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Fixing a Smith Corona Typewriter?

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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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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
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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77 More 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.

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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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 105 Posts
January 6, 20181 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. If none of this helps then it has to be an issue with the print head.

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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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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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February 7, 2021

I have a Smith Corona Typewriter SL460. When typing, the hammer hits 3 times, can this be changed?


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Gold Feedback Medal for All Time! 949 Feedbacks
February 7, 20210 found this helpful
Best Answer

Is this a new machine to you?
Or have you been using it before and this just started?
Have you tried cleaning this machine?
Do you have a manual for your machine?

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Do you mean that each letter hits three times?

You probably need to take the cover off to see if it needs cleaning. This link might help even though it is showing a manual typewriter.
www.typewriters101.com/how-to-clean-a-typewriter.html

If it is one letter that is causing the problem you may be able to straighten it but do this carefully.
You can join Reddit and ask your question as they have a ton of vintage typewriter people.
www.reddit.com/.../
www.reddit.com/.../

This is a forum and they may be able to help you.
typewriter.boardhost.com/

manual:
www.smithcorona.com/.../Spellmate.pdf

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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.Keys Sticking on Coronet Super 12 Typewriter - electric typewriter with the top case cover removed

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
August 17, 20181 found this helpful
Best Answer

The levers that the keys are attached to may be bent. Open the cover and check.

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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 196 Feedbacks
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!!

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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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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

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February 1, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

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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November 12, 2020

My Smith Corona SL 460 won't turn on when I plug it in. What do I do?


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November 11, 2020

I have recently gotten into using an typewriting as a fun way to send letters to my girlfriend during college. (cheesy I know, but also useless introduction.)

I have a Smith Corona sl500 and have been using it for a few weeks when I started having problems with the letters not fully forming when I type. I took a look at the ribbon and it does look like there are some overlap problems where the previous letter hasn't moved far enough before the new one is struck but I am not sure how I could fix this problem. Any input would be greatly appreciated!

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 105 Posts
November 11, 20200 found this helpful
Best Answer

I am not sure how old your ribbon is. If you are having this issue it could be caused by the ribbon being too tight or too loose to advance correctly. In cases like this, it could easily be because one of the ribbon carriages is damaged and needs to be replaced.

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Normally on typewriters, you can try turning the ribbon carriage and see if it is turning correctly or skipping. If this is the case replace the ribbon carriage.

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Gold Feedback Medal for All Time! 949 Feedbacks
November 13, 20200 found this helpful
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I had one of these many years ago and I remember if the ribbon was 'old' (even if it had not been used very much) the ribbon would not always make clear letters on paper. Not sure why but it may been because it had dried out in spots.
You are fortunate that even Walmart carries ribbons for these.
www.walmart.com/.../220372075

If you need more help there are several forums (many people truly love vintage typewriters) so you might check some of these if a new ribbon does not do the trick.

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typewriter.boardhost.com/register.php

Reddit is a good site but you may have to have help finding the right group to join.
www.reddit.com/.../?q=vintage%20typewriters

filthyplaten.com/.../

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January 6, 2020

I have a Smith Corona typewriter. It appears to be working fine, but when typing there is no print. I changed the ribbon, but doesn't seem to have any effect. What is wrong with it?


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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 105 Posts
January 6, 20200 found this helpful
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Check to see if the ribbon is installed correctly. Make sure it is in the middle of the keys so when the keys hit the ribbon it prints on the paper. Second, check the ribbon to see if t he keys are hitting the ribbon when you press a key. If the keys are not hitting the ribbon it will not print on the paper. You may need to adjust the keys on the typewriter to make sure they are striking the ribbon when pressed. Also check the ribbon and make sure the ink on the ribbon is good and that it is not dried out.

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Gold Feedback Medal for All Time! 949 Feedbacks
January 6, 20200 found this helpful
Best Answer

There are numerous model of the Smith Corona so one solution may not fit every typewriter model.
You do not say if your typewriter is new to you or if it was working before you changed the ribbon so it's difficult to really know what is going on.
Do you know that you have the correct ribbon?
Have you installed a ribbon on this model before? There are some adjustments that have to be made when installing ribbons.

Take a look at what this Smith Corona typewriter tech has to say and maybe you can ask them if you're still having trouble. Your problem is covered on the first page - just scroll down the page.

www.vintagetypewritershoppe.com/vintage_typewriters_22.html

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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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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
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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May 23, 2021

I just got a Smith-Corona Electra 120. So the half space works, but none of the keys will move to type. The plug works and everything, but none of the other keys will work.

I was wondering how to fix this as I would like to use it.

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Silver Feedback Medal for January, 2021. 10 Feedbacks
January 16, 2021

My Smith-Corona Automatic 10 typewriter stopped typing. When I click on the keys, it doesn't make a noise or even try to type anything. How do I repair it?

An automatic typewriter.
 
The inside of an automatic typewriter.
 

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October 26, 2020

I have a Smith Corona Electra 2 typewriter. Whenever I power it on it makes a bumping sound and the keys don't work. It is very old. Plz help me repair it.


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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 105 Posts
October 26, 20200 found this helpful
Best Answer

Normally when you hear this bumping sound it means that the carriage return is not moving and is stuck. It appears that the belt on the typewriter is stuck or you are having a problem with the carriage return on the machine. I have found a repair video that is on YouTube that shows you how to deal with this problem. Here is the video www.youtube.com/watch?v=XP7bjrRgsLU.

If this is not your issue it may be necessary to take this into a repair shop for service. You may need some new parts to repair your old typewriter.

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Gold Feedback Medal for All Time! 949 Feedbacks
October 28, 20200 found this helpful
Best Answer

I'm sure this typewriter needs a proper full cleaning.
This is an electric model and will be more complicated to clean or repair than a manual typewriter.
People buy older typewriters for many reasons but if you plan to use this one it may be worth putting some cash into having full service/cleaning.
You may be able to find a typewriter repair shop in your area that you can ask about the cost of cleaning (it can be expensive but not always so try to check this out).
There are repair shops listed online but I'm not sure how they work but no harm in asking.

I would suggest you join some of the typewriter forums and ask for help with this problem(s). These members are usually glad to help and will know all the questions to ask so they can put you on the right track. They also know where to buy parts and supplies that I feel sure you will need sometime in the future.
These forums usually like to see a picture of your typewriter so have available if possible. Reddit is the best but can be a little confusing for new members.

www.reddit.com/.../
www.bogleheads.org/.../viewtopic.php?t=242593
typewriter.boardhost.com/

Other help sites:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQF0EHC57wc

www.thriftyfun.com/Fixing-a-Smith-Corona-Typewriter...

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