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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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March 21, 20180 found this helpful

Old typewriters can often be restored to working order with some adjusting or replacement parts. This is a guide about troubleshooting a Smith Corona SL470 typewriter.

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February 22, 20180 found this helpful

Many people still use manual or electric typewriters rather than computers. It may be difficult to find a repair person, so repairs often fall to the owner. This is a guide about a Smith Corona Wordsmith 100 typewriter's hammer not working.

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Questions

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July 7, 2018

My electric typewriter (the Smith Corona 240DLE) does not type complete letters anymore. I can't even type full words that I can read.

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I've read some questions on the site. It might be the hammer, and I might need a new ribbon, but is there anything else I should know?

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July 7, 20180 found this helpful
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The shifter

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July 7, 20180 found this helpful
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I would think either the hammer or a worn out ribbon.

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By 1 found this helpful
January 5, 2018

My Electra 220 Smith Corona typewriter has been working really well for over four years, but ever since I used it last in November, it turns on, but none of the keys work.

I can press them all, but nothing happens. The only keys that work are the half space, and the return key, as well as the shift key. Not even the power return key works, and none of the number keys work. They don't do anything when I press them, and I don't know why. How do I fix this?

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January 6, 20180 found this helpful
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You can start off looking at the ribbon and replacing this. Next, you should clean and oil the carriage return of the machine. Add a few drops of oil to this.

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If none of this helps then it has to be an issue with the print head. But considering you say the power key won't even work it leads me to believe that you have an issue with the carriage return on the typewriter.

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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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August 9, 20150 found this helpful
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This is an extra feature that is for crossing out words. One would have paid extra to have the typewriter configured this way.

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August 17, 2018

I have a Coronet Super 12 typewriter that I inherited from my great grandmother in 2008 when she died. It worked then, but I didn't have much interest in it. I would like to use it for journalling, but some of the keys get stuck. If I hit 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Q, W, E, A, S, D, Z, X, or C, the belt around the small pulley, all the way to the left of the machine, stops moving and I need to turn it off, and roll the pulley back a tiny bit to reset it.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Thanks.

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August 17, 20181 found this helpful
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The levers that the keys are attached to may be bent. Open the cover and check.

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August 18, 20181 found this helpful
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I found a manual for it:

sevenels.net/.../Smith-CoronaPortablesManual.pdf

This gentleman has a whole series on these machines...repair, cleaning, etc. Perhaps one of the can get you back to journaling!!

I miss journaling with a typewriter...my last one finally died a few years ago...before I knew about YouTube and Google. I am sad I did not save it because now I could probably get it back and running and I am not even handy!

www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVLDvPdgebU

Good luck!

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By 0 found this helpful
August 28, 2017

My "E" and "X" keys do not work. How can I fix those on my Smith Corona 220 automatic electric typewriter?

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August 28, 20170 found this helpful
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Hi there. Here is a manual for you:

machinesoflovinggrace.com/.../Smith-CoronaPortablesManual.pdf

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August 28, 20170 found this helpful
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You may have to clean the key switch. Do do that you have to manually pull off the keys on the keyboard and clean the key switch with a Q-tip moistened with rubbing alcohol.

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October 18, 2018

Where can I buy a replacement Smith Corona contact pad?
Thanks for any help.

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By 0 found this helpful
August 25, 2018

I have two keys on the whole machine that repeat when you hold them down or just press them hard to make them hit, and (that's the joke). Any idea how to stop the repeating? How about the not hitting hard enough?

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August 25, 20180 found this helpful
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The levers have to be adjusted to respond to the right amount of pressure. You may have to take it in for servicing

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By 0 found this helpful
August 13, 2017

I was typing on this machine when the print wheel opened up. I changed to a new daisy wheel and it would not type at all. The print hammer would not move to strike the daisy wheel.

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I even tried putting back in the old daisy wheel, but this did not work. Please help me figure out what is wrong. I use this typewriter almost daily.

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August 13, 20170 found this helpful
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This could be a problem with your circuit board moving out of place. You will need to open your typewriter and move your circuit board back in place. This will realign your key and allow your typewriter to type again.

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August 14, 20170 found this helpful
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Here is the manual:www.smithcorona.com/.../WS200Man.pdf

The troubleshooting section says it needs to be serviced by a qualified technician. I'm not sure how easy it is to find someone to fix this. Good luck.

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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.

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By David from Philippines

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February 1, 20110 found this helpful
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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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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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February 28, 20170 found this helpful
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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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August 18, 2016

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

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February 28, 20170 found this helpful
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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
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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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November 25, 2018

I have a Smith Corona 750 Model 5P and replaced the power cord (10 amp). When I started to use it, it blew the 1 amp fuse. I replaced the fuse and turned it on and again same results. What is happening to it?

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By 0 found this helpful
September 23, 2018

I have a Smith Corona Deville 450. Most things appear to work and it would be fine for filling in blanks on a form if you roll the paper manually to where you want to type, but it will not advance on it's own. The code + 3 does not appear to work for spacing between lines. It just retypes over previous line and will not advance to next line to type. Is there any way to fix?

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By 0 found this helpful
November 8, 2018

Where can I buy a print hammer for a Wordsmith 200 Smith Corona typewriter?

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By 0 found this helpful
January 16, 2018

When I plug it in and turn it on it does not make a sound nor does the lamp turn on. I know this typewriter worked before. Where do I even start? I know how to fix jams and broken wires, but I can not figure out what is wrong.

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January 17, 20180 found this helpful
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Go to the Smith Corona website and contact customer support: www.smithcorona.com/

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January 16, 2018

I have a Smith Corona Deville 650. Now all of a sudden while I am typing my letters all change. I can unplug the typewriter and plug it back in and it works for a few letters again. How can I fix this outside of buying a new typewriter?

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January 17, 20180 found this helpful
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Go to the Smith Corona Customer support here: www.smithcorona.com/customer-support.html

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December 27, 2017

I have been calling around trying to fix a 1960 Smith Corona silent typewriter. I've been quoted about 100$ just to fix a typewriter that I purchased for 20$. So now I'm searching for some guidance. I have a key that is broken. It is not necessarily the actual lettering, but the lever underneath the key. I hope I'm explaining this correctly. Also the keys get stuck when I press on them.

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January 2, 20180 found this helpful
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You can try cleaning the keys or gently bending the lever if it has gotten bent.

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November 3, 2017

I have a Smith Corona Electra 110 typewriter. Now when typing the carriage does not move right to left. Only the space bar moves it. The typing keys strike and the ribbon moves, but the carriage will not move. Any fix? Thank you.

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November 3, 20170 found this helpful
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There may be a problem with the escapement mechanism. I read how someone fixed it by soaking it in gas.

Step 1
1. Turn the typewriter upside down, remove the spring that's visible from the hole.

Step 2
2. Turn the typewriter back up, move carriage to the left and unscrew two outer screws from a set of three. Move carriage to the right and repeat.

Step 3
3. Lift the carriage off, turn it upside down and unscrew the plate where the gear is (four screws). The gear didn't separate from the plate in his case,so he soaked it in gas.

Step 4
After the part had been in gas for some time he still had to slowly rotate the gear back and forth before it eventually loosened fully.

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