Viking 6030 sewing machine rebuild

A very nice lady gave me a Viking 6030 sewing machine (as well as this serger).


It had what is said to be a typical problem for this make and model:  the lubricating oil had solidified into a wax- or plastic-like consistency, and the upper main shaft, many of the controls, and other mechanisms were frozen.  The only way to repair this is to completely disassemble the machine, clean out the old oil, and reassemble it with new oil.  After such a complete rebuild, all of the normal service adjustments must be made.

This post documents the rebuild process with photos and provides documentation.  When done, your machine may be able to do this:

30.0.  All done!

I took on this project because I have always wanted to add a sewing machine to my tool collection, because it is related to my hobby of fixing cars, appliances and other machines, and because I knew the sewing machine would be a very complex mechanism and it would be fun to ’solve’ such a puzzle.  When it was given to me, I did not expect that its problem would require complete disassembly of the entire machine, but it turned out a welcome challenge.

If you are not mechanically inclined, or are doing this to save money, I do not recommend doing it yourself.  Screw slots are easy to strip, even with my life-saving screwdrivers, and removing stuck screws takes both strength and finesse.  There are about 350 parts in this machine, and it can be tough to figure out how they fit together.  The mechanisms are very complex, and they must be understood to really get them working properly.  While researching the machine, I found a highly-rated seller on ebay who periodically makes a listing to perform exactly this procedure for an extremely reasonable $258 + shipping, a great price for a rebuilt example with all the cams and accessories.  I have no idea how he can do this quickly enough to make it worth his time, but judging by his consistent 5-star feedback and raving comments, he cuts no corners, and I am very impressed.

If there’s anyone who’s made it this far and still wants to do the job, I would really love a post in the comments section!  I wish you good luck, and let me know if you have any questions.


A minimal set of tools is needed.  Without this Chapman screwdriver set, which has 12 bits for slotted heads of varying widths and thicknesses that fit any slotted head perfectly, I would have been suffering with stripped slots.  Also needed are a standard set of feeler gauges, circlip pliers, and assorted pipe brushes, all available for cheap from Harbor Freight.  Others are standard:  nut drivers, pliers, a knife, scissors, a metric ruler, flashlights.  For cleaning, kerosene seems to be the recommended solvent for the hardened oil; a paint roller pan with the pipe and other brushes and some large blank white paper to place parts to dry complete the kit.  For disassembly, have several dozen ziplock bags of various sizes to keep parts organized.  Finally, have a digital camera with a macro mode.

9.0.  Tools used

Disassembling and cleaning

The service manual (see link below) contains instructions for dismantling some parts.  Take plenty of close-up pictures so you can both remember the order of how things were dismantled, as well as how things fit together.  As you take things apart, put related parts in ziplock bags.  This machine has about 350 parts, and it is very difficult to keep track of all of them, so use small bags for screws, and put those together with the related larger parts into medium bags, and then put those bags into large bags.  The more organized you are, the easier this job will be.  I did a pretty good job, but came out with this one extra part (I’ll paypal the first person to correctly identify it $5 Update:  TWO commenters replied correctly; my mistake not recognizing the first; thanks to both Paul Reynolds and Kenn, enjoy the bounty!), so be organized!

9.1.  Left over washer

Kerosene can loosen up the hardened grease.  It is a good idea to take off the covers and applyto the whole inside liberally, allowing to soak for a couple of days with periodic reapplications.  Pay particular attention to the upper and lower shafts, which can freeze in their bushings, and the various gears that are mounted on the shafts.

When cleaning, put kerosene into the paint roller pan, and scrub the parts with brushes.  Use pipe brushes to clean all holes.  Arrange parts on a big piece of white paper to dry, grouped together as they were in the bags.  When the kerosene gets too dirty, pour it in a jar and allow the dirt to settle overnight; pour the kerosene back into the pan, leaving the sediment behind, to use again.  Kerosene dries slowly, and the parts will need to sit for at least 24 hours.  There should be no traffic in the area so that parts are not disturbed and disappear.  When dry, repack into their baggies for assembly.

Disassembly took me about two days, and cleaning another two days.  Order is the reverse of assembly, so follow the Assembly gallery pictures backwards.

Pics of the parts drying at the ends of day 1 and day 2.  These are all the parts in the machine!

9.2.  All parts #1

9.3.  All parts #2


When putting the parts back together, be sure to understand how each part works, and test each part of its motion.  This can take quite a bit of time, but will reduce later problems, and when there is a problem, you will be better equipped to diagnose and correct it.  Do not rush, take your time.  If you get frustrated, take a break and come back later.

After some online research, it seems that the most recommended grease is Tri-Flow lubricant with teflon.  Initially, I used the grease, but I believe that it slowed down the fast-spinning parts and bogs down the motor. Since then, I have been told by two experts to use the thin lubricant, at least in the sintered bushings.  In general, any two parts that move against each other should be lubricated.  Apply lubricant or grease to both contact surfaces.  When using grease, after fitting the parts together, if extra grease has not already squeezed out, a small amount can be added to ensure the joint will not starve of grease.  Do not overdo it though, since too much grease will just make a mess.

Assembly is detailed in the gallery below.  The pictures are annotated.


