Serger tension issues

Hi I am new to the group, so forgive me as I'm learning the ins n outs of t
his group.
First I suppose I should introduce myself?? :) My name is Heidi, I have 4 c
hildren, I'm a SAHM----and I'm building a new sewing business. www.facebook
.com/theseoldblues, and
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Anyhoo---my troubles:
I have a Kenmore serger Model #38516655100.
My tensions were acting kinda funky. I adjusted and realized one of my thre
ads was MUCH tighter than it should be and it was on a 3----so I loosened i
t. then was sewing again and everything went haywire. SUDDENLY I HAD NO TEN
SION, zip zero, zilch....on ANY of the 4 threads. I opened up the top of th
e machine. I can see that the knobs themselves are still working, they twis
t and turn, and the springs inside appear to be working- tightening and loo
sening as you turn the knob. BUT the discs do not get closer together when
I turn the dial all the way up to 9. This is on ALL 4 dials. The dials do n
ot appear to be connected in anyway, how is it possible that each of these
4 dials broke at the same second? I'm so confused. Help please!
Update: Hubby and I opened up and took apart one of the tension dials....ev
erything in it is turning the way it is supposed to....of course once we to
ok it apart we couldn't get it exactly back together anyway...so that's a n
ew problem. I can't find a diagram anywhere that shows how to put the tensi
oners back together.....anyone know where I can find one?
On the sears website this is the only diagram I can find:
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this shows the tensions, number 2,3,4,5----
It will not give me a diagram for the actual tension dials...:(
Also---the tensions are different part numbers??? They are all the same! Bu
t also 3 of them are priced at 16.49, and one is 16.99----very strange....I
f I cant find a schematic for the assembly then I will have to order them..
..I'm trying to find out if the pat is the entire assembly or just a piece.
...
ANY HELP ON ANY OF MY QUESTIONS HERE WOULD BE HELPFUL! Thanks!!!
-Heidi
Reply to
hrpurple137
Hi I am new to the group, so forgive me as I'm learning the ins n outs of this group. First I suppose I should introduce myself?? :) My name is Heidi, I have 4 children, I'm a SAHM----and I'm building a new sewing business.
formatting link
, and
formatting link

Anyhoo---my troubles: I have a Kenmore serger Model #38516655100. My tensions were acting kinda funky. I adjusted and realized one of my threads was MUCH tighter than it should be and it was on a 3----so I loosened it. then was sewing again and everything went haywire. SUDDENLY I HAD NO TENSION, zip zero, zilch....on ANY of the 4 threads. I opened up the top of the machine. I can see that the knobs themselves are still working, they twist and turn, and the springs inside appear to be working- tightening and loosening as you turn the knob. BUT the discs do not get closer together when I turn the dial all the way up to 9. This is on ALL 4 dials. The dials do not appear to be connected in anyway, how is it possible that each of these 4 dials broke at the same second? I'm so confused. Help please!
Update: Hubby and I opened up and took apart one of the tension dials....everything in it is turning the way it is supposed to....of course once we took it apart we couldn't get it exactly back together anyway...so that's a new problem. I can't find a diagram anywhere that shows how to put the tensioners back together.....anyone know where I can find one?
On the sears website this is the only diagram I can find:
formatting link
this shows the tensions, number 2,3,4,5---- It will not give me a diagram for the actual tension dials...:(
Also---the tensions are different part numbers??? They are all the same! But also 3 of them are priced at 16.49, and one is 16.99----very strange....If I cant find a schematic for the assembly then I will have to order them....I'm trying to find out if the pat is the entire assembly or just a piece....
ANY HELP ON ANY OF MY QUESTIONS HERE WOULD BE HELPFUL! Thanks!!! -Heidi HUGE mistake disassembling the tension assembly. Now you must seek the help of a professional repair person. More than likely the initial problem was user error, something not threaded correctly. When the presser foot is up all the tension disks open so the thread will lay inside the disks when threading it.
