Sewing Machine Needle Will Not Raise Up?

Close-up of sewing machine needle
Having the needle on your machine malfunction is very frustrating. While your project sits there waiting you might be able to troubleshoot and make an easy repair. Otherwise it is off to the repair shop. This is a page about sewing machine needle will not raise up.


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March 10, 2017

My sewing machine is a Brother XL-5500. When I turn the balance wheel, the needle doesn't raise to its highest position. Can it repair? Thank you so much.

Sewing Machine Needle Will Not Raise Up - closeup of machine needle in down position


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
March 10, 20170 found this helpful
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Make sure the clutch is engaged. That's the little wheel inside the balance wheel. Turn it towards the back. That engages it. It's supposed to be dis-engaged when you wind thread from the spool onto the bobbin.


If that doesn't work, you may have a broken lever or gear.

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 969 Posts
March 11, 20170 found this helpful
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Your timing might be off too, making the bobbin capture your needle and keep it there. Disassemble things and make sure this is not the case.

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March 13, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

These repairs can really be tricky unless you have some experience with taking your machine apart.
If you need more precise instructions you can call or email Brothers and they are very good about helping fix a machine - the easiest way. Here is a link to their support area:


Also, here is a link to a free PDF manual for your machine:

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