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  • Motor Brushes Stuck - Singer 201-2

    Old 06-26-2015, 04:55 PM
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    Default Motor Brushes Stuck - Singer 201-2

    We got another 201-2 in pretty nice shape. It needed a bit of cleanup and oil, but the machine turns nicely. Since the cord and controller were still installed in the cabinet outside, we just turned it by hand in checking it out.

    (Second 201-2)

    When it was time for a sewing test and we went to hook it up, we found that the motor wouldn't run. A quick look at the wiring didn't reveal any problems. I got a meter to check continuity between the power connector and the brush tubes. When I went to remove the brush caps to measure, only springs came out. No brushes.

    (Cap & Spring)

    The brushes are supposed to slide inside of square brass tubes, picking up current from the brass tubes. The brushes are pushed against the motor contacts under slight pressure from the springs.

    Its difficult to see, but we finally determined that the brushes were still in there. For the photo below, a lot of light was used. I was holding a small flashlight in one hand and the camera in the other. The photo makes it look like the brushes are close to the top. They're not. They are probably 1/2 inch or so down.

    (Stuck Brushes)

    With the brush caps off, I measured with the meter. The good news is that there is continuity between the power connector and both brush tubes, so the wiring is OK. We started thinking of ways to get the brushes out.

    What we read on the internet suggested that you need to take the motor apart to get stuck brushes out, something I'd like to avoid. Maybe I took it as a challenge, but soon we were talking about sticky tape. We had a roll of it, so I thought I'd give it a try.

    This is the setup. A 1/8 x 1/8 inch piece of the tape was placed on the end of the stick. I sanded the end of the stick smooth for best possible grip.

    (Stick & Tape)

    I've shown the product that we tried. The printing isn't that clear, so I'll repeat it here in case it's hard to see. The product name is Double Sided Foam Mounting ROLL - Extra Strong Double Stick Tape. In the upper left it says Super Glue Corporation, the manufacturer.

    The first attempt failed. The tape used up all its stickiness on graphite dust. Learning this, I cleaned the exposed surface of the brushes with a Q-tip and alcohol before trying the extraction again.

    This tape seems to start to set after a few minutes, so I allowed time for the tape to adhere to the stick. After 15 minutes I carefully pulled the paper off the other side and placed it into the brush tube, in contact with the brush surface. I left it in place for a few minutes. I positioned each hole upward for this waiting time, then turned it upside down for the attempted removal.

    (Removing Brush)

    With each side, I gently pushed and pulled, trying to loosen the brush. Going by feel, it seemed as if the square part of the brush had to align with the square tube. At a certain point on both sides, the brush pulled easily from the tube. The two brushes are shown below.

    (Brushes Out)

    Maybe this can work for others as well, if they ever encounter this unfortunate situation. Now, we'll get some brushes in there and get it going. These machines certainly have a nice feel to them. Even turning them by hand.

    Attached Thumbnails second201-2.jpg   cap-spring.jpg   stuckbrushes.jpg   stick-tape.jpg   removingbrush.jpg  

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    Old 06-26-2015, 05:15 PM
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    John you really should remove the motor and clean everything up. That should be part of a service. Not overly complicated on a 201-2 and the machine will thank you.

    That being said, I never could get the motor off of my 201-2 so your little trick may just come in handy some day.

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    Old 06-27-2015, 05:34 PM
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    A clever solution to your problem assuming the wiring is in good condition. Now you just need to clean the tubes so the installed brushes don't stick again. Don't remember the exact measurements but your brushes look pretty well wore also.


    Last edited by jlhmnj; 06-27-2015 at 05:40 PM.
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    Old 06-27-2015, 08:09 PM
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    Great trick! I'll keep it in mind for my next motor brush adventure.
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    Old 06-28-2015, 02:46 PM
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    This is what I used the first time I redid a potted motor:

    It really is worth going through these motors. It's not hard, just a lot of steps.
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    Old 06-29-2015, 07:57 PM
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    My son went through the motor on my 201-2 -- they were so old they crackled and crumpled when they were bent --that had to go! So, he pulled the motor (and they can be difficult to get off the machine), removed the wrapping from the coils, re-wrapped the coils with glass cloth tape, replaced the leads and the grommets (spelling?), soldered all the leads back, re-assembled the motor and it's terriffic!

    Jeanette Frantz is offline  
    Old 12-20-2015, 05:57 PM
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    It's been a while since I worked on this for several reasons, mostly me doing other things. Having finally gotten around to it, I find a set of circumstances that I can't explain.

    We ordered the brushes from a local sewing shop. While we had the micrometer and the old brushes, along with measurements, they decided to order them according to what is supposed to fit a 201 with a potted motor.

    The brushes that came in don't seem to fit. The brushes I removed quite easily and smoothly once I got hold of them, measure .22 inches each direction. They seemed a very good fit and are square in cross section. You can actually see a close-up of the square brass tube in a previous picture.

    The brushes which arrived are .155 inch by .186 inch, rectangular in cross-section. I dropped one of the smaller brushes into the larger brass tube in the motor brush hole, just to say I actually tried it. The brush will almost rotate within the square brass tube. Clearly too loose to even try, in my judgement. A loose fitting brush could break up and damage the motor. And be difficult to get out, again.

    So, ether we got the wrong brushes or this is an unusual motor. I certainly wouldn't want anyone to take a brush out just to look, since it's best to not disturb their seating. But can anyone off the top of their head confirm that brushes for a 201-2 are square in cross-section?
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    Old 12-24-2015, 12:40 AM
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    It is my understanding that the wiring on the 201-2 is notorious for not aging well. In other words, just as indicated in my previous post on this thread, the insulation on these old machines will crackle and pop when flexed -- NOT something I'd want to have going on if I were sewing on that machine. My son rewired my 201 because the insulation was absolutely cracking off. I think I'd rather re-wire the motor than risk a fire due to failed insulation. JMHO
    Jeanette Frantz is offline  
    Old 12-25-2015, 01:43 AM
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    Janey and John

    You addressed this yourselves, so I was probably wrong, but it struck me right away that maybe the reason brushes were stuck was they were a little off size. I have received wrong sizes from renowned vsm webshops - guaranteed to fit. In my case - as in yours - so much off that it was obvious, and no other harm done than having to reorder, but it's certainly good advice to check carefully.
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    Old 12-25-2015, 08:23 AM
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    As I recall my brushes were long but square around..does that make sense? They slide right into the tube neatly.
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