i haven't installed the new gear yet because i'm not sure how i'm supposed to get it into the correct position (though i did get the old one out, somehow), but i got the dial that's supposed to let you drop the feed dogs to move! it was stuck on setting 1 and only able to move a tiny bit towards 2 and trying to take pliers to it only damaged the dial so i stopped that attempt pretty quickly, and now it effortlessly moves into all three possible positions! and it actually has an effect, too! i figured i'd have a look since the base of the machine is already open anyway and turns out that after almost 50 years, sewing machine lubricant does the precise opposite of what it's meant to...
seriously, tinkering with old stuff like this is so rewarding
i also learned that you can download manuals for old singer machines right on their page, here
. according to the one i got, my machine shouldn't be able to drop its feed dogs at all, but that's a minor difference. must be a different variant. and i mean, they also think that serial numbers starting with EZ were never used at all. here's
the database on these, by the way. i dunno it looks pretty solid and real. other pages think so too.