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  • Kenmore 385.12490 Tension Assembly

    Old 06-13-2015, 12:21 PM
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    Red face Kenmore 385.12490 Tension Assembly

    The Wednesday sewing group that I belong to was gifted a frozen Kenmore 385.12490. After hours of cleaning, Tri-Flow baths, and lubing, she is all cleaned and running nicely. I foolishly decided to remove the tension assembly and clean the tension discs prior to testing her out with thread. I did find a length of greasy old thread in the spring so I guess it was not a wasted effort.

    You guessed it The parts went flying and Iím left with 7 pieces I donít what order and direction they need to be assembled. Iíve been searching the web all morning and canít find a diagram of this particular tension assembly. I don't have any other Kenmore's or similar machines to compare it.

    I am attaching two pictures:
    1- the spring and disc pieces already on the machine that I am confident are correctly applied
    2 Ėthe 7 pieces I donít know how to assemble (along with the Tension dial, numbered gauge, and screw (A, B, C) that I am sure I know how to put back on correctly)
    Can anyone out there help me put this back together or direct me to a resource that will show me?
    Thank you so much.
    [ATTACH=CONFIG]522221[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]522222[/ATTACH]
    Attached Thumbnails 1_ithinkthetensiondiscpiecesarecorrect.jpg   2_alphapiecesiknow_numberedpiecesineedhelp.jpg  
    JudyTheSewer is offline  
    Old 06-13-2015, 06:59 PM
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    I've never been brave enough to take one off. Google "385 sewing machine tension assembly" I think you can find something in there to help you. Good luck!
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    Old 06-13-2015, 07:32 PM
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    The part is still available from Sears. If you look on sears parts direct there is a diagram and a picture. In the base assembly diagram. You may be able to figure it out from that, if not, then the whole dial is available.
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    Old 06-13-2015, 07:47 PM
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    Ugh...hope you're able to get it back together. This is exactly the reason I haven't taken any of mine off to clean them yet...

    If it was me, I think I'd buy the entire new assembly.

    I'm saying all of this, but I've got a new check spring to replace a mangled one on one of my 15 clones, so one of these days, I'm gonna have to bite the bullet and just do it. I'm just a big chicken.

    Good luck fixing yours.

    Last edited by SherylM; 06-13-2015 at 08:01 PM.
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    Old 06-14-2015, 04:31 AM
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    Originally Posted by SherylM
    Ugh...hope you're able to get it back together. This is exactly the reason I haven't taken any of mine off to clean them yet...

    If it was me, I think I'd buy the entire new assembly.

    I'm saying all of this, but I've got a new check spring to replace a mangled one on one of my 15 clones, so one of these days, I'm gonna have to bite the bullet and just do it. I'm just a big chicken.

    Good luck fixing yours.
    Getting the nerve up takes longer than doing it even with errors.
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    Old 06-14-2015, 08:01 AM
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    Originally Posted by miriam
    Getting the nerve up takes longer than doing it even with errors.
    Miriam, I'm sure you're right. I just want to procrastinate a little while longer...
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    Old 06-14-2015, 11:12 AM
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    The instant someone tells us where piece #3 (the wavy washer) goes, I'm going to put mine back together.
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    Old 06-14-2015, 06:53 PM
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    Originally Posted by redmadder
    The instant someone tells us where piece #3 (the wavy washer) goes, I'm going to put mine back together.
    I ALWAYS take pictures of anything I take apart...has helped a lot...
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    Old 06-15-2015, 08:11 AM
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    Thank you everyone for your replies.
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    Old 06-15-2015, 08:15 AM
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    I just did this on the same machine! First, you're going to have to pull the whole thing out of the machine to change the position of the check spring....it needs to be at let's say 6 - 7 o'clock. Then make sure it's pulled up over the piece it clicks against. When things are put together to the point it is now.....first piece #1...nubs facing away from you___ then #7___next #4...funneled part going into #7 beehive spring___#6....put on stud up to the threads___A....with red mark up___#5___#3___put #2 in the notch on the back of B___put B on lining up the stop on piece #2 with the red mark (just to the left of the piece that is projecting on A), Then, put screw C in.

    When I screwed #4 onto the stud, I found that a good starting point was having maybe 2 rows of threads showing on your side. This is where you'll have to adjust to get a setting you're happy with. When it's together, tension will be set on 0. Turned up to 4, my tension is perfect. But depending on how strong the beehive spring is, your's could be a little different.
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