Repair of Epson 4180 scanner DIY

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Senior Member
Feb 24, 2005
Yesterday late near midnight, I was scanning some bill (a receipt).
The Epson scanner suddenly gave aloud ratcheting noise and the indicator light on the scanner turned red.
It malfunctioned. The scan head just stuck at the front.
Tried about 5 times to on and off it. Every time, loud ratcheting noise.

I Googled and found in US, other people faced same problem with Epson scanners. Different model, though. They repaired a higher model 4490 and showed how.

My 4180 was a different model but you get the general idea.
So went to sleep and today at about 10 pm got to experiment.
Dismantled the whole thing - the US guys tell you how.
Can remove the whole glass top and now after cleaning, it is like new. Maybe even better than new.

The breakage was due to two small plastic tabs that hold the sping loaded assembly with tensioning wheel of the roller
belt. These two plastic tabs were moulded as part of the under-casing and were so small and weak that they will surely break after some usage. (my scanner was some years old).

I drilled (hand drill) two holes. Use the second smallest drill bit.
Use the short self tapping screws (happened to have 2 readily at hand) that you can easily find in Sim Lim Square PC shops. You must remember not to tighten the screws too tight. It must hold the spring loaded thing down but at the same time allow it to slide to and fro. It must have "give" in order to work well.
These have washers or flat head to press down the metal part holding the guide wheel.

Use something to cover up the two screw ends now protruding from the base. I use two plastic washers. This is to prevent you from being accidentally scratched if you forget and you move the thing about later.

Reassembled the whole thing and tested. It works a treat. The plastic tabs seemed under-designed for the job they had to do. The scanning assembly is a moving part and will subject the plastic tabs to much stress over the years.
If I showed you the very tiny plastic tabs (broken off bits) you will be shocked. Maybe you will say, "How can?!" people manufacture something like that.

Saved time and money- No need to take leave go to service centre.
Maybe quoted high repair cost or worse, they say beyond repair after inspection. Must buy new one.

Total time taken - 20 minutes.
Total cost - zero.

This is the usefulness of Internet. Without the how-to from the US guys, I would never have figured it out and wanted to try the repair on my own.

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