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Stubborn black ink system

I'm trying to resurrect a machine that sat idle for number of years. Went through the Brother scripted routines including cleaning, purging and contacting Authorized service then tried the youtube soaks , cleaner injection etc but sill no black ink out of the head

I think a more complete understanding of the Brother ink management system would help me understand where the blockage is located and figure out how to clear it.

How does the ink get from the cartridge to the print head? Is it pushed from a pump at the front of the machine, sucked from the print head? or pulled from the front to an intermediate point and then pumped to the head? Or is it drawn by capillary action to the print head? Some other way?

What happens to the ink in the cleaning and purge cycles? Does the ink get pumped through the nozzles? Past the nozzles? How can the black ink cartridge be empty when there is no black ink coming out of the head?

When I pushed cleaning solution into the port that receives the cartridge, I expected the solution to show up on the paper towel pad I had placed under the print head. Instead it appeared to come out next to the rail on the side of the print head toward the front of the machine. Does this suggest a damaged print head?

What is the function of the four depressions in what appears to be a rubber block below the head in park position? Are these vacuum ports that move ink to the ink absorber pad on the other side of the machine when the machine is in a purge or cleaning cycle?

Is it normal to have a buildup of ink on the sponge at the left of the machine? When I started internal inspection I discovered an area of ink build up approximately 1/4" x 3/4" and more than 1/16' high. It seemed as though the printhead was building ink up in in that spot much like a 3D printer creates it's output. My conclusion has been that the entire sponge surface should be flat so that it can clean any wet ink off the surface of the print head. I successfully used cleaning solution to remove most of the buildup.

Apparently Brother does not make their service manuals to to DIYers. Is there someone who has taken these devices apart and figured all this stuff out willing to enlighten those of us who have not? Anybody know where there is documentation on the web willing to share a link?

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Here is a link to the service manual for the printer.

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Is there a similar one for the Brother MFC-J430W?


Hi @ Liamara Haskins,

Here you go.

Brother MFC J430W service manual


Is there a similar manual which covers the MFC-J6930DW Model?

Peter Harrison


Hi @ Peter Harrison

Here it is


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The manual did not solve the problem with my current printhead but it opens the possibility of replacing the head in the future when I have more time available.

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I had 2 different Brother Ink Jet Printers that had plenty of cartridges, but the GoodWill had stored them for some time, did the Brother Clean Method. but still had lots of “crud” worthless, so nothing to lose.

found a pipeete - several old clean grease rags, removed the cartridges, placed the grease rags under the opening, and into where the cartridges went. with pipette forced/skirted alcohol into openings, all four, and flushed out, this also will help clean the head area. after 4 time flushing. cleaned mess, inserted the Cartridges back, did the clean and check replacement cartridges, ea succession of test was better. did the remove and pippette alochol again, 3 times,

this time on insert cartridges, and test, it was almost perfect…. any way good enough the GoodWill was able to Sell for a nice profit… I did my work FREE.

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