Need Help

Old 12-26-2016, 06:24 PM
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My daughter lives in the Denver,Co area. She has a Singer 401 that she did something to it?!?! It needs to be worked on. She needs help finding someone to work on it.. I live in St Louis, Mo, so can't help her. So I thought of you folks and maybe someone would know who she could get to work on it,,It sounds like it will need to be timed. I hope there is some one in the area!!
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Old 12-26-2016, 08:57 PM
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Before you take it to a repair shop, remove the bottom plate and see if the gears are broken. They just get brittle with age. Some repair techs will tell you to put your money into a new machine, rather than have the gears replaced. The problem is, that when one breaks, they all will eventually break. They may break in 10 years, but they may break in 10 days. And there are 5 or 6 of them -- I can't remember what the vertical shaft gear is paired with. And they will probably charge $80 to $120 for each pair of gears replaced. Plus, you could probably find a replacement sewing machine (of the same caliber) at a thrift shop for $30 or less.

Having said all that, if the machine is dear to your heart, it may be worth fixing to you.
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Old 12-26-2016, 09:15 PM
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I've never heard of broken gears in a 401. It doesn't have any plastic gears in it Annette. I don't think I've ever heard of one being out of time either unless someone has really buggered it. There are several people here that are in the Denver area, I hope one of them chimes in here for you.

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Old 12-26-2016, 09:45 PM
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Hmmm... I know I don't have all the machines memorized, but I typed "Singer sewing machine 401" in Google images, and came up with this image. https://growyourownclothes.com/2015/...e-singer-401a/ That machine sure looks like it has the plastic gears.

Cari, you're right. I had to get my glasses on and actually read the caption.

Bdschafer, just ignore me. :-)
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Old 12-27-2016, 03:17 AM
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Originally Posted by bdschafer
My daughter lives in the Denver,Co area. She has a Singer 401 that she did something to it?!?! It needs to be worked on. She needs help finding someone to work on it.. I live in St Louis, Mo, so can't help her. So I thought of you folks and maybe someone would know who she could get to work on it,,It sounds like it will need to be timed. I hope there is some one in the area!!
The only one I've ever had to retime had a bent needlebar and that isn't very common. Is it skipping stitches? Is it skipping stitches on one side when it ZZs?
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Old 12-27-2016, 08:09 AM
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I was fortunate with my 401s just clean & oil AND figure out how to work the knobs. I really haven't really messed much with the decorative stitches. I did some straight stitch mending and liked the job it did.

Miriam, I have a 626 that skips stitches, I think, on the left side. I haven't messed with it for a while. I remember I did have to mess with the bobbin area to get it to stitch and get the chain stitch to work.

I am in the south central part of Denver proper. I probably have more questions than answers, but will send a PM.

Janey - Neat people never make the exciting discoveries I do.
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Old 12-28-2016, 06:07 PM
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"[QUOTE=quiltedsunshine;7726805]Hmmm... I know I don't have all the machines memorized, but I typed "Singer sewing machine 401" in Google images, and came up with this image. https://growyourownclothes.com/2015/...e-singer-401a/ That machine sure looks like it has the plastic gears."


I don't see any plastic gears...just the plastic CAM which is removable. The cams make optional decorative stitches. I am getting a "too short" message.
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Old 12-29-2016, 03:00 AM
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The Singer 401 does not have plastic gears. Those are cams and most sewing machine cams are plastic. They bear no load. There is a reader that runs along the edge of the cam is all they do.

Skipping on one side is usually a compromised gear. It could have out of time zz. Most likely is the gear. A 401 zz can be timed and there are instructions in the service manual. I have worked on a lot of slant machines. I don't mess with the ones with plastic gears. I consider them to be parts machines. Those stupid plastic gears don't hold up. There are better more worthy machines to own so I don't waste my time on the gears. I do rob parts off if I can use any.
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Old 12-29-2016, 07:18 AM
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She also lives in that area. What she would like to know is where she could take the the machine to have it looked at. The regular shops don't want to work on the older machines.
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Old 12-29-2016, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by bdschafer
She also lives in that area. What she would like to know is where she could take the the machine to have it looked at. The regular shops don't want to work on the older machines.
I would be willing to look at it and see if I could help get it running again.

Is it a sentimental machine? Is it a machine that she has used for a while?
What are the symptoms? Did it stop stitching in the middle of a project? Has it been sitting for a while and when took it out, it wasn't working? Did it break a needle while sewing? If it broke a needle what kind of material was being used? If so is it something she wants to sew on a regular basis? Are the stitches bad? Is it that she can't move the dials to do decorative stitches? Or if can move dials does it not make the stitches? Is it skipping stitches? Is it that she can't bring up the bobbin thread? If can bring up the bobbin thread - does it not make any stitches? Has she cleaned the bobbin area? Has she oiled the machine?

I have only taken one machine into a shop and that was in the early 90s. It was my 1471 Pfaff. It wasn't a problem, it was just that I was told I should take it in once a year. That was the only time I took it in. I have been able to maintain it myself and it is still running. So, I personally cannot recommend someone to take it to.

Janey - Neat people never make the exciting discoveries I do.
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