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Thread: Question about frozen Singer 15-88

  1. #1
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    Question about frozen Singer 15-88

    You have all been so helpful with my machine that I thought I'd ask a question for Sis about her 15-88. The upper works seem to be frozen. The balance wheel turns freely, but the needle bar and the thread take-up lever do not move. The needle bar and thread take-up lever do not move independently (by hand) from the balance wheel. Any ideas? If the head is frozen, how should she loosen it?
    Shirley in Arizona

  2. #2
    Junior Member KenZ's Avatar
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    Is the stop motion screw tight? (The knob located behind thewheel).
    Ken

  3. #3
    Super Member Rodney's Avatar
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    I'm assuming your sister has already removed the bobbin case and hook. It's amazing how many times that's where the problem is.
    If the top is frozen the best solution is oil and patience. Other members have reported really good results with Tri-Flo synthetic oil for loosening up dried oil. Take off every cover and oil everything. It will take a while-sometimes days-for the oil to penetrate and free up the stuck parts. Oil, wiggle the machine and repeat. Eventually it will move.
    Rodney
    "Neglect to oil the machine will shorten its life and cause you

    trouble and annoyance" Quote from Singer Model 99 Manual

  4. #4
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Here is a link to an old post you might enjoy:
    Janie Doe, the 15 Clone - make over
    Some times Tri-Flo will loosen up the stuck parts. Some times it is rust and you will have to use a bike chain oil - that oil is green and has detergents in it but it will loosen up rusted parts. Some times it is hard to tell the difference between rust and dried oil. Rust will be somewhat rough like sand paper. Oil will be somewhat gummy - rust is never gummy. I had a pressure foot stuck the other week on a Singer 201. I put T-F on it and nothing happened so I kept putting it on every couple days. I turned the machine upside down and put some on and let it set a while. Then one day Lovie and Wilbur were over so I said we would learn how to unstick a pressure foot. We oiled it a good one and then I loosened the spring and pulled on it a little tiny bit and it went. Then I readjusted the pressure (scary what Wilbur knows how to do...) Good as gold. Some times the oils used back in the day set up like superglue in the tubes the needle bar or the pressure bar go through and you have to heat them in order to get them to budge.
    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

  5. #5
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    It can take some time to get some of them to move. Janie the 15 clone was the first machine I ever freed up with only Triflow. I was so amazed at how well it worked. I have another machine that was more deluxe and it was badly frozen up - more complicated, too. I was advised by Ray White that the Triflow might take a month to free things up - it freed up eventually. I oil any thing that moves. Look way up inside the machine for anything that moves - chances are that is frozen up due to either dried up oil or never had any. Under the machine - drop one drop on anything that moves. Jiggled the hand crank as you go. Some times things will move - some times not. Jiggle anyway all you need is a tiny amount of oil to get in there and lubricate - it is not the oil you see that gunks up a machine - it is the tiny little bit of dried up oil you can't see that is causing it to freeze up. Never force it. If you have plastic parts do not use heat. Heat can some times speed things up. I have a hair dryer. You can also turn the machine on it's side or back, on end, upside down - get the oil to go in those little tight places. Gently attempt to crank the machine some more. I rarely have to disassemble to get it to move. I do remove the bobbin area and pull the tension out and clean and then put it back - that way I know it is right - I've seen all kinds of creative tension re-assembly.

    The tensions for these machines have given me more fits than all the other machines combined. Here is a manual with some good help. I will give one big hint though - if you need parts get a new tension that is supposed to fit that machine. I have tried to use spare parts and didn't like the results. Sew-classic has tensions and some of the parts. I would recommend dealing with her. She is reliable and up front. Oh here is that manual. http://www.tfsr.org/pub/technical_in...echanism_2.pdf you will need the info toward the bottom: UPPER TENSION MECHANISM - (15K model) This was a lot of help - there may be holes but if you run into snags just ask - there are people who can explain things better than I can. I just do it. The TFSR manual is a good one to have.
    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

  6. #6
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    As Ken said, check to see that it was not left in bobbin winding mode. In situations where multiple people are using the same machine and the last user wound a bobbin, I often see the next user bearing down on the foot pedal, but no action at the needle. I'm also a fan of tri-flow.

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    Thank you all for your help. We're trying everything we can think of or hear about, so I'm sure that with your help we will get it eventually.
    Shirley in Arizona

  8. #8
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    Good info Miriam!! Thanks for being so specific!

    Let us know how it goes Shirley
    Deb

  9. #9
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    We're making progress! The bobbin case is out and it is pretty clean. The hook should come out fairly easily. The thumb screw for the stitch length adjustment is loose and the stitch length bar moves. A good surface cleaning with soap and water should get the stitch length cover plate off. Have to take a break today - life got in the way!
    Shirley in Arizona

  10. #10
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    No water please! Just soap, if that! And better to stick with just oils.
    Singer: 160 Anniversary Edition ("Planet Spaceball"), 66-16 ("Seabrook")
    Kenmore: 148.1217 (Patsy Gallant or Marc Bolan), 158.14001 (not named yet, recommend to me a song from 1971)

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