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Thread: Rescued a 201-3(?), found oil in the motor

  1. #1
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Rescued a 201-3(?), found oil in the motor

    The good news is, by the color of it, it's probably motor oil.
    No wait, that's not good news.

    It didn't run much when we went to take a look at it. It would start, then quit a few seconds later. Unplugging it, then plugging it back in seems to start that cycle again.

    The DH said he was pretty sure it was an electrical problem (fair assessment based on the look of the wiring) and not to worry about it, I knew I was rewiring anyway. He's long since gone to bed, I'm playing insomniac again.

    Opened the motor, found my hands slick in several different spots. Also appear to have found a piece of oil soaked wood, maybe from its original bentwood case, inside the motor. Creative, but I doubt it's helping the performance.

    I found unreal amounts of carbon inside, and the loose stuff on the brushes seems wet to me.

    I'm sure I read somewhere that oil inside the motor ruins it.
    Caution: Dumb question alert....

    Ruins forever, or ruins til you do a huge cleanup on it?

    If it's salvageable, I'm definitely listening for suggestions, as soon as I wake up tomorrow.
    My 4am thoughts are to fully disassemble, douse all parts with electrical contact cleaner til it runs clear, then let it dry, and reassemble to see what happens. Anyone see any pitfalls with that?

    I do have a "spare" motor set here, but I'd like to keep it for the 28 that it came with if possible.

    In other news, the 201 and the 401 I found at the same time complete my wishlist of Singer machines now. (except for a 222, but I think that's a pipe dream for the moment) Yay!
    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

  2. #2
    Senior Member MrsBoats's Avatar
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    It's most likely salvageable. You're going to have to clean the heck out of it though. Hose everything down with Electosolve (specifically made to clean gunk out of motors) and wipe it all down. You can also do it with plain rubbing alcohol, although that will take longer to deal with the oil. Keep doing that until it's clean, and don't forget to do the brushes! You can also use a really fine sandpaper (600 grit) to lightly go around the commutator-the copper part-to clean more gunk off. Let the whole thing dry, reassemble, give it some power and see what happens. It should be fine.
    -Karen
    There's no such thing as too many sewing machines!

  3. #3
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Been there, done that. Am in agreement with MrsBoats.

    Joe

  4. #4
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Ah thank you!! I saw that last night and thought it might be done. Googling got me nothing, so I thought I'd ask the experts. I will be at it later today with the can the DH handed me this morning after reading this thread.

    Speaking of brushes, it looks like these ones are close to done. I've seen a listing on Sew-Classic for the 3/16" ones that are in the 15-91 and the 201-2, would an electrical shop have these ones for me,... how do I know what the length should be? All I've found so far is the Singer Part number, and it's not one that's available in the usual sources.
    In fact, I didn't get a single usable hit on Google for 196862.
    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

  5. #5
    Senior Member MrsBoats's Avatar
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    Yes, an electric shop will have the brushes you need. Radio Shack, too, although I prefer our local, small-town, old-school hardware store. I've never stumped those old boys yet. I've taken in worn down things, parts of things and unidentified things, and every time they've found me new ones, the rest of it, or ID'd it for me. Take the brushes with you and say you want two more just like that, only new. There's some wiggle room in length, since the springs compress.

    A word of warning: Once you change the brushes, expect the motor to be clattery-noisy, probably for 10 hours of use or so. The reason is the new brushes-you're rubbing a new, sharp square brush end against the round commutator. Especially if you have the kind with the grooves cut in it; all that cleaning will clean out the gunk smoothing them out. As the brushes wear into shape, the motor will quiet down.
    -Karen
    There's no such thing as too many sewing machines!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArchaicArcane View Post
    The good news is, by the color of it, it's probably motor oil.
    No wait, that's not good news.

    It didn't run much when we went to take a look at it. It would start, then quit a few seconds later. Unplugging it, then plugging it back in seems to start that cycle again.

    The DH said he was pretty sure it was an electrical problem (fair assessment based on the look of the wiring) and not to worry about it, I knew I was rewiring anyway. He's long since gone to bed, I'm playing insomniac again.

    Opened the motor, found my hands slick in several different spots. Also appear to have found a piece of oil soaked wood, maybe from its original bentwood case, inside the motor. Creative, but I doubt it's helping the performance.

    I found unreal amounts of carbon inside, and the loose stuff on the brushes seems wet to me.

    I'm sure I read somewhere that oil inside the motor ruins it.
    Caution: Dumb question alert....

    Ruins forever, or ruins til you do a huge cleanup on it?

    If it's salvageable, I'm definitely listening for suggestions, as soon as I wake up tomorrow.
    My 4am thoughts are to fully disassemble, douse all parts with electrical contact cleaner til it runs clear, then let it dry, and reassemble to see what happens. Anyone see any pitfalls with that?

    I do have a "spare" motor set here, but I'd like to keep it for the 28 that it came with if possible.

