Replacing the Presser Foot Lifter on a Pfaff 1200 Sewing Machine

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Introduction: Replacing the Presser Foot Lifter on a Pfaff 1200 Sewing Machine

About: Over the hill coffin-dodging retired technical writer.

The reputedly superb German engineers must have been taking a holiday when they designed the Pfaff 1200 series sewing machines. The presser foot lift lever, probably the most-used part of any machine, is plastic.

Plastic, not steel. It will break long before the rest of the machine is worn out. Replacing it is not difficult. PLEASE READ the notes on the pictures.

Step 1: Remove the Broken Lever

First, remove the broken stub of the old lever.

TOOLS: In addition to the tools you need for removing the covers, you need

  • skinny needle-nose pliers
  • slip-joint pliers
  1. Remove the needle and the presser foot.
  2. Follow the steps in my instructable for removing the top and front covers from the machine.
  3. Remove the screw that holds the light in place.
  4. Use tape or something to hold the light fixture out of your way. I used a hair elastic and looped it around the upper tension controls.
  5. Lift the presser foot arm. (read the note on the picture)
  6. Prop the presser foot arm on something that barely fits under it. (sorry, no pictures)
  7. Loosen the set screw that holds the lever in place.
  8. Use the slip-joint pliers and tug the stub of the lift lever out of the back of the machine.
    .
    Yes, the inner part of the lift mechanism will fall out of place. That's OK.
    .
  9. Fish out the part that fell off.

Step 2: Insert the New Lever

You have to do much of this by feel, because there isn't enough room to see what you are doing. For that reason, there are few pictures.

  1. Insert the new lever into the hole, with the long arm of the lever facing away from you. (The last picture shows the correct position)
  2. From the inside, push it back out almost all the way. Leave a tiny bit sticking into the inside of the machine.
  3. Hold the inside half in the needle-nose pliers with the set-screw facing toward you, the hook at the top. (position as shown in the last picture)
  4. Insert this into the machine and fiddle with the position until you feel the hole match with the end of the lever and the stop peg is behind something.
    .
    It may take several attempts.
    .
  5. Push the lever the rest of the way into the machine, into the hole in the inside part.
  6. Make sure the inside part is snug against the side of the machine.
  7. Tighten the set screw.
  8. Move the lever up and down to make sure the parts are moving freely, and that the hook rotates up and doesn't flop around.
  9. Raise the lever and remove the blocking from under the presser foot.
  10. Replace the covers.
  11. Replace the presser foot and needle.

3 People Made This Project!

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12 Comments

0
Sarahsmiles817
Sarahsmiles817

Question 5 days ago on Introduction

I had this break and needed to finish, so my daughter used the pliers to rotate up and down the few times needed. It's frustrating to have such an involved replacement for a broken lever! I am going to order the part and do the repair. Do you think it will hurt anything to use pliers a few more times while I'm waiting for part/repair? My initial concern was stripping the screw, but it appears that is part of the replacement mechanism. What do you think?

0
Tsu Dho Nimh
Tsu Dho Nimh

Answer 5 days ago

I have no idea. If you are just rotating the stub of the lever, all that will be replaced by the new lever.

0
EmilyC163
EmilyC163

1 year ago

I have had my Pfaff 1222 for over 34 years. I have only had 2 repairs done, one to replace the broken tiny wire that you use to thread the machine, the 2nd the plastic plug part needed to be replaced, and now the Presser foot Lifter [I did this one !! ] I was even in the Azores for 8 - 9 months. I always oil the machine when I fill/wind a bobbin...I think that helped the metal parts a LOT !

0
pamarest
pamarest

Reply 21 days ago

I've had my 1222E for 38 years! I feel ya!

0
Tsu Dho Nimh
Tsu Dho Nimh

Reply 1 year ago

I'm glad it could help you.

0
Diodia
Diodia

7 months ago

Thank you for the intructions, it is very helpful. I think i did everything right but the inside part of the lift lever keeps falling, and the lever doesn't seem to go all the way in the hole. I just dont understand why! Do you have any recommendation?

0
EmeliaEn
EmeliaEn

Reply 6 months ago

I had the same problem/frustration. The solution was to make sure that the arm, which is behind the inside lever piece that has the set screw, lies ON the shaft through which the lever rod passes. In my experience, this arm fell off the shaft when I removed the broken lever. If the arm lies in front of the shaft, its thickness leaves insufficient lever rod for the set screw to hold it in place. Sorry, I don't have pics to post.

0
Tsu Dho Nimh
Tsu Dho Nimh

Reply 6 months ago

Thank you.

I did not have that problem.

It is possible that I did it and forgot to write about it, or it accidentally was in the right place for me.

0
Tsu Dho Nimh
Tsu Dho Nimh

Reply 7 months ago

It's not easy. It took me several tries.

Before you start the replacement, loosen the set-screw to make sure
the lever's arm slides into it easily. This may be what is stopping the lever from going all the way in.

Look at the last picture in Step 2 - that is the way the pieces have to be aligned as you install them. The tiny screw is the "set screw" that tightens to keep the lever in place.

Let me know if this helps.

0
nacquatella
nacquatella

10 months ago on Introduction

Just signed up to instructables to say Thank You! My mom's PFAFF 1213 inside piece of the lift lever went loose, and we didn't want to call her technician due the COVID-19 quarantine to maintain social distancing. Both your guides were sehr nützlich to get back my mom's machine back on track. She has made almost a hundred face masks for friends and family over the past months, and during the repair it brought me back memories of countless last minute sews and stitches to our clothes when we were kids. Thanks a lot and keep safe!

0
Tsu Dho Nimh
Tsu Dho Nimh

Reply 10 months ago

I'm happy that it helped.

0
BertaN2
BertaN2

2 years ago on Step 2

This was so helpful! I fixed my Pfaff 1229 using these instructions- many thanks!