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Imperial 520 Sewing Machine Repair

I have a vintage Imperial 520 Sewing Machine whose mechanism is stiff, and wont run freely, to the point where only cranking by hand works - too much for the motor.

I have narrowed down the problem to the drive shaft that spins the bobbin holder 180 degrees - it’s quite stiff. I tried 3in1 motor machine oil, but that made it worse.

I’d like to take it apart and give it a good cleaning, but there is a cam attached to the shaft by some kind of pin (see image, center, a little out of focus)

Block Image

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So, my question is how do I get that pin out (or otherwise remove the shaft, and then how do I clean and properly lubricate that shaft?

Thank you.

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@jonathonmckay you need a drive pin punch for that. Something like this you get them relatively cheap at home depot etc. After that check your shafts for any sign of having been rubbing against a worn bushing etc. Use some grease to lubricate since oil will most likely sling off when you use the sewing machine.

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Had a look at the link you provided. I'm guessing I use those to basically bash ... uh, tap the pin out with a hammer. Thanks, I'll give it a shot.

Yep, give it a try and happy bashing. Some of those are tight....

Totally worked!

Actually, I used a nail set. A couple taps with a light hammer, and the pin popped out far enough I could remove it by hand. Cam needed some convincing to come off, but used the same tools and I'm set!

Thank you!

@jonathonmckay that is great. Thank you for accepting my answer. Now the fun part. As you continue to work on your sewing machine, make a guide for it. https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/new that way others can maybe fix their machine as well. Those are speciality guides that will be really useful.

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I tried to do it and no success. Can you take a video of how to do it?

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Unfortunately, I did not take any photos or videos as I was doing my work.

If you're having trouble with a pin like I was when I first posted, try a nail set and small hammer to tap it out. Keep in mind that the pin may be tapered slightly, so it may only come out one way - try from both sides. Also, I had to disconnect many connecting rods before I could easily get at it.

When it come to oil, stay away from 3in1 oils or WD40. Those will get it moving at first, but will make it worse later. If you need them to free a part, be sure to completely remove it and then clean it all off after. For oil, sewing machine oil is best. You can get a giant bottle from Walmart for only a few dollars, that will last you forever. (It's also great for other things with delicate moving parts and even some electronic applications)

Hope this helps.

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Why aren’t you considering the option to buy a new embroidery machine? The old, vintage Imperial 520 you can sell on a collection market. Many dealers are ready to pay good money for vintage sewing machines. Also don’t forget that these old machines keep breaking all the time and it’s no sense to waste your money and time to fix them. Especially that on the market are myriad of durable sewing machines available which will serve you long time. For instance check the sewing and embroidery computerized machine Brother SE600 with 25 years limited warranty. I’m more than sure you’ll enjoy working with it.

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Hi @christopherwat ,

This forum is about repair if possible, not about replace, hence the name, i-fix-it (ifixit).

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