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11-11-2021 17:12:59  #1

Are Selectric I's More Reliable?

I was wondering about this. Given that the Selectric one is somewhat simpler than the following models (or so I assume), there would be fewer parts to break?



12-11-2021 12:22:21  #2

Re: Are Selectric I's More Reliable?

Here's an answer found on Reddit:
quote level 1mistertopconAs an IBM Selectric Tech for 33 years, I've repaired 1000's of Selectrics. I would not buy a Selectric one because after so many years the cycle clutch spring and hub are probably worn down to pencil points. Same with shift clutch. The interposer restoring bale keeps breaking,(good luck finding that part.) It had a dual transport system that used steel cords,(good luck finding the right size and somebody that know how to thread it,too.) And, it had a two shoe carrier return. The Selectric 2 second level, was probably the best typewriter made. You could order it with or without the correction feature. It had few problems. It had an express backspace, ingeniously added to a one piece carrier return shoe arm. It had a few vices though. The backspace pawl would wear out because the pawl was loose and had no stabilizer, they fixed this on later 2 models. The carrier return tensioner would break and your transport cords would wrap themselves around the op shaft. This was never fixed but we techs found a repair kit we got from Coleman that never broke. There are a few other things that are germane to all Selectrics and I will get to them later. The Selectric 3 was a kind of good machine. They redesigned all the bad parts on the other 2 machines(except the cord tensioner).and went from an 88 character machine to a 92 character machine. But added a couple of parts that I swear the engineers must have been sniffing glue when they designed them. The first headache was a 2 piece filter shaft. The 1&2 had solid filter shafts. But, because of the extra characters on the 3 they had to have a longer one. Instead of just making another solid one they decided to economise and make it 2 piece. This might not have been a problem if there wasn't 2 cams at the end of the shaft that had to be in the exact position (no tolerances) after each keystroke. If not, the escapement or the spacebar wouldn't work. This was a pain in the butt. I can't tell you how many typewriters we had to replace and send the bad ones back to the factory. Sort of a recall. The second thing the matter was the correction torque bar. the correction mechanism wouldn't work. In their great wisdom IBM decided to replace the metal torque bar with a plastic one. After the machine warmed up just a little the torque bar would sag not allowing the correction mechanism to engage. there was only one cure. Replace it with a metal one. After about the 6th one I had to change, I had had it. I called the IBM engineering dept. in NY and lectured them on the tensile strenth of extruded plastics. ''We'll look into it was all I got."" Well somebody listened! We got an engineering change notice that told us to replace all plastic ones with metal as we found them with no charge to the customer. Those were the 2 main faults with the 3. Now for the things problematic to all Selectrics, there is a little plastic bushing between the Cycle Clutch and the op shaft in the middle of the machine. This eventually wears out. When you turn the machine it will thump loudly and none of the machines functions will work. Neither selection or operational features will work.Must be replaced.#2, Selectrics must be cleaned and adjusted at least once a year. Flush out the old dried grease and replace with new. Have you seen those little skinny wires that stick out of the carrier? Those are your rotate and tilt tapes for your selected characters. Believe it or not, these metal tapes stretch. If not adjusted, the tapes can break (and cause a bigger job) or break the teeth on your element (font). Lastly the motor bushing must be changed when the machine starts clicking. NOW FOR THE KICKER! I would not buy ANY of these machines unless it was shipped to me in the original box. Your asking for trouble any other way. I don't care how many layers of bubble wrap that's around it or how many peanuts surround that. It will arrive broke. How does this Happen? You may find broken platen knobs or bent platen shafts. the whole bottom row of keylevers are smashed, including your correction button and on/off switch. This happens in transit. the frame locks that hold the machine centered in it's case, break off. They are only glued to the cover's front feet leaving the frame bouncing around in its covers smashing the machine. The original box had the machine screwed down with cover shocks to a hard, thick piece of cardboard that fit the inside of the box snugly. No movement at all. Never got a broke one. When I had my own business, I read in our trade journal a whole list of rebuilders. I thought that was a good idea. Buy them wholesale, sell them retail. Was I wrong. Out of 3 wholesalers they all arrived this way. Bye the way....If your platen comes with deep ruts in it, it cost almost $100.00 to have it recovered.unquoteI can only add that the Selectric 1 is more stylish, and that I (and many others) have successfully shipped Selectric ii's without damage - see Duane's good video on the Phoenix Typewriter youtube channel. Also if you look up Clark Hinson on the TWDB or, he might be contacted for a very knowledgeable opinion.


12-11-2021 20:39:52  #3

Re: Are Selectric I's More Reliable?

Hey RatRod. Thank you for posting this. Very informative!

     Thread Starter

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