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Thread: Morse Ambassador

  1. #1
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    Morse Ambassador

    My friend gave me this beautiful girl. She has some issues, but I love her! I don't know much about vintage machines. Friend said she thinks there is something wrong with the tension, but I think it could be more than that. The needle does go up and down when I press the foot, so that is a good thing! The light doesn't work (could just be burned out) but the motor cord is worn and needs replacing. And she needs a good cleaning. I think the model number is J-C4 or JA19 but can't find anything online using those search terms. If anyone knows anything about this machine that would be great. I would like to take it for repairs but have no idea what a reasonable price would be. How much could I expect to spend fixing the wiring? What if she needs a complete overhaul? Is it worth it? More pictures and information here:http://chopstickknits.blogspot.com/2...g-machine.html Thanks!

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    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    I can't tell you a whole lot other than I'd get the wiring done, and the "E" for embroidery will drop the feed dogs so you can free motion!

    Repairs are expensive if you have them done by a pro, but I think this girl would be worth it!! If it was me, I'd do everything I know how to do before taking it in, WITHOUT running the power on it! Clean, etc., so that your "mechanic" doesn't have to...
    One day, you'll only be a memory for some people. Do your best to be a good one.

    http://charleeturner.blogspot.com

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    Isn't she gorgeous!! I'm sure someone on here will be able to help. I just had to say what a pretty girl.

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    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    You can clean it yourself, but I don't so electrics. My Universal's wiring was rotted. I got the cover off the motor, but when I saw the soldering and such that would need to be done, I took it to my large appliance repairman. He took care of the motor and wiring for his $35 bench fee.

    I love the two tone pink. If I found one like that, she'd follow me home.

  5. #5
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    If the sewing machine was free, it would be well worth it to have it fixed. The J numbers are not the model numbers. Is there a plate on the right side of the pillar with a model number? If she were mine, and she would be because I don't have a pink one, I would try to find a manual online. It is possible that the dials are not set correctly for her to sew properly. Follow Charlee's advice, oil her and clean her. Then find a good OSMG to take her to for repairs. BUT, if you decide that you don't want to invest the $$ in her, I WILL GIVE HER A GOOD HOME.
    Sweet Caroline

  6. #6
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    The Yahoo group of Japan made machines has a link to manuals available for purchase.

  7. #7
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stitchninja View Post
    My friend gave me this beautiful girl. She has some issues, but I love her! I don't know much about vintage machines. Friend said she thinks there is something wrong with the tension, but I think it could be more than that. The needle does go up and down when I press the foot, so that is a good thing! The light doesn't work (could just be burned out) but the motor cord is worn and needs replacing. And she needs a good cleaning. I think the model number is J-C4 or JA19 but can't find anything online using those search terms. If anyone knows anything about this machine that would be great. I would like to take it for repairs but have no idea what a reasonable price would be. How much could I expect to spend fixing the wiring? What if she needs a complete overhaul? Is it worth it? More pictures and information here:http://chopstickknits.blogspot.com/2...g-machine.html Thanks!

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    According to a chart I found over at Yahoo's Japanese machine group, the J-A19 number is Toyota and they made Morse machines. Yes, Toyota Motor Corporation, the same ones that make cars. From what I have read they are of excellent quality.

    Now the easy stuff:

    A: Replace the light, that's no big deal. That will also tell you if the internal wiring is good or not. You already know the circuits from the wall socket through the cord block to the foot controller then to the motor work.

    B: Inspect the machine.

    The motor is an external motor held on to the machine by a bracket so you can easily inspect it. Is the wiring bad or not? Look close for cut, cracked, abraded, soft, gooey, or crumbling insulation and poorly done splices. If you see that, it will need rewired. If you don't see these things check the plug. It should be solidly attached to the cord with no cracks or broken parts. Plugs are easy to replace.

    Check the cord block wiring for the same deterioration as the motor. If you see it the cord block should be replaced. Same thing for plugs.

    To check the foot controller connections you'll have to disassemble (usually just pull the back off) the controller and visually check the connections.

