Friday, August 19, 2011

Viking Husqvarna Model 6440 Sewing Machine

Failure and Repair.

Linda’s 33 year old, ‘vintage’ sewing machine started smoking the other night. The machine was just sitting there when the motor started by itself and smoke emerged from the machine! They unplugged the machine but there remained a ‘nice’ odor in the room. This has been an excellent sewing machine over the years.

We plugged it in the next day and the motor started at a slow speed without depressing the foot pedal. After concluding the machine is not worth much anymore I started the disassembly. I was able to eventually get to the motor and the little terminal box that held some electronics. There was capacitor that had blown up leaving a moist oil like substance on the terminal board. The cap had a label indicating it was 0.1 uf, 250V ~ MP, fo = 3.6 Mhz, PME 271M. This turned out to be a interference suppressor used, I think, to reduce electrical noise caused by the motor.. I looked for a replacement capacitor but found only one half the size that sold in lots of 200 for about $2 each. ($400).

The motor and terminal board assembly.

The blown capacitor. Its belly is missing.

I didn’t want to leave the machine disassembled too long for fear I may not get it back together correctly so I completely removed the capacitor. Now the sewing machine works just fine. Maybe when the motor is running we will hear interference on our radio or tv. I may look further for a replacement part as time permits?

Here the beauty is.

I wonder how many more years of service this machine will provide? There are some new machines out there even in the $150 neighborhood that may outperform this vintage sewing machine. Who knows?


  1. You are amazing. Think of all the money you have saved.

  2. You were correct on every assumption and simple removal was all it takes !!

    Want to ask a Question...?

  3. Jim,
    I was so glad to find this post, this is exactly what happened to mine. However I put it back together and now it works but wont shut off. I wonder if I put the wrong terminals together. I waited too long to put it back and had forgotten how it went. I wasnt as smart as you. Anyway have any thoughts?? By the way you will never get a machine as good as this today no matter what you spend!

    Thanks Virginia

  4. Hi Jim,

    Search ebay for 'pme271m'. You'll find your capacitor for a few dollars, shipped.

    Your sewing machine was top of the line when it was first made, and today people pay hundreds of dollars to have them rebuilt. Aside from computerized controls, the technology has not improved since then, and in fact Virginia is right: I think you can't find a machine as well-built today. The service manual has a whole page boasting about the 150 different operations to build the shuttle; no company would do that today.

    Glad you're keeping that old machine running! Check my blog post for some information about fixing it:


  5. hi Jim

    I am grateful for this article of yours.

    my 6440, having not been used for a long time, did exactly as yours did - it started running away by itself and smoke came out of the motor casing - I had no idea what to do and it was going to be expensive giving it to a repair shop just to look at it...

    I have opened it up and oiled it (it had ceased up partially (the reverse button was stuck in)) and freed the stuck parts but when I re-closed it up and reconnected the power it did the run-away/smoke thing again. You say that if I take out the damaged capacitor the machine will run as before except it might cause interference somewhere. As I have nothing to loose I will take your advice and give it a try. I can get a similar capacitor here in the UK for $9 (for 3) but I will see what happens 1st.

    Thank you
    dug (UK)

  6. Dug Conn -- I had the same issue and researched the remedy. As Jim did, apparently all it takes is to take out the capacitor. The TVs are not made the same these days so that you do not need the capacitor anymore. No need to replace it, is my understanding. Now, I have yet to remove it on my machine yet. I'll try soon.
    Jim -- thank you for the photos. Very helpful.

  7. how do you take the capacitor out?

    1. Remove the rear cover to gain access to the motor. Loosen the two brass screws that connect the two leads from the capacitor and pull it out. You may need to grab it will a pair of needle nose pliers. Tighten the two screws. Replace the rear cover. A service manual for these machines can easily be found online for free using Google.

      The capacitor in my 6170 blew up years ago!

  8. Thank you so much for sharing this information. You saved me quite a bit of time and money since I was ready to take my machine to the repair shop until we found this.Worked perfectly -thanks!

  9. OMG... This is a god send.... i have same Rifa PME 271M capacitor blown on my husky 2000 model 6430... so questions...
    1) how do i remove it.
    2) do i need to replace it and how (soldering iron)?
    3) dont sew and radio ever so can i have it without?
    I live in auckland and see these capacitors all over ebay... so .. what is the wisest option?
    Cheers Edward (collector and hobbiest repair guy)

  10. hello Virginia my name is David, would you know of a manual for the Husqvarna 6440 sewing machine? my email address is take care.

  11. Sorry Linda, I am David , I called you Virginia, again do you know of a manual for Husqvarna 6440 sewing machine, my email is

  12. HI
    I repair sewing machines in Southern Maine. I have a number of old Viking 6000 series machines that come in and it is very common to have this small electrical part smoke. A guys who used to repair in the area told me he always removed them. That's what I've been doing and the machines work fine. Its a little scary when you hear of something smoking, but I have had no problems so far.
    I would of course love to hear from a Swedish engineer who put them there but I don't think that will happen.
    I've spent a lot of time working on the 6000 series so if anyone's ever in Maine hit me up for a repair or some advice. They are fantastic machine.
    Thanks for the blog