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Thread: Featherweight Belt - motor speed

  1. #1
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    Featherweight Belt - motor speed

    I had a FW that the belt was broke. I purchased the Singer 194144 belt to get her back in operation. Immediately after installing, I noticed that the motor sound was different and the speed was gone. It was like someone had put a governor on it! I took an original belt off another FW and the sound was back to normal as was the speed.

    I stopped in at a local Singer repair shop to see why this was happening. The tech told me that is what to expect, with a new belt, it slows the machines down, some more than others. He said he didn't know of any other belts for the FW to try.

    While I've not read every post in the vintage forum, I don't recall reading anyone else expressing this concern. Are you all still using the original belts so you've not experienced this? Or are there others like me that have had to use a new belt and are now having speed issues?

    At the time we ordered spare bits for the FW kids, we got like a half a dozen belts. I'm thinking we've wasted money. I use my 1934 FW daily and she flys. I can't imagine her just plugging along. I see Sew Classic has a 221 belt that has lugs and maybe it is more flexible? Anyone here bought that one? I may just have to try that and see if it's better. I worry if the gear ratio or whatever you call this issue is is off, then maybe it will burn up my motors using the new "original" belts.

    Here's the "lug" belt link - http://shop.sew-classic.com/Belt-171...221-1712LT.htm

  2. #2
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    LuvQuiltin

    More than likely you've got the belt too tight. They should be just tight enough to not slip. Any tighter and they'll slow down the machine down.

    I did the same thing to my Feather Weight when I put a new belt on it.

    Joe

  3. #3
    Senior Member vanginney's Avatar
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    My original belt was a bit too loose, I was told to loosen the large black screw that holds the motors and adjust the motor location downward to add slight pressure to the belt so it would not slip anymore.....I would think adjusting it upward might help. You may have tried that already...good luck. Not sure if I would use like that until I tried a few other options.

  4. #4
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    Thank you for your suggestions. I will go and loosen the belt and see if that helps.

  5. #5
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    The belt being too tight makes a HUGE difference to the speed of the motor. The little motors in these machines aren't powerful enough to fight a tight belt. vanginney is right, loosen the bolt and let the motor drop. A tiny bit of tension on the motor as you tighten the bolt is enough. This is described in the manual too:
    http://ismacs.net/free-sewing-machin...ls-list.html#S

    As an aside, even a full sized machine like the 66 I was working on last night will slow down if the belt is too tight. DH said "Give it the beans!" and I muttered, "I am!!!" so he went and got me the screwdriver because we both realised the belt was too tight even though there was lots of "flex" in the new belt.

    That's the other thing... the old belt would be "floppier" than the new... it will need to be a little looser than where the "bolt mark" was for the old belt because the new belt will give more tension naturally due to the inflexibility of it. I think it will ease with time, but none of my belts are old enough to say for sure.
    Tammi - I've found that many baby steps tend to get you further than a huge leap in followed by a huge leap out - http://www.archaicarcane.com
    Singer 411G, 301A, 2x 221 (featherweight), 222k - the holy grail, 15-90 Centennial, 27, VS2, 28 hc, 128 knee bar, 201-2, 31-15, Pfaff 130-6. Non-Vintage - Pfaff 6122, Kenmore (Janome) 385.81595 serger, Kenmore (Janome) 385.81155, 2013 APQS Lucey

  6. #6
    Junior Member quiltgal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuvQuiltin View Post
    I had a FW that the belt was broke. I purchased the Singer 194144 belt to get her back in operation. Immediately after installing, I noticed that the motor sound was different and the speed was gone. It was like someone had put a governor on it! I took an original belt off another FW and the sound was back to normal as was the speed.

    I stopped in at a local Singer repair shop to see why this was happening. The tech told me that is what to expect, with a new belt, it slows the machines down, some more than others. He said he didn't know of any other belts for the FW to try.

    While I've not read every post in the vintage forum, I don't recall reading anyone else expressing this concern. Are you all still using the original belts so you've not experienced this? Or are there others like me that have had to use a new belt and are now having speed issues?

    At the time we ordered spare bits for the FW kids, we got like a half a dozen belts. I'm thinking we've wasted money. I use my 1934 FW daily and she flys. I can't imagine her just plugging along. I see Sew Classic has a 221 belt that has lugs and maybe it is more flexible? Anyone here bought that one? I may just have to try that and see if it's better. I worry if the gear ratio or whatever you call this issue is is off, then maybe it will burn up my motors using the new "original" belts.

    Here's the "lug" belt link - http://shop.sew-classic.com/Belt-171...221-1712LT.htm
    Basically there are the two types of belts (white with the lugs and the black belt). The white one with lugs was for the pale turquoise (white) featherweight, but can be used on either one. I have replaced at least a dozen belts of both types over the years on a variety of featherweights and if you tightened it down too tight, you can hear the motor struggle. As long as you purchased a 17 1/2 inch V type belt, then you have the correct one! See my website for supplies www.thequiltgal.com or email me for more info.
    Kathleen Clendennen
    www.thequiltgal.com

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