It's taken me months but I finally got my Singer 185J working!
When I bought this machine for $15 at Goodwill it had a severed power cord, I bought it mainly for decorative purposes. But I decided to get the wiring repaired so she can be of use. I saw an ad on Craigslist for a local sewing machine repair place that happily does repairs on older machines, so I went in and had a chat about what I needed done, I did not take the machine, I just went in to get a 'feel' for the place. The place is called Baron's Sewing and Vacuums it is at 2415 West Evans Ave in Denver Colorado near the corner of Evans and Zuni, here's the website: http://www.barronsvac.com/
I got a good feeling when I spoke to the guy and he quoted me $39 to $59 for the wiring repair which is cheaper than I expected but I've never had something like this done and neither had any of my sewing friends.
This is Ava my darling 185J that I took in for repairs:
You can see on this model the power cord, pedal and light are wired straight into the motor rather than plugged in to the side of the machine:
He cut the cord where it was severed and wired the remaining cord into the machine so we could keep the green cord, he became aware of a problem with the foot pedal once he did that. So he repaired it as best he could and explained to me when I picked it up how he could replace the inside of the pedal and keep the exterior green pedal if I can find a similar pedal if I have further problems in the future. This guy was sooo helpful and friendly it made the experience a delight.
So all up I'd say it was a great customer service experience already and then he only charged me $19.99 after quoting me $39 to $59. I've never had someone charge me less than a quoted price! So I think he is a fair, honest small business owner and I'd recommend him happily.
My darling husband has since cleaned and oiled it so she runs beautifully now. I have ordered a side plate bobbin cover for her from http://www.sewingpartsonline.com/ and some extra bobbins, so very soon she'll be ready to sew. One day I'll get a box or cabinet for her so she can be displayed and used in all her original glory but for now at least she sews and it was a thrifty repair.