Question about Kenmore Drop-In Bobbin 505S-21BH Mechanical Sewing Machine

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Kenmore 385. 11607 needle jams into shuttle or shuttle race

I was sewing along fine for about two feet, then the needle jammed and had to be taken out. I cleaned the shuttle race and put it back in the machine (according to illustrations on p. 39 of manual). When I turn the wheel by hand w/o using the foot pedal, the needle works fine, but as soon as I step on the power, it jams.

I've taken the shuttle pieces apart and reinserted them about ten times. Each time, I think it will work, but it jams every time. Is this a timing problem?


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  • cperel Dec 17, 2007

    The needle timing with the shuttle was off. About the 12th time I took it all apart, I got the needle adjustment right. Thanks.

  • Anonymous Jan 14, 2008

    My Kenmore 385 is doing the same thing. I'm only on the 5th attempt right now.

  • travija Dec 12, 2008

    I have the same problem!!! its so frustrating...I have the kenmore 385-15408.

    I changed the needle thinking it might be bent (it was) but that hasn't helped. I cleaned the shuttle race about sixteen times thinking there might be some thread or lint in there. I lowered the tension on the bobbin holder bit. I have taken the whole shuttle/bobbin setup apart about twenty times, but it's still jamming on me.

    How can I fix it???



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I had the same problem with cleaning and jamming and this might sound silly, but when you're in the middle of trying to fix it remember to look up see that it is threaded up top. I did everything the pp's suggested and when they didn't work I realized the top thread wasn't still threaded around the tension thing anymore. After rethreading it, it worked fine. But I DID reduce the amount of thread on the bobbin at the same time as Drazil suggested.

Posted on Feb 05, 2009

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Had same problem. took thread out...that worked. thanks drazil

Posted on Mar 08, 2008

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Is your bobbin too full? Sometimes I have to take thread off my bobbin because of jamming problems. Sounds crazy but it has worked for me.

Posted on Dec 17, 2007

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Remove the needle and presser foot (use scissors to cut threads if necessary)

Remove the plates under the presser foot that cover the bobbin and needle through area. Clean any thread/lint, etc from under there.

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I need to know how to clean and oil the machine

From the Sears Kenmore manual:
Using a small brush, remove the lint that accumulates in the shuttle area and around the feed dogs.
To Clean the Shuttle Area:
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You might need to clean the shuttle assembly.

1. Raise the needle bar to its highest position and remove the bobbin case.

2. Push levers sideways of the shuttle assembly and liftshuttle and shuttle race cove out by the center pin.

3. Clean the shuttle race of any lint or small particles of thread with a small brush.

4. Put a drop of oil on the center pin of the shuttle and on the shuttle race.

to reassemble, hold sjuttle by center pin and it carefull into assembly opposit the shuttle driver. Slip shuttle race cover into place. Snap the levers into position.

Occasionally remove the needle plate and clean feed dog with soft brush.

I hope that helps!

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