February 28, 20170 found this helpful

I should direct you to Richard Polt, as well as Lady Gaga (the famous one of the two) who both use typewriters; also, let me advise you towards reading what some of the people on Mr. Polt's website think about typewriters, and why they still use them. To answer your question in a shorter time than it would take for you to read the plethora of information on Mr. Polt's site, though: It's a different reason for each person; me for example, it's the nostalgia, the sound, sometimes the musty smell of old ink ribbons, grease, and oil that some of my typewriters are absolutely drenched in (older electrics) or that they're just dabbed with (manual typewriters). Also, I'm old fashioned: and thus prefer something that's consistently reliable (over 60% reliable), where as printers run out of ink faster, require a connection to the computer, take up extra space; computers take time to boot up, they crash, sometimes the file doesn't save properly, or doesn't save at all; I can type faster on typewriters, and some manual typewriters you can knock off a table on accident, pick them up again, and they'll still work (I did this on accident once, and I hope never to do it again.) Also, you don't need to wait for the work to be printed, because it's being printed and edited as you operate the machine (especially if you have a correction-typewriter, which will erase mistakes when you hit the backspace key, as the backspace functions on a computer). I prefer reliability, and quality, over the 2 or 3 seconds per page that a computer saves you. Also, typewriters force you to think, as well as learn how to spell, use punctuation, and how to use grammar. Whenever I type something on a typewriter, I sit down and review and revise the work; with a dictionary and thesaurus next to me, or in my lap--and that should be something you do, even on a computer, because spell-check still isn't perfect, and will not always help you.-- This is why I use a typewriter; some people may feel the same, or similar, some may feel differently. Also, finding someone to fix the typewriter isn't always as hard as you think: especially with manual typewriters. With a manual typewriter, all you need to fix it, are tools, guesswork, and some common sense... and patience. For the question of a power issue in the keys: What model Smith Corona is it? Sometimes wiring will go bad between the transformer and keyboard... and sometimes the machine needs re-greasing and re-oiling, to free up the mechanism; or in a more modern, worst-case scenario: the keyboard might be dead entirely (if it's a daisy-wheel typewriter). The old mechanical-electric typewriters (essentially a manual typewriter with a motor attached) need a some of grease and oil over the years to keep going; and more regular use than a manual typewriter, which typically can sit a long time without use. Best thing to do with the keyboard not working, is look for typewriter repair shops in your locale; they usually know something, and they're usually someone who worked on them "when they were still new". Also, a final word to Louise: NOTHING is obsolete; because there will always be somebody who still can use it for something. Tube radios are outdated, but not obsolete; typewriters are outdated, but not obsolete: you can always type addresses onto post cards or envelopes with a typewriter; computers can't do that; because envelopes are too small for them to print on.

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By 0 found this helpful
August 18, 2016

When plugged in unit makes humming noise? What is the cause?

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February 28, 20170 found this helpful

The humming noise is natural; there is an electric motor inside the machine that runs the operation. If the machine is working, and isn't run off a computer chip, don't worry; it's just the motor. When I got my first mechanical-electric typewriter, it was vibrating and humming when I turned it on, and I got worried, so I took the lid off, and turned it on again after bypassing the safety switch (DON'T BYPASS THEY SAFETY-SWITCH); and looking inside. there's a little electric motor or some sort inside all electric typewriters, and sometimes that motor runs operates the keys (you'll know because the typewriter will look like a manual typewriter with a chord hanging off of it); that motor hums, and vibrates a little. Think of it like a cat: if it's humming (purring), and vibrating, that means it's happy. Or think of it as a person: humming typewriter=happy typewriter; don't worry, nothing is wrong. Sometimes the humming was intended, so you'd know the typewriter was turned on; like how your car's blinker clicks to let you know it's turned on.

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February 28, 20170 found this helpful

To update my answer: I have almost the same typewriter, The Smith-Corona Coronet XL "CoronaMatic". This was a typewriter I literally pulled out of someone's trash, ribbon and all, and it worked like new, looks like new. There is indeed a motor on the back of the unit, the motor indeed, does hum. The humming means it's a happy typewriter, working fine, and is indeed receiving power from the electrical outlet. The motor is in the rear-left corner of mine. My backspace key got stuck though, recently, and I need to get it looked at by the typewriter repair store down the street tomorrow.