Reply to
Ron Anderson
Heidi, Welcome and when you get your problem solved be sure to stay with us. Following up on Ron's suggestion First: let me say that Ron will never steer you wrong He gives out tons of free advice here and if he thinks you can fix it yourself he tells you what to do. Second: You live in Harwich MA. I suggest you call Murray Fabrics in Orleans and ask them If they do repairs there. I know they did have a store in Hyannis, but I'm not sure if it's still there. They are good people to deal with I shop there when I'm on the Cape. HTH Juno
Reply to
oldcodgers
Well thank you to both of you. I appreciate your responses. While I accept Ron's advice I am quite versed with the insides of my sewing machines and I am not afraid to go inside them myself. I am not the first person to take the tension assembly apart nor will I be the last. I can accept honest criticism, but I am slightly offended that you (Ron) te lls me I made a MISTAKE and MUST seek professional help. My husband is a me chanic of just about everything and has no problem fixing items like this. If we could just find the schematic we would be just fine. I am quite mecha nical myself. I have been taking apart and repairing my own machines for ye ars. I do not appreciate you not giving me the benefit of the doubt. I have an old machine that tells me exactly what measurements I need for timing a nd it has EVERY schematic I need for every part of the machine. All the new er machines come with basic diagrams, and they won't tell you what the fact ory settings are for timing, nor will they give you the proper schematics. Why would they since they can make money on it? Sears was pushing me to buy the part before I finished my second sentence.
I came to this site seeking help on fixing the machine myself, not to be cr iticized about how I was wrong. I am self taught in Everything I do and I l ove it. I love the mechanical ends of things. So I am learning, yes, and th at's fine. I am perfectly happy to fix it myself. You will have to excuse m e if this sounds rude. I am not trying to be at all. I am looking for help in doing this on my own. I ask not to be belittled and sent to a profession al repair shop.
Yes, Murray's is right down the street from me and I frequent the shop. :) Yes they have a person who comes in to service the machines, but they charg e an arm and a leg. Honestly I'd rather pay the $16 and just buy a whole ne w assembly if I cannot put it back together, but right now I am still quite confident I can manage. I was just looking for a little more help.
-Heidi
Reply to
hrpurple137
Ron's advice I am quite versed with the insides of my sewing machines and I am not afraid to go inside them myself. I am not the first person to take the tension assembly apart nor will I be the last.
me I made a MISTAKE and MUST seek professional help. My husband is a mechanic of just about everything and has no problem fixing items like this. If we could just find the schematic we would be just fine. I am quite mechanical myself. I have been taking apart and repairing my own machines for years. I do not appreciate you not giving me the benefit of the doubt. I have an old machine that tells me exactly what measurements I need for timing and it has EVERY schematic I need for every part of the machine. All the newer machines come with basic diagrams, and they won't tell you what the factory settings are for timing, nor will they give you the proper schematics. Why would they since they can make money on it? Sears was pushing me to buy the part before I finished my second sentence.
criticized about how I was wrong. I am self taught in Everything I do and I love it. I love the mechanical ends of things. So I am learning, yes, and that's fine. I am perfectly happy to fix it myself. You will have to excuse me if this sounds rude. I am not trying to be at all. I am looking for help in doing this on my own. I ask not to be belittled and sent to a professional repair shop.
they have a person who comes in to service the machines, but they charge an arm and a leg. Honestly I'd rather pay the $16 and just buy a whole new assembly if I cannot put it back together, but right now I am still quite confident I can manage. I was just looking for a little more help.
You are unable to fix it, asked for advice and don't like what you are hearing You refuse to pay to get the job done. I just wonder how you feel when someone says in all honesty that they can make dresses for children, for a lot less than $55.00 or $60.00 that you charge for you dresses if only someone would give them the pattern. As I said before, Ron gives out free advice on how to fix things,all the time. He's not looking to make a cent off of you. Perhaps you should take a good look at your "I can do anything myself" attitude and give it a good airing. Juno
Reply to
oldcodgers

Agreed! We all know too well that people's attitude is often "You charge HOW MUCH FOR THAT?? Well I could do it myself for less." I thought Ron's reply was polite and helpful, considering the OP's, "...I opened up and took apart one of the tension dials....everything in it is turning the way it is supposed to....of course once we took it apart we couldn't get it exactly back together anyway......" .
Sheesh. With Ron's advice, I now know better all the places my machines need regular lubrication and how to take apart, clean and adjust the tension on my Singer 401As.
Reply to
BEI Design
Didn't you guys hear me say that I wasn't trying to be rude?? It was clearl y stated that I wasn't trying to sound that way. You are all misunderstandi ng me. It was not ungrateful. I understand what he was trying to say, but telling me I made a mistake and now go to a pro was not helpful. Isn't that what we are all here for? Help ing and not criticizing me for actually wanting to do something myself? I h ave already said that I LIKE TO do things myself. Shame on me for wanting t o learn something new, and being interested in how things work.

