Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Machine Upgrade difficulties


This post might only really be of interest to those who have APQS machines. If you like mechanical things, well, read on!

I got my upgrade parts yesterday in the mail. I have wanted to put the new foot on my APQS Millennium for quite some time now and after lots of consultation and research I decided to take the plunge. The only reason I hesitated at all is because I'd have to put the new foot in myself, and it's not a simple thing. There are many things that can go wrong, one of which that, I think, has. While I wait for APQS service dept. to call back I'll just note things down here.

I took lots of pictures of the machine before taking it apart so that I'd have reference to how it looked before I got carried away (The picture at right is of the old style foot). The procedure seems simple - remove the needle plate, the retaining finger, the hook assembly, slide the old foot out, put the new foot in, and re-assemble everything in reverse order. There is a bit of a pitfall, however - IF, once the hook assembly is off and the shaft it was attached to is recessed too far, all the gears that are attached to it will fall off inside the gearbox (suddenly things become MUCH more complicated). This, thank goodness, did not happen to me.

The photo at left is a picture of the original hook assembly from below. You can see the (black) collar behind it...this is what I seem to be having trouble with at this point. I had the hook assembly off, and the collar in what I thought was the right place. I put a new hook assembly on - which did not go on at all easily. I had to work really hard to get it on there. Once it was there, I couldn't move it to adjust the timing. Not at all. Nada. So I pried it off again - taking a really long time, and bending the part in the process. I went to sand the shaft to hopefully put the original hook assembly back on, but could not turn the flywheel freely anymore - it would go part way, then catch. I could reverse it, but when it got to that same spot it would catch again. AAArgh!

This morning I discovered that the hook shaft can protrude a little. If I push it (gently, no force needed) back into place, everything runs fine (I still haven't put the original hook assembly back on). It can slip forward though. I'm worried that when I pulled the new (now bent) hook assembly off it, that I slipped some internal collar on that shaft that kept it from moving forward. I'm not sure that there's anything to stop it from doing that while I'm stitching - that would be catastrophic, bringing everything to a grinding halt.

And so, I wait by the phone. With my luck they will phone when I'm picking up the boys from school. They always call back and always are extremely helpful. I'm just not good at waiting.

Well, I'll keep you all updated on how this goes. Hopefully someone out there will find this information useful.



Ramona-quilter said...

Ok, now you're scaring me. I expect to receive my new APQS hopping foot in a day or so. I replaced the hopping foot on my old Ultimate I and did not tighten the hopping foot and over time it lowered just a tiny bit. But that was enough to throw off the hook so I jammed the needle into the hook and ended up replacing the hook, too. By then I decided that it was time for a pro to do it. I never even heard about any bushing. Yikes. Wish me luck.

Lisa said...

If you've already replaced the hook assembly once, you'll probably have no trouble with this foot change. My problem came from not buffing the hook shaft well enough (you can do it too much, too) and trying to fit the new hook assembly on. Once it was on I couldn't turn it to adjust the timing. It was really jammed on there, so I wrecked it in the process of getting it off again - that's when I pulled that hook shaft too hard, dislodging the bushing. I talked to a lovely lady at APQS who knew right away what had happened, and let me know how to fix it. I'm sure you'll be fine, Ramona-Quilter, but email me if you need any hand holding at all. I know it's such a nailbiting process!!!