The pictures in the below gallery follow most of the adjustments in the manual.  They are annotated, and may contain hints when the manual is unclear, or requires a tool that us amateurs don’t have.

One adjustment to note is the shuttle cover clearance.  The manual calls for a special gauge.  The same gauge is used on the flat-bed models, so the clearance must be the same.  On the flat-bed models, one of the diagrams shows the gap between the actual shuttle and the back of the shuttle cover as 0.4mm.  I found that parts of the rim of the shuttle and the entire back of the shuttle cover are flat, so it is possible to use normal automotive feeler gauges for this adjustment.  See the adjustment described in picture 19.15.  I have no skipped stitches and the machine doesn’t jam, but it sounds quite loose and makes noise.  If anyone measures this gap before disassembling their machine, I’d very much like to know the measured gap.

Documentation and links

Factory service manual Read it!

Chapman screwdriver set Life-(or at least project-)saving screwdrivers

Viking mechanic on ebay My latest idol

Tri-Flow Lubricant Aerosol $14 shipped on ebay

Pre-1980 Viking Sewing Machines Yahoo Group run by Bill Holman

Final notes

For most of this project, I drew from my considerable experience as a shadetree mechanic.  I read very little of the service manual before doing this, so my process may have significantly deviated from the manual’s.  Please post a comment if I did anything that looks troublesome so I can correct my documentation for the next reader.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for all corrections, comments, and since I can’t imagine there are any others in the world who might be interested in this topic, I appreciate readers just saying hi in the comments.

Before undertaking this project yourself, be sure that you understand the complexity of this task.  Don’t hold me accountable for the failure (or even success) of your project!


The Viking guru from ebay, linked above, wrote me these nice comments.

First message:

Hi, betelnut. Looks like your leftover washer might be the special one that
goes between the long screw that you put in against the long spring, and
the piece that moves the cam in and out when you turn the stitch selector
knob. Quite a project to undertake without training in all the tricks that
lurk in these machines! You must have a very thorough general mechanical
knowledge. I had never thought of using regular feeler guages to set the
hook cover clearance- could be done if one is fussy enough! The most
critical part is the two posts opposite each other must be exactly the
same; after that is accomplished, you can adjust the third post while
running the machine (with no needle mounted) to get the least noise. Most
of the machines I see have the hook-needle clearance set wrong because the
last person to work on it assumed the running alignment of the hook is
determined by the hook DRIVER- but actually when running it is against the
hook COVER. So they set it statically with the hook just missing the needle
while resting against the hook driver. The Viking gauge that you put in
place of the needle, a thing slightly fatter than a needle, allows you to
set the clearance statically so that it comes out right when the machine is
running. I don't know how you might do this without the guage except by cut
and try. I'll get back to you with another message, I have to go now... 

Regards, Chris


Not wishing to spend my days standing over a pan of kerosene, I usually
clean the hardened grease off parts by physically scraping it off, and
wiping and or scrubbing with WD40, then drop them in a closed container of
rubbing alcohol. Let dry, the remainder is a powdery white stuff that I
clean off with a wire wheel on a bench motor. I poke pieces of WD40
soaked rag through holes and follow with clean rag. There ARE of course more
drastic and toxic chemicals to use when things are stuck so bad I can't get
them apart with WD40. I don't usually remove the top shaft unless
it is stiff turning, as sometimes happens when the machine has been treated by
someone just spraying solvent into it- this melts the grease which then
spreads into everything and re-hardens into a gluey consistency and makes
everything more difficult. I wish I knew more about what various chemicals
do to the sintered oil-impregnated main topshaft bearings- I try to stay
away from them with chemicals unless absolutely necessary to get it apart.
I have seen that some people drill oil holes into the top of the machine,
like the early 6000's had, so the user can oil the topshaft bearings; I
haven't had to do that yet. I have just made sure the bearings were well
oiled with regular sewing machine oil when I reassemble- haven't had any
stiffen up again that I know of. For lube when reassembling, I use the
liquid Tri-flow (not grease) which Viking recommended at seminars back when
they were still concerning themselves with these models. Before they
discovered Tri-flow, they recommended reassembling completely dry, no lube
at all.  (the hardening-grease problem had started showing up on the early
6000's while the later ones were still being sold, and they were of course
quite concerned about it) One place I do use a dab of grease, is on the
bobbincase spindle, which if left dry will sometimes develop a harmonic
vibration of the bobbincase that makes a screeching noise. About to run out
of room- 1 more messg.