in
Reply to
hrpurple137
m
stated that I wasn't trying to sound that way. You are all misunderstanding me. It was not ungrateful.
now go to a pro was not helpful. Isn't that what we are all here for? Helping and not criticizing me for actually wanting to do something myself? I have already said that I LIKE TO do things myself. Shame on me for wanting to learn something new, and being interested in how things work.
OK,I accept that you weren't trying to be rude. I also accept that old machines gave you the schematics and more information on timing and that new machines don't New anything is not that way, whether we like it or not I. When I was a kid my dad who was also a mechanic, use to tell me if your going to take something apart you're unfamiliar with, make a map as you disassemble so you know just how to put it back together and Keep doing that way until you are so familiar with what you're doing, you can do it without thinking about it. He always finished it with if you can't do it that way, don't expect me to get you out of your predicament without some kind of payment. You took it apart, you didn't have a clue as to how to put it together and now you're stuck. You want to learn how to do things fine, but don't get mad when you didn't get the outcome you wanted or the advice you were hoping for. That's called learn from your mistakes.
Reply to
oldcodgers
Thanks and I understand that. In general I do make notes of how things go b ack together. This isn't the first time I've taken apart a tension assembly , so I'm not completely unfamiliar. And I didn't explain the full story.... Hubby took it apart. So I didn't ac tually see how the puzzle pieces all fit together. I wasn't going to disass emble it because I know how much of a bitch they are to get back together. He put it back together twice and I showed him where it wasn't working. He didn't line them up right, so "0" is not zero...it's more like "3" He was frustrated with it because it's not his thing normally.
If I could go back in time I wouldn't have let him take it apart. lol.
Because it has already been taken apart there will be no harm done in me ta king it apart again now. I do have 3 more to compare it to and I an see how they go back together it's just getting everything to line up right. I jus t won't let hubby touch it this time. He's a good mechanic....but not for m y sewing machines...
Thanks again for all your help. And sorry for everything getting all messed up in here. It wasn't my intent to cause trouble. I just don't like being criticized for trying to do things myself. I really really like doing thing s myself....It's not an attitude like you think. If I'm over my head I know when to give in to the pros. I'm not TOO proud in that way if you know wha t I mean.:)
-Heidi
early stated that I wasn't trying to sound that way. You are all misunderst anding me. It was not ungrateful.
and now go to a pro was not helpful. Isn't that what we are all here for? Helping and not criticizing me for actually wanting to do something myself? I have already said that I LIKE TO do things myself. Shame on me for wanti ng to learn something new, and being interested in how things work.
Reply to
hrpurple137
Now I'll repeat my original invitation to stay with us. Let us know how you do with your repair. We are a good group and like to get new people. We are also international in scope. If you have an answer to a problem someone posts, give us your input. If you have a sewing question, ask. We go from rank amateur to professional And, tell your Husband to keep his hands off your power tools and that you'll keep you hands off of his. Juno
together. This isn't the first time I've taken apart a tension assembly, so I'm not completely unfamiliar.
actually see how the puzzle pieces all fit together. I wasn't going to disassemble it because I know how much of a bitch they are to get back together. He put it back together twice and I showed him where it wasn't working. He didn't line them up right, so "0" is not zero...it's more like "3"
taking it apart again now. I do have 3 more to compare it to and I an see how they go back together it's just getting everything to line up right. I just won't let hubby touch it this time. He's a good mechanic....but not for my sewing machines...
in here. It wasn't my intent to cause trouble. I just don't like being criticized for trying to do things myself. I really really like doing things myself....It's not an attitude like you think. If I'm over my head I know when to give in to the pros. I'm not TOO proud in that way if you know what I mean.:)
Reply to
oldcodgers
LOL, Thanks Juno. I will keep you all posted! I will have time this afterno on to see how much damage was done. ;)
go back together. This isn't the first time I've taken apart a tension asse mbly, so I'm not completely unfamiliar.
t actually see how the puzzle pieces all fit together. I wasn't going to di sassemble it because I know how much of a bitch they are to get back togeth er. He put it back together twice and I showed him where it wasn't working. He didn't line them up right, so "0" is not zero...it's more like "3"
e taking it apart again now. I do have 3 more to compare it to and I an see how they go back together it's just getting everything to line up right. I just won't let hubby touch it this time. He's a good mechanic....but not f or my sewing machines...
ssed up in here. It wasn't my intent to cause trouble. I just don't like be ing criticized for trying to do things myself. I really really like doing t hings myself....It's not an attitude like you think. If I'm over my head I know when to give in to the pros. I'm not TOO proud in that way if you know what I mean.:)
Reply to
hrpurple137
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com top-posted:
You mean like this:
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These Old Blues Yesterday near Harwich, MA So after spending HOURS scouring the internet for tension assembly diagrams----and then an hours and a half on chat with sears part direct I have concluded that A- it is a scam and they won't give you the schematics because they want you to be forced to purchase parts or bring in the machine for service. B- that the sears parts people are either COMPLETE idiots or it's all computer generated bull messages----and C--well, never mind I think A and B sums up my frustration for the morning.
