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victrola

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Reply with quote  #1 
I picked up a Singer 401A this week. It was in generally excellent shape, with other than a ton of lint and threads in and under the bobbin area, and being a very dry machine; and let's face it, oiling and greasing up a machine is almost as rewarding as removing dust bunnies, dust buffaloes, dust baboons, and thread nests, right? (Yes, I removed the dust first, to be able to oil and grease a clean machine.)

FIRST PROBLEM: The motor however is sluggish. It starts off with hesitation, and with the pedal fully depressed, it is very slow to accelerate compared to my other Singers. Once it gets going, it does sew along at a good clip.

Does this sound like the well-reported problem of the motor bearing grease needing a refresh?

I've read the suggestion on other posts to add a drop or two of (automotive) motor oil to the motor bearing, but wasn't sure where exactly this means. I saw a picture with a green arrow but was still a little unclear. Please refer to the photo below. The awl points to the vertical post, specifically to a point below where it makes contact with the spiral gear (which mates with the fiber gear). Is that where I should apply two drops of motor oil?

If I already tried two drops of sewing machine oil a few days ago, and this didn't make an appreciable difference, should I proceed? I don't want to flood the motor with oil.

SECOND PROBLEM: After I finish turning the handwheel, sometimes it springs back a little bit (maybe 1/16 of a rotation). It seems to do this less now that the machine is oiled and greased. Is this just a quirk of the flexible fibre gear? Something tells me this might have happened with the 15-91's, which also have a fibre gear, which I could I never could bond with, and which I have regifted.

IMG_6053.jpg 




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Cari-in-Oly

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Reply with quote  #2 
Yes that is the spot and one drop should do it. Make sure you're running the machine as you do this so the oil doesn't just run down through the bearing and down the motor shaft. The whole point is for the motor oil to mix with the hardened grease in the bearing and soften it up. You might want to take the motor out first and make sure the sm oil didn't run down the shaft. Part of the sluggish problem could also be the controller needs cleaned and adjusted, and/or there are still some places inside the machine that are still dry.

Cari

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Miriam

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Reply with quote  #3 
Is the motor sluggish or not. Try releasing the clutch and running it with out a load. I had one that gave me fits. I even changed motors on it for one I knew was good. Needless to say it was not the motor. It was dried oil. I oiled it . No difference. I oiled it again and then turned it on it’s side and tried to run it. I let it stay on its side over night then re oiled it and put it on the other side. I oiled and turned it in every direction. After more turning and soaking boy did it run. I had to clean all that oil out of it... bobbin area gets especially dry. Baptized it.
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victrola

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Reply with quote  #4 
Thank you both, Cari and Miriam!

Cari, I'm relieved to know that I put the oil drops in the right place for the motor shaft.

Miriam, thanks for the reminder of the handwheel and clutch - that's the one relatively easy clean-up I'd neglected to do - and it was good to do that tonight.

In the end, it was not just oiling, but time that seems to have made the difference. I bought this machine last Thursday evening, and cleaned it up and oiled it that evening. I've run the motor a little bit every day since then, and was surprised that the sluggishness didn't go away. Today, I sewed with it a bit, and I think either the time (one more day) or the sewing (using the motor) freed things up,because  as of this evening, the motor is no longer sluggish to start - it is much quicker to accelerate, both with and without the clutch engaged.
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susieQ

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Reply with quote  #5 
Oil the bearing? 

I've seen a few of these where whatever they used made a monster mess.  Flinging black grease/oil all over the interior of the machine and once totally filling the motor with oily black grease - and that was one that a "professional" serviced. 

If you are going to try this, just be warned about potential side effects!
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Miriam

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Reply with quote  #6 
You don’t want very much oil on the bearing or it could go places unintended...
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Cari-in-Oly

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miriam
You don’t want very much oil on the bearing or it could go places unintended...

That's why I always say start with one drop and do it while running the machine. That's all it usually takes.

Cari

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Miriam

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Reply with quote  #8 
Cari, I agree. I pull the motor and turn it by hand.
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susieQ

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Reply with quote  #9 
Okay.  I understand the idea of rejuvenating an old bearing.  Is it that difficult to replace it with a new one? 
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Miriam

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Reply with quote  #10 
I’ve never had to replace a bearing. So far they have freed up with oil.
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