Questions concerning Sewing Machine Repairs

Question Vintage Sewing Machine Repair? okay, so after a few hours of messing with the darn thing and searching around on the internet i am at a loss and figured i would come to my trusty yahoo!Answers brethren 😛 I bought a Sears Kenmore 158.18032 Sewing Machine, a model from 1973 i believe, its motor runs fine and the lower belt spins fine, but the hand wheel and the belt connecting the hand wheel are giving me a laundry list of problems, the belt wont catch when the motor runs, i can hand crank to needle but it is difficult and takes forever, i need to get at the belt to see if it needs replacing or if the gear just needs a bit of oil. Unfortunately, a 1973 model rarely comes with a manual and this one didnt, i was wondering if anyone might have this or a similar model and if so, might know how to remove the cover, if possible, or how to get at this problem thanks in advance!!!
Best Answer I’d send you to talk to the nice folks at the yahoo group “wefixit”, where good information about diagnosis and treatment of old sewing machine problems is dispensed. Also, I’m going to send you to the Sears Parts Direct website, where you will find a manual and parts diagram for this machine. I believe Linda at Relics has a service manual for the 158 machines, also, for sale. Could be a bad belt, could be fossilized oil (especially if someone has oiled it with 3-in-1 type oils), could be a lot of things.

Question What’s wrong with my sewing machine and how much would it cost to repair it? While I was sewing, I heard a loud pop and then the machine sounded like it was running low on power. I turned it off and realized the needle was bent. So, I replaced the needle. But when I pushed the foot pedal the needle did not move, but I could hear the motor running. When I turn the nob on the side, the needle moves. Do you think it’s a belt, or something, that broke? If you think you may know the problem, how much would it cost to fix it?
Best Answer Impossible to say from the information given. Broken needles are generally the result of trying to push or pull the fabric under the presser foot instead of letting the machine transport the fabric. Or trying to sew through fabric too dense for the machine, or with too light a needle. Start by taking out your manual, turning to the section on cleaning the machine, and start by taking all the thread out of/off of the machine. Remove the bobbin, bobbin case, needle plate and any and all lint, bits of thread and needle shards you see. Use a vacuum, not compressed air, and brush to get the machine clean. Oil only as directed by the manual, and use only sewing machine oil, not 3-in-1 types nor WD-40 types, both of which will freeze up a machine (for different reasons!). Reassemble correctly. Once you’re done cleaning, rethread the machine from scratch and try again. Does the needlebar move? Does it stitch? (If it doesn’t, is the needle in the right way around?) Do the feed dogs move properly? Does it sound right? Is the machine in time? (see What you’ve done (new needle, clean machine, rethreading correctly) may fix the problem. I’ve become the neighborhood “last stop before taking the machine in for professional service” person, and in my experience, about 90% of the dead machines I’m asked to look at are magically fixed by cleaning and rethreading and new needle. My guesses as to what might be going on that you can’t fix with the above treatment include timing, a broken gear or cam, a broken belt (though most machines now lack one), an electrical fault, a broken sewing hook, a popped fuse or circuit breaker…. could be a lot of things, and the cost to fix may range from nearly free to “not worth fixing this machine”.

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