Milli WAS sick, but Amy found the cure! (Update below)


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I was stitching along (putting zippers on my leaders) in SR mode when suddenly the needle stuck in the down position. It was almost as if it hit something, but there was nothing for it to hit (it wasn't near the teeth of the zipper). Neither the yellow or blue button on the right handle would work, but I finally was able to bring it back up by turning the flywheel.

After that, when I was in SR mode and pressed the blue button on the right handle, basically nothing happened. I can hear the chirp of the SR, but if the machine stitches at all, the stitches are very erratic. If I try to use it in manual mode, the speed is erratic, and I can hear a sound of metal grating on metal, particularly when I first press the blue button. It doesn't sound as if it's coming from the bobbin area; rather, it's coming from the front of the machine. The top wicks were a little dry (but not completely), so I did add oil, but that hasn't made any difference.

The same thing happens whether I use the front or back handles. It appears the timing is okay. I even checked the fuse and motor brushes just in case something had gone haywire there, but they were fine.

Any suggestions? I'll call Amy on Monday, but if anyone has any thoughts about what I might have done, I'd appreciate it.

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Thanks for the thoughts. The needle is a new one and it's positioned correctly. I can't find any loose connections, so I don't think that's it.

I did find that when I raise and lower the needle by using the flywheel, that seems to work fine - no grating sound. It's only when I turn the machine on. First, I get just a humming sound, like it wants to do something, but can't. The needle was slowly going up and down (very slowly) by itself, and pushing the needle up/down button had no effect at all. Pushing the blue button on the right handle made the humming stop, but it wouldn't stitch in manual mode. I turned on the SR, pressed the blue button on the right, and it ran, but every time I started to move the machine one direction or the other, I heard that grating sound again.

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Originally posted by shirleyl

Does it run in manual mode if it does check your encoders. Put another new needle in just to be sure its not tweeked.

Most of the time, it doesn't run in manual mode. Once in a great while, it will, but it isn't a steady speed - there's not a significant difference, but sometimes it's slower and then it'll speed up a little. I checked the encoders - the wheels are where they should be and the connection is good.

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OK I am going to ask the question I always ask.... is your bobbin assembly area clean? When was the last time you cleaned this area with WD40 and oiled it? How often do you take the needle bar cover off and give the entire area down below a good cleaning? Sometimes issues occur when the bobbin assembly is full of fuzz, lots of oil buildup on the moving parts, etc.

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Originally posted by quiltmonkey

OK I am going to ask the question I always ask.... is your bobbin assembly area clean? When was the last time you cleaned this area with WD40 and oiled it? How often do you take the needle bar cover off and give the entire area down below a good cleaning? Sometimes issues occur when the bobbin assembly is full of fuzz, lots of oil buildup on the moving parts, etc.

Good question, Shana. I do clean and oil the bobbin assembly area regularly, but maybe something lodged down there when the machine stopped yesterday. I'll check it again this afternoon (unfortunately, I have to clean house before I can spend any time with Milli!). I keep thinking it couldn't/shouldn't be a bobbin assembly problem, as the sound comes from the front of the head of the machine, and I don't hear it when I manually raise and lower the needle with the flywheel, but who knows?

Thanks!

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No luck - I tried a new needle, took off the left side cover and inspected everything in there, turned it on. When I pressed the blue button on the right side - there was a brief hum and then nothing. Pressed it again. Same thing. After about five times, the needle started to slowly move up and down. The yellow needle up/down button would do nothing.

Turned on the SR. Pressed the right-hand blue button and the grinding/grating sound was still there any time I moved the machine whether it was side to side or front to back. Suddenly it stopped - but now I have a totally different sound when I move it. It's a good sound - it sounds like the machine does when it's happily stitching away. BUT, it isn't stitching - there's no movement from the needle bar or anything inside the front of the machine.

It's getting mysteriouser and mysteriouser!

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I just got off the phone with Amy - she has come through again! She had me get open the back cover. There's a belt with two pulleys - the lower one has set screws, and they had become loose. "We" tightened then, plugged everything back in, turned on the machine, and I'm back in business!

I know I said thank you to Amy when I was on the phone with her, but that seems insufficient. This is only the second time I've needed assistance from APQS, and both times I was amazed at how easily the problem was actually solved. Kudos and a million thanks to Amy and Dawn for all they do for us!

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