MAINTAINING HP Z3100 and Z3200 Printers PART 1
Notes on Tools, Materials, and Procedures by Mark Lindquist

Z3200 Printhead Carriage Guide Rod Lubrication
HP DesignJet  Z3100 - Z3200

Mark Lindquist 12/10/2014 - updated --1-10-2017

Lubrication of  the HP DesignJet  Z3100 - Z3200 PRINTER

By Mark Lindquist  |  August-December 2014-1/5/2017
2017 Lindquist Studios All Rights Reserved

HP Z3200 Printhead Guide Rod Lubrication


Keeping the printhead guide rod lubricated is the best way to prolong belt life. The print head carriage moves left and right along the carriage guide rod (or rail). The guide rod is lubricated so the carriage moves smoothly and with as little friction as possible. The more easily or freely the carriage moves, means less friction, moving the head. This translates to less pulling the belt has to do, the less stress on the belt required to move the carriage.

If you were pulling a sled with bricks on it, with a rope, on a road, it would take a lot of pulling power to move it and it would cause the rope to stretch. If you could ice the road, the sled would move effortlessly, and the rope would not stretch much at all.

The friction is between the carriage head and the guide rod. Lubricate the guide rod and the carriage moves freely on it, and the belt lasts longer.

When I had mine apart down to the frame to replace the belt, I cleaned and oiled the rod with a cotton cloth. Regular maintenance with a few drops of oil is best between belt changes.

The specified oil:

OFFICIAL HP SYNTHETIC OIL - 3.5oz - $32.00 HP PART # 6040-0855

Link To HP OIL

I personally use only the HP brand official synthetic oil for the guide rails in our Z-Series printers - PART # 6040-0855.

It's getting harder and harder to find at a good price.


As discussed in the thread, this is synthetic oil. Best NOT to use 3-in-one.

Ernst Dinkla has suggested:

"...The lightest oil in the Nye Hobbyist Lubricant Kit is identical to the HP prescribed oil. I have gone through the specifications of both, there is no difference for this task. Done a great job for my Zs so far. $25 and you get another oil + a good grease included. "

Link To Nye Oil on Amazon


A different view ON NYE OIL FROM TED DICKENS - Oxford, MI

Here's another Amazon link, for Nye oil in a fancy bottle for only $14.90. Lubricant, Oil, Shutter 100gram - Nyoil 4OZ

I did some checking on the Nye website. They do not list any product as Nyoil. I searched for the part number shown on the first of the two Amazon listings and did not find a match.

In this case, I'm inclined to say that spending an extra $10-15 to get the oil from HP is cheap insurance. The Nye website makes it clear they make MANY different formulations. I'd rather not find out that I messed up the carriage or placed extra stress on the belt because saving money resulted in me using the wrong complex combination of hydrocarbons. If folks want to save a couple of bucks, the new HP part number is available from a number of suppliers with prices ranging from a couple of dollars less to several times what HP charges."

When your printer is torn down so that you can get at the guide rail fully, I suggest you watch Bryan Glynn's video (replacing the HpZ3200 Belt) on youtube. At the end of the video, he shows how to clean and lubricate the belt using a soft cotton cloth, wiping and lubricating the carriage rod.

It's a good idea to do regular maintenance oiling the guide rod every 2-3 months with a few drops of synthetic oil on the right upper side of the rod in the printer, and on the left upper side of the rod in the printer, (each a few feet in on a 44" printer)as well. Put a few drops on the rod in a linear zig-zag pattern, being careful to avoid hitting the encoder strip.

I figured out a neat trick after oiling. I wanted to move the print head carriage back and forth the entire length of the rail to spread the lubricating oil out evenly on the carriage rail. I opened the window and the printer beeped, of course, and told me to shut the window. After shutting the window, the carriage went all the way to the left and back home again. So I opened and shut the window about five times and on the last, I inspected the rail. The carriage bearing spread the oil evenly and nicely.

When you lubricate the rail, open and close the window several times. Works great.

Here is a thread explaining how to oil and what oil to use:

Lubricating the HP Z3100-Z3200 Printers regularly


(These are my own personal notes from repairs I have made. 
I have made this web page for my own benefit, so I have a record of what I have done. 
If you use this information, do so at your own risk - I assume no responsibility for errors.)

By Mark Lindquist | August-December 2014-2017 Lindquist Studios All Rights Reserved


All Images Copyright Mark Lindquist Photography 2000-2017 - All Rights Reserved