Check and adjust the timing

This tutorial is based on the PE150. I expect it will also apply to the entire range PE100 - PE200.

After completing all the steps in this tutorial you will have removed the bottom plate and needle plate, and adjusted the hook timing. There isn't much variation in the order of the steps so I recommend you follow each step in the order it is presented.


From time to time, and perhaps as a result of a thread jam or too infrequent cleaning, the hook timing on the PE150 can slip.

The symptoms of a timing slip are a failure to collect the thread from the bobbin (resulting in incomplete embroidery and possibly a thread bunch under the embroidered design), excess noise and perhaps a broken needle. For machines inexplicably fitted with a black plastic outer rotary hook (rather than a nice shiny metal one), a timing slip can result in damage to the rotary and inner hook. In this event, replacement of these two items is required and the parts are about £80. If funds allow, the plastic outer hook should be replaced with a metal one. The appropriate inner hook will also be required if changing from plastic to metal.

So, having confirmed there is no damage to either hook or replaced the broken items as necessary (tutorial to follow in due course), the timing can be reset by following these simple steps.

Note: this procedure is just about covered in the Brother Service Manual. The steps set out below are intended to supplement the procedure recommended by Brother.

Step 1.

Follow Steps 1- 3 and 5 of the Take it apart tutorial.

Note that you will also need a small allen key or hex key.

Step 2.

With the machine resting on its side, use an allen key to loosen (but not remove) the two grub screws in the rotary hook shaft pulley (highlighted in the image). The rotary hook should now turn freely.

Step 3.

With the machine in the normal operating position, use a finger to carefully turn the outer hook (left or right ways), such that the actual hook is immediately behind the needle. No need for too much precision at this point.

Step 4.

Turn the handwheel anti-clockwise one full turn (to confirm normal operation of the needle mechanism) and then continue turning anti-clockwise so that the needle completes its downward travel and commences its upward travel. Stop turning the handwheel once the needle has completed approximately 2mm of upward travel. For reference, a UK 20p piece is about 2mm thick. If the rotary hook moves during this procedure, hold it still using a finger.

Once the needle is at the correct height, use a finger to finally adjust the rotary hook so that the actual hook is immediately behind the needle, as per the image below.

Step 5.

  • turn the machine onto its side; or
  • very carefully position the machine so that the front end is hanging over the edge of your work place;
and retighten to the grub screws in the rotary hook shaft pulley. The object here is that neither the needle position or that of the rotary hook is disturbed prior to the retightening of the two grub screws.

Step 6.

Confirm the timing is now correct by turning the handwheel anti-clockwise and observing the position of the hook and needle once the needle has completed about 2mm of upward travel. The actual hook should be right behind the needle. If necessary, repeat steps 2 - 5, above. Otherwise, refit the inner hook, needle plate and base plate of the machine and then embroider a test pattern to confirm that the timing is now correct.


If you are having frequent problems with timing slip then check out this post!