April 1, 2015

How to replace a sewing machine drive motor

By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a sewing machine drive motor

This step-by-step repair guide shows how to replace the drive motor in a sewing machine. The drive motor rotates the drive belt, which turns the hand wheel and upper shaft. If the sewing machine drive motor runs roughly or won't run at all, replace the motor with the manufacturer-approved replacement part.

Follow the basic steps in this repair guide and video to replace the drive motor in Kenmore and Brother sewing machines.

Quick links
Tools required
Work gloves
Phillips screwdriver
Repair difficulty
Time required
30 minutes or less
Repair difficulty
Time required
30 minutes or less
Replacing a drive motor on a sewing machine

This video explains how to replace the drive motor on a sewing machine.

Instructions

  1. 01.

    Shut off the electricity

    Unplug the sewing machine's power cord from the wall outlet.

  2. 02.

    Remove the drive belt cover

    Remove the screws securing the belt cover to the sewing machine and pull the belt cover off.

    Remove the front screw from the belt cover.

    Remove the front screw from the belt cover.

    Remove the bottom screw from the belt cover.

    Remove the bottom screw from the belt cover.

  3. 03.

    Remove the drive belt

    Loosen the two motor mounting screws and pivot the motor upward to release the belt tension.

    Slide the drive belt off the hand wheel and remove the belt.

    Loosen the motor mounting screws.

    Loosen the motor mounting screws.

    Pivot the motor upwards.

    Pivot the motor upwards.

    Slide the belt off the hand wheel and remove.

    Slide the belt off the hand wheel and remove.

  4. 04.

    Remove the drive motor

    Remove the two motor mounting screws and slide the motor out.

    Remove the terminal block mounting screws and remove the terminal block.

    Disconnect the motor wires from the terminal block and remove the drive motor.

    Remove the drive motor mounting screws

    Remove the drive motor mounting screws

    Remove the terminal block mounting screws.

    Remove the terminal block mounting screws.

    Disconnect the motor wires.

    Disconnect the motor wires.

    Remove the drive motor,

    Remove the drive motor,

  5. 05.

    Install the new drive motor

    Connect the new motor wires to the terminal block.

    Reinstall the terminal block and screws.

    Position the new drive motor in the machine and loosely reinstall the motor mounting screws.

    Connect the new motor wires to the terminal block.

    Connect the new motor wires to the terminal block.

    Install the new drive motor.

    Install the new drive motor.

  6. 06.

    Reinstall the drive belt

    Position the drive belt under the motor pulley and then roll the belt onto the hand wheel.

    Pivot the drive motor to apply slight tension to the belt and tighten the motor mounting screws firmly.

    Reinstall the drive belt.

    Reinstall the drive belt.

    Tighten the motor mounting screws.

    Tighten the motor mounting screws.

  7. 07.

    Reinstall the belt cover

    Position the belt cover on the sewing machine and reinstall the belt cover mounting screws.

    Reinstall the drive belt cover.

    Reinstall the drive belt cover.

  8. 08.

    Restore power

    Plug the sewing machine into the electrical outlet.

Warning: Undertaking repairs to appliances can be hazardous. Use the proper tools and safety equipment noted in the guide and follow all instructions. Do not proceed until you are confident that you understand all of the steps and are capable of completing the repair. Some repairs should only be performed by a qualified technician.

Symptoms common to all sewing machines

Choose a symptom to see related sewing machine repairs.

Main causes: power supply failure, bad power cord, faulty On/Off switch
Main causes: faulty foot pedal, locked drive gears, wiring failure, bad drive motor
Main causes: dirty shuttle race, improper thread routing, incorrect thread tension
Main causes: lack of lubrication, lint buildup, worn drive belt, faulty drive motor
Main causes: dirty shuttle race, wrong thread tension, bad needle timing, damaged needle, using the wrong type of needle
Main causes: machine needs lubrication, internal gear failure
Main causes: problems with the feed dogs, setting stitch length to 0
Main causes: disengaged clutch, broken drive belt, internal drive gear failure
Main causes: thread bunched up in the shuttle race, bad needle timing, internal drive gear failures

Repair guides common to all sewing machines

These step-by-step repair guides will help you safely fix what’s broken on your sewing machine.

April 1, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a sewing machine on/off switch

If the sewing machine is completely dead, replace the On/Off switch using these 6 steps.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
April 1, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a sewing machine drive motor

If the drive motor on your sewing machine runs roughly or doesn't run at all, you can replace it in about 30 minutes using these simple steps.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
April 1, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a sewing machine drive belt

You can replace a broken sewing machine drive belt in about 15 minutes.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 minutes or less

Articles and videos common to all sewing machines

Use the advice and tips in these articles and videos to get the most out of your sewing machine.

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