Motor for Lady Kenmore 516.891

Old 09-18-2022, 06:53 AM
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Default Motor for Lady Kenmore 516.891

I recently bought a Lady Kenmore at a garage sale. It hadn't been run for many years, and was reluctant to turn over. I have lubed everything, and it is sewing fine but the motor is noisy. I think the motor was noisy when the machine was new, as it is vibration from the windings that make the noise. The motor turns easily and the bushings are fine. Can anyone suggest where to buy a new motor? It must be flat sided. The motor is held to the bracket with two screws which are centered on the flat side of the motor.
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Old 09-18-2022, 07:46 AM
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Welcome to QB. I gather the one in your machine is different than the one seen at https://www.facebook.com/tksewingmac...581873821088/? Perhaps a picture will help!

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Old 09-18-2022, 08:41 AM
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The motor probably mounts the same, but the brushes aren't replaceable without taking the motor apart. The motor has plenty of power, just very noisy.

Last edited by SkylaneGuy; 09-18-2022 at 08:46 AM.
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Old 09-18-2022, 09:08 AM
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I would think that it would need a "L bracket" motor. Looking at some on Amazon, it looks like it would need to be wired differently on the Kenmore. That would mean taking the electrical plug off the motor and wiring it somewhere inside the machine so that it is wired to the plug in the machine. (The part black block in the lower right of your picture.) I would double check with the seller to make sure that the mounting holes are the same distance apart.

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Old 09-18-2022, 09:18 AM
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Thanks for replying. I will find out what an L bracket motor is. I can alter the bracket if the holes don't have the same layoout. Any suggestions for the motor? The original motor is 1.2 amps. Wiring changes are no problem, over forty years as an electrician.
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Old 09-18-2022, 10:35 AM
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The place I used to buy my vintage sewing machine items is no longer in business. I have mainly gone to Amazon, but it takes a long time to search for what I want as there are so many selling basically the same thing with wide variety of costs. It looks like there are only .9 amp or 1.5 amp sewing machine motors. It looks like rather than "L bracket" it is generally listed as "L type bracket"

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Old 09-18-2022, 07:34 PM
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I have a silly question. You're someone with a tremendous amount of knowledge about electricity. So taking apart a simple motor like this doesn't pose a challenge. Why not take it apart and see what's making the noise?

Is the shaft rattling because it's missing a washer or two on the shaft? Are the brush holders rattling because they were installed incorrectly? Are the brushes in need of replacement? Are the brushes rattling inside the holders because someone installed brushes that were too small? Are the ends of the shaft in need of a drop of oil or some Vaseline to lubricate the motor? I suspect that motor hasn't seen any lubrication for at least 50 years. Has the copper on the commutator worn down leaving the mica proud and are the brushes bouncing on the mica?

I had the last thing on a Singer motor and what was needed was 10-15 minutes with a fine saw (an Exacto razor saw equivalent bought on the web for maybe $8.00 including three blades) to undercut the mica. After that job was finished the motor went from making a racket to purring like a contented cat. If you go the route of undercutting, don't bevel the edges of the copper, leave them sharp and undercut the minimum needed to ensure the brushes don't bounce.
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Old 09-19-2022, 01:51 PM
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I agree with 1.41. Not all that long ago I pulled out a toothpick from a motor.

Also, if you haven't already done so, disconnect the motor from the machine and run the motor, does it make the same noises? If so, then I would take it apart. If not, maybe there's something in the machine making noise (although I did just take apart a Singer motor which rattled while spinning up under load, but didn't make any noise disconnected, taking it apart and cleaning it fixed the rattle).
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Old 09-19-2022, 05:26 PM
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The noise is from the motor. The machine turns over very freely by hand. I have disconnected the belt from the motor and run the motor with no load. It is smooth with no load. If I hold the pulley firmly with my hand and step on the pedal, there is a lot of vibratory noise. I think it is the windings. The brushes on this motor can't be serviced externally. In order to disassemble the motor I'll have to remove one or both rivets holding the Kenmore tag across the motor halves. I have been reluctant to do that because it may be a challenge to reassemble the motor while holding the brushes out of the way. I have had the motor off and looked at the commutator, and it looks great. I have used my drill press as a lathe and turned the commutator on another sewing machine, a White 651. It runs great so far.
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Old 09-19-2022, 06:26 PM
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I understand the reluctance to pop off the plate, you might be able to reattach it with small screws.

Resetting the brushes can be a little tricky, but the housing for the brushes is typically held in place by 2 nuts, inside, on the same long bolts running through the whole motor. You'll have to disconnect the motor wires from the plug, but the wiring looks good as does the grommet on the motor.

Once you have it open you can post more pictures if you need any help.
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