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Bad Morse Fotomatic III, Model 4300 tensioner parts. Solved.

Bad Morse Fotomatic III, Model 4300 tensioner parts. Solved.

Old 02-15-2018, 03:40 PM
  #1  
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Default Bad Morse Fotomatic III, Model 4300 tensioner parts. Solved.

Hi,

I have a Morse Photomatic III model 4300 that broke off at the split tensioner post. It also had a stripped slotted washer adjuster.

Nobody online states the barrel dimensions for a 4300 tensioner replacement. Most are 20/16" or 22/16th inch. The OEM tensioner is 21/16 " OD at the barrel mounting casting that goes into the frame.

A friend RC at 'The Stitch in Time Shoppe' locally gave me a MO-2052 tensioner to examine. It is not listed as fitting the Morse by any supplier. Too bad. I bought the tensioner. Why?

I took off the barrel and put on the 4300 barrel. It was a perfect fit.

Next, I compared the old broken tensioner post geometry to the new 2052 post. It was a match.
I reused the original shorter tension pin. The smaller ~3mm tension pin casting for the set screw on the 2052 fit perfectly into the old 4300 barrel hole. What luck.

Then, I tired the 2052 slotted wheel adjuster. It fits the new post, of course, and mates with the old Morse tensioner parts I reused that were not bad.

The 2052 had critical parts that I could replace on my Morse 4300 original tensioner. 2052 OD? 22/16". That's too big, but the parts inside were a gold mine for a heavy metal restorer like me.

I'd still like to get an original 4300 or even a 4400 tensioner but they don't seem to be on ebay as parts. Why do I want one? This machine was abused and had never been oiled or greased since it left the factory in the 1950s. What saved it was that it jammed and seized up on all the joints from sticky gelled 3-in-1 oil. It's not good to use cheap oil in a hot attic for decades. The owner gave up on it. It took three weeks of oiling and cycling the huge number of frozen parts to get the parts to move and rebound as originally intended. Another week, and it ran and sewed just fine. Then, "Pow!" The tensioner let go.

The MO-2052 tensioner saved this machine from being a parts machine or from a landfill.

HTH,

Stefan
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Old 07-03-2018, 12:47 PM
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Thank you so much for posting this information. It has truly been a lifesaver. Morse 4300 has been a pain because replacement parts are so darn hard to find. I've also located a few replacement parts and a manual for the machine. The info is linked here. Once again, thank you!
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Old 01-07-2020, 10:14 PM
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Default Thank you

Originally Posted by Stefan View Post
Hi,

I have a Morse Photomatic III model 4300 that broke off at the split tensioner post. It also had a stripped slotted washer adjuster.

Nobody online states the barrel dimensions for a 4300 tensioner replacement. Most are 20/16" or 22/16th inch. The OEM tensioner is 21/16 " OD at the barrel mounting casting that goes into the frame.

A friend RC at 'The Stitch in Time Shoppe' locally gave me a MO-2052 tensioner to examine. It is not listed as fitting the Morse by any supplier. Too bad. I bought the tensioner. Why?

I took off the barrel and put on the 4300 barrel. It was a perfect fit.

Next, I compared the old broken tensioner post geometry to the new 2052 post. It was a match.
I reused the original shorter tension pin. The smaller ~3mm tension pin casting for the set screw on the 2052 fit perfectly into the old 4300 barrel hole. What luck.

Then, I tired the 2052 slotted wheel adjuster. It fits the new post, of course, and mates with the old Morse tensioner parts I reused that were not bad.

The 2052 had critical parts that I could replace on my Morse 4300 original tensioner. 2052 OD? 22/16". That's too big, but the parts inside were a gold mine for a heavy metal restorer like me.

I'd still like to get an original 4300 or even a 4400 tensioner but they don't seem to be on ebay as parts. Why do I want one? This machine was abused and had never been oiled or greased since it left the factory in the 1950s. What saved it was that it jammed and seized up on all the joints from sticky gelled 3-in-1 oil. It's not good to use cheap oil in a hot attic for decades. The owner gave up on it. It took three weeks of oiling and cycling the huge number of frozen parts to get the parts to move and rebound as originally intended. Another week, and it ran and sewed just fine. Then, "Pow!" The tensioner let go.

The MO-2052 tensioner saved this machine from being a parts machine or from a landfill.

HTH,

Stefan
Thanks for the helpful info, can you tell me a part# for the pick up spring in a Morse 4300?
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Old 01-08-2020, 11:18 AM
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Great story about making do.. Thanks
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Old 01-08-2020, 11:25 AM
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It sounds like you are all set. It has to feel really good that you accomplished this.
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