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Needle Does Not Move on Sewing Machine

I'm new on here. I just picked up a Montgomery Ward sewing machine model 1917. The motor runs, but the needle doesn't move. I have checked the hand wheel. The belt it is fine and I can turn the hand wheel, but the needle doesn't move. I have worked on machines a little before and depending on the difficulty may try to fix this one. How do I get to the gear that moves the needle arm? And how do I know it's bad?


Any advice would be appreciated.

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April 3, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

There are several reasons why a needle wouldn't move - starting with tension discs loaded with lint and going through to a worn/broken gear (usually the one just inside the hand-wheel). Although you are 'handy' and have some experience working on sewing machines, this is probably a job best left to a qualified repair tech. I do Singer repair-refurbs for my Sewing 101 students here in Scotland and can't tell you how many times I've gone into a machine thinking 'Oh, I know what the issue is and can fix it in half a second' only to find my initial 'diagnosis' was way wrong and the real problem something entirely different once I got a good view of the inside of the machine - and I'm pretty good at fixing sewing machines. I also own several very expensive service manuals to help me along.


The main problems with home repair are: new-milled parts aren't always easy to find, and worn gears aren't always easy to spot by the untrained eye, and sometimes even to a self-trained eye, the real problem can be missed. Yes, I have had no end of 'basket case' machines brought in by DIYers who couldn't track down the problem (or source the parts to repair the machine), tried replacing parts that didn't make the fix, and/or couldn't get the machine back together after making parts swap-outs.

Best to leave this to a repair tech. Really.

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April 3, 20161 found this helpful
Best Answer

Yes I prematurely posted this question.

I oiled the bobbin armature and it began sewing properly. Amazing what a little oil will do!

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April 3, 20160 found this helpful

Maybe you have already checked but it is possible that the machine has been left ready to thread a bobbin. Not all machines have the same way to get the hand wheel in position to thread a bobbin and stop the movement of the needle. For some machines you have to pull back and turn the center part of the hand wheel for other machines you have to unscrew the center part. The machine could also be jammed with a lot of thread entangled under the foot in the bobbin case. Hope this helps !

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