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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Replacing the Chassis/Body Shell Bushings on an Olympia SM.

A few days ago I stumbled across a very nice Olympia SM-3 in grey crinkle finish.  I was thrilled to bring it home, but my excitement evaporated quickly as tried to type out my first line.  The carriage would advance to the 20th space on the platen, but no further without grinding.  My first thought was carriage issues or even worse, escapement. But the problem disappeared when I hit the shift lock.  So I checked the body alignment and sure enough the tab stops were hitting the top edge of the body shell. 

Time to replace the chassis to body bushings.  As common as this problem is, it should have been this first thing I checked on this machine. 

As you can see, the original bushings are slowly turning to goo and will need to be replaced.  These actually are not too badly degenerated.  At this point I can just remove the screws one at a time and pop out or scrape out the old bushings, slide new ones in  and replace the screws.  You may need to gently pry the body shell away from the chassis to break the old bushing away from the metal. 

This picture shows the proper size bushing you will need to provide proper spacing.  

This is a simple operation, but you will have to turn the machine upside down and place it one a well padded surface to keep from damaging it.  Try not to let any of the old rubber fall into the machine as it be like a bit of Oobleck in the machinery, only black instead of green an no apologies, sincere or otherwise, will dissolve it.  

If you've done it right, it will restore body shell alignment so your carriage and body shell are properly spaced like the machine to the right.  


Later we will look at what you have to do if your bushings look more like this.

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