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Thread: Runs backward but not forward?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012

    Question Runs backward but not forward?

    This is the machine I learned to sew on as a teenager. I have used it for years with no problems. Always ran great. About a year and a half ago I went to use it and it will not run forward. The feed dogs will run in reverse but not in forward. I called a repair shop and was told that it wasn't worth fixing. I think that is just crazy. It is such great condition except this issue.

    Any suggestions? I have looked at it from the underside and don't see anything getting stuck.

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    It was hard getting a decent picture. She is so dang shiny that I kept getting so much glare you couldn't see how pretty she is.

  2. #2
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Ontario, Canada
    I wonder if a good cleaning with oil in the reverse gear might free it up? I am not familiar with that machine but she is a beauty!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Pat M.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Can you take the top off and look down in the inside where the reverse button is? Maybe there is a loose spring?
    Good luck and find another repair man.

  4. #4
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    San Lorenzo, CA
    Quote Originally Posted by Pat M. View Post
    Good luck and find another repair man.
    x2 No repair person worth a wit should say this.

    Who are they to decide the value of a particular machine?

    I have had ONE person say this to me in the sewing machine shop and I set him straight. "If I was looking to sell this for a profit that might be true, but "I" value this machine very highly and would like it fixed."

    That encounter is part of what inspired me to learn to do it myself. I figured if an idiot could fix one, I had a better than average chance myself.

  5. #5
    Super Member Glenn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Huntsville, AL
    Blog Entries
    I agree with Steve. If you are willing to pay then why would the repairman not want to repair it. He will make his money and should not be concerned with the value of the machine. I feel that if you are in business to repair then repair if the customer would like it fixed. They should not be in business.
    Glenn W. Cleveland

  6. #6
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    NE Indiana
    OK, now first the disclaimer. The following is a SWAG and only a SWAG, cos I've never had one to tinker with.

    I have an Alden ZZ with built in cams that requires you to move a lever when you do stretch stitches so the machine can do it's back and forth dance as it sews. If you leave this lever in the wrong place on certain stitches, it will sew backwards.
    Perhaps your machine has such a lever or knob or switch and it's in the wrong position.
    Something to check at any rate.

    I agree about taking the top off and cleaning and oiling it good.

    Also, by all means find a real sewing machine repair shop, not just a store.


  7. #7
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Cadillac, MI
    Blog Entries
    The first thing I'd do is lay the machine on its back and pour Koil gun cleaner around that reverse knob. Let it soak for a while and then wiggle and jiggle the area, both inside and out.

  8. #8
    Super Member jlhmnj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Millville, NJ
    Probably the mechanic wasn't familiar or comfortable working on your machine, I'd find another mechanic if possible. If you want to try fixing yourself, I'd get a can of PB Blaster or some other similar nut loosener product, and trace the path of Reverse and stitch length all the way to the feed dogs and spray wherever two parts rub together. Should free things up if you work the controls back and forth. Most likely somewhere along the path something is gummed up preventing forward movement. Old WD40 and gummy lubricant acts as a powerful glue in the older sewing machines.


  9. #9
    Super Member LoisM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Highland, CA
    Folks have shared some great suggestions but I think the best is to find a different repair person. I just have to say that that's one BEAUTIFUL machine!

  10. #10
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Not Here
    When it's running, is the reverse button stuck pushed in? If not, what happens when you push it?

    ETA: For that matter, when you turn the stitch length dial, does the reverse lever move in and out?

    Absolutely the worst situation I had with a machine running backwards was the timing of the dogs was off. The lady'd managed to throw it 180 degrees, and not affect the hook timing, which shocked the heck out of me. I stared at that machine for a week before I was willing to take it on. Took me 10 minutes to fix it, once I got in and did it. LOL! That's the issue to troubleshoot last though.

    I agree, especially "in this economy" I don't understand why people would turn away business.

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