Reply to
Margurite
Yes exactly like that.
I was venting about people at Sears. I posted that on my page yesterday morning BEFORE I even looked on this group to chat with people. So I don't see how that is relevant to the situation.
And I have already apologized for the way I came across yesterday. It wasn't meant to come across as that way.
-Heidi
Reply to
hrpurple137
Does anyone recall Margurite posting here before, or is she a troll? I think it was a low blow to post Heidi's Facebook rant. She apologized and I think it should end there. Why continue an argument. I read that Facebook posting when Heidi put up her first post and knew it was sheer frustration. Juno
Reply to
oldcodgers
Sears parts people are customer service reps. If it does not show up on their screen they have no clue. You have 3 other tensions in the machine as you mentioned. They all go together the same way. The hard part is the adjusting as they ALL have different settings that is why they all have different part numbers. This is why I recommended an experienced technician. Not easy to do on a serger.
Reply to
Ron Anderson
Thanks Juno!
And Thanks Ron!
So Now update!
I PUT THE dial back together and have everything lined up the way it is sup posed to. Zero is zero and 9 is 9! It took me three tries and lots of compa rison to the others but I got it.:)
Thanks to Ron for the tip about the presser foot----I didn't realize that w hen it is up the tension dials ALL open....I don't know why I never realize d that before. But that helped because that is why "all" stopped working. I knew there was a problem at least with the first tension dial before us e ven taking it apart because it hadn't been working properly for days. It wa s either too tight or too loose for the setting and it really just needed a good cleaning. There was probably thread lint or dust nestled inside. There is a little dial and I marked inside there where the part goes back t ogether in case this ever happens again.
I kinda want to take them all apart now to clean them---but I think I'll wa it on that till I have a good day for maintenance. I have a few orders to f inish!
And IF this ever happens again---I won't let hubby touch it because I WILL mark how it comes apart, and then put it back together. lol Also I am still quite confused as to why my hubby didn't take note of how i t came apart----He always cusses at people who take both their brakes (CAR) apart and then can't figure out how to put them back together. He always s ays one take one apart at a time so you can look at the other for reference on how it goes back together. Thanks hubby. I suppose at least he didn't t ake them all apart. :)

Reply to
hrpurple137
supposed to. Zero is zero and 9 is 9! It took me three tries and lots of comparison to the others but I got it.:)
it is up the tension dials ALL open....I don't know why I never realized that before. But that helped because that is why "all" stopped working. I knew there was a problem at least with the first tension dial before us even taking it apart because it hadn't been working properly for days. It was either too tight or too loose for the setting and it really just needed a good cleaning. There was probably thread lint or dust nestled inside.
together in case this ever happens again.
on that till I have a good day for maintenance. I have a few orders to finish!
mark how it comes apart, and then put it back together. lol
came apart----He always cusses at people who take both their brakes (CAR) apart and then can't figure out how to put them back together. He always says one take one apart at a time so you can look at the other for reference on how it goes back together. Thanks hubby. I suppose at least he didn't take them all apart. :)
My first port of call when I have tension issues on any of my machines, from hand cranks to sergers, is the microfiber lens cloth! I release the tension (on MOST machines lifting the presser foot does this, but not on my Brother serger. Does on the Bernina, not the Bro!), and then I 'floss' between the disks with the cloth. Nine times out of ten this will clear it.
The one time I didn't clear the problem on the Husqvarna Lily 550, she went in the shop and it took the Old Sewing Machine Guy FOUR HOURS to find and remove the tiniest scrap of thread you never did see!
On my older mechanical machines, I'll happily dismantle and clean the tension mechanisms and reassemble them. On the fancy electronic jobs and the sergers, and the Bernina 1005 (where the tension disks are thoroughly buried), I'm happy to hand them over to the chaps in Tunbridge Wells!
On any new-to-me dismantling job, I take pics as I go so I have a record of what each stage looked like before I did the next layer of archeology. Gotta love my digital camera!
Reply to
Kate XXXXXX

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