    In other news, the 201 and the 401 I found at the same time complete my wishlist of Singer machines now. (except for a 222, but I think that's a pipe dream for the moment) Yay!
    It's no sweat; yes, that motor is shot, but if you're certain it's a 201-3--that is, there a belt attached to your motor--then the motor is pretty easy to swap out with a new one, which you can get for maybe 20 bucks and will have your machine humming. (Assuming the rest of the machine is in order.) Try Jenny at Sew-Classic.
    - Rain

    Vintage Singer Sewing Machine Blog
    http://vssmb.blogspot.com/

  7. #7
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrsBoats View Post
    Yes, an electric shop will have the brushes you need. Radio Shack, too, although I prefer our local, small-town, old-school hardware store. <snip>

    A word of warning: Once you change the brushes, expect the motor to be clattery-noisy, probably for 10 hours of use or so. The reason is the new brushes-you're rubbing a new, sharp square brush end against the round commutator. Especially if you have the kind with the grooves cut in it; all that cleaning will clean out the gunk smoothing them out. As the brushes wear into shape, the motor will quiet down.
    Thanks for this! Our version of Radio Shack is not what Radio shack once was here. So they aren't going to work, and our small town hardware shop is a chain store, so limited in what they carry. I have a line on a shop that might be able to help though. For the short term, I put the shorter than 1/4" ones back in for testing.

    I wouldn't have thought of the louder part, so I appreciate that warning!

    I did the cleanup today. About 2 hours of cleaning (Dawn and water for all plastic parts, and electric motor cleaner for the coils and the armature. Nothing is oily anymore, there's no carbon transfer when I wipe anymore, the armature had a date with an eraser, and I rewired from the male connector to the marettes. The copper wiring inside the motor looked good, if a little wet. (No cracks, and a different sort of covering than the aluminum wire outside the motor had) I noticed when I removed the leads from the male connector that they were loose, so that could have been the whole reason for the motor cutting out when we tested it.

    I got it back together about an hour ago. It has the smell of unused motor when it runs, but no burning oil smell. It seems to be running strong. Yay! Boy, is a 201 ever a lot quieter than a 15 or a motorized 28!

    My next 3 hurdles with the machine now are:
    A spool pin plate, which a little research has told me are as rare as gilded hen's teeth
    Light shade
    Grease wick. The wick in the motor was very very ruined, so will need to be replaced. I will see if the electrical shop has that when I go in there next week. It will get cleaned up and tuned up in the meantime.


    Quote Originally Posted by Vintage.Singers.NYC View Post
    It's no sweat; yes, that motor is shot, but if you're certain it's a 201-3--that is, there a belt attached to your motor--then the motor is pretty easy to swap out with a new one, which you can get for maybe 20 bucks and will have your machine humming. (Assuming the rest of the machine is in order.) Try Jenny at Sew-Classic.
    Hey Rain,

    Thanks for the info. I suspect that the motor has a (much) shortened life span? It seems to have resurrected quite well. The bearings seemed good, the armature and coils looked ok, other than wet, so I figured I'd give it a try.

    I've bought tons from Jenny, she's got some great stuff.

    It's definitely a 201-3, I had a question mark in the topic, because ismacs identifies it as a 201K, which a little searching tells me is the same as a 201-3 - light in the back, belted motor.

    The machine hums along! It still needs a full tune up, it was a bookcase display before yesterday, but it looks like there's no reason it won't stitch.
    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

  8. #8
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Just an update. The 201 has many parts soaking to get crud off of it. The previous owner smoked (and not just tobacco) and the machine smelled of it. It's also the greasiest machine I've ever worked with,.... or was. It's just awaiting a good cleaning of the body, then all of its parts will go back on, then a good oiling / greasing / polishing.

    Before I disassembled though, I test sewed to see what I was dealing with. I'd say a small tension adjustment in the bobbin area is all it needs. Otherwise, it was a perfect stitch, and so quiet!!

    The only thing so far that's really challenged me is getting the bobbin case out. Singer's instructions are terrible, so I'll give the TFSR method a try tomorrow.
    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

  9. #9
    Senior Member MrsBoats's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArchaicArcane View Post
    My next 3 hurdles with the machine now are:
    A spool pin plate, which a little research has told me are as rare as gilded hen's teeth
    Light shade
    Grease wick. The wick in the motor was very very ruined, so will need to be replaced. I will see if the electrical shop has that when I go in there next week. It will get cleaned up and tuned up in the meantime.
    I can't help with the spool pin plate, but the light shade should be relatively easy to come across, and a grease wick is dead simple.

    There are two ways to replace it that I know of. 1. Start with a quarter size piece of wool-old wool blanket/coat, wool felt, whatever. Cut the piece in half, which should make a half circle. Roll that into a cone, and screw it in place. (You can do this for the oil wick in the 66 bobbin race, too; just use half a spool pin felt pad.) Alternatively, you can use real wicking, like you get at the craft store or outdoor section of BigBox for lanterns and so forth. Cut it to the correct length and put in place. If you put a drop or two of oil on the wick--no more than that--it will help to get the grease flowing, although the heat from the motor is usually enough.
    -Karen
    There's no such thing as too many sewing machines!

  10. #10
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrsBoats View Post
    There are two ways to replace it that I know of. 1. Start with a quarter size piece of wool-old wool blanket/coat, wool felt, whatever. Cut the piece in half, which should make a half circle. Roll that into a cone, and screw it in place. (You can do this for the oil wick in the 66 bobbin race, too; just use half a spool pin felt pad.) Alternatively, you can use real wicking, like you get at the craft store or outdoor section of BigBox for lanterns and so forth. Cut it to the correct length and put in place. If you put a drop or two of oil on the wick--no more than that--it will help to get the grease flowing, although the heat from the motor is usually enough.
    Wow! You're a good person to know!! Thanks for this. The machine is all ready now for its new wick so I will try this out tomorrow! I also have a few 99s here with pretty sorry looking hook wicks so I'll do them all at the same time.
    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

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