Enjoy your typewriter, and remember to give the types (the hammers that swing up and strike the paper) a light oiling every month or so. Just one or two drops at each end of the rack (the spot where the types hinge on the machine, at their base), and take your finger, and wipe the oil from one side of the rack, along the hinges of the types, to the other side, then do the same the opposite direction. I'd suggest Zoom Spout High Quality Turbine Oil; that's what I use on mine. Be careful not to over-oil the machine though. This keeps the machine operating; and thus, keeps the machine humming, and keeps you typing.

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By 0 found this helpful
June 9, 2016

I have a Smith Corona electric typewriter, the number 8 ad these keys o, i, & l will not type.

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By 0 found this helpful
February 1, 2011

I plugged in my Smith Corona electric typewriter (color gray and portable) into a 230 volt socket and it needs only 110-120 volts. It turned off suddenly and smells bad, but no smoke came out. It burned. It didn't burn like a burnt piece of wood. Can it still be fixed? If yes, what does it need to have replaced? There are a lot of electricians in my place.

By David from Philippines

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
February 1, 20110 found this helpful

Nope. You've fried the circuitry and modules. If you contact the company they may be able to send you new guts. Good luck!

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February 1, 20110 found this helpful

Other than buying a new typewriter you might try a shop that repairs typewriters. They may have the elements to repair the typewriter if they think it is savlvageable. Of course you might try out the typewriter in a 110 volt receptacle to make sure the circuit boards are cooked.

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February 3, 20110 found this helpful

Can it be repaired by an electrician? And by the way, my country uses 230 volts instead of 110 volts. I don't like to plug it in a voltage converter, it may get worse. I don't see any typewriter repair shops in here because its all computers and printers. You know that most of the old stuff is fading away from the world.

by David

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March 24, 20110 found this helpful

I know what's the problem in here. I checked it a while ago and it was a fuse. Where can I get a fuse for this typewriter in Philippines? This brand is SL575 Spell, Right Dictionary.

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April 20, 20110 found this helpful

Thanks anyway, I found a repair shop for my typewriter. Maybe I can convert it to 220 volts instead of 110 volts.

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February 24, 20150 found this helpful

I have a Smith Corona H series electric typewriter. The typewriter ribbon doesn't advance when I type. It just stays in the same spot. So I end up with skips in the printing. How do you fix it?

By Dorothy K. from Bohemia, NY

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
January 25, 20170 found this helpful

Mine is a Smith Corona Dictionary Typewriter and it does the same thing. The ribbon does not advance. Anyone have any ideas on how to fix this?

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April 1, 20130 found this helpful

I just acquired an old Smith and Corona Electra 220 typewriter and am hoping to get it in proper working order. The typewriter is in near perfect condition except for the fact that the "V" key does not work. If I press the key the arm does not move and the bit that holds the ribbon where the key strikes has a complete spaz. Interestingly enough, I can move the arm manually with my finger, but I can't move any of the other keys this way which leads me to believe that something has become disconnected. All of the other parts work well and if I can get this key to work then I'll have a great typewriter. Thanks for the help.

David

By David W.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
September 29, 20140 found this helpful

Hello,

There is a bar that connects the key face with the finger key. You will need to look inside the typewriter and carefully reconnect them. You should see the "V" bar dangling inside and the hook to connect it to will stand out as different than the rest of the bars.

Good Luck!

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By 0 found this helpful
November 24, 2006

I have a Smith Corona SL500 electric typewriter that I haven't used since got computer. When turned on the lock light blinks. The manual is missing. Would any one have an idea how to fix or where can get manual? Thanks for any ideas.

a-frugal-lady from Lewiston, ME

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
November 25, 20060 found this helpful

Hello Frugal Lady,

You may just have a genuine antique on your hands.

I had one until recently and decided I would sell it, but I remember that light going on and think it may be the shift lock light. Try hitting the shift key.

Meanwhile, I did a Google search and found the Smith-Corona website that has some operating manuals:

http://www.smit  cftoken=72552408

Check out the various manuals (you need Adobe to open the pdf's) and see if you find a solution. Play around with the keys. You probably can't break it! Before you do anything, first try shutting it off, unplugging it and doing a fresh start-up, just to see if it resets.

Good luck,

An old secretray who started out on manual typewriters in the 1960s.

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Anonymous
October 21, 20160 found this helpful

No longer offerred on the website

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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