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Forum > Sewing Machines > Brother XL-3100 ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Brother XL-3100
Spend $85 to fix, or not?
BodieHoney
BodieHoney
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Date: 8/4/13 2:56 PM

Hi, I am just getting back into sewing after not-sewing for 40 years. (I gave away my Pfaff when we downsized; what was I thinking!?!) I now have two machines, an old (1953) Singer and a newish Brother XL-3100. The Singer was my mother in law's and I think it will turn out to be a good machine after it's serviced. The Brother a friend bought for me at a garage sale. Neither machine works. I have a highly-recommended repair guy coming over on Tuesday. He charges $85 per machine and I told him on the phone that I didn't know if the Brother was worth repairing or not. His reply was, well, it's up to you. I tried to research the Brother XL-3100 and came up with very little. A sewing friend whom I met through ASG suggested this board so I'm pitching out the question here: Is that Brother worth spending $85 on? I have the machine, the plastic sleeve that slides off to access the bobbin, and the power cord. Don't have anything else. I appreciate any feedback and thank you in advance for that.

sew2006
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sew2006
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Date: 8/4/13 3:48 PM

What's wrong with the Brother?

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Janome10001, Babylock ESG3, Brother ULT 2001, White 634D serger, Pfaff 1472, Singer featherweight, Singer 14T957Dc, Bernina FunLock 009DCC coverlock, Brother PQ1500S, Janome CP900.

bestgrammy
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Date: 8/4/13 6:09 PM

I wouldn't spend the $85 repair fee on it. It seems to no longer be in production and there are only a scattering of parts online for it. Seems you are stating that none of the accessories are with it...so just replacing a few of those will add up. IMHO it's not worth it.

Edited grammar
-- Edited on 8/4/13 8:05 PM --

sewfrequent

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Date: 8/4/13 7:09 PM

Welcome, Bodie. I did a quick search on ebay and used Xl3100's sold from $25-$65. So $85 is more than the machine is worth if you use ebay as a guide and it may be worth more than that to you. Maybe this is some minor thing you can fix yourself..check the bobbin area for loose threads and be sure your bobbin winder is not engaged. The bobbin could be wrong for that machine also i remember reading certain brothers really can't use generic bobbins and change the needle. If the machine has drop-feed dogs, check to be sure they are UP. Re-thread and give it a go. there could just be a setting that is off. I agree, I'd probably not put the $85 into it but if you find even one of those things above to be off, that would prevent it from working and none of them cost a penny to correct.

PattiAnnJ
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Date: 8/4/13 7:10 PM

Depending on where you live and how far the repair guy has to travel, most of the fee could be for fuel.

Look at the Brother website (click here) for a manual to see what should be included with the Brother.

Same for the Singer at the Singer website (click here).



-- Edited on 8/4/13 7:17 PM --

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"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

Karlyn M.
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Date: 8/4/13 7:47 PM

Great advice. So often something really simple can be the problem. But if it is something more major, I would not invest $85, either.

I bet the 1953 Singer will end up being a great machine after being serviced.

karen149
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Date: 8/4/13 8:05 PM

What model is your vintage Singer?

BodieHoney
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Date: 8/4/13 10:28 PM

The Singer is a 15-91, a beautiful cast iron machine. It hasn't been used for decades so I want to get it serviced, and the repair guy said his $85 would cover everything except parts. I was hoping to get some kind of a two-for deal, maybe a reduced rate on the second machine, since he'll already be here. The problem with the Brother was first that the tension was all messed up and the machine was gummy, like the last lubrication kind of jellified into place. My ASG friends cleaned it up and adjusted it to the best of their abilities (which are actually pretty good for non-techs) and now it runs much better. Funny, I just went to try it before writing this post and it actually works a lot better than it did a few days ago! Maybe it was mostly just gummed up? Tomorrow I'll go get it a different bobbin and some needles and see it I can't get it better for the Repair Tuesday rolls around. The main problem right now is that, when you first push the foot pedal down, instead of starting to sew there is sort of a growling pause. Then a jack rabbit start. No matter how smoothly and delicately you push on the pedal, that's what happens. And then the sewing (which now looks fine) sound kind of clanking. I think the problems are probably minor and I'd love to fix them myself so I want to thank each of you, very much, for all your responses and tips. What a site this is! Best, Bodie Honey

bestgrammy
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Date: 8/4/13 11:05 PM


Various vendors list SA156 as the bobbin size for this sm. It's hard to tell SA156 from SA155 bobbins...but the SA156 are 1/8" larger and the size listed for your XL 3100.

I had a old style metal Singer from the late 70's that made that growly sound and hesitation when first starting to sew...then that jack rabbit take off...and it did that from brand new out of the box and until day I got rid of it. I was told by the Singer store people (yeah, Singer still had stores then) that it was normal for that sm...and to help it get started by hand turning the hand wheel towards me when first stepping on the foot control.

Maybe that is just how this brother sm is as well. But with that said...maybe it's threaded incorrectly. Check the link to its manual that PattiAnnJ made for you for its correct threading path...maybe that will help.

Here is a link on checking the timing yourself...not to fix it...but to check if it seems off. Also...take out the bobbin CASE to look for any scratches or scrapes from the needle hitting it...a possible cause of the clanking sound you are hearing and an indication that it needs a service.
Sew It Works Timing Test

A drop of fresh sewing machine oil on the metal post that the bobbin case goes on might help if it's just dry from the gunky stuff being cleaned up.


-- Edited on 8/4/13 11:40 PM --

BodieHoney
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Date: 8/5/13 0:28 AM

PattiAnn, Thank you very much for posting those links. That's very thoughtful of you.

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