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Thread: Tension issue on Spartan (99)

  1. #1
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    Tension issue on Spartan (99)

    Well, I got my new foot controller for the Spartan, replaced all the wiring on it, and got all the electrical hooked up and working (motor even turns in the right direction! Major accomplishment for this electrically challenged person!).

    I had a feeling that when I was cleaning the machine I had messed up the tensioner, so I sewed a bit and ... huge birds nest, so yes indeed I had messed up the tensioner.

    I took it completely apart and followed directions to get it set right. I did have a problem getting it set ... I cannot get the tension dial to get to zero (I have the newer 99 tensioner with the numbered dial). But I decided to give it a go anyway.

    I CAN get a perfect stitch IF I set the tension to 8!! I was using a 5wt 3 ply cotton thread top and bottom, #14 needle on two pieces of regular cotton fabric. BEAUTIFUL stitches!!

    Now the question ... should I be concerned that I have to set the tension so high to get a good stitch? I would think the normal tension for this combination needle/thread/fabric would be around 5.

    Should I mess with it more or just call it quits and sew with the tension at 8??? Any hints on getting the tensioner set correctly??
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  2. #2
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    I've run into that more than once. All I did was hold the rotating knob so it didn't move, then push in on the numbered dial and turn it to #3, then let it pop back out. I like my normal tension setting to be on #3 with size 50 thread.

    So far, so good.

    Joe

  3. #3
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Miller View Post
    I've run into that more than once. All I did was hold the rotating knob so it didn't move, then push in on the numbered dial and turn it to #3, then let it pop back out. I like my normal tension setting to be on #3 with size 50 thread.

    So far, so good.

    Joe
    so you think it's just the numbers that are screwed up and not the actual tension??
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  4. #4
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Sue,

    The numbers on the dial are just a reference point. It's the spring and disks that actually put the tension on the thread. As long as the tension unit is assembled correctly the numbers can be most anywhere.

    Did you read the the instructions in the TSFR manual? It gives super easy to follow step by step instructions on how to adjust tensions.
    { http://www.tfsr.org/publications/tec...machine_manual }

    Joe

  5. #5
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Miller View Post
    Sue,

    The numbers on the dial are just a reference point. It's the spring and disks that actually put the tension on the thread. As long as the tension unit is assembled correctly the numbers can be most anywhere.

    Did you read the the instructions in the TSFR manual? It gives super easy to follow step by step instructions on how to adjust tensions.
    { http://www.tfsr.org/publications/tec...machine_manual }

    Joe
    Yup! After looking around in lots of places, those seemed to be the most clear and concise instructions.

    The only problem I had was that when I was finishing it with the final thumb screw it said to have the dial with the #2 on the top and to figit (my word) with where the notch fits until when completely tightened the dial reads zero. I could never get mine all the way to zero ... 9.5 was the most I could get.

    I'll probably pull the whole tensioner apart tomorrow and figit with it some more, study the instructions and see if I missed something.

    mostly I'm happy that a machine that I took apart and rewired actually WORKS.
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  6. #6
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Some of them just won't all the way to zero. I've got a couple that stop at 9. Doesn't seem to affect the way they work.

    The one thing I do do is loosen the lock screw so the slot is aligned to allow the index mark to be at the top. It's easier for me to see or at least I know it's at the top.

    Joe

  7. #7
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    I was just searching around for more clear pictures of the tensioner because I still suspect that something is wrong with mine. I couldn't find any real clear pictures showing the spring for the 99 or the spartan, but I noticed that some 221's have the same tensioner and I find excellent close-up's of those. And ... I was right ... my spring is wrong. The free end of mine is sticking up and out of the whole tension device and it should be inside nestled next to the tension disc. I'm going to play with it to see if I can bend it correctly, but I may have to buy a new one. I know Sew-classic has them and I need to get some other parts from her for a different machine anyway so I'll combine an order.

    Thanks for your help Joe ... at least I know I'm not the only who couldn't get that dial to go to zero.

    And yes ... I did turn the lock screw so that opening is completely horizontal and I could orient the dial index mark at the top. I also had to unlock the side screw in the head and turn the recessed shoulders as the top one was in the 12:00 position.
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

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