Third message:

Thank goodness ebay now lets you reply more than once to a "question".
Reviewing my first message, I thought I should make clear, about the
needle/hook clearance and hook driver/hook cover clearance- you FIRST have
to set the needle in the right place in the needleplate; then set the
hook/needle clearance, THEN the hook cover clearance. When you are done,
observe the hook/needle clearance while holding the hook OUT against the
hook cover; it should be as close as possible without actually touching. If
it's not good, you will have to move the hook DRIVER and then re-adjust the
hook cover clearance also. (in models after the 6000 series, Viking made
all this much simpler. The hook cover screws directly to the casting, so
the cover clearance is fixed, no posts; the needle bar frame is moved to
adjust hook/needle clearance, and the needle PLATE can be moved slightly
front-to-back with an eccentric stud. Well... Much of this may have been no
news to you, who seem so very mechanically skilled; but I was so impressed
by your adventurous rebuild, I wanted to see if I could offer you something
helpful. Regards, Chris

Finally, in answer to some other question I’ve now lost track of:

The hook driver can also be moved in and out by loosening the set screw
from the bottom, moving the whole driver/bearing/gear assembly, but then of
course you have to reset the gear mesh by moving the meshing bevel. You
want just a tiny bit of play so there's no bind. The buttonhole cutting
space can be adjusted, it's on page 121 if your book is the same as mine.
If your book doesn't have it, I can try to describe it. Dry assembly-
refers to the mechanisms moved by the knobs, and the needle movement
sideways, the fabric feed, and the gears. The running bearings such as top
and bottom shaft bearings do need oil. The later models with "permanantly
lubricated" bearings there, and no oil holes, I have sometimes seen
stiffened up, but I'm not sure whether the "permanant" oil supply actually
ran out, or if it was the result of some chemical contamination, or perhaps
just a long period of disuse.

Update 2

Thanks to Page who left a comment below, I became aware of a Yahoo Group dedicated to pre-1980 Viking sewing machines. The group was founded and is moderated by Bill Holman, a well-known authority on these machines in online sewing machine circles, and who is extremely generous about sharing his knowledge. Because of my mention of WD-40, which unbeknownst to me can kill the Viking sintered bushings, my membership request to the group was rejected, with the following information about why that mention should be (and has been from my own write-up!) removed:

Your blog has been previously brought to my attention, and while I admire your initiative,
I am appalled by your suggestion of using WD-40 in these old Vikings. I have been a
Viking-Husqvarna technician for almost 50 years, and that stuff is a terrible choice for
any of the machines, and the kiss of death for a sintered bushing. Within months of the
introduction of the 6030 in 1972, Viking sent out a warning to never use WD-40 in their
machines, because it will leave a residue in the pores of the bushings that prevent
the oil from exiting, or the bushings from soaking up any additional oil that is externally

This is not a matter for discussion. It is a fact, and it should never be used. On other
mechanisms, WD-40 dries leaving a sticky residue that has to be washed off. It has contributed
to pattern mechanisms and buttonholers locking up, and needle bar frames refusing to swing.
WD-40 was designed as a water displacement solvent, and that is all it is good for. It
should not be used on anything more precise than a garage door hinge. If precision
equipment needs to be freed up, there are many products that will do as good a job as
WD-40, without the drawbacks. Even kerosene is safer as a solvent, and CRC 5-56 is
excellent. The best possible product is Triflow. It is somewhat of a penetrant, and a
great lubricant.

Thanks, Bill! I had to leave the WD-40 references where they were quoted in the first Update section, but hopefully the big warning message pointing to this update will ensure that readers are informed.

66 Responses to “Viking 6030 sewing machine rebuild”

  1. Cordelia Says:

    Amazing. It would have made a good movie. The stitch sampler is cool. I like the treatment of the sewing machine as a tool. It sounds so much more substantial, that way.

  2. Jon G Says:

    Wow! This is fantastic! The 6030 is the same machine my wife has which she inherited from my grandmother. It recently froze up and needs the same overhaul you just performed. Your work is a huge confidence boost as I am planning on doing the job myself. Thanks.

  3. jman Says:

    Great to hear Jon, good luck! It’s a lot of work, but worth it. If you get stuck, let me know, I’ll try to help. Also, if you figure out where my mystery washer goes, let me know!

  4. Page Says:

    A very nice lady gave a sewing machine to a very nice man who gave it to his very nice wife (she’s got to be nice after that effort!). This is fantastic and thank you SEW much for sharing the Viking Technical manual. I have to try to reset the hook in the machine I bought on CL. I hope I can do it as a very nice lady sold me a 60 40 for a very nice price for me to give to my very nice girls who like to sew very nice things (:

  5. jman Says:


    Thanks for the message, I hope these instructions help. Your post got me off my lazy butt, and I finally posted some messages from the Viking Guru that might help you with the hook alignment. In fact, I just recently went back and fixed mine; my original job was close but wrong, and I broke a needle. Good luck!

  6. Laura H. Says:

    What a saga. :) I was just looking for some documentation on my 6030 (paper gets so lost over the years) and happened on it.

    It’s a great machine, well worth the effort to get it working. Mine has never frozen up; I guess I’ve been lucky, because I have laid off sewing for up to several years at a time. I have cheated now and then, and lubricated it.

  7. russ Says:

    JMan, I have been interested in tractors for the last few years and have a lathe and mill. It sure seems to be good for a persons mind to work a good puzzle.

    I got a frozen stuck 6030 yesterday, could be a lot of fun. Your time and willingness to share your adventure earns you a gold star, as my grandmother used to promise.

    Nice service you have done for all who wish to preserve this great machine. -russ

    Seriously kudos!! -russ

  8. jman Says:

    Laura, hope the documentation here helps. I think I have a scan of my Viking user manual; let me know if you need it.

