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Vacuum Repair

After many years of hard use and the warranty has run out, your vacuum may need some parts to be replaced.  Our repair time came sooner than expected and when the fan shattered a horrible racket rung throughout the house.  You can take the vacuum to the repair shop or for a few dollars do the repair yourself.  Read on as it actually quite simple, as long as you find all the hidden screws and have a good Phillips screwdriver.  This is a Kirby vacuum, but other model are similar

Items needed:
Phillips screwdriver (with good clean head)
Offset screwdriver
Utility knife

Safety Suggestions and Tips Unplug the unit before working
Sharpen screw driver head
Buy quality tools

Level of difficulty

Time Required:
1 hour


Fan cover screws
Undo fan cover screws

Step 1:

Start by removing the handle and cord.  Remove the screws from around the housing.  Be careful and place them on a piece of paper and write down which hole it came from.  You be happy you did later. 

Unscrew motor cover screws
Unscrew motor cover screws

Step 2:

Continuing around the unit, locate the screws which hold the motor assembly together and remove these also. 

Base foot switch screw
Base foot switch screw

Step 3:

There are numerous screws.  This one, looking up from the bottom, holds the foot switch in place.  This must be loosened.  Because these screws are held in cast metal parts, they may be very tight.  Apply some WD-40 or Liquid Wrench.  Be sure not to wear down the edge of the Phillips screws. 

Lift switch cover piece
Lift switch cover piece

Step 4:

The top of switch also, has a screw, but it is hidden.  To remove this, lift the cover plate.

Hidden screw beneath switch cover
Hidden screw beneath switch cover

Step 5:

Underneath the switch you should find a flathead screw.  An offset screwdriver may be needed to get at it.  

Hidden screw holding fan cover to motor housing
Hidden screw holding fan cover to motor housing 

Step 6:

There's another hidden screw which holds the fan cover to the motor housing. 

Offset screwdriver to remove housing screw
Offset screwdriver to remove housing screw

Step 7:

Again, your offset screwdriver may be needed to get this screw out without damaging the slots. 

Remove fan cover
Remove fan cover

Step 8:

Hopefully by now you've found all the screws and can pull the fan cover and the motor assembly apart.   Be careful of the internal wiring.

Unscrew the shaft pulley
Unscrew the shaft pulley 

Step 9:

To remove the fan pulley shaft you can insert a nail for grabbing it.  Do not use pliers as this will nick and mark up the smooth belt pulley section of the shaft.   The screws are likely reversed threaded, so it is "righty loosen" rather than the normal "lefty loosen" rule. 

Replace washer and fan
Replace washer and fan

Step 10:

Pull off the old pulley and replace this with the new one.  Be sure to use the same washer arrangement as when you pulled it apart.  

Screw on new shaft pulley
Screw on new shaft pulley

Step 11:

Now screw on the shaft pulley. If the motor turns, you might need to try to hold it still back near the bushings.  Do not stick a screw driver in there.  Just use your fingers and be sure not to nick or damage the internal motor wires or bushings. 

Finished fan replacement
Finished fan replacement

Step 12:

In reverse order, reassemble all the pieces.  Plug it in and get back to vacuuming!


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