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Tension Spring Replacement - Worried


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Guest Linda S

I generally never have tension troubles. I've been working on a show quilt (which may end up in the scrap bin) and my monolon thread kept snapping. It is very fine, and sometimes breaks, but I've never had trouble like I did yesterday. So, I had loosened and loosened the top tension, but still couldn't get it to stop snapping. I finally decided that perhaps the tension spring was worn out after seven years of owning the machine, and I have a spare, so I decided to replace it. I got out my manual and followed the directions. Two things happened that have me worried.

1) I had a great deal of trouble removing the tension assembly. The instructions say to make sure you loosen the screw at least two full turns, but I just have loosened mine 50 times before I got it to budge. By the time I finally got it out of there, I think because I had the tension set so loosely, it fell onto the quilt and the nut and all the disks fell off. I think I put them back in the right order, but could someone by any chance take a photo of all those disks laid out from left to right, so I can make sure I put them all on in the proper order?

2) the biggest worry for me. When the tension assembly came out, it brought with it a small pile of metal shavings. They look like filings that occur when a screw gets stripped or when one tries to put the wrong size screw into a too small hole. I wiped them off the assembly, got my flashlight and wrapped a shop rag around a Qtip and gently wiped inside the cavity the assembly came out of and got the rest of the shavings, but I cannot see where these would have come from. I cleaned it, put a slight film of oil on it, and then put the new spring in and re-inserted the tension assembly.

It's all back together now and seems to be working fine, but I'm waiting for a grinding noise or loud thump to occur that will finally signal where those shavings came from.

Any ideas?

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I have taken the tension assembly out before, Linda. It sounds to me like you did fine. It is scary, because you aren't sure what goes where, but it would not be working correctly if everything wasn't back in place. I would send what you just wrote to Amy at APQS in the Service Department tomorrow to double check.

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Guest Linda S

I'm most freaked out by the metal shavings. Where did they come from? The tension assembly didn't appear to be damaged - it was like the stuff had fallen from above or somewhere else in the machine. I'll call today. Need my coffee first!

Thanks so much for the good vibes and support!:)

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Guest Linda S

Good news! Just talked to Dawn and the shavings may have been left over from the original machining of my Liberty when she was built. They were probably the reason I had such trouble getting it out, but there is nothing in that area that could be grinding apart, so I should be good to go. Unfortunately, I'm out of time on getting my own quilt done and now have to fly on a few customer quilts to get them done on time. Oh well, there's always next year!

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  • 3 years later...

You may have tightened it too much before you "set" the screw in the tension assembly.  If the spring doesn't have enough spring, take the assembly back out, loosen that set screw at the base of the assembly and "unwind" the assembly just a little bit, reset the screw and try it again.

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  • 11 months later...

Regardless of whomever replaces the take up-spring, your tension will have to be completely re-set. It's not hard to do, and good training.  If you do the replacement yourself, make sure when the tension assembly is put back in the machine, that the take-up spring does not rub against the machine head.  That will cause it to malfunction.  Good luck.  Jim

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I did the replacement myself with instructions that Barb sent me.  It wasn't hard and I was very careful to align everything just so.  I was having some thread breakage and found that I had a rough spot on my hook assembly, so while I was working on the machine, I smoothed that out with some emery cloth.  All is working well now: no thread breakage, good tension.  I'm a happy quilter!  Really appreciate all of your comments.

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