VJ 1204 Nozzle Check gets worse after cleaning


New Member
Hello All,

First off I just want to thank everyone who has posted here. This forum has been a BIG help to me in learning how to service my own machine.

I have recently purchased my first solvent printer in the form of a used Mutoh 1204 Valuejet. I have had problems with it since I got it, but thanks to reading the various threads on this forum by the cool people who post here, I have been able to get it to work and function at close to a 100% (There are a few magenta nozzles that can't seem to be recovered... even the previous owner never got them to fire). I have been opening up the machine, doing head soakings, cleanings, taking things apart, drawing ink though a syringe etc. And when I get it working near 100% it's great, I can produce wonderful prints.

The only problem I have is that when I stop using the machine, it reverts back to how it was before I fixed it. Namely I will consistently lose a large number for yellow and magenta nozzles (black and cyan are fine). And what's funny is that it seems to get worse after I run a cleaning cycle. When I do one normal cleaning, I will typically lose even more nozzles. No amount of cleaning at any level, or head soakings seem to do much of anything to relieve the situation. And yes I do see drips (although very few) going into the waste tank when I do a cleaning... I mean I'll see one or two drops fall down into the waste tank.

The only way I have been able to work around this problem is to draw out ink with a syringe from the black hoses under the capping station. Once I do that all nozzles are fine and I can print normally. A few days ago I printed a few things when all nozzles were firing, then I put the lever up, left the machine on and went to bed... when I woke up the next morning, I put the lever down and performed a nozzle check, and I was already missing a few magenta nozzles, in a span of 8 hours or so.

I was wondering if anyone had any ideas as to what's going on here, and could give me some advice on how to get the machine to operate without having to manually pull with a syringe every time I want to print.

Grafix USA

You will get more assistance if you start with an itroduction post and tell everyone a little about yourself. Always better to introduce yourself when you first "meet" someone... whether online or in person.


Make sure your cartridges have enough ink on them, check that there is a good seal between the printhead and the capping unit, ensure that your dampers are not clogged up.


If nozzles keep coming and going on a Valuejet, then it is very good odds that the maintenance station needs to be replaced and I would recommend doing this......



New Member
Thanks for the suggestion guys. But I really want to be 100% sure before I throw money at the situation. The more I open up and play with the machine the more I understand it. Tonight I was able to syringe ink from the tubes leading out of the pump, which means (correct me if I'm wrong) there is a vacuum being formed from my ink cartridges all the way to my waste tank. I also did a lot of cleaning around the perimeter of the actual printhead before I was able to do that. I found a bunch of little fibers on the back end the printhead, so I cleaned and tweezered out as much as I could find. I have most of the nozzles back for now, I turned the machine off and lets see how long it lasts.

Oh, and David, I make car decals & decorate shirts and hats. I bought the printer to help me make nicer car decals & decorate shirts and hats better. I've been working with printers, plotters and sign & graphics making equipment for 5 years, but this is the first wide format printer I have ever bought on my own. I used to call tech guys to come in and fix the printers I was working with when my former bosses owned them. Now that I don't have a boss I tend to be even more hands on with all my equipment.


Very Active Member
Dampers are cheaper than MS, orings for the connectors is cheaper still.

The 'cleaning' uses very little ink, where a syringe is stronger and pulls more ink through.


New Member
Thanks for all the input guys. I just wanted to update everyone on my situation. Ever since the DEEP cleaning I did on my machine, it has been firing all heads like a charm. It seems to only get clogged if I miss a day of printing. So I make it a habit to print at least one thing a day. I also do a normal cleaning once a day, and manually clean the wiper and capping station two times a week.

So lots of cleaning and regular printing seems to have done the trick. Hopefully it keeps up.


New Member
I am using OEM inks, but I know the previous owner used after market inks in the past.

Just another update, I now realize that this IS something wrong with my capping station. When I manually pull up the rubber seal with my tweezers, so that it sits just a hair taller than it normally does, I get tremendous suction power during the normal cleaning cycle. I also hear a new very pronounced sucking sound and I see a ton of ink going into the waste tank. More so then I ever have in the past.

So now the pump is sucking out a lot of ink, everything should be working fine, but now I've stated to lose the bottom half of both my yellow nodes, while all other colors are now unclogged. If I am not able to balance the seal on the capping station to suck out all the ink equally, then I will finally relent and purchase a new capping station.