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Thread: Back for more help - 401A

  1. #1
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    Back for more help - 401A

    Thanks to several of you, I've got the 401 clean and everything moving. Yesterday I started trying to put the top tension assembly back together - it was apart when I bought the machine. I purchased new springs for it, and with online instructions in hand, did my best. However, I am missing the "stop washer with an extension". I checked with Sew Classic, and she only has a complete new assembly, which would sound like a perfect solution, except that it has to be modified for the 401. Has anyone used that? I'm concerned about getting it modified correctly. Looks like something a machine shop would have to do. I know this is getting a bit technical, but so many of you have so much experience and are so willing to help, that I thought I'd ask.

    Also, I did not take out the main "stud" which everything revolves on. When I line all the small part up on it, the indicator (G5) with the + and - signs is not straight up as it should be. Should I take the stud out and try to get it lined up? Thank you for any help you can give me!!

  2. #2
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Cowbelle,

    I don't have my parts and instruction manuals in front of me, but the factory manuals you were linked to tell you how to do these adjustments.

    Also another source for information is TFSR: { http://www.tfsr.org/publications/tec...machine_manual } They have step by step instructions on fixing top tensions.

    Not all Singer tensions look alike, but they are enough alike that the instructions for one will work with others.

    Joe

  3. #3
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    I would keep my eye on ebay for a spare tensioner unit. I would want a vintage one and not a repro. if at all possible. You shouldn't need to remove the stud.

  4. #4
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    There's not been small parts on ebay that I could find - has no one used the replacement assembly from Sew Classic?
    The chance of finding the "stop washer with extension" is pretty low, I think. I did go back to the antique barn where I got it and looked all around on the floor where it had been, no luck. I'm really bummed out.

  5. #5
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    i looked on ebay for "singer sewing machine tensioner" and found this one for a 301. I have a 503a and it looks just like the 301, so maybe it would work on yours, too. i don't know but thought i'd at least pass it on.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/SINGER-301-3...item257a02bb1f

    here's for a 329K http://www.ebay.com/itm/SINGER-329K-...item232339fe2b

    you could also message one of the posters on ebay that's selling parts of tension components (i saw several) and ask if they have that specific part. good luck!

  6. #6
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Once you have done the stud thing you will wonder why you were so afraid. Just get the tfsr manual out and follow it exactly - enlarge the pictures. I'll look and see if I have a part - I kind of doubt it. Did you look all over your floor? They sometimes fly off in an eye wink when you open up the tension.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

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    Wow, you gals are great - I know that searching on ebay can be a puzzle as to what to search for - I hadn't seen those at all. Thank you so much - I'll follow up on them. Mimiam, the assembly was loose and had been taken apart in the antique barn where I bought it - I even went back there and searched the floor - no luck. I do know what you mean and I was very careful as I took it apart and matched it to the diagrams. Thanks again!!

  8. #8
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    OK. I have the part you need. I had to rebuild a tension on a 301 today but that wasn't the part - I robbed parts off a T&S with melted gears - send a pm with your address.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  9. #9
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    is this the right part?
    Name:  tension thingy 005.JPG
Views: 233
Size:  134.2 KB
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  10. #10
    Super Member cabbagepatchkid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miriam View Post
    is this the right part?
    Name:  tension thingy 005.JPG
Views: 233
Size:  134.2 KB
    You can turn the stud so that the groove in it is horizontal. Just screw the outer-most knob thingy back on to the stud...place the end of a screwdriver into the groove on the stud and give it a little turn. Be careful, because the stud is soft and it's easy to pry the groove open while turning, which is why I screw the little knob on before doing this. It helps keep the groove from distorting. Those directions sound about as clear as mud.

    I'll have to check to see if I have what you need. I bought a box of 301 parts, a few years back, and possibly I might have one. I wonder if 301 and 401's have the same tensioner.

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    Thanks cabbagepatchkid, I did that this weekend - very carefully. Your instructions are just great. Miriam indicated that the 301 parts were not the same - I don't know. Thanks again! Judith

  12. #12
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    I don't know why a Singer 301 tension would be much different than a Singer 401. The insides will be the same if nothing else. I put the stud from a Touch "n Sew tension on a Singer 327 this afternoon - the one on the 327 was bent - well pretzel-ed.... I put the spring from the T&S tension on the Singer 301 and I sent the little part to Judith already. That will make 3 machines that T&S has saved just from it's tension!!! Hurray for parts machines. Oh and there are still good parts with the old tension!!!
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  13. #13
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    Sorry, Miriam, I thought you said that when you took the 301 apart, that it wasn't the part. I misinterperted. Sorry! Yeah! hooray for parts machines.

  14. #14
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    I don't have real many parts machines - I have a Singer 500 that has saved so many machines it isn't funny. I have a T&S that is recent and a couple Japanese machines - it amazes me how much will change over. It also amazes me how many different parts seem to be missing off similar machines so that one donor will do the job for many machines. Some times it is an itsy bitsy screw or spring or a slide plate or a part off a tension. I have rebuilt about 6 tensions in the last week. It is getting easy but sometimes I still have to look at another machine to be sure I have it back right.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

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