    Russ, great machines! The service manual p. 7 says the manufacture of the shuttle and bobbin each require about 150 operations to complete. I’m pretty sure I didn’t get an original Husqvarna bobbin with mine, but you can tell the shuttle is not a simple hunk of metal!

  9. Crystal Says:

    I just got a 6440 free off craigslist that runs, but slow. A repair shop had “cleaned and oiled” it, but from looking at the insides of it, it doesn’t look like they did anything. It’s really gummed up in a few places.

    I’m so glad I found this. I hope it will help me get this machine running.
    I’m so excited. :)

  10. jman Says:

    Hi Crystal, lucky you! Slow is good: it means everything’s there.

    Don’t take the machine completely apart like I did, unless you’re crazy (like I am). Just get some aerosol Tri-Flow and squirt it in around the bushings of both shafts and other moving parts. Hopefully the kerosene solvent in the Tri-Flow will help dissolve the gum, and the Teflon will help lubricate, and you’ll be running again with very little trouble!

    Please post back and let us know how it goes. Good luck!

  11. cindy Says:

    I got a 6030 free on CL, straight stich runs fine…the reverse button does not return to allow the forward stitching to resume…any ideas?

  12. jman Says:

    Hi Cindy,

    I’d do the same thing I mentioned above: squirt some kerosene in there and leave it for a couple of days, work the mechanisms occasionally and squirt a litlte more, and then spray Tri-Flow in there. Your Viking certainly has the same problems as the rest of ours: the old oil became gummy over time and is making the mechanisms sticky.

    Good luck, and post back your results!

  13. Cindy Says:

    I used the triflow….it is slowly getting better…I still can not use the cams because a soon as it goes into reverse it stays in reverse and doesnt return to forward , now, since a couple days of triflow…it seems to slowly be returning….patience and triflow seem to be the fix….thanks for your help.

  14. russ Says:


    After unstucking and a new take up slide, my machine 6030 has been functioning very well. I get an extra wrap around the bobbin about 20% of the time. It doesn’t cause any stitch problems and I can’t even tell till I pull the piece from the throat and see the extra thread. Not a big problem and seems to be related to the quality of the bobbin wind and probably the thread too, as I am using serger thread.

    Sewing is not easy. Seems pretty fun though. I made curtains and a couple pairs of slippers so far. There are some good resources around for pattern design. I will try making a shirt(s) similar to the Bowling Shirts as worn by Charlie Sheen (Harper) of 2.5 men.

    Thanks again for hosting this great resource.

    Kind regards to all, russ

  15. Paul Reynolds Says:

    I found your site by accident. I have to say, I’m very impressed by your efforts. Your missing washer is used as a spacer between the thicker concave washer and the front end of your worm wheel. It keeps the worm gear taut against the frame of the pattern mechanism. With the rear cover removed, place your pattern selector on the green setting and remove the long screw from the center of the wormwheel/camstack assembly. Put both thumbs on the wormwheel and push back toward the front of the machine. You should see about 1/16″ of the stem protruding past the end of your wormwheel which is about the thickness of your missing washer, if I’m not mistaken. On later models they used a clear plastic washer.

  16. Paul Reynolds Says:

    OK, after looking at your measurement again, I think I might be mistaken. Some of the older models also had a washer behind the wormwheel. It sat snug against the frame of the pattern mechansim so that the spinning wormwheel was riding against the washer and not directly against the pattern mechanism frame.

  17. Heather Says:

    I inherited my grandmothers viking 6030. my husband has done a wonderful job cleaning and repairing it (thanks for such a detailed doumentary!) My question is, in the photo you posted (3.4. Connecting rod, crank stud, take-up lever mounting frame, etc. Image 13 of 20) there is a black piece w/ a spring that a small rod fits into to move the takeup arm up and down … ours is brown, plastic, and unfortinatly brocken. I have not been able to find a replacement part anywhere short of buying a old machine on ebay and hoping that that part in not one that is broken … do you have any suggestions of site from which to buy such a part?

    either way, amazing job on documenting your process - it is fascinating!

  18. wondering Says:

    I just paid way way to much for a machine in craigslist only to find that it is stuck and reverse and the stitch selector knob is nearly stuck (”serviced”- hah -maybe 30 years ago!).

    I am scared to do a complete rebuild and can’t stomach another $300 for professional help.

    Has anyone successfully fixed removed the waxy oil by only drenching the inside of the machine with kerosene and then spraying triflow in there after all the parts are free - without taking it completely apart?

  19. jman Says:

    Hi wondering,

    Yes, you can absolutely try that. I believe the waxy oil will soften up and dissolve in the kerosene. You can (gently!) work the knobs around after applying the kerosene to help the kerosene flow into the small spaces between parts.

    The kerosene may take time to work, but of course it won’t stay long on a part, so try repeated applications.

    AutoZone sells empty spray bottles meant for WD40. These can be used to spray kerosene, too.

    I highly recommend the Viking sewing machines group on Yahoo. There are an enthusiastic and knowledgeable bunch of folk over there that I’m sure will be happy to give you much better advice than mine.

    Good luck, and please report back with success (or, hopefully not, failure) stories!

