While doing some maintenance on my printer, I took apart the ink selector.
Here some pictures that document this procedure;
The entire assembly, as it sits on the print head (the tubes from the tanks are already removed).
The collector that dispatches the ink is just snapped on the dampers:
5 dampers and a valve are mounted on a plexiglas frame:
The only source for individual dampers for the 3800/3880 at the moment is eBay. (A search for “Epson 3800 damper” turns up 2 sellers, one in the US and one in Hong Kong. I have purchased parts from this Hong Kong seller twice and both times they arrived here in rural New Mexico within a week.)They are pricey compared to individual dampers for the larger printers.
I too recently dissected a 3800 damper assembly after replacing the entire ink supply assembly. In hindsight, I think replacing an individual damper likely would have solved my problem, however there are no instructions for doing so in the 3800 service manual, so I was reluctant to try it.
There are TONS of Chinese companies manufacturing and selling printer parts. I would say both the US and Hong Kong suppliers on eBay would be safe, as they both have over 99% positive feedback from thousands of transactions. For comparison, the “going rate” for a basic/single channel damper that fits the 4000, 4800/4880, 7800/9800, and 7880/9880 is about $25 each plus shipping (and you need 8 dampers for these models), so about half the cost for a dual channel (more complex) damper is perfectly reasonable to me (and you only need five dampers dual dampers for the 3800 and 3880 models).
Dana - I’m not sure about the newer machines, but the single dampers for 7600/9600 are less than $3/each with free shipping from the eBay supplier I used. $25 each is kinda outrageous imho. Less than $30 for 10 seems the going rate from China on eBay. If only new heads for 7600s could be found for a reasonable price I’d have mine back in business. As it is, I’m probably going to haul it to the dump by the end of this week. Since I now have 2 good 3800s, I think I’ll soon be converting one of them for Piezography to replace the 7600.
Andreas - Glad you found the pictures in the other thread and thanks for linking to them. I forgot to do that here.