View Full Version : Mutoh VJ1604 Head replacement

07-20-2009, 12:07 PM
Hi everyone,

Just found this site and looks like it has some pretty good info! In any event, I have had a VJ 1604 for 2 years and last Wed, the black channel in the printhead appears to have failed. Now it prints like 15% in one channel and 35% in the other, but the other 3 colors work perfect.

So, I've looked into MacMedia and LavaInk for printheads and waiting to hear back from FieldCenter. Any suggestions/props/complaints from these vendors. MacMedia and LavaInk sell them for $900 and I believe FC sells for $1500?

Has anyone replaced a printhead or know of a service manual for the VJ? I think I located an ebook for $25, but looks shady. I was told the calibration can be tricky.

I have 4 jobs in queue and a lil under the gun. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you. Oh, has anyone used printhead911.com as a refurb service? I just came across that site as well and was thinking it might be good to send the old one in at some point to have a back up?


07-20-2009, 02:18 PM
Sounds like a bunch of plugged nozzles.

What makes you think the black has failed?

If you have no K, 15% of the next color and 35 for the other, it sounds like a capping station issue.

07-20-2009, 02:43 PM
Well, I am about an hour away from Mutoh. At first I thought it might be the dampers,discussed it with Chuck at Mutoh and he leaned toward the same conclusion, so I drove up and discussed it more with him and purchased 2 dampers, put them and and no change. A head bath was recommended, placing a soaked lint free rag in the capping station to pull any clogged nozzles. I tried that 3 times 2-3 hours each, no change.

As a test, I pulled the cyan dampers out and swapped them with the black, meaning cyan in black channels and black in cyan channels. Same results, the "black channels" had the same broken up pattern, but the "cyan channels" had a complete pattern of black

I pulled the print head out and allowed it to soak in a tray of Mutoh cleaning solvent, and did this for about 8 hours. The cleaning solution actually drew up the channels, but still had no change in the black channel. The the other colors print a pattern just fine.

I had pulled ink through the system with a syringe to make sure it was primed, and ran the "little charge" feature found under the cleaning menu.

07-20-2009, 03:09 PM
Randy, I forgot to clarify the nozzle pattern. The percentages I mentioned were for the channels of K. So when I did a nozzle test, channel 1 of K was about 15%, channel 2 of K was about 35%, but CMY were all at 100.

07-20-2009, 03:12 PM
Nice homework!

Changing the print head is fairly easy.

The slant adjustment is a bit tricky, because their is a little ratchet device for adjustment that can go more clicks than want at a time, but the uni and bi directionals are pretty straight forward. This is probably the easiest outdoor printer to align.

You will need a lighted magnifier (the LED ones will light up yellow pretty well), or a magnifier and an LED flashlight).
A 10x minimum.

Some backlit material is best, but most use a good glossy vinyl or photo paper for adjustments.

I would recommend changing out the remain dampers as well, as long as you have it out.

You have already pulled and replaced the head, that is really the most difficult part.

Where exactly are you?

07-20-2009, 04:31 PM
On our budget, homework is essential! I was looking at a $3100-3200 bill from the servicing company. I purchased an extended warranty last year that would have been more useful to place into a slush fund for repairs, but the business is 2 years old and I'm still learning. I started on a 48" Mutoh Falcon 1 and had to replace everything in it since the owners didn't really believe in maintenance, so element 7 started.

Located in Tucson. In any event, with the way times are, I could swing the $3K, but it'd make me sweat more than the heat is right now. As it looks, I'll be out about $1300 which gives me a service manual, printhead, remaining 6 dampers, and a new cap for maint station plus overnight shipping.

Those jobs in queue will only wait around so long before they find a new home! Not on my watch! LOL


07-20-2009, 06:58 PM
I lived out on Ina Road for year about 5 years ago, worked over by the airport, before moving back to Phoenix.

Biker Scout
07-20-2009, 07:26 PM
E7, you can get the print head much cheaper than what you were quoted.

I bought a $1200 printhead and then realized I should have searched a little harder. How's $700 shipped sound? :cool:
(Looking for link)

07-20-2009, 08:21 PM
Can't beat $700 shipped for a mutoh valuejet print head.

Biker Scout
07-20-2009, 08:25 PM
Found it... http://skypowerink.en.ecplaza.net

The contact there it Alex. If you aren't actually ready to order but just want a price quote, they will e-mail relentlessly two to three times a week!

07-20-2009, 08:33 PM
I've been getting from signs101 without giving back. I figured I should give'em a call to verify the price since i speak the language too. Not too surprising, the phone number is invalid.

Buyers be aware.

Biker Scout
07-20-2009, 08:41 PM
His e-mail: alex@skypowerink.com

Yours respectfully, Alex Yao
Wujiang Orient Imp.& Exp. Co.,Ltd
Shanghai Skypower Imp. & Exp. Co., Ltd.
Taoyuan, Wujiang, Jiangsu, China
Shanghai Office Add:
No.18, Taolin Road, Pudong, Shanghai, China
Tel:+(86) 21 50705667
Fax:+(86) 21 50704965

07-20-2009, 08:45 PM
"The number you are calling does not exist. Please check the number...."

If we call, you put 011(USA) then 86 21 50705667

Biker Scout
07-20-2009, 08:55 PM
Here's another place that comes out to $900 with shipping after the exchange rate. They are in Belgium.


Epson DX5 Printhead for the VJ series.

07-21-2009, 04:14 PM
Thanks Biker. I only paid 900 for my printhead and it was out of Canada via California. The other supplier that sells them for 900 is out of New York. I ordered parts from both suppliers yesterday. Jian at Lavaink was on the ball. I pressed send for the order, called him within a minute and he was looking at the order. Kent at MacMedia provided similar service. Kent prefers email over phone calls, but seeing how he was traveling from New York to Texas and back to deliver/pick up a printer, and shipped my parts from a stop in Nashville, I can't complain one bit!

Both guys got the parts shipped yesterday and trickling in today. The dampers from Kent are already here, just waiting on the printhead from Jian. For just under $1300, I got the printhead, 8 dampers, a cap for the maint station, and a service manual. It's an unfortunate expense, but not at costly as the alternative was going to be.

07-21-2009, 04:15 PM
Oh, and a syringe with some adaptors.