Since we have accumulated way to many sewing machines we've started working with each one to see which contributes to what we need to do, or which give us satisfaction just to have and use it.
A couple weeks ago I pulled out our Singer 413 and looked it over. The motor was kinda cranky. My local SMG said to take the belt off and run it wide open for a while. He also said to clean the brushes and commutator with lighter fluid and then run it again. Well, I did run it WOT and I did clean the brushes and commutator. But not with lighter fluid.
It ran better. Made wonderful stitches too. Well balanced tension.
I used it to sew some batting for my treadle machine quilt cover. Used Gigantafooticus to sew over the batting.
We just about decided to put it up for sale and I asked my wife to use it to sew one of the shopping bags she's making to sell. She said it worked great. No problems at all. Even commented on how nice the tension was.
Then all of a sudden she said something like "What's going on?". We looked and the needle wasn't picking up the bobbin thread. Then I saw the bobbin hook wasn't turning. Oh oh. Pulled it out of the case, took the bottom off and was really hoping for a broken belt. No such luck. Traced the problem to a broken plastic gear at the top of the vertical shaft that drives the cogged wheel that the belt that drives the other cogged wheel that runs the bobbin hook runs on.
No noise, nothing. Wife just stopped to rearrange her material and when she started again, nothing.
Nuts!!! I guess it's not fit to sell anymore.
The good part of the story.
My wife has a cranky Singer 538 that quit working. It's actually the very first sewing machine she bought with her own money so it has sentimental as well as functional value. Over the years she's used it to death. Literally to the point it just quit working.
Some time back I replaced the fiber thrust washer on the left end of the main shaft with a new polymer (plastic) snap in one. That way you don't have to remove the entire main shaft and re-time everything.
The machine worked beautifully for about 3 minutes then went bang, bang, clackty clack and the satin and stretch stitches quit working.
I downloaded and printed a parts book for the machine and as I was looking at it found there should be two springs on the top right working with the reverse and cam drive linkage. One was missing. Don't know if it broke and sprung off as I was working on it, or if someone else just didn't put it back on, or what, but it was gone.
The 314 uses much of the same linkage. Had the same spring. I took it out and put it in the 538. Readjusted a few things. Straightened a bent linkage stop and now the machine works again. The plastic cam drive gear is well worn, but it works.
So, the moral of the story is ..... ( you all know this ) - stay the heck away from 400 or later series Singers. They are junque.
So, now I have another machine to really fix. Our 338 uses the same design gears, I'm gonna find out if there are interchangeable. Cos those in the 338 are STEEL. They probably wont though.