    Good luc

  20. Victoria Says:

    My machine seems to be frozen and I’m thrilled to have something to try. I part of the outside off and am going to try cleaning it with kerosene and then lubricating it with Triflow. Will let you know my results.
    Thanks for your help!

  21. jman Says:

    Great, Victoria! Let us know how it works, and if you get stuck (that is, it stays stuck ;).

  22. Victoria Says:

    I can’t thank you enough for your help! Two of my three issues are now fixed! The needle used to continue to go up and down when I had a bobbin on the bobbin winder and the feed dog went up and down but didn’t pull the fabric through. Now both those problems seem to be resolved. I think my reverse button still doesn’t work, but I have to look at the technical manual again to figure out how to put the back plate back on (don’t know what the “hook” thing that the screw holds in is supposed to be attached to), so I will see if I can figure anything out for the reverse button.

    Oh, I would also like to say that when I looked at the Tri-flow website it seemed to only list it as being sold at bike shops, but my husband found it at our local Orchard Supply hardware store, along with kerosene.

    I am so excited at the prospect of sewing on this wonderful machine that I remember my mom sewing on and that I received after she died. You and your wonderful, informative website and expertise have saved the day! Thanks so much for sharing!

  23. jman Says:

    Hi Victoria, I might be almost as excited as you: your story is the closest this blog has come to a real success story! Woo hoo!!!

    Download the factory service manual in the ‘Documentation and links’ section. Look at p. 24. When you push the reverse button, you should be able to see the ‘guide’ in the diagram tilt back and forth. You’ll be looking in from the rear, so the mechanism will actually be sideways (similar to the diagram on the right, but that shows the guide removed). Hope you have a good light!

    That’s the mechanism that gave me the most trouble, because it’s not just the reverse mechanism, but also the stitch length mechanism (tilt toward the rear, you’re in reverse; tilt more, you’re making bigger stitches in reverse; and same for tilting toward the front).

    If you can get that nice and unstuck, you’ll be in good shape for straight stitching.

  24. Victoria Says:

    You’re right! That part was completely frozen in place. It’s starting to loosen up, I can move it back and forth with a screwdriver. Hopefully a few hours of soaking will do the trick. Thanks for your direction, I never would have figured out where the problem was without it!

  25. Janoch Says:

    Just wanted to say: amazing effort! I’ll be taking apart a 6010 soon and your amazing picture guide might just tip the success balance in my favour.

  26. Gretchen Says:

    Hi jman, what a terrific read this was! I received my 6440 via UPS today, and jumped right into checking it out. As expected, there’s stickiness all around, but everything’s loosening up just by using a hot blower and moving things around carefully & repeatedly. I haven’t even used any lubricant or cleaned anything, so that’s all good.

    One puzzling thing is: when I turn the stitch selector counterclockwise, the cam stack will move out, but not back in which I turn the selector the other way. I can push the cam stack back in manually. I don’t have a manual, but I’m pretty sure this should happen automatically. :)

    Any ideas why it won’t go back in by rotating the selector back?

    Thanks for such great info…and inspiration.

  27. jman Says:

    Hi Gretchen, congrats on your acquistion!

    The hot blower sounds like a good trick! I should put it in the article.

    As for the cam stack, there are a few things you might check. I’m assuming that the cam stack is coming loose from the pattern mechanism.

    Check p. 43 of the service manual. There should be three prongs that help the cam stack grab on to the pattern selector mechanism. Do those all look good? I had a cam stack with a prong broken, and it wouldn’t stay put.

    Another problem I had was the cam follower not raising up high enough, so it would catch the edges of the cam lobes. Check p. 66. There’s a way to adjust how high the cam follower raises.

    If it’s not one of those problems, try to get a nice bright light (and a good magnifier, if you’re like me!) and study the mechanism. Which pieces of the pattern mechanism move out together when turning the stitch selector counterclockwise, and which pieces fail to move back in when turning clockwise?

    Good luck, I’m looking forward to hearing back!

  28. jman Says:

    Hi Janoch,

    One thing I learned taking the 6030 apart was, there’s no need to disassemble it to the degree I did!

    Can’t wait to hear how it goes, good luck with the 6010.

  29. Victoria Says:

    Hi, I have a model 6030 that was completely frozen up. The feed didn’t work, the reverse knob couldn’t be pushed in, etc. I took off part of the covers and sprayed Triflow on everything that seemed to be sticking and after alot of working it in almost everything works! It took extra help and extra effort to get the machine to stop sewing in reverse, but you directed me to the exact part to work and now it goes forward or reverse. However no matter how much I triflow it, the machine will only sew zigzag, no straight stich. The stich width dial will not pull out very much, it looks like a little metal peg stops it on the inside, is this normal? Any ideas how I can get my machine to sew straight?

  30. jman Says:

    Hi Victoria, sounds like you are very close! Congrats!

    Look on page 25 (marked page 23) of the service manual. The draw rod should move left and right when sewing zigzag, and not move when sewing straight.

    The amount of zigzag is adjusted with the stitch width cam, as you know. When you turn the stitch width knob, you should be able to see the draw rod move up and down where it touches the guide in the diagram. Can you confirm that?

