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This is for Dawn or Mark or Amy.  Is there supposed to be any run out in the needle bar?  Mine will wiggle in the bushing.  If not, does the needle bar wear out, or the bushing?  BTW, I have a 1997 Ult2.  Thanks for the help.  Jim

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Jim

There should be no side to side or fore and aft play in the needlebar bushings.  Any play will cause timing issues.  If you shoot me your email I can send the doc for changing out the needlebar and bushings.

Jamie Wallen did a youtube video on changing them on an A1.  The APQS is similar. 

 

Nigel


Brenda Wells - Green Millie. Sold November 2017
Nigel Wells - Ultimate 1 with Intellistitch & IQ.  Sold January 2019

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Jim,

 

Nigel is correct about needle bar play. The bushings are typically the culprit. It's a little different on an Ultimate II than on a larger throated machine simply because the needle bar itself is shorter. At APQS, the bushings are specifically matched to each needle bar as a "pair" to be sure that they slip together properly. Since the bushings are made from sintered bronze (impregnated with lubricating oil) you don't want one that sticks a little on the needle bar. 

 

Amy can visit with you on Monday, but we typically recommend that you replace the needle bar at the same time as the bushings for a tight fit.

 

It is something that can be done in the field, but requires the machine to sit in a specific position overnight to be sure that the loctite that holds the bushings in place doesn't drip or run and to keep the needle bar centered (along with a set screw on older models).


DA6F15FEDD9F8F152708CED82003B151.png

APQS Customer Service & Education Director

1-800-426-7233

dawn@apqs.com

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That's what I thought. 

Nigel:  my e-mail address is: jimatthelake903@yahoo.com. 

Thanks Dawn.  I'll give the factory a call on Monday.  Is there a single bushing, or are there two, a top and a bottom?  I see set screws, one near the top, and another near the bottom.  Thanks for the help.  Jim

Lynn:  Run out means "play" in a mechanism, or excessive clearence.

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Dawn:  There are 2 bushings.  Thanks to Nigel, who sent me replacement instructions, I already have the old bushings out, and I'm ready to install the new set as soon as I can get them ordered and delivered.  It looks to me like the needle bar is actually the culprit.  The bushings seem to be nice and tight where they hadn't run on the bar.  Thanks for your help.  Jim

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how 'bout the hopping foot bar?  following the maintenance schedule, it said to check for hopping foot play - which is present, but doesn't suggest what to do....  tighten the height adjustment screw or some new parts (ie. bushings)  [freedom sr, year and a half old, 2-3 quilts a week, have driven over some bulky seams a time or two!]

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The bulky seams shouldn`t cause you a problem. The rocker is spring loaded to allow the hopping foot raise up on those obstructions.

Brenda`s machine had about an eighth inch play up and down in the hopping foot a couple of years ago. I spoke with Amy at that time and replaced the rocker block with new style and was told it should last forever. The old style has a bronze bushing and the newer one has an actual bearing. Up and down play can cause occasional loose stitches or loops as the quilt is not being held tight when the stitch is being made. How much is too much I am not sure. There are also hopping foot bar bushings and there should be no play side to side or front to back but I suspect that is not as critical as the needlebar. Your machine is fairly new and I believe should be under warranty so call Amy and discuss your concern with her.

Nigel


Brenda Wells - Green Millie. Sold November 2017
Nigel Wells - Ultimate 1 with Intellistitch & IQ.  Sold January 2019

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Hi Bill,

 

Some play in the hopping foot left-to-right and front-to-back is normal if you're feeling the foot low near the foot ring. Grab the hopping foot farther up the shaft, closer to where the foot exits the machine and see if you have play in that area. The bushings in the hopping foot wear down more slowly than the needle bar bushings, since the needle bar takes the brunt of movement from needle flex as the needle penetrates and exits those bulky seams. Since bushings are a "wear and tear" item they aren't covered under warranty, but it's very unlikely that they need replacement at this time.

 

However, it is possible that your foot's stroke is not consistent if you've encountered lots of bulky seams or have had a mishap with a ruler. Since the top shaft of the foot is round, it's possible to make the foot move slightly in the clamp (tightening that won't affect the "play" you feel, by the way). In a few cases, it's also possible to hit something with enough force to misalign the rocker block inside the machine. Turn the fly wheel by hand and watch the foot make its stroke down to the plate. The needle should stay centered in the foot. If the foot travels to the right or left as it comes down and the needle's no longer centered, then the rocker might need attention.

