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Forum > Sewing Machines > What would cause a Singer 15-91 to go slow? ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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What would cause a Singer 15-91 to go slow?
mollycoomer
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mollycoomer  Friend of PR
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Member since 8/26/10
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Date: 11/5/11 11:16 PM

The woman with the 401 called and raised her price after talking to her son. Upon questioning there were also prob. with tension. It was going to be a 2 hour trip and my hubby said no. I also looked at a 15-91 that seemed to sew ok except that it sewed slow.This person only wants $30 but would take less. Just wondering what would cause a 15-91 to sew slow when it seemed to sew ok stitch-wise? Does that mean the motor is shot. Neither the lady or I could figure it out. It did have a little rust on the plate &hadn't been used for years.Is a 15-91 a good machine to begin with?

andye
andye  Friend of PR
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VA USA
Member since 5/9/09
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Date: 11/5/11 11:26 PM

This manual has several suggestions, ranging from oiling the machine, to cleaning various electrical contacts with a pencil eraser.

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Bernina B330
Feet: 1,2,3,3A,4,5,7,8,10,13,16,18,20, 29,32,35,37,50,64,70,71,82,85,86, 92

lisalu
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lisalu
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GA USA
Member since 10/5/08
Posts: 2182
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Date: 11/6/11 8:09 AM

Yes, absolutely the 15-91 is a good machine to begin with. One of Singer's best ever straight stitch machines right up there with the 201 and 221 in stitch quality. It even has some extra advantages over other models for quilters if that's what you're into

(Yeah, I own a 15-91 and LOVE it.)

If it works and all the parts are accounted for, it is well worth $30 and then some. As for running slowly - how slowly do you mean? Is it just barely moving or a little sluggish or what? I have worked with a couple of these machines that were "frozen up" when I got them but I managed to work it out and get them running tip top. I guess because they hadn't been used in a long time and old grease/gunk may have been in the works....I dunno for sure. But all I know is that I applied the highly "scientific" method of turning the handwheel (TOWARDS me, don't forget that) for what seemed like hours until it freed up and Bingo, the machine ran perfectly. Your problem could be something like that, but also you need to remove the throat plate and feed dogs and get down in the bobbin area and make sure it is all cleaned out. Remove all other plates (face plate, stitch length plate, round plate on the back of the machine) and clean/oil those areas. Clean out all the lint and any old grease FIRST before you oil again so you don't create more gunk. Lean the machine back and watch the parts while you turn the wheel. Oil the joints of anything that moves and keep turning the wheel to get the oil in there where it needs to go.

With this machine, you have to unscrew two grease cups on the motor and clean out any old lubricant and relubricate too. Its not as bad as it sounds, just gently poke a toothpick in there to scrape out any cruddy old grease and squeeze your tube of lubricant in there until its full.

Unless this machine was left out in the rain, rust is unlikely to be the problem. Generally these motors last literally forever, I don't think it is common for them to burn out with normal household use, but I guess it is possible if it was constantly used for very heavy work. That is beyond the scope of my knowledge since I've never had a motor issue with any of these machines. I hope you can figure it out and get this running. It would be a great buy at $30 if it works!

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Jim (Singer 301), Margaret (Singer 201-2), Betty (Singer 15-91), Bud (Singer 503), Kathy (Singer 221), Liz (Singer 221 Centennial Edition)
http://runningstitches-mkb.blogspot.com/

skae
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In reply to mollycoomer


Date: 11/6/11 1:23 PM

I have this machine. I took mine in to have it cleaned.
When it runs slowy it could mean that it is dirty with oil.
Go get it. you will love it. just give it a little oil and let it run a few minutes. I would recomend you take it in later and have it cleaned and timed.

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Ecclesiastes 11:7,8 Nothing on earth is more beautiful than the morning sun. Even if you live to a ripe old age, you should try to enjoy each day, because darkness will come and will last a long time. (CEV)

Al Johnson
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Al Johnson
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Date: 11/6/11 4:11 PM

I bought a 15-91 a couple years ago, that was literally saved from going into the dumpster. It needed a lot of TLC, and I did a thorough refurbish job on it. One thing I did was replace all the motor grease with new TriFlow grease, as suggested in a couple posts on this and other websites. It did not work out well for me. The grease was too thick, and made the machine run sssssllllllooooooowwwww. I cleaned out all the new grease, and replaced with much lighter grease (Lubriplate) and it works much better. It may be best to stick with the factory recommended Singer lubricant, but my point is that thick grease will make it slow, and good new grease can help.

Also all the suggestions in the above posts are excellent.

Have fun with your 15-91; it's a terrific machine!

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A sewing machine is just a welder for textiles.

GothDom
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GothDom  Friend of PR
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Date: 11/6/11 5:36 PM

There's sixteen bajillion things that could slow it down, pretty much all of which can be taken care of with cleaning/relubricating.

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http://www.acdc-vintage.com
This one, that one, and a bunch of other ones!
(though the herd is getting more streamlined)

JKimes
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JKimes  Friend of PR
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TX USA
Member since 11/4/05
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Date: 11/6/11 5:46 PM

Whenever my old Elna Supermatic started slowing down (seems to be straining), the brushes needed to be replaced. Not exactly sure what these are, but I finally ran the poor thing in to the ground.

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Juliette near Austin, TX
Bernina 830LE
Bernina 350PE
Babylock Evolution
ElnaPro 905DCX

pknord
pknord
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TX USA
Member since 9/1/11
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In reply to GothDom


Date: 11/6/11 8:43 PM

Quote: GothDom
There's sixteen bajillion things that could slow it down, pretty much all of which can be taken care of with cleaning/relubricating.

Yes, your first move would always be to thoroughly clean the machine's innards, and then apply very good quality lubricant and good sewing machine or gun oil. After that, run it at a high rate of speed (with the foot up, of course) for a few minutes. I've had machines that started slow, and then gradually got faster and faster as the oil and lubricant made its way into the dry areas.

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Pat in Rockport, TX
"As ye sew, so shall ye rip."
http://community.webshots.com/user/pknord
http://www.quiltingthoughts.blogspot.com/

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