X1 underextruding, clicking or not excluding at all after maintenance

Hey all, I have a Sidewinder that mostly prints well, I decided to replace the idler arm and after replacing the idler arm I’ve been having extruding issues. To added to the factors, after doing that while I was trying to fix these issues I ended up breaking the nozzle off in the heat block so I’ve replaced the heat block + heat cartridge and thermistor (the throat didn’t seem to come out of the metal frame of the extruder so its using the throat that came with the printer). I noticed while screwing the heat block on to the throat there seems to be maybe an 1/8th of a turn of thread that doesn’t go into the heat block, but the heatblock is correctly oriented with the nozzle right at the front and the heat cartridge behind it…

The root of the problem is that periodically the extruder gear will stop pushing filament completely, but if I relieve the pressure on the filament it would start spinning again immediately. I’ve backed off the screw quite a bit but I’m still getting the occasional clicking, ultimately leading to jamming. I’m considering the possiblity that I’ve just not got the idler tension right, but at this point I’ve spent several days fighting with it and I’m wondering if I’ve missed something. When it does extrude (99% of the time) the extrusion is fine.

To be clear(er), is this happening at all heights or have you tested it past the first layer? Keep in mind that when you re-build a hot-end you often have to adjust your initial layer height.
Personally, I prefer to do that by adjusting the bed height with the Z-offset adjustment screw on my Ender 5Pro. It is the part that contacts the Z-limit switch but I understand not all models of printer trigger the Z-limit switch in such an easily adjustable way.
It can also be adjusted via the control panel, just remember to save the new settings.

Just out of curiosity, why did you change the idler (tensioner) arm? Was it one of these plastic models that cracked?

Have you checked your E-steps to be sure the extruder is moving the correct amount of filament?

This is the same type of issue I had with my X1. Nightmare.

To start the X1 has a Kraken style throat. It has two grub screws holding it in place. I typically remove the whole heat sync from the printer and then remove the heat break from that. Check the liner it often has issues.

I never touch the arm so I have never needed to replace it. If you always use the menu commands for feeding filament you will not have issues with the arm. The metal replacements are not always the same and I swapped mine and then discovered it was exacerbating the issue and went back to the stock one. I have a spare but did not need it.

Is the large extruder gear moving?
(this one Artillery Sidewinder X1 / Genius Extruder Big Gear 66T - 3D Printing Canada)

During retractions is it spinning like crazy?

Is your extruder stepper getting really hot?

Is the extruder tension spring and arm in the correct orientation?

The filament guide tube in the slot for it. If it is over or under it will jam. Is it worn? (this thing Artillery Sidewinder X1 / Genius Extruder Guide tube 1.75mm - 3D Printing Canada)

I ended up replacing the Extruder board, cables, JST ends, arm, spring, guide part, liner, whole hot end, all the gears and stepper. After each part it got a bit better. My conclusion for mine was there was a collection of issues that increased the tension on the stepper causing it to over heat and stop extruding. It melted the shroud over the extruder it was so hot. It would start again after the stepper cooled. The result is it would randomly stop extruding and then start again, trying to print in thin air.

It isn’t just a problem on the first layer, first layer usually goes down great and its just some number of layers after that. I replaced the arm because @Emily1713 was having extrusion problems with her sidewinder and it made sense to do them both at the same time, turns out here was cracked where the plastic arm holds the bearing but mine was fine. We also started with the same slicing profiles a long time ago and she pointed out to me a setting that after I changed was able to get one good print so far. Haven’t checked the e-steps because its still the same extruder motor.

I haven’t checked the temp on the extruder yet, but the failure mode is it either underextruding, or it stops extruding at all. When it stops extruding if I press on the idler arm to relieve the tension it starts spinning again immediately. I’ve since backed off the screw a little further and made some slicing tweaks that I think helped.

Sounds like mine exactly. I don’t mean the temp of the nozzle but the stepper mine used to get hot! Dangerously so.

It sounds like the arm, spring, guide, or liner is not quite right. It is easy to have the liner too long or too short. It is also associated with the position of the nozzle too.

I’d check all these for alignment, and fit.

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Hi there … when I replaced my Idler Arm for an Aluminum one I noticed the small hole where the bearing sits is on the small side and would bind on the shaft … I ended up opening the hole up … the bearing itself aligns the shaft … I hope I made sense ?

Take Care


just going to drop in here as well, I did a video on rebuilding the Titan hot ends on our YouTube channel. They can be a lot sensitive to how you set them up in the beginning to prevent clogging.

When you are looking at the extruder from the fan side, the upper right bolt goes through the large gear, Most commonly this bolt is tightened a little too much and will start to blow out the 2 bearing or at least bind them up. when you tighten this bolt it is critical to be careful you don’t loose the little lock washer that comes with it. when you tighten it down stop at contact and tighten only about 1/4 turn. any more and you will start blowing out bearings.