    As I remember, it was difficult to see the back of the stitch width knob. You could see part of it from the belt guard cover; see page 36 (marked 34). Have you gotten that one off yet?

    For normal sewing, you shouldn’t need to pull out the stitch width dial; the pulled-out position is for buttonhole sewing. Also, the knob must be in a particular position to be pulled out. Here’s my horrible copy of my manual which I was too embarrassed to post in the blog (it’s both bad quality and huge, worst of both worlds!). Maybe it’ll help:

    That’s all I can think of for now. Take a look at that drawbar and see if you can figure out what’s going on there. I’m so excited, you’re just about there!

  31. Victoria Says:

    I appreciate your help. The stitch width knob turns feely but doesn’t seem to do anything inside the machine. I think the little metal “pin” that is supposed to lift something when the stich width is turned to a higher number, doesn’t contact anything until it is at the number 4. So probably the part above it is still frozen in place and I need to figure out how to free it up. I have the belt guard cover and the cover that holds the spools of thread off, if I can’t get the part to loosen up I will probably have to take it apart even further. Thanks for helping find the area I need to concentrate on, I haven’t given up hope that I will be able to use this machine again!

  32. Victoria Says:

    Well, when I was trying to loosen things up, the L shaped piAece between the stitch width cam and the link fell into the bottom of the machine. I will have to take the back cover off and see if I can put it back together, not very promising, but I will let you know if I’m able to do it. Right now I can’t loosen the screws that I think need to come out from the bottom for me to take it apart, so I’m letting it sit with liquid wrench and if that fails, someone with a stronger grip :), we’ll see…

  33. jman Says:

    Hi Victoria, ouch! I remember that piece is tricky to get in. I opened up my machine to help remember this stuff.

    The toughest part about the stitch width mechanism is getting a clear look at it. I don’t think it can be removed with the pattern and stitch length mechanisms in place. It’s possible to loosen it, but I remember it’s pretty hard to manipulate, so don’t try that.

    The main view is from the belt guard, which you must have removed already. There’s an access cover on the bottom you can remove, two screws. That gives you another poor view, and maybe access to the piece tha dropped down.

    The diagram on page 25/23 is the simple view of how the linkages fit together. There’s another good diagram on the top of page 29/27.

    The L-shaped lever, cam, clip and screw:
    The ‘12/1′ screw and retaining clip:
    View from bottom, installed:

    Put the stitch width selector in position 4. That gives the most room to work.

    The screw labeled ‘12/1′ in the diagram at the top of 29/27 can be loosened to give more wiggle room. You need the back cover off to get a screwdriver in there (see page 34/32, remove the screw marked ‘1′, and page 36/34, remove the back cover screw marked ‘1′).

    The little retainer spring held in place by ‘12/1′ might need to be out of the way too, I don’t remember, or maybe with ‘12/1′ loosened it won’t be an issue.

    The first challenge will be putting the end of the lever back in place under the ‘12/1′ screw. It is hard to get your fingers in there, so have lots of light and lots of patience (sorry I haven’t found a good solution for that one!). Once you get that piece in and the retaining clip in place, you’ve done the hardest part. But be careful not to knock it out again before the next step! You might try screwing ‘12/1′ back in some to help hold it in place.

    Next, you need to lift up the draw bar and get its forked end to slide over the knob on the other end of the lever. The view from the bottom is very poor, but from there you can see how the parts are lined up.

    When you get here, we’ll get back to your original problem.

    I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you. Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help! If you want, I can email you my contact info if it helps to talk on the phone.

  34. Heather Says:

    I just wanted to say thank you so much for writing all of this up. I just bought a 6430 from craigslist took it to a repair man that isn’t a Viking expert but has great reviews dealing with vintage machines. He finally called today and said it just needed a good clean out and all the stitches work now, but I will know for sure when I go pick it up this afternoon. The reason I found your blog is because I really want to educate my self and help this machine be the last one I will ever have to buy and by reading your blog I feel as tho that wish is possible.

  35. jman Says:

    Hi Heather, congratulations on your purchase! Your Viking is built like a brick; they just didn’t know that vegetable-oil-based lubrication would harden after 20 years. Now that it’s fixed, it’ll probably last forever.

    I hope my blog helps. There is also an active support community; see the link for Bill Holman’s group in the ‘Documentation and links’ section above.

  36. Heather Says:

    I have joined his group. I haven’t posted yet I’m still trying to look at most of the pages to see if the questions I have, have been answered before. My machine does work perfectly and surprisingly quietly so I’m more than pleased with it. I felt like I was going to go crazy waiting for the repair man to call with the damages. Thanks again if I get lost along the way with this viking I’m so stopping by your blog again. I really like the way you broke everything down

  37. Shelley Says:

    Thank you so much for this resource! The 6030 I’ve been using my entire life stopped working this summer. I’ve been studying the service manual in order to fix her but I greatly appreciate that you’ve provided so much additional information.

  38. jman Says:

    Sorry to hear your 6030 broke, Shelley. Good news is, your machine can be fixed! Good luck, and let me know if you need anything.

  39. lwebb Says:

    I have a 6030 that is sewing great and everything works except the elastic knit stitches ( that is now called the triple overcast) and they sew out in reverse. Can you advise?

