Fixing a vintage Singer motor controller

Not all components on vintage sewing machines are bulletproof

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1950s and 60s Singers have a capacitor in their motor controller. After 60 years, these capacitors are starting to fail. Here are some notes on replacement.

The foot controller has a rheostat, contactor, and suppression capacitor. The capacitor fails, with lots of smoke.

Simple fix, buy a 0.1uF 250VAC Class Y capacitor, unscrew the old one, fit the new one.

Not everyone whose controller fails is going to be a regular, so I've written it up in greater detail here on my Blogger blog.

  • 1 × 0.1uF 250VAC Class Y capacitor I used a KEMET R413N310040M1M which I bought from Farnell, but all electronics suppliers do 'em

  • 1
    Step 1

    Undo the 4 screws on the base of the foot controller, prise off the lid.

  • 2
    Step 2

    Find the capacitor on top of the rheostat housing, undo the 2 terminals and remove it.

  • 3
    Step 3

    Shape the leads of the replacement capacitor to fit the terminals, put it in place.

View all 4 instructions

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