Tracking down vintage sewing machine models is not an easy task. It is often like trying to solve a mystery and you have to be like Sherlock Holmes very sharp, observant, and know what to look for. In this case, the model number is misleading.
It will be possible to find a manual for the Kenmore sewing machine but it may be impossible to find one for model #5186 because that is not the model number for a Kenmore sewing machine. It is the model number for the motor only.
To learn more about this situation just continue to read our review. It is not going to be like any other review we have done on vintage sewing machines. What makes things confusing is that there is a manual for a Kenmore sewing machine model #5186 but the model number should look something like 117-1191.
The motor must be good as it helps many Kenmore sewing machines last over 60 years. One was for sale on eBay and it went for a low price of $35 but it still worked well making it a very top quality motor to have in any sewing machine.
The motor runs with a belt and the belt should wear out a lot sooner than the motor will. There are some Kenmore sewing machines on eBay listed as a model 5186 but in looking at the photos, the number is for the motor and not the machine itself.
The machine itself is very plain Jane and did not come with a model number that we could see. The motor is made in Japan which means it may have been built by Janome in its early years.
We looked over the photos which covered the entirety of two machines and no model number for the machine itself was present.
This is actually hard to say as there is no model number to date the sewing machine. Then with the fact that the motor could have been placed on a variety of different sewing machines at any time after the War, we do not get any help from it.
What we do know is that Sears never made its own sewing machines. They contracted out to other companies like White and Janome and these machines could have been made in the 50s, 60s, or even the 70s. The 51286 motor was made in Japan making this a real possibility.
Read our article about Kenmore to find out more information on the Kenmore sewing machines and who made them. After 1958 Sears had a contract with several different Japanese firms that made the Kenmore sewing machine. Any one of them could have made this motor.
There are different places where you can find a downloadable version of the owner's manual. This website has some and it places the warning that certain numbers on Kenmore sewing machines are not for the sewing machine itself. It says the 6186 is not but that may be a typographical error and the 5186 may be meant.
You can also try this link, we did but did not have much luck getting the website to load up. Then the company found at this link lists an owner’s manual for the 5186 and it has different versions for you to choose from.
Then our go-to manuals site has a manual for a Kenmore but the model number is 795.5186. You can check it out by clicking this link. If Sears is still a viable business, you can always contact them to see if they still have any owner’s manuals available or where they can be found.
This may be a tough task to do as the Japanese companies that made this machine may not be in business anymore.
This may be an easier task to fulfill as the machine listed as the 5186 is very generic and could be a clone of one of the many Singer models that company produced after the war.
Your first place to start would be the company at this link, that is if it is still in business. Then you can try this online store to see if they have the part you need. The problem you will find at this location is that they only list model numbers 6 digits or larger. There are no 4 digit model numbers on their list.
eBay and Amazon may be two other places you can search to see if anyone has spare parts. Or you can go to the local flea markets or sewing repair shops to see what kind of parts are available.
The other problem you will run into is that it is impossible to know which company or companies made the sewing machine with that motor. That makes finding spare parts hard to do.
The same goes for finding belts for this sewing machine or motor. Most sewing machine parts stores should have compatible belts you can use. They would be the most knowledgeable people to ask next to sewing machine repairmen.
If you want to see what the belt looks like, click this link and it will take you to the eBay listing that has pictures of the belt as well as the whole machine. You will also see that the actual model number for the 5186 is 158.13011.
That number should get you all the parts and belts you need for your supposed Kenmore sewing machine model #5186.
Finding old sewing machines' serial numbers and model numbers can be difficult. Not only do people get confused about which is which, but the machine may also be mislabeled by the owner.
The Kenmore sewing machine that has that serial number is a generic sewing machine that may be a clone.