Printer Maintenance - the next steps?

I’m wondering what my next step is for a stubborn VLM clog on my R3000.

The history
Everything was printing perfectly until I foolishly ran the LC cart dry and introduced air into the line. I ran an initial charge to get the ink flowing again and it worked for the LC, but as soon as the initial charge was done, the VLM started to act up. There is some ink getting through, but the nozzle check only shows about 20% coverage.

The attempted solution
I started out with head cleanings and nozzle checks, but there was no change. The nozzle check pattern stayed exactly the same. I watched the video and went through the full maintenance regimen. I cleaned the capping station and its edges, the wiper blade and the bottom of the print head after a several hour “soak” over a bounty paper towel with cleaning solution with head cleanings and nozzle checks. There is no improvement, but the nozzle check pattern has changed slightly. Still only about 20% coverage, but the coverage has moved slightly higher in the pattern.

The next step?
Is the next step to flush out the line with cleaning solution? Can I fill a cartridge and print only VLM with QTR until the cleaning solution has run through? Or, do I have to fill all the lines with cleaning solution with an initial fill and clean it that way?

Might it be the damper? Can I switch out that one damper? If so, is there a set of instructions or video for that?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Hi Jamie~

After reviewing your order history, I see you bought a set of R3000 refill carts from us earlier this month, and previously bought a set of 4880 refill carts and ConeColor ink. Are you using the new R3000 carts you bought from us a few weeks ago with ConeColor ink, or different carts/inks? If using our carts/inks, what inks/carts were previously used in this printer? About how old is this printer, and about how much has it been used vs. how long has it sat unused during its life?
What was the ink level of the VLM cart when you ran the initial charge to get the LC channel printing again (is there any chance air entered the VLM channel)? When did the VLM channel stop fully printing (have you done a few cleaning cycles and let the printer sit overnight, then do a nozzle check and 2-3 more regular cleanings?)

The next step will somewhat depend on your answers to my questions above, but if it’s a clog that needs cleaning inside your VLM channel somewhere, then you can install a single flush cart and either run an initial fill cycle to flush that channel (checking + topping off any other carts that are below 1/2 full, to avoid any running empty), or you can use QuadToneRIP to print purge sheets from a single channel, though the printing method may be a way to get fluid to the damper + head without wasting ink in all the other channels, it may not be enough pressure needed to clear the blockage.
Dampers can be individually replaced, though are there are no “official instructions” for this procedure, though I can direct you to a link where people have posted their photos + tips of replacing dampers in their 3800/3880 printers, which have essentially the same ink supply + damper assembly unit.

Please let me know, thanks~ Dana