  40. Lisa Wright Says:

    I bought a 6030 at an estate sale and LOVE it, however, it only sews a straight stitch and the needle position is always on the left…..I took it to a Viking repair shop and they said it needed a new take up lever and a permanent cam (which they don’t make anymore), therefore they can’t fix it. I love this machine but am I’m mechanically challenged. I clicked on the name of your ebay viking mechanic, but link wasn’t there. I’m willing to get it fixed.

  41. Kimberly Says:

    Lisa -
    The fixed cam is no longer made by viking BUT it is made by a third party and is available to repair shops through Brewer (and online.)
    Even if the take-up lever is broken it’s easy to replace, and I’m sure you could find one online…
    In my part of the country a full service + rebuild + fixed cam would be less about $250.

  42. Frances Says:

    Hi, First I must say what a fantastic job you have done helping and informing others of these great machines. I recently bought a 6030 that seemed to work fine until I got it home. When I started playing around with it everything froze up. I used mineral spirits on it to try and loosen it up, some of the knobs have loosened but the reverse button is absolutely frozen. do you have any suggestions as to what I can do to free this button, as it just will not budge? Thanks again for all your information on this machine.

  43. jman Says:

    Hi Frances,

    Are you able to sew with it right now, even though the reverse button is stuck? Is the button stuck in the forward or reverse position?

    Thanks for posting!

  44. Frances Says:

    Hi jman, the button is stuck outward, but before I took the coverings off the machine it was sewing in reverse, but I cannot move the reverse button it will not push in.

  45. Frances Says:

    I have pretty much got most of the dials to loosen up, and the feed dogs seem to be working now, as is the needle positioning. Just the reverse button is very stuck! I would appreciate any assistance, you may be able to give. Thankyou. Frances

  46. jman Says:

    Hi Frances,

    Here are some pictures of the stitch length mechanism, which the reverse button is part of.

    In this picture, there are two black parts cut from flat metal. The front one is directly connected to the reverse button, so when you push the reverse button, that piece slides backwards (to the left, here), and when you release the button, it slides back forwards (to the right).

    In the previous picture, note the small part in the upper-left is now installed on the assembly in this next picture. When you push the reverse button, this piece will tilt toward the back of the machine (to the left here), and releasing the button it will tilt back to the front (right).

    Open up the back cover of the machine. You should be able to easily find the piece that tilts, and below it the reverse button mechanism. Here is a picture of the stitch length assembly installed (but other mechanisms not yet installed).

    You can see it in this picture all the way on the left toward the bottom.

    Try to look in there and see if the part that tilts can be moved at all. If not, you might try concentrating your loosening efforts there.

    Otherwise, maybe the reverse button is simply stuck with a big glob of frozen grease somewhere. Try to get your kerosene, or mineral spirits in your case (be careful that doesn’t take off any paint), inside both the front and the back parts. I’d like to tell you to use heat, but I’m not sure how volatile mineral spirits are. Kerosene won’t easily catch on fire, so it’s no problem to use a hair dryer or light bulb to heat up the mechanisms to help loosen up that grease.

    Good luck! Let us know how it works out.

  47. Frances Says:

    Hi jman, You are awesome!!! A real gem!!! THANKYOU SO MUCH. These pics will help me tremendously. I’ll let you know how everything turns out, I’ll be working on it tomorrow. Thanks again. Frances

  48. Frances Says:

    Hi jman, I appreciate all your help Thankyou. I worked on the machine for a few more days , and also finally found kerosene and tried that as well as the triflow, cleaned the inside with an air compressor then triflow again, finally put the covers back on, and now it still sews in reverse, but sounds fabulous! I was really looking forward to doing this myself, but I have put so much time into it. I think I will have to send it to the Viking man on ebay if he is available, as I just cannot get the reverse button to come unstuck. It certainly was fun trying and I now know so much more about these machines. Thankyou again for your help. I’ll let you know how it turns out. Frances

  49. jman Says:

    Hi Frances, sorry to hear you couldn’t finally get the button unstuck. Anyway, it’s good that you’ve decided to keep the machine going.

    I hear too too often the expression ‘they don’t make them like this anymore’, but it’s really true! Look on page 9 of the service manual where they boast that the shuttle takes about 150 operations to manufacture. This piece is smaller than a ping pong ball! Even today when many of these operations can be automated with robots, manufacturers would never put so much effort into such a small piece, with the expectation that consumers will throw away their machine after 10 years and buy a new one.

    It seems like a lot of money to fix the machine, but I believe it’s worth it. These machines originally cost over $1000 in today’s dollars. For a few hundred dollars, you’ll get a machine that sews like new (if you believe the Viking man’s ebay feedback), and it’ll last forever. Good luck!

  50. Carolyn Says:

    I have a 6030 in Cameroon where I have used it for 15 years, but the motor is smoking now and I think that I need to replace it. Any idea where I can get a new motor? Also if I could get a 220 V one that would be great- the machine does not look great but it runs well other than the motor is now smoking - i can see if I take the housing of the resistor that is smoking.

  51. jman Says:

    Hi Carolyn,

    It could just be the motor capacitor blew. Look at this link:

    You might be able to buy such a capacitor locally. You could try running it without the capacitor like the author of that blog did, but I don’t know how that will affect the machine.

