Ok, Apparently this is an ongoing issue with the wheel. The magtek check readers have three wheels the check contacts. First the check contacts the motor sensor which triggers two wheels on parallel sides (left and right, middle is not motor moved). The first wheel pushes the check towards the middle. For whatever reason, magtek decided to use the rubber for the second wheel. This is a horseshoe shaped reader such as "[U]" But the second wheel that does not move by a motor, but the check simply glides through it, is positioned across the magnetic sensor. So perhaps the magnetic sensor has chemically changed the wheels rigid properties over time.
Also there is adapters for the pcb for programming info. I am going to work on programming a magtek mini for faster data rates.