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Broken Kenmore? Fix or replace

Broken Kenmore? Fix or replace

Old 01-13-2012, 06:51 AM
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Unhappy Broken Kenmore? Fix or replace

I have a 40 year old Kenmore that could have sewn it last stitch. I replaced the belt thinking it was why the wheel turned so hard, but that wasn't the case. The needle operation is fine and actually the motor seems fine. Any ideas out there what could be wrong? Could there be something jammed or just broke. It's a heavy machine in a cabnet and taking it in and out is a challange. It's an oldie but goodie, but is it time to move on?
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Old 01-13-2012, 07:02 AM
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Have you taken off the handwheel and checked it out? This is a 70's machine? Could be that it just needs to be cleaned and re-oiled...
I wouldn't give up on her yet!
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Old 01-13-2012, 07:10 AM
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Sad to say by favorite Kenmore just wore out...........It was a sad day but It worked long and hard. I bought it in 1978 and used it until 2009. It was hard to turn the wheel to move the needle up and down, It would no longer do a zig zag stitch. They told me it was the head that went out. RIP Kenny
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Old 01-13-2012, 08:36 AM
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I've been dabbling in vintage sewing machine repairs for quite a few years and I have never heard of a "head going" The head I have heard of is the machine as a whole, as opposed to the machine and cabinet combination. I love those late 60's early 70's Kenmores. I've found most of them to be all steel and almost undestructable. I've had/passed on at least 10 of them and none needed more than cleaning and oiling. Did the dealer by any chance try to sell you a new machine?? Yes, I have a suspicious nature....plus I've heard this same scenario before.

Originally Posted by Jadie View Post
Sad to say by favorite Kenmore just wore out...........It was a sad day but It worked long and hard. I bought it in 1978 and used it until 2009. It was hard to turn the wheel to move the needle up and down, It would no longer do a zig zag stitch. They told me it was the head that went out. RIP Kenny
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Old 01-13-2012, 09:27 AM
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I had an older all metal machine and it lived and did well until DD left it in the basement and it got wet and rusted. I still think it could have been saved but she threw it out! I could have killed her. Very nice machine, those older ones were so heavy and stitched through anything. I would try to fix it if only to have a good reliable backup.
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Old 01-13-2012, 09:28 AM
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I agree with Charlee, it could be something as simple as a good cleaning and oiling. It couldn't hurt to try, and you may have saved an old friend.

Pat
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Old 01-13-2012, 09:36 AM
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A gal at work recently took her Kenmore to Sears. They charged her $30 just to evaluate and proposed a $179 fix. She bought a gently used Janome instead.

I would have it checked out by a reputable repair person and listen to what the verdict is.
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Old 01-13-2012, 11:34 AM
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My bet is that this is the type of machine that has brushes in the motor. They are metal brushes that get worn and eventually need replacing. Someone familiar with motors and brushes would probably be able to diagnose and make the fix; however, it could get pricey if you have to pay someone to do it.

There are vintage sewing machine groups on Yahoo, and probably one specifically for Kenmores. Someone on one of those groups could explain how to figure out if it is the brushes.

I would probably keep the machine to try to figure out how to fix it. Meanwhile, though, I would buy another machine while figuring out if this one can be fixed. Never hurts to have two machines!
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Old 01-13-2012, 12:20 PM
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My old Kenmore, only 20 years old, stopped working. turns out the grease/oil had hardened and that stopped the machine, made all sorts of noise when it did. Cleaned and oiled and back on the job.
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Old 01-13-2012, 12:40 PM
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definitely worth the trip to the pro for a thorough cleaning, oiling and adjusting... there may be a part to be replaced, that will be a decision when he tells you how much or how little that will be....but the only way you will know is if you get it to a good, reliable repairperson... ask around...at classes, your friends, and fabric stores... find the right person and then trust them... all the rest of us are just guessing...
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