I have sewn just a few projects with the heavy duty walking foot sewing machine I bought to sew vinyl. I have bolts of vinyl (and white material) from a Repurposed Materials auction.
The machine is their LZ-1 model and the original motor was strong enough but the speed control was fast and faster. For heavy materials it was difficult to sew slowly enough to keep stitches even.
Sailrite started offering an upgraded motor about a year ago. I was reluctant to purchase a $325 motor for the machine that already cost about $1000. But a Black Friday sale for $50 less got me. I ordered and installed the new WorkerB motor and it provides a wonderful control that was lacking before.
The new motor is larger than the old and came with an adjustable high speed control box. So the top speed can be set to about halfway or anywhere in between and limit the machine speed to less than its potential. The pulley sizes are different so there is a new flywheel and belt.
There are instructions on the Sailrite website for the install and a very helpful video. It took less than an hour to remove the old motor and install the new. Once the motor and pulleys are on the belt tension is adjusted. This part uses judgement but there was a very clear example in the video for setting the correct tension.
I also purchased the extra light that plugs into the control and is mounted inside the foot mechanism’s cover. I had an led strip attached to the underside of the machine but the light directly over the needle is a good idea.
To test out the new motor I quickly sewed together a simple cover for the machine. I used some drapery material that came with the header boards of the window shades I bought through Craigslist. The material actually washed in the washing machine just fine. The patterning was a bit slipshod. I wrapped the material over the top and cut that shape and around the machine for length. One seam in the side and sewn around the top. I used the half flat fell seam that Sailrite demonstrates and I used on the grill cover.
I didn’t add piping or handles or a pocket like the Sailrite example. This made it a quick project and enough to be happy I added the new motor upgrade.