Adjusting Needle Position on a Kenmore Sewing Machine?

I have a vintage Kenmore sewing machine model #1703. Can I re-adjust the feed and or the needle position? It sews for a a few stitches and then the needle hits the feed. I've never had a Kenmore, but I worked on my all metal Singer and other machines. It had been in a garage for a while, but in its table so it was somewhat protected, and I know it needs to be oiled. If you can help me without taking it to a repair shop, I can follow your instructions easily. But if you think it needs to go in to a shop please lmk that too.


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November 2, 20190 found this helpful
Best Answer

I have a vintage Kenmore, not sure the model, it is from 1970-72 time fram.

When mine does this, I flip it so I can get to the underside and I take a stiff bristle toothbrush (clean and dry) and I carefully clean the entire underside (every nook and cranny). I also take out the bobbin and the bobbin case and clean it up good. Make sure the screw in the case is tight also.

When I clean the feeddog and needle area I set it first on straight stitch, then move it to zig zag (UNPLUGGED OF COURSE) so I can get into each nook and cranny.

I also unscrew the top and do the same thing.

Be sure when brushing to scrape up and out so as not to push the dust in deeper.

Also it may pay to change the needle when you are doing this.


I also look the foot petal over and make sure there are no pins stuck in it and no dust bunnies living in the pedal. This happens all the time and doesn't cause the issue you describe, but when I do the cleaning, I do it all.

These machines are very forgiving and usually a good tune up like this gets it working again. I have never used oil on my machine as when I took the class at Sears when the machine was new the teacher said never to use oil as it can stay in the machine and ruin fabrics. She said a good brush cleaning should be all you need.

There are YouTube videos on this and a few websites that show you step by step. I found it interesting that I learned this technique from my class in the 1970s and trial and error and now people make videos and websites on how to do it...oh to be young and digitally apt right!


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November 1, 20190 found this helpful

The timing needs to be adjusted. There are YouTube videos for this. From what I have heard, however, it is not an easy fix.

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November 1, 20190 found this helpful

You could go on YouTube where you put in your info and there are videos that will give you answers, if not, a sewing machine repair shop will assist!

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November 2, 20190 found this helpful

Kenmore has a troubleshooting guide to help you do this. You can follow the instruction that are here -

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