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  • Rocketeer needle and pattern selector problems

  • Rocketeer needle and pattern selector problems

    Old 05-02-2018, 06:23 AM
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    Default Rocketeer needle and pattern selector problems

    I bought a Rocketeer in 2015 on E-bay. To the best of my memory, I was pleased with the way it sewed when I received it and there were no problems. I put it away and just got it out again this past week-end, and cleaned and oiled. During the cleaning/oiling process, I removed the needle. When I replaced it, I noticed that it will not stay centered in the needle bar. As I tighten the needle clamp screw, it pushes the needle to the left until it is over the presser foot. I am inserting needle with flat side to back as instructed in manual. I tried the needle that came with it and tried 2 other needles with no change. I removed the needle clamp and looked up in the needle bar, but I didn't see any obvious cause. I also moved the needle position selector from side to side, but the needle only moved slightly. An additional problem, but I believe, related, is that the pattern selector knobs will not move. I noticed there is a screw on the back of the machine and when I push in the outer pattern knob, the screw moves out then back in when I release. Is this standard?? Any in-sights or ideas would be greatly appreciated. This has me stumped!!
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    Old 05-02-2018, 08:49 AM
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    It's not an unusual problem for the 401, I guess the 501 suffers from it as well. What's happened is that the old dried oil has turned to varnish and is gumming up the machine so that not everything moves at it should. It takes removing that old oil and replacing it with new oil. You can clean it with several products like kerosene, alcohol or just more oil. Sometimes you have to resort to heat (hairdryer) to melt the old stuff and get it moving again. It's not hard to do, but sometimes you have to clean and oil several times before the machine is totally free. (and that thing that sticks out in the back when you push the knob is normal)

    Several detailed posts on this problem have been posted previously. I couldn't find them with a quick search. I have an appt., but will come back and find them later today, if some else hasn't done so already.

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    Old 05-02-2018, 11:00 AM
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    Here are some links to how to clean up your machine:
    https://archaicarcane.com/stuck-in-t...lant-o-matics/

    Here's another:

    Singer 403a

    Some of these have further links that may be helpful. The only differences between the 400 series and 500 series is looks, so what applies to one also applies to the other. The other main differences are whether they have a built in camstack, which means they can sew zigzag patterns without putting a cam in the machine.

    bkay
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    Old 05-03-2018, 09:56 AM
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    Thank you so much bkay for the great info!! I have watched the video and downloaded the service manual and read the other applicable posts. I would still love to know about the other posts you referred to, if you get the chance to research them. The more info, the better! I won't be able to fool around with it until this week-end, but I feel like I can fix it now!! I didn't know it was such a common problem with the slants!!
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    Old 05-03-2018, 10:32 AM
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    Unwound, you may like to lookit Differences between the Singer 500 and the Singer 503 machines
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    Old 05-03-2018, 02:57 PM
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    Where is Janey when you need her? (Janey has the voodoo with Google to find the perfect post.)

    My 401 was nasty and I could not move the knobs last year. I also found some posts by J. Miller that were helpful, but could not find them today. What I did was search for the 401a and kept on looking and following links that were in the posts. As I understand it, many of the good sewing machine mechanics moved over to VictorianSweatshop.com. J. Miller and ArchaicArcane are two that don't post here anymore. Read their posts if you can find them. These are the suggestions I received.

    401a problem

    Found this one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdaWx1gGZWg

    Last edited by bkay; 05-03-2018 at 03:00 PM.
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    Old 05-03-2018, 05:12 PM
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    Originally Posted by bkay
    Where is Janey when you need her? (Janey has the voodoo with Google to find the perfect post.)

    ....


    bkay it seems like you have it covered, other than the ones you have linked to, I can only think of She's real fun, my 401... for using 30W oil for noise, and not with the "stuck in the middle" or the needle position. I think I had similar issue with needle not in correct position. I think Miriam has a picture somewhere, but I can't find it right now, that shows the place inside the nose plate that needs special attention. Once the gunky oil is out and fresh in, it worked fine. Maybe if you get the knobs working correctly, and maybe needle position - if you move the hand wheel and watch to see where places that move attached to the needle bar and oil well and see if you can gently push side to side when it is set for ZZ, you should be able to see where it needs fresh sewing machine oil or Tri-flow oil.

    Janey - Neat people never make the exciting discoveries I do.
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    Old 05-04-2018, 06:14 AM
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    Hooray!!!!! Ask and ye shall receive!! This is all such great info! Thank you everyone for the links and the benefit of your hard work. I am ready to tackle my Rocketeer this week-end armed with lots of ideas. I can't wait!! I will post my progress when I have something to report!!
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