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  • Singer 403A - sewing slow - any suggestions to speed it up?

  • Singer 403A - sewing slow - any suggestions to speed it up?

    Old 04-02-2012, 04:33 AM
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    Default Singer 403A - sewing slow - any suggestions to speed it up?

    Hi - I just acquired Singer 403A from an estate sale just like the one Mom used to have that I learned to sew on. It has the most beautiful stitches, it just runs slow. I took the foot pedal apart and checked the connection to make sure it was working. Oiled the machine and still it stitches slow, kinda like it's trying to pick up speed but doesn't ever really get going.

    Does anyone have any suggestions. It looks like it was well loved and used...the paint on the hand wheel is gone, but the machine is in great shape. It came in the original cabinet with all the cams, attachments and owner's manual. There a second set of cams in a white plastic case with a orange plastic cover. These cams are black and about 1/2 the size of the 403A cams. Not sure what they are or if they actually belong with this machine.

    Also, the cabinet has a lever that is used to sew using the right leg by pushing against the lever. It's really difficult to do this as the lever seems to be wobbly and has to be pushed really hard to get it to work...but it does work.

    Really want to get this baby back in tip-top shape. Any suggestions to fix the slow sewing would be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Julie

    P.S. Also have Kenmore 1802 (1972) and my first sewing machine, a Featherweight 221 ("Birdie" - 1964) to round out my collection...both work like brand new.
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    Old 04-02-2012, 05:23 AM
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    Having eliminated most of the problems I'd say the knee lever assembly is loose, worn, bent or a combination of the three and is not pushing the nob on the controller all the way down.
    The one in our Singer 338 cabinet was like that. I oiled it, straightened it, tightened it. Tried to adjust it, but it just would not push the controller button down properly.
    Finally I had to put a piece of rubber hose on it to give it more push. That did the trick.

    Joe
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    Old 04-02-2012, 06:58 AM
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    Can you slide the foot pedal out of the holder and put it on the floor to use with your foot? You can then tell if the knee lever is the culprit.
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    Old 04-02-2012, 07:23 AM
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    Yes I did slide the foot pedal out of the holder and put it on the floor and it works with my foot. Still the machine doesn't seem to be getting the 'juice' it needs to speed up. When I took the foot peddle apart, I saw where the two copper strips are supposed to touch the connectors. One barely touched the connector so I bent it down a bit and thought that would do the trick. It just seems like it's not getting going, but it will speed up slightly after a minute or so. Any other ideas?
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    Old 04-02-2012, 07:24 AM
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    Yes I did slide the foot pedal out of the holder and put it on the floor and it works with my foot. Still the machine doesn't seem to be getting the 'juice' it needs to speed up. When I took the foot peddle apart, I saw where the two copper strips are supposed to touch the connectors. One barely touched the connector so I bent it down a bit and thought that would do the trick. It just seems like it's not getting going, but it will speed up slightly after a minute or so. Any other ideas?
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    Old 04-02-2012, 01:08 PM
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    If you need any more attachments, I have a few along with some help from the lady I bought them from.
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    Old 04-02-2012, 05:53 PM
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    To me it sounds like you haven't gotten the oil in all the locations needed.

    BTW I don't use 'oil' - I use Tri-flow. You can pick up Tri-flow at a bike shop.

    You might want to go back to all the areas you oiled and, using a q-tip dipped in alcohol, carefully remove the oil you put in there. Don't let the alcohol touch painted areas. Once all the oil is gone, use the Tri-flow. It comes with a really nice long nozzle to get in all those places that are hard to reach.

    Tri-flow it. Let it sit over night. Next day run it for a few minutes. Tri-flow it again. Let it sit over night. Next day it should be running a LOT better. If it still slows down, get out your hair dryer and blow some hot air on all the spots you oiled and run it again.

    Of course this is all conditioned that there is nothing wrong with the electrical system....

    Shari
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    Old 04-02-2012, 06:12 PM
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    You may possibly need to clean the commutator on the motor. I've cleaned a couple of Featherweight motors to get them up to speed, but haven't ever removed one from a 403 (or any other in the 400 range).
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    Old 04-03-2012, 02:07 AM
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    It is easy to remove the motor. There is one screw in the bottom of the machine. Then take the two wires off. Jiggle until the motor falls out. You can take it to a motor repair shop and they can clean it up for you. To put it back just drop it back in rehook up the wires and put the mount and it's screw back. There is a free repair manual somewhere on line with the directions.
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    Old 04-03-2012, 03:38 AM
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    Originally Posted by miriam
    It is easy to remove the motor. There is one screw in the bottom of the machine. Then take the two wires off. Jiggle until the motor falls out. You can take it to a motor repair shop and they can clean it up for you. To put it back just drop it back in rehook up the wires and put the mount and it's screw back. There is a free repair manual somewhere on line with the directions.
    http://parts.singerco.com/IPsvcManuals/306W25.pdf found it you'll have to scroll down a lot - its a service manual
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