    Check the needle park position.
    That machine should have a "L-M-R" control somewhere on the front of the machine. It could be a horizontal or a rotary control. It will be interconnected with the stitch width control.
    Find it and put it on "M" then set the stitch width control to straight stitch and see where the needle parks. It should be centered in the needle slot. If so good. If not it will have to be adjusted.

    (NOTE Some machines park the needle to the left when on straight stitch. Those machine will not have a "L-M-R" control.

    Now to less easy part.
    I have two of that type of machines. They use internal cam stacks with very complex linkage and controls.
    One control can have several functions depending on what the other controls are set at.

    Pull the top off of the machine and look at it. There are many many moving parts that can be gummed up with old oil or sometimes grease. I've cleaned out what looked like old chassis grease from several machines. Yuck.

    An owners manual will tell you specific places to oil and or grease. My method is this. Linkage, shafts, sliders, rotating things, non Singer motors, all get oil. Metal gears, forks on main shaft cams-(not stitch cams), and certain plastic gears get grease. Some times the stitch and pattern cam stacks will need grease, sometimes not. I do the same thing underneath the bottom of the machine.

    If you over oil the machine as you are getting it freed up, don't worry about it. Due to the design of the machine most excess oil will drip down and end up under the machine. You can use cotton swabs or a rag on to wipe much of it up.

    Basically just use your eyes to examine then begin to run the controls. I have two machines similar to yours, so with a clearer pic I can help with the controls. It's better if you find an owners manual, but you can figure them out sans manual if you have to.

    Edited to add: I've become very partial to Tri-Flow oil and grease. The oil is worth it for the good job lubing it does and the grease is great as well. Sew-Classic has it, and your local bicycle shop might too. Mine does.



    Joe
    Last edited by J Miller; 06-30-2012 at 08:06 AM.

  8. #8
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Yesterday, I just just about finished a Dressmaker, very much like that. Mine was bought at an auction for $1 for the table. I didn't know a machine was in there until we tried to move it. The machine would not turn. This machine was filthy and frozen up. The knobs were frozen up. Nothing moved. NOTHING. NOTHING. NOTHING. I thought it might be fun so I cleaned it and oiled it. I had real problems with the knobs. I took it with me to Ray's class. We got it going but it took a LOT of work. I was able to fix all but the wiring - so far anyway... It will also go on a treadle. OH and all that work was worth it. I've been wanting one that would HC or treadle.
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    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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    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    They are not identical. You have to turn one knob to park another setting. Kind of complicated to work but not too bad once you play with it and figure it out. The LRC setting changes the decorative stitches.
    Last edited by miriam; 07-01-2012 at 05:26 AM.
    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
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    To get mine unfrozen, I oiled like Joe said and let it set. Then I went back and tried to move things. This one still did not move. The stitch selector and the stitch length and the reverse stuck the hardest and were the worst job to fix. I also had problem when the knob broke loose - it only had a set screw holding it and since the shaft was gooey the knob turned but not the shaft. We had to use a Dremmel to get it secure. Triflow and time. Drop on the Triflow thoroughly like Joe said and wait. Then check it in a week or two. The reverse has internal stuff that needs to ungoo. Don't try to force the knobs to turn. Use the Triflow oil and WAIT. Sit on your hands. BUT if you do that you will need to be very thorough. It is the dried gummy oil you can't see that is giving you the grief.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  11. #11
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Miriam,

    You gave me the best laugh I've had all week. That really neat old machine with that UGLY RUSTED hand wheel and shiny hand crank is a HOOT!

    I've been threatening to put my Alden in the treadle base, but "I" have a nice shiny hand wheel for it. LOL.

    Joe

  12. #12
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Joe I have a nice shiny hand wheel and a nice shiny motor - there is no plastic on the wires. I wanted to see if that machine will sew but not celebrate the Fourth of July inside my shop. By gum that HC will make that puppy sew! I'm saving the motor for when you AND Elaine come over to rewire....
    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
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miriam View Post
    Joe I have a nice shiny hand wheel and a nice shiny motor - there is no plastic on the wires. I wanted to see if that machine will sew but not celebrate the Fourth of July inside my shop. By gum that HC will make that puppy sew! I'm saving the motor for when you AND Elaine come over to rewire....
    I guess I better bring all my stuff then. LOL I don't have a hand crank unit, but they sound like fun. Is yours a Singer made unit or a repro?

