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Dave Harnish
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Dave's Repair Service
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New Albany, PA 18833

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The "High Speed Only" Vintage Mixmaster (Models 10, 11, and 12)
(Best Mixmasters Sunbeam ever built!)

Where to locate you mixer's model number

I get this question a lot so I hope this article will help. Your Mixmaster will run, but no matter where the dial's set, it only runs at full speed with little or no adjustment possible.

First, make sure the governor's tiny adjustable-length speed adjust pin hasn't fallen out. They love to pop out and hide on the floor when the knob's removed. The pin's location is noted in photo 1 below. If it's gotten lost, let me know. I still have a quantity of good/used ones on hand.

If the pin's in place, the most common cause of this, by far, is a shorted governor capacitor. That's located on the bottom of the governor, where there's one of my new ones mounted in photo 1 below. Old capacitors (usually cardboard-cased) fail without warning, often violently, so I always recommend replacing an original one whenever you have your mixer apart, as preventive maintenance.

To quickly check for a shorted cap without a meter, pry the old one out (the left contact arm is flexible, designed to spring open), put the knob back on (remember that little pin!) and run it briefly. If there's some speed control with the cap removed, you immediately know the cap is shorted and should be replaced.

Just don't run it very long that way, as you risk burning the governor contacts. One of the functions of that capacitor is to protect the contacts from arc-damage.

If you need one, I try to always keep a good quantity of these capacitors fabricated and on hand (brand new), posted HERE.


Photo 1

The next mostly likely cause of "high-only" is under the governor. The tiny (1/16" diameter) steel pin that pushes on the governor contact arm can wear right back through its tiny nylon socket, causing loss of speed regulation.

It's hard to see without pulling the governor out, but looking under the contacts carefully with a strong light will reveal the tip of the pin poking back through the socket if this is the issue.

Photo 2

Back in the day, we could order that little socket and its felt oil wick from Sunbeam, but these days you have to replace the governor assembly with a good/used one (not as hard as it sounds). I still (as of Spring 2021) have just a few good/used ones left in stock. Part # 10-1057GU, I don't have enough of them to justify listing them here on the website (they're no longer available new, either).

If the push-pin socket's OK, the next most likely cause is a problem with the centrifugal leaf on the rear of the armature. This is a thin steel ribbon that straightens as speed increases, pushing the steel push-rod backwards. Picture the old rotating centrifugal ball governor on a steam engine; same principle.

Photo 3

It's rare, but that steel leaf sometimes breaks, again causing high speed only, and requiring armature replacement. I still have a few reconditioned armatures on hand if needed.

Hopefully the "high-only" issue with your mixer is one of those listed above; it almost always is. If you should have any questions on this, feel free to drop me an email any time.

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"Nothing astonishes men so much as common sense and plain dealing" - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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