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Thread: Singer 401A sewing machine question

  1. #1
    Senior Member CarolLady's Avatar
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    Well over the summer I was busy outside. So this winter I have taken my sewing machine to be cleaned. I have been told that it has a worn hook tip on the bobbin case that causes it to skip stitches when doing zig zag stitches and that it will run another $150.00 to get it fixed. Is this to much to pay for this fix and is the machine worth it? Is it a fix I could do if I can find the part online? Any one know what the part would be for it so that I could look it up online? The service person said it was a worn hook tip in the bobbin case. Any and all information would be appreciated.
    Thanks
    Carol
    I was afraid this would get lost in the the original post I had posted in May. That's why I am reposting it. sorry for any confusion.

  2. #2
    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
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    Billy -- lostn51 -- might be able to help send him a PM ?

  3. #3
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    Carol, that sounds awfully expensive!! I would go to the machine shop here on the board. Billy (lostn51) and Charlee know a lot about vintage machines.

  4. #4
    Senior Member CarolLady's Avatar
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    Thanks.

  5. #5
    Super Member sewwhat85's Avatar
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    i would try to find a way to fix myself

  6. #6
    Senior Member CarolLady's Avatar
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    searching online now. Thanks

  7. #7
    alimaui
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    I would get a second opinion. But I would still pay that to get it fixed. If you keep this machine in good repair, it will last forever.

  8. #8
    Senior Member CarolLady's Avatar
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    Thanks for that info alimaui... I figured if it's taking up space I want it in working condition. Just trying to save some money if the price they are asking is to much. Because that would be on top of the $75 to service it.

  9. #9
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    I see these machines for sale on CL here for anywhere from $40-$100....so I'd be hard pressed to spend double that much to fix one:<

  10. #10
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Candace
    I see these machines for sale on CL here for anywhere from $40-$100....so I'd be hard pressed to spend double that much to fix one:<
    That was my thought too.

  11. #11
    Senior Member cherrybsixty's Avatar
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    I have had my 401A since the early '60s and I have it serviced very other year or so and it cost me anywhere between $60-$80 dollars and I curse but, I pay it and bring her home and work so more on her.

  12. #12
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Candace
    I see these machines for sale on CL here for anywhere from $40-$100....so I'd be hard pressed to spend double that much to fix one:<
    401s usually go for a lot more than that where I am!

  13. #13
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99
    Quote Originally Posted by Candace
    I see these machines for sale on CL here for anywhere from $40-$100....so I'd be hard pressed to spend double that much to fix one:<
    401s usually go for a lot more than that where I am!
    There was one recently for sale here locally in a nice table and it sat on CL for at least a week for $80. I don't know if it ever sold.

  14. #14
    Senior Member CarolLady's Avatar
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    The only thing is you can see them going for $345 on ebay and not know if they work or not. If I can get this one running for less than that I am hoping it will be worth it in the end. I got it free from craigslist because the guy couldn't find the cords, so far the cords and cleaning are all I have in it money wise. So if I can find this part on ebay or at a sewing place online and fix it myself then I am still not hurt to bad. I just need to know if the part I need to replace (hook in the bobbin case) is something I can do myself once I get the part. From the way they explained it to me is the hook that catches the thread doesn't catch very well in zig zag mode and skips stitches. I am a little mechanically inclined so if it's just a few screws and not to deep into the machine I think I can handle the replacing of the part.

  15. #15
    Senior Member kapatt's Avatar
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    Hi Carol,
    I have a couple of 401s. If I was having the problems that you mentioned, I would try to replace the hook myself instead of paying someone to do it. There are a few websites that have resources and replacement parts. You might also be able to find the part on ebay. I've never changed the hook but I do take the bobbin case out of my machines when I am cleaning my machines.


    Send me a pm and I'll be glad to give you the links to where you can get your repair questions answered. I can't imagine that it would cost $150 to repair this item....but as I said, I've never worked on the hook before.

  16. #16
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    I'm with kapatt. Order the part, download a manual and fix it yourself...it's really not that hard! :)

  17. #17
    Senior Member CarolLady's Avatar
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    Thanks!

  18. #18
    Super Member thepolyparrot's Avatar
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    I'd rather buy a new hook and install it. You can buy a hook on eBay for $10-15 including shipping and it'll take a few hours to remove the old one and install the new one and then, clean and oil the rest of the machine. You'll save $225.

    Anyone can learn how to clean, oil and adjust their own non-computerized machines. :) And I mean *anyone* - I learned how and I'm about as thick-headed as they come! :D

    This is one of the attractions of these vintage machines - that with a little elbow grease and the occasional spare part, they'll sew on for a couple of centuries.

  19. #19
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Is the hook actually broken or does it have a burr? A burr can be polished out. I would get a second opinion. Eyeball it real good and run your finger over that hook to see if there are burrs. If you buy another one be careful. I've gotten several off CL sometimes they work and sometimes they work after they are worked on a bit and sometimes you make compromises. I now have one parts machine. I had a 599 that had a stripped thread in the balance wheel so it won't come off, it won't loosen to wind a bobbin. One hits the foot with the needle - I need to figure that one out - it's a Singer 411 (German) And one must have had someone throw a temper fit with a hammer on the stitch selector. It does not work and probably never will - they bent the shaft. I set it up so that I can use top hats for everything. It has a wonderful motor and the foot control is great. But occasionally you can get a really nice one. Expect to pay more for a nice one.

  20. #20
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miriam View Post
    Is the hook actually broken or does it have a burr? A burr can be polished out. I would get a second opinion. Eyeball it real good and run your finger over that hook to see if there are burrs. If you buy another one be careful. I've gotten several off CL sometimes they work and sometimes they work after they are worked on a bit and sometimes you make compromises. I now have one parts machine. I had a 599 that had a stripped thread in the balance wheel so it won't come off, it won't loosen to wind a bobbin. One hits the foot with the needle - I need to figure that one out - it's a Singer 411 (German) And one must have had someone throw a temper fit with a hammer on the stitch selector. It does not work and probably never will - they bent the shaft. I set it up so that I can use top hats for everything. It has a wonderful motor and the foot control is great. But occasionally you can get a really nice one. Expect to pay more for a nice one.
    Typo it was a Singer 500 not a 599 LOL - I'm wondering if you ever got that machine fixed? If not, I would sell the parts and buy another machine.
    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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