 

Give us a call tomorrow if you need help and Amy can double-check things for you!


DA6F15FEDD9F8F152708CED82003B151.png

APQS Customer Service & Education Director

1-800-426-7233

dawn@apqs.com

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Dawn, Thanks for confirming a little play side to side and front to back would be acceptable for the hopping foot. I remove the side cover and put a drop of oil on both the needlebar and hopping foot every couple of months. So far so good no play in either machine.

Sorry for speaking out of turn I didn't realize bushings would be considered a wear item as far as warranty goes.

Nigel


Brenda Wells - Green Millie. Sold November 2017
Nigel Wells - Ultimate 1 with Intellistitch & IQ.  Sold January 2019

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Question along this line - about every 4-5 inches the top thread is a tiny bit loose (can't feel anything on the back) just the top stitch is bigger.

 

Have done the usual - re-thread, tension checks, new needle, quilt sandwich tautness, tension guide at 8 0'clock, changed a pigtail, thread path, clean out bobbin area, check hopping foot to be sure it's level and keep trying to drop the foot to 1 business card height but after tightening, when I pull a little up and down on my hopping foot, there is a bit of play - somehow the "set" screw doesn't seem to be holding the foot in the right place (unless this is normal) and if this isn't the problem, then I wonder what to try next?  Thanks anyone!


Cathy

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Cathy

In the rocker arm block there is a bushing or bearing depending on how old your machine is.  The bushing will wear over time and will give you play up and down.  Brenda's had about and eighth inch or more when we replaced the block with the newer style with the bearing.  Amy says the newer style is much improved and should last for many many years.  Even the new one has a little play but not much.  I've changed the bushing in my Ultimate 1 and it is not too hard of a job and quite inexpensive (less than five dollars).  Email Amy and ask how much play therer should be.

 

Nigel


Brenda Wells - Green Millie. Sold November 2017
Nigel Wells - Ultimate 1 with Intellistitch & IQ.  Sold January 2019

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Cathy:  I don't think your hopping foot play will affect your stitch quality intermittantly.  My guess is that your tension assembly take up spring is improperly adjusted, or worn out.  Since both Silvia and I have had remarkably improvements in stitch results by replacing the entire tension assembly, that's what I'd recommend.  It seems like I only paid $20 or $30 for the entire assembly, and it was easy to replace.  Jim

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Jim

We would get intermittent loops of top thread on the back when ours got bad.  

 

Cathy

I assume you tried another cone of thread.  I remember Ray White telling us in class about have a terrible time getting a domestic machine to stitch properly, it would be good for a few inches then a couple of stitches bad tension and then good for while then bad for a couple more stitches.  He had tried to set the tensions using the customers thread.  When he installed a new spool of thread the machine sewed perfectly.  Upon closer inspection he found a small oil spot on the spool.  Every time the thread with the oil passed through the tension assembly the oil worked as a lubricant and changed the tension.

 

Nigel


Brenda Wells - Green Millie. Sold November 2017
Nigel Wells - Ultimate 1 with Intellistitch & IQ.  Sold January 2019

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K - tried another cone of thread - same thing happens, it's a quilt I've been working on with a couple colors.  So, I changed out the tension spring and it stopped!  Thanks!  the reason I thought it was the foot height is because I adjusted that in the middle of the quilt and that's when it started happening.  Love this forum and thanks so much for your help!


Cathy

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I remember Ray White telling us in class about have a terrible time getting a domestic machine to stitch properly, it would be good for a few inches then a couple of stitches bad tension and then good for while then bad for a couple more stitches.  He had tried to set the tensions using the customers thread.  When he installed a new spool of thread the machine sewed perfectly.  Upon closer inspection he found a small oil spot on the spool.  Every time the thread with the oil passed through the tension assembly the oil worked as a lubricant and changed the tension.

 

Nigel

 

 

Yes, I remember Ray White telling the same story in the machine repair class that I took from him many years ago. He had lots of great advice on machine maintenance.


Cheers,

Tami Levin

Vancouver, WA

http://www.lemontreetales.com

http://www.thequiltedlemon.com

APQS Freddie with IntelliQuilter

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