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Thread: Featherweight motor slows - what is wrong?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Featherweight motor slows - what is wrong?

    Got my hands on a 1936 featherweight. Didn 't try it till I cleaned, oiled and greased it. The motor slows. It also sounds to me like the little wheel the belt hooks to at the motor makes a high pitched spinning sound. I think it just needs more lube and we need to run the machine to get it where it needs to go. My husband thinks the motor is shot. Any suggestions???

  2. #2
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Did you grease the motor? No oil, only grease. Make sure the pulley set screw is tight. Check the belt and make sure it didn't get oil on it. If so clean it with alcohol,and clean the pulley too. Make sure the belt isn't too tight. Just tight enough not to slip but no more. If it's too tight it will bog down the motor.

    Joe

  3. #3
    Senior Member redbugsullivan's Avatar
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    Joe, you are a gem. This just solved one of the problems I was having on a machine. Too tight belts are bad.
    Annette

    There is no fireside like your own fireside.

  4. #4
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    redbugsullivan,

    Glad to be of help.

    Joe

  5. #5
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    Yes I used grease and no it's not the belt. Can a motor like this just be repaired? When can you tell it needs to be replaced??

  6. #6
    Senior Member redbugsullivan's Avatar
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    I have found that just cleaning the motor (yes, you must take it off and open it up) can make a significant difference. If you are not comfortable doing this, take it to your OSMG of choice. A bit of time, denatured alcohol, and effort can make a sluggish motor run like a dream!
    Annette

    There is no fireside like your own fireside.

  7. #7
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    My LSMG told me a couple times to take the belt off and run the motor at full speed till it cleans itself out. You'll hear it change pitch. I tried it and it worked. I'd at least try that before taking it apart.

    Oh, you can check the brushes by unscrewing the two Bakelite brush caps and pulling out on the brush springs.
    If they are worn you can buy new ones at Sew-Classic.

    Joe

  8. #8
    Junior Member KenZ's Avatar
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    While you are doing all of the things Joe mentioned, check all of the wiring. If any wires are damaged, the motor may not be getting full power.
    Ken

  9. #9
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    I told him all this and now he says it sounds like the bearings right near the small wheel for the belt.

  10. #10
    Senior Member redbugsullivan's Avatar
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    Try what Joe said. I rewired and cleaned a Safety pot motor that came with a filthy Singer 27. It was amazing how just plugging it in and letting it RUN changed the speed and pitch.

    It was very sluggish in the beginning, when I first plugged it in. Even 30 seconds of running and then unplugging changed the start up speed after a couple of times. Yes, I was very hesitant to just let it run. That's why I did the shorter times. I've since learned a few things! :-)
    Annette

    There is no fireside like your own fireside.

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