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Pelikan 400 Leaks Out The Nib (Though Writes Dry)


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I just acquired an m400 that becomes really drippy after being used or stored nib-down for ten minutes or so. It is bad enough that I can very gently shake it and get it to drip fat drops of ink. My other pens (including m205) do not do this.


The piston is fine, the nib writes a little dry but is otherwise ok. I have taken apart the nib unit completely and reassembled without any change in the pen behavior. All the pieces of the nib unit look ok and fit together well, but I don't have any experience in this regard.



Can someone recommend something obvious to check? Otherwise could you recommend a good Pelikan specialist? I'm ok spending to send it out (and they could smooth and adjust the nib while they're at it!)




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Try Indy-Pen-Dance.....or Pendleton Brown.....

You could contact Richard Binder....I know he would be able to help, but he is now retired and limits his repair work; it would be done on a case-by-case basis..

Wouldn't hurt to get in touch with him....he'd at LEAST be able to steer you to someone who can lend a hand....

Good luck!!


Always try to get the dibs....on fountain pens with EF nibs!!

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Look closely for any cracks in the section. Use a flashlight. Another possibility could be a failing piston seal. An incompetent seal can cause a pen to gush a bit of ink. Hope it's an easy fix whatever it may be.

PELIKAN - Too many birds in the flock to count. My pen chest has proven to be a most fertile breeding ground.


THE PELIKAN'S PERCH - A growing reference site for all things Pelikan

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Thanks for the suggestions — indeed I can see how a barrel, section, or piston leak/crack could cause dripping. I'll check these.

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All the above are solid suggestions and should be tried. But first I would eliminate any issues with the nib. Take the nib out of your m206 and put it in your pen. If the issues still persist, then start looking for cracks and piston seal leaks.

I know from my experience with a Parker 21 that hairline cracks in the section are hard to find, but cause big leaks. Good luck, let us know what you find..

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I swapped the nib units between the two pens and filled both. The dripping problem follows the gold nib.



After swapping the nibs I ended up with an m205 that drips readily (after scribbling on paper for a bit). The m400 body fitted with the m205 nib, on the other hand, fills and writes great and requires a quite sharp flick to emit even a drop.



I did first use a flashlight to inspect the m400 barrel and saw no cracks. Visually the piston seal is not uniformly dark all the way around, but it seems to seal fine anyway.



A new gold nib unit looks like it will be $75-100, about what it would cost to send the pen to someone for repair.


Perhaps I'll just sell the pen.



(edited to fix some terminology)

Edited by de_cupertino
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I forgot to mention: the m400 has the older style feed with the lengthwise grooves on the underside. My m205 is a modern one with the crosswise comb-like feed grill. The two are interchangeable, but the modern one is a tight fit in the older pen, probably because of that extra metal ring around the nib/feed sleeve. I'm not sure it would be wise to purchase a modern nib unit for use in the older pen. Perhaps that would put too much stress on the section.

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Check the nib collar, it may have a crack in it.

You should also check if the nib is properly set on the feed. If it isn't, it should be an easy fix. There are some threads on this board that deal with heat setting ebonite feeds.

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Actually the nibs are interchangeable. You can pick up used nibs on eBay, I once got lucky on Overstocks.com and bought two gold plated steel nibs for $21.

The gold nib may not be seating properly in the section. You might try a little silicone grease on the rhreads only. It may be enough to seal any air leaks.

As a last resort, you could send the gold nib out to a Nibmeister like John Mottishaw. Much less costly than a new nib.

Parker/waterman use to have a nib exchange program. Not sure if Pelikan has such a thing, but it would be worth asking.

Hate to see you get rid of a pen because of a replaceable nib.

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