Wednesday, August 13, 2014

How to replace the PCU in a Ricoh Aficio 1515 / MP 161 / MP 171 / MP 201 copier

The photoconductor unit (PCU) in a Ricoh Aficio 1515, MP 161, MP 171, or MP 201 copier houses lots of individual components, including the drum (photoconductor), charge roller, developer, and toner density sensor, along with gears, seals, and other parts.  When any of these parts starts to go bad or wear down, the whole PCU is replaced, rather than the individual part.  Ricoh recommends replacing the PCU, even if everything is working fine, every 45,000 pages.

To replace the photoconductor unit:

- Open the copier's front door
- Open the copier's right side door
- Pull up on the green handle on the toner unit
- Push in on the small green lever on the left side of the toner unit
- Slide the toner unit out using the green handle and remove it from the copier
- Disconnect the wire connector where the PCU plugs into the copier (below where the toner hopper sat) and remove the wire from its clip
- Push down on the upper left side of the PCU (where it gives) and slide the PCU straight out of the machine
- Unbox the new PCU and remove all tape and packing material
- Slide the new PCU straight into the machine
- Connect the PCU wire to the connector, and slip the wire behind the plastic holder so it doesn't get pinched by the toner hopper
- Slide the toner hopper back into the machine until it clicks in place, and push the green handle down
- Close the front and side doors

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