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Parker 51 Vacumatic Leaking Ink

parker 51 filler unit vacumatic

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16 replies to this topic

#1 Vindiction

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Posted 23 October 2018 - 19:05

Hi everyone. A few months ago I received a Parker 51 Vacumatic as a graduation gift from a family friend, and it's since become one of my favorite writers and the centerpiece of my EDC. However, I ran into an issue yesterday with the filler unit. When I'm depressing it, it feels as though it's grinding or like the spring is having some kind of issue, and, most peculiar of all, a small quantity of ink comes out onto the plunger knob when I bring the plunger back out. The ink still fills fully and holds ink, but could the diaphragm have begun failing, or could this be an issue with the entire unit itself?

In that vein, for repair work, would it be more economical for me to just send it to someone for repairs, or to try and do the repair myself?

Thank you!



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#2 Ron Z

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Posted 23 October 2018 - 19:23

Unless you know that it has been restored, I would assume that the diaphragm has failed.  The outer edge of the diaphragm acts as a gasket as well as the pump, so unless the thread bushing is loose, or has worked loose, ink at the back end indicates a failed diaphragm.

 

As for whether you should repair it yourself or not, let me ask.  Have you ever repaired a pen before?  Do you have the tools to do the repair - at a minimum you need a vac block or vac wrench to get the filler out, and a way to get the hood off, not to mention the diaphragm, tools to scrape the old diaphragm out, a pellet pusher to install the new diaphragm,  and if you take off the hood, a way to seal the threads again.  Do you really care about the pen?   If the answers to the questions except for the last one are generally no, you may want to send it to a qualified pen mechanic.


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#3 pen lady

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Posted 23 October 2018 - 19:34

Please take heed.  Ron is absolutely correct.  A precious Vac 51 shouldn't be the first pen you try to repair.



#4 Vindiction

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 04:24

I think the threads are still stable, as the ink only comes out through the same hole that the plunger knob is in, so I'm thinking the diaphragm has probably failed. I'll likely send it to a repair man as I like the pen too much to risk it, do you have any suggestions for who could do this well (and cheaply if possible)? 

Edit: Is the diaphragm in its final, failing stages? I assumed it would stop inking completely when it fails, I was not expecting ink to come out of the hole where the plunger is while filling it.


Edited by Vindiction, 24 October 2018 - 04:30.


#5 Marcwithac

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 04:44

I think the threads are still stable, as the ink only comes out through the same hole that the plunger knob is in, so I'm thinking the diaphragm has probably failed. I'll likely send it to a repair man as I like the pen too much to risk it, do you have any suggestions for who could do this well (and cheaply if possible)? 

Edit: Is the diaphragm in its final, failing stages? I assumed it would stop inking completely when it fails, I was not expecting ink to come out of the hole where the plunger is while filling it.


I’ve had two vacs repaired and Ron Z did them both.

#6 FarmBoy

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 05:12

Where in California is your pen located?

There are some rather active clubs in the SF Bay Area and big club in the LA area.

 

Could be someone local might be of help.

 

I recall there being repair people that attend functions of said groups mentioned herein.


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#7 peterg

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 09:29

If you have a small hole in the diaphragm the plunger will still produce enough vacuum to suck up ink.



#8 Vindiction

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 19:11

Where in California is your pen located?

There are some rather active clubs in the SF Bay Area and big club in the LA area.

 

Could be someone local might be of help.

 

I recall there being repair people that attend functions of said groups mentioned herein.

LA Area, I'm going to try and ask a few people I know at a local club if they know anyone who can help with it, or I'll send it to Ron.



#9 Vindiction

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 19:12

If you have a small hole in the diaphragm the plunger will still produce enough vacuum to suck up ink.

I'm thinking this is probably the case, I just have to wonder if there's a mechanical defect with the filler that caused that hole in the first place.



#10 Ron Z

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 20:19

The latex of sacs and diaphragms fails over time and with use. More in this article on my blog.   What ink you use does make a difference. 


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#11 ac12

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Posted 26 October 2018 - 01:42

Old pen, good chance that it may have not been restored (diaphram replaced).

 

Even a tiny hole is not welcome, if you put the pen in your shirt pocket.


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#12 tingsam501

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Posted 01 November 2018 - 08:35

Funny enough, I need a pen mechanic as well... but I may have a different problem.

 

Just purchased a Parker 51 Vacumatic off eBay.  I'm guessing the seller only tested the pen and didn't realize that there was something amiss... Of course, the description didn't tell me whether or not it was fully restored... but the seller had a 100% rating so I went with it.

 

Anyways, looks like the pen is leaking from the nib... but the plunger also gets stuck about 3/4 down.  I got enough suction to draw up some ink, but after replacing the cap I found the next time I wrote with it the barrel towards the nib was inked up... 

 

I can't go to the Sunday meet ups since I have work in the afternoons... anyone have suggestions on someone to contact?  Or any guess as to the range of cost for a repair?

 

Thanks and cheers!



#13 Ron Z

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Posted 01 November 2018 - 12:04

Sometimes I wonder if people even see the information below my posts.   :rolleyes:    Repair rates are on the website. 

 

Your pen's symptoms are typical for a pen with a failed diaphragm.  It may pull in a little ink now, but it is only a matter of time before it fails completely, and you'll have ink coming out at the back end too.


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#14 JerseyGirl0807

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Posted 01 November 2018 - 20:48

Ron- I just bookmarked your website. My pens are new but one never knows.
I have not failed. Ive just found 10,000 ways that wont work.
Thomas A. Edison

#15 tingsam501

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Posted 02 November 2018 - 07:56

Thanks Ron!  I'm going to bookmark your site as well!



#16 Honeybadgers

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Posted 04 November 2018 - 08:51

If I didn't have a full plate right now with a PFM and two dorics to restore, I'd have offered to do the restoration.

Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)


#17 Vindiction

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Posted 08 November 2018 - 23:09

Ah goodness, I completely missed your info Ron. I'll likely send mine at some stage.







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