The swing plate assembly, a small obscure assembly in the right rear of the HP LaserJet 4200 through 4350 series of printers, has recently become very popular. Why? One reason is that, obscure as it is, it has a very important job: to couple the printer’s main drive assembly to the fuser. The other reason is that if the fuser isn’t fully seated (which is unfortunately a common problem in this series of printers), it will “bounce” when the swing plate attempts to drive it. This can damage both the gear in the fuser and the gear in the swing plate. The standard remedy for this condition is to replace both assemblies (fuser and swing plate). The fuser is relatively expensive but very easy to replace. The swing plate is just the opposite: relatively inexpensive but very difficult to replace, at least by conventional methods. An article in another publication detailed a procedure for replacing the swing plate assembly that involves disassembling much of the printer, and that will take an hour or two, even for an experienced technician. But in many cases, this full procedure is unnecessary. There is a much easier way, provided certain conditions are met. If you look at the swing plate assembly (see figure 1), you will notice that it has two gears. One of them (white and on the left in figure 1) couples to the main drive; the other one (black and on the right in figure 1) couples to the fuser. If both gears are damaged, you will have to replace the whole assembly, and this article won’t help you. But, in the majority of cases, only the fuser drive gear is damaged, and it is surprisingly easy to replace just this gear.
Figure 1: The Swing Plate Assembly
At present, you cannot buy just the fuser drive gear, but you can buy the swing plate assembly (still a relatively inexpensive part) . . .
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