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Thread: Need some help with 401 restoring

  1. #1
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    Need some help with 401 restoring

    I recently picked up a 401A in a classic 50's cabinet, and it's been a real adventure getting it cleaned up. I've gotten the Triflow oil and grease, and have pretty much soaked everything for a week. Much of it works - and it does run, but I can't get the red stitch width lever to move to the left of center, and can't get the beige cam selector to move freely. More importantly, the top tension adjuster assembly was all in parts and I'm not sure how to re-assemble it. I did get the manual on my computer, but the drawing of the tension assembly is so small and blurred that I'm not able to follow it. I did order new springs for it from Sew-Classic. Can anyone tell me how the three tension discs go together? They have one side with printing and one side without - are they different? I can't tell. Any help would be much appreciated!!

    I also have an old Singer Treadle - which came across the plains from Kansas to Arizona in a covered wagon with my great grandmother, then on to California, and now to Colorado. It also needs cleaning up! My daughter picked up a pink Remington for me - haven't even tackled her yet. Then I have a Bernina 730 which I have been using. Gads, how they multiply!! Am I hooked? Yeh!

  2. #2
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Cowbelle,

    Go to this thread: { 401A problem }
    There are links to .pdf downloads for the owners manual and shop manual for the 401s.
    Download them to your HD, then print them on 8.5" x 11" sheets and they will be much more readable.


    As for the stuck parts, keep putting the Tri-Flow in them and working them. You might need to add a bit of heat from a hair drier too. There is a lot of moving parts, cracks, crevices, sliding, pivoting, and rotating things in the 401. But it will loosen up eventually.

    Also if you remove the metal cam stack you can clean it and all the parts under it and lube the moving parts better.

    Joe

  3. #3
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Oh, I forgot to add, we want/need pics of these machines. ESPECIALLY the treadle.

    When you clean the treadle, use machine oil and soft clothes or cotton balls only. Otherwise any decals that are left will be further damaged.

    Joe

  4. #4
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    Thank you so much, Joe. I'll keep oiling! How do the built in cams come out? Can I pry them up, or should they just slide off? They don't want to move right now. The one plastic one on top will come off, but I've been afraid to force the others.

    I'll see if I can get photos uploaded - read the instructions, but I'm not finding the "insert image" icon.

  5. #5
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Cowbelle,

    There is an off center screw slot on the black center part at the top of the cams. It just unscrews. Once that's off the three fingered spring and the cam stack just slide up and off. You might have to wiggle the cam followers for clearance but it will come up and out.

    Joe

  6. #6
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    Cowbelle, to add the picture icon ( a tree in a frame), go to 'Forum Actions' in the aqua toolbar, choose 'General Settings', under Miscellaneous Options choose 'Enhanced Full Interface WYSYING Editing'. Save changes and see if your tree shows up.

    Gun solvent, either Hoppe's or Koil works to loosen things up. I just used Hoppe's on a 404 tonight. Just remember to reoil it afterwards.

  7. #7
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Those cam stacks can really get stuck up - solvent used with care...
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill

  8. #8
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by irishrose View Post
    Cowbelle, to add the picture icon ( a tree in a frame), go to 'Forum Actions' in the aqua toolbar, choose 'General Settings', under Miscellaneous Options choose 'Enhanced Full Interface WYSYING Editing'. Save changes and see if your tree shows up.

    Gun solvent, either Hoppe's or Koil works to loosen things up. I just used Hoppe's on a 404 tonight. Just remember to reoil it afterwards.
    irishrose,

    Thanks for these instructions, Now I have controls to click on too.

    Joe

  9. #9
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    Name:  Singer treadle.jpg
Views: 316
Size:  770.7 KBName:  singer treadle 2.jpg
Views: 323
Size:  761.1 KBName:  singer 401A.jpg
Views: 328
Size:  767.5 KBThank you all so much! I've sewn all my life, but never had a machine all apart - always just took it to a shop for servicing. I knew I didn't want to do that with the Treadle, and then this 401 appeared at a local antique barn. Very dirty and neglected, no manual or attachments, but I figured with this site's help, I could fix her up.

    Can't move that center post of the cams, maybe will have to find the gun solvent. Should I put it only on the center shaft? Thanks again for all the help! Judith
    Last edited by Cowbelle; 02-17-2013 at 07:57 AM.

  10. #10
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cowbelle View Post
    Name:  Singer treadle.jpg
Views: 316
Size:  770.7 KBName:  singer treadle 2.jpg
Views: 323
Size:  761.1 KBName:  singer 401A.jpg
Views: 328
Size:  767.5 KBThank you all so much! I've sewn all my life, but never had a machine all apart - always just took it to a shop for servicing. I knew I didn't want to do that with the Treadle, and then this 401 appeared at a local antique barn. Very dirty and neglected, no manual or attachments, but I figured with this site's help, I could fix her up.

    Can't move that center post of the cams, maybe will have to find the gun solvent. Should I put it only on the center shaft? Thanks again for all the help! Judith
    those are tricky to clean - I think we have about covered it in past posts - up at the top right is a search in the black bar above the turquoise is a search feature
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill

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