    Thanks for posting!

  52. jman Says:

    Carolyn, search for ‘pme271m’ on ebay. In the US, we can get the capacitor shipped for just a few dollars. Hopefully you can replace it yourself or find someone locally to replace it. It’s an easy job for any electronics repairman.

  53. Kenn Says:

    Your extra washer goes behind the top shaft belt pulley, because there are suppose to be two washers between the belt pulley and the bushing in the housing. The top belt pulley is the one that the hand wheel clips onto and the two washers are used as thruster end washer for the top main shaft. So you have the hand wheel then the top pulley and the two washers then the bushing in the top main housing. The top shaft is the only shaft in the machine that mics to the correct size of the inside diameter of your extra washer. I know this is correct because I have a Viking that the top shaft assembly has never been removed.
    So do I get the $5 for being correct? Thank you.

  54. jman Says:

    Thanks, Kenn! Awesome. Just sent $5 over paypal. :)

  55. jman Says:

    Also sent $5 to Paul Reynolds who gave the correct answer first in Jan. 2012 in this comment:

    Thanks to the both of you!

  56. Russ b Says:


    I think your reverse button is stuck in the pushed in position. I just bought my second 6030. It has the same problem. When I measured the button height it was lower than my working machine. I guess I am a little late in responding.

    Good luck, russ

  57. Russ b Says:

    I got my second 6030 a week ago. Sews in reverse with the button stuck down, St. Width is at the widest and doesn’t go back toward the lower numbers.

    I am underway tearing down to get to the width and length selectors. I am at # four, P 137, “shift into button hole mode”. It is binding and I don’t know where, that is why I an trying to take it apart, so I can get a good look and play around till I can see what is happening.

    I’d like to think it doesn’t have to be fixed before it can be taken apart. I would probably skip that step till it becomes an impasse. Others may know better?

    Maybe I am going at this the wrong way. Please advise. HELP ME

  58. Russ b Says:

    I got some info from Bill Holman. It was stuck in the first leg of the buttonhole sew in reverse function.

  59. Annie S Says:

    Hi. I recently inherited a 6030 that was my grandmother’s and was so excited to use it only to discover a lot of what the others have said. I believe it is stuck in reverse. It will sew a straight stitch normally, but anything complicated sews in reverse. I opened it all up and everything actually looks very clean. The piece that is supposed to tilt in the back for the reverse does not tilt. My question is where can you find the Tri-Flo? Also, when stopped, the needle is always all the way to the right. Any idea what that might be? I am not as mechanically inclined, and although I may be able to fix it myself, I have no idea how to figure out what is wrong. Thanks for your help. So glad this site is here!! Definitely do not have $300 to fix this thing!!

  60. jman Says:

    Hi Annie S, your grandmother had good taste.

    You can buy Tri-Flow at bicycle shops, hardware stores, and online.

    The needle is moved left and right in the zig-zag mechanism. I suggest you get some Tri-Flow and work on loosening the reverse mechanism first.

    Can you tell whether the reverse button is stuck inward? If the reverse button will not push in and out, you should attend to it first. Read through my April 13th comments to Frances, above:

  61. Annie S Says:

    Thanks for your help!! I have done quite a bit on it, but am still having problems. The reverse button is a lot looser, but still is slow. I discovered that the buttonhole feature was completely frozen up, so I oiled and twisted it up until I now have that working right (I think that’s why the needle was on the right). However, all the blue color-coded stitches are still going in reverse, and as I turn the stitch length dial to zero, the reverse button goes all the way in, and does not move. Is that normal? Also, the bobbin thread seems to catch on something, but usually keeps on going. I can’t find anything in there. It doesn’t rip the thread, but it messes up the bottom of the seam.

  62. Dayday M Says:

    Hi jman i was just wondering how did you get the stitch length assembly off ive got everything off except the pin and the piece that everything mounts onto just wondering how you happen to get it off

  63. Dayday M Says:

    nvm i got it finally with the help of some heat lol time to clean it up/lube it up and rebuild love your page ty for the steps

  64. FiFi Says:

    Your blog and the linked Technical Service Manual helped in solving the reversing problems and unequal buttonhole column stitch density I had on a 1970s machine carrying the brand “Turissa by Husqvarna”. This is a compact machine which I have seen described as a Turissa 3400. It is not marked as such, though, so I cannot vouch for this claim.

    Although this Technical Service Manual does not specifically apply to this machine it is useful because the Turissa shares many similarities with its Husqvarna stablemates.

    To make it easier to locate information in this manual I have made it searchable for text (using optical character recognition) and have added a comprehensive list of bookmarks which effectively provides a table of contents with page links to the referenced material.

    If you would like to offer this version of the manual for download from your blog, please advise how you would like me to send the file to you.

    Many thanks for sharing your experience with these sewing machines and for providing a forum so those with similar interests can contribute.

  65. Jan Says:

    If you are still there, when I got my 6030 it was in parts. Does the spring on the reduction gear go above or below the clip in 6.3-6.7 ?

  66. Victoria Says:

    OH NO, are you gone?

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