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Kenmore 385 timing answers

Hi! FixYa.com said you might be willing to share your directions on timing a Kenmore 385 sewing machine. My needle keeps coming down and snapping on the shuttle. I've had it into the repair shop several times (at $70 per visit) to fix this and it slips it's tune a few weeks later. It's already cost me more to "fix" the machine in the past 2 years since I bought it than it did to originally purchase it. I'm ready to heave the darned thing through the window!!! Help!!!

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  • Anonymous Jul 02, 2008

    needel crashes in to the shuttle need timing adjustment but how

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  • Sewing Machines Master
  • 40,820 Answers

The needle/ hook timing is achieved when the needle is in the lowest position and just starting to come up and the shuttle hook is at or close to the needle eye
there is a clamp on the vertical shaft the the needle is attached to so loosing of the clamp and moving the needle arm up or down to achieve that desired position is required
retension the clamp
if you machine is belt driven between the needle operation and the shuttle operation and it keeps altering timing it is possible that that belt needs replacing as the tooth sections of the belt may be worn off and jumping the teeth of the drive sprockets
it may be advisable to find another repair and get quotes first now that you have some idea of how it works

Posted on Jun 07, 2017

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

SOURCE: Kenmore Sewing Machine 385

check the Bed Drop Lever
Im having the same problem but the lever is not enguaging the bed

Posted on Mar 07, 2008

  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: Kenmore 385. 11607 needle jams into shuttle or shuttle race

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

Posted on Mar 08, 2008

  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: our Kenmore 385 is not

There's some pretty old grease in these machines, and with oxidation, the grease tends to slow down the movement of parts.  My first suggestion would be to take the gray bottom off the machine, take the white cover over the free arm off the machine, and hit the linkage down here with lots of patient hair dryer time. I just "fixed" a 385 which would not go into reverse.  Reverse is driven by a spring, the button actually allows the spring to reposition a cam on the main shaft.  The old grease kept the spring from moving the cam.

Posted on Jan 04, 2009

  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: Kenmore 385. 11607 needle jams into shuttle or shuttle race

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

  • 2 Answers

SOURCE: I have a Kenmore 385 (12116690) the thread keeps breaking

I have this same machine, it belonged to my husbands grandmother and was given to me after she passed. I let it sit for a few years before I got it out to use it, it was just too emotional. I had this same problem, and after cleaning, it worked fine. I followed the instructions in the manual for taking out the bobbin, bobbin case and metal parts that hold it in the machine. (there are pictures in the manual to help you take it out, take it apart, and put it back in... sounds hard but it's really not). I used a tooth brush to get all of the dust bunnies out (you could go over with a vacuum hose too, after the toothbrush cleaning). After I did this it worked fine. You may want to look in the manual about oiling the machine, if it's been years since it's been done, that might help to. Hope you get it working! I love this machine, it works well and is good quality. (they don't make sewing machines like they used to, the only one I'll buy is a Kenmore!)

Posted on Feb 27, 2009

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Direction on how to thread kenmore sewing machine 385. Model number 1168291


Perhaps this will help:

Part 1 Basic Sewing Machine Tutorial Kenmore 385 Series

Part 2 Threading the Bobbin Tutorial on Kenmore 385 Series Sewing Machine

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f09wuSTtouY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOWZX6EV3g4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJj-9Jj_HUw

How to Thread Sewing Machine Kenmore Model No 385 16221 Series

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Kenmore Sewing Machine 385


check the Bed Drop Lever
Im having the same problem but the lever is not enguaging the bed

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