    Joe

  14. #14
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Miller View Post
    I guess I better bring all my stuff then. LOL I don't have a hand crank unit, but they sound like fun. Is yours a Singer made unit or a repro?

    Joe
    I got a repro... originals are out of my league.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  15. #15
    Super Member Latrinka's Avatar
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    Beautiful machine!
    If a woman's work is never done....why start?

  16. #16
    Super Member purplefiend's Avatar
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    I'm drooling over those machines, especially the pink one; would love to adopt one of them. All the chrome and the dials remind me of my Dad's 1954 Chrysler New Yorker's dashboard. Back then cars had style and didn't all look the same.
    I'd drop it into a treadle cabinet and run it that way. Who needs a motor? lol I prefer treadling to using a hand crank.
    I have an original Singer hand crank, it came with my Singer 201K. The hand crank belongs to my 99K now, she had a 220 volt motor and no cords or foot pedal when I bought her.
    Last edited by purplefiend; 07-01-2012 at 07:21 PM.

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    Hi Joe,
    Thanks for all the great information. I didn't see any "L-M-R" lever on the machine. Also, there are a ton more pics on my blog if you click on the link. Maybe they will be helpful. I would love to find a manual but I think I need to figure out the model number first. I also posted about it in the Yahoo group but I'm not sure that anyone responded. Or maybe I am just not getting responses to my email.

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    Hey Caroline,
    Thanks for the info. I couldn't find a plate with a model number. I saw that was where the model number is on a lot of the machines I looked at online but no dice on this one. I took pictures of all the plates and numbers I could find on the machine and captioned them on my blog - except the two stickers from the Missouri Sewing Machine Company, who apparently serviced the machine some time after 1997 (the date on one of the stickers).

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    Thanks everyone for all of the information and tips. I took the machine to a local shop and trust it will be in good hands.

  20. #20
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    It is very hard to get instruction manuals for those machines. You kind of have to experiment until you get things to work.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  21. #21
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    I viewed all of your pictures. You do need a new cord. I wish you had a good clear close up of all the dials in one picture - I tried to enlarge it but it went fuzzy. I can't tell how they interact from here. Do they turn at all? Mine was frozen up when I got it. The machine didn't turn and the dials were stuck stuck stuck. I used some Triflow and gave it a lot of time to work. I learned a lot about getting those knobs unstuck from my machine. Some of those machines have a release knob or lever before you can turn the dials. It may be frozen up - well worth the time to fix up. They are better than anything you can buy at WM these days. I never pay any attention to the numbers on those machines - way hard to find information. I just look the machine over with the top off and see what knob moves what inside the machine. If it doesn't move I drop a drop of Triflow on it - look for a JOINT of anything that might remotely move. There is no predicting how long it would take to work on any machine. Some machines free up in an hour or two some take weeks - mine took weeks. I have had to sit there for awhile figuring out all the knobs and levers and dials to figure out what combinations work. I figured out mine can't get the decorative stitches in the wide selection - has to be two or smaller. Mine has 3 stitches per design selection - it does a different stitch design if the needle is to the left, center or right.

    Your zigzag dial looks like it has a lever above it - very hard to tell without being hands on. You may have to release it or set it after you get it to the width you want. You will have to gently experiment. Before you experiment much make sure everything is moving freely.

    You can find lots of instructions to take out the bobbin and the shuttle. Look for a Singer 15 manual and it should tell you how to get it apart to clean and put back together. You can go by that info to use the bobbin.

    The same Singer 15 manual should tell about the the two feed dog control buttons - left is for darning or free motion - right is for regular sewing. I think you can leave them both up for some light weight material - gives you 3 settings - some machines have a presser foot tension on the top of the shaft. Makes wonderful free motion.
    Last edited by miriam; 07-07-2012 at 02:19 AM.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  22. #22
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Did this machine ever get up and running?
    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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