Thread Number: 34008  /  Tag: 50s/60s/70s Vacuum Cleaners
NOS vintage Kirby bumpers
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Post# 368701   3/19/2017 at 13:46 (187 days old) by texaskirbyguy (Plano, TX)        

I had recently bought a small lot of 13" nozzle bumpers and headlight bumpers for older machines, which were advertized as NOS Kirby parts.
This was an impulse buy, as I only needed replacements for my basketcase 505 that is in resto, and I could not find these elsewhere.
I found that all the nozzle bumpers are about 2" to 3" short and the headlight bumpers are about 1" to 1.5" short. Are these parts supposed be stretched THIS MUCH when installing? Might they have shrunk though age? They did have a slight stickiness that I was able to clean away. Any way to determine if they really are Kirby parts? I found no stampings, words, or numbers on them. They do look and feel like Kirby parts though...
One of the bumper trims was blue - was the Tradition available with a 13" nozzle? I never saw one yet.
Thanks in advance!

Post# 368708 , Reply# 1   3/19/2017 at 14:09 (187 days old) by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

kirbyclassiciii's profile picture

Not likely, unless that 13" nozzle bumper you mention has the same thickness as the Heritage II 13" nozzle bumper. Here's mine.


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Post# 368724 , Reply# 2   3/19/2017 at 19:39 (187 days old) by texaskirbyguy (Plano, TX)        

They look like this...
I have only one wide long one which I thought would be ffor an Omega, but looks more like for a Classic.

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Post# 368725 , Reply# 3   3/19/2017 at 19:43 (187 days old) by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

kirbyclassiciii's profile picture

Then what you have is aftermarket... some independent service centers actually rebuilt older Kirbys with trim parts in this color between the fall of 1979 and the summer of 1981. I know, I've seen several Dual Sanitronic 80s rebuilt this way.


Post# 368742 , Reply# 4   3/20/2017 at 02:01 (187 days old) by hoover28 (Oneida N.Y.)        
they will fit

you need to heat them up to stretch them on. use hot water or a hear dryer.


Post# 368744 , Reply# 5   3/20/2017 at 04:10 (186 days old) by fantomfan57 (Austin, Texas)        
Hey Rob in Plano......,

fantomfan57's profile picture
would you please contact me off list?

Post# 369039 , Reply# 6   3/23/2017 at 20:54 (183 days old) by texaskirbyguy (Plano, TX)        

I sent an email to the address listed in your profile a while back but no response. Not sure if you got it or not...

Post# 370438 , Reply# 7   4/10/2017 at 17:15 by texaskirbyguy (Plano, TX)        
Thanks, Chris!

Yes, heating the parts was the key to easy success! I warmed each item (on top of some cardboard) in the toaster oven on very low for just a few minutes until the part temperature hit 120*. (The summer sun or a hair dryer can achieve this easily as well, and is safer.) I then worked quickly on each item before it cