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How To Fix Parker 51 Skipping And Hard Starts?


Venemo
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I recently purchased a serviced Parker 51. However it skips terribly, and starts hard.

 

Backstory:

So I asserted that the seller had maybe mislead me about servicing it. So I decided to take it apart and fix it myself. The filler unit works well, so I didn't bother to take that apart. I took off the hood, but realized that the seller didn't lie about it, the collector and feed were completely clean. I re-aligned the nib and feed with the collector carefully, so that the wide air gap on the collector is now precisely over the top of the nib. Then I pushed the nib and feed into the collector as far as they go, and screwed the hood back on.

 

The result:

Flow has improved a little bit (possibly because I aligned the nib + feed in relation to the collector better), but the pen still hard starts and skips and like hell. There is a very tight sweet spot, ie. I can hold it in a way in which it skips much less, and of course it doesn't skip when I apply considerable pressure, but... it is not pleasurable to write with it this way.

 

How can I fix this? What am I missing?

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Nib slit. Is it gapped properly?

 

The nib slit has a wider gap at the breather hole, then it gets tighter, and the nib tines touch together very tightly at the end. Is this the problem?

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The nib slit has a wider gap at the breather hole, then it gets tighter, and the nib tines touch together very tightly at the end. Is this the problem?

yes. The gap should extend from the breather hole and extend all the way through the tip (the gap will narrow at the tip) with the nib installed in the collector with the feeder inserted. With the slit closed no ink will be permitted.

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I discovered something else: the gap between the nib and feed may be too wide. The Parker service manual says that the feed bar must be slightly curved upward at the tip and if it's flat, recommends to mold it upwards a little (over an alcohol lamp!).

 

Obviously I would never use an alcohol lamp or a flame, but I think shaping the feed as recommended might help. How should I do this?

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There are a couple of ways to do it:

1)Warm the feed with a heat gun or hair dryer, then press firmly against the nib and allow to cool while holding it in place.

2)Use the same procedure, but use water that has just cooled a bit from boiling as a heat source instead of a heat gun.

 

A heat gun is the better tool for the job. In either case, be careful not to apply too much heat.

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Dry heat is the best; and do not try this at home, but hot water will work on a 51, AND ONLY ON A 51 (except for very late manufacture (different resin I'm told)). Make sure the water is no hotter than around 180F.

 

Dip the nib/feed/hood only for 30 to 45 seconds, then set the nib. You want to push only on the feed and the top of the hood at the same time and not the nib. The feed will conform to the shape of the nib and it should improve quite a bit. If not, do it again.

 

Doing it with ink in the pen is fine, you'll just make a little mess.

 

Please use any advice at your own risk.

 

Glenn

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So, should I do this after I've re-assembled the pen?

In that case I will still try to widen the nib slit a little bit before that. By now I've messed with it enough that it will need some smoothing too.

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So, should I do this after I've re-assembled the pen?

In that case I will still try to widen the nib slit a little bit before that. By now I've messed with it enough that it will need some smoothing too.

 

Yes, after reassembly and after the shellac has dried. Look up "heat setting a nib". You might not have to smooth it at all.

 

You may have thought of this already, but it's easier to widen the slit with the nib out of the pen. It's difficult to do it when the pen is assembled. I have snapped the iridium off several nibs. This mostly happens on the fine to extra-fine widths, however. I use over-head projector film a lot instead of brass. It's a vellum looking sheet similar to old 35mm camera film.

 

Glenn

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You may have thought of this already, but it's easier to widen the slit with the nib out of the pen. It's difficult to do it when the pen is assembled. I have snapped the iridium off several nibs. This mostly happens on the fine to extra-fine widths, however. I use over-head projector film a lot instead of brass. It's a vellum looking sheet similar to old 35mm camera film.

 

Glenn

 

Yes, it is currently out of the pen, and I've already re-aligned it enough for it to become unfortunately a bit toothy. Not much, but some smoothing is definitely needed.

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Yes, it is currently out of the pen, and I've already re-aligned it enough for it to become unfortunately a bit toothy. Not much, but some smoothing is definitely needed.

 

When you put the pen back together it may self correct. Obviously don't smooth it until you're sure.

 

Glenn

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Chek the breather tube. May be it is clogged. In my experience even the heat setting of the feed and hood tip wouldn't help if in case the breather tube is clogged.

Khan M. Ilyas

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You have been provided with necessary advice to treat the ills of your P51. Please report back when you are done with the treatment.

Khan M. Ilyas

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Venemo, check the nib-hood gap in the first instance. Take the hood off the pen, write with it to check whether flow and starting markedly improve.

 

IMO the safest way to set the BHR 51 feed to the nib if you have *never* done so is to align the nib slit and feed slit, insert in the collector to the nib stop aligned with the wide channel (necessity is debatable but this will do no harm), and either immerse up to the nib and feed in hot water, or direct a hairdrier at the nib & feed for 30 seconds or so. leave the hood off for this exercise.

 

I only heat the hood tip if there is an issue with the hood tip. I wouldn't advice pushing on the tip of the hood to set the feed, no need to risk deforming or snapping it off.

 

 

 

A set feed is a very subtle visual difference - don't be thinking it should look like a skislope or something.

Latest pen related post @ flounders-mindthots.blogspot.com : vintage Pilot Elite Pocket Pen review

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I've done it. I heat set the feed the way Flounder has described it. Then I assembled the pen and sealed the hood with shellac.

It now works MUCH better, flow is consistent and there is no skipping.

 

Unfortunately the pen is a very dry writer now, so I think I should have increased the gap in the nib slit too.

 

Is there a way to adjust the nib with the hood on, or do I need to take it apart again?

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take it apart again.

 

shellacing the hood is the last step. to be done only after confirming correct pen operation. I don't shellac my 51 hoods.

Edited by hari317

In case you wish to write to me, pls use ONLY email by clicking here. I do not check PMs. Thank you.

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+1

 

If the pen has 0 ring and the 0 ring is in perfect working condition then the shellacing may not be necessary. Unless you want to avert unwanted comming off of the hood.

Edited by mitto

Khan M. Ilyas

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Yes, it has an O-ring. But I heard somewhere that it needs to be shellac'ed anyway.

 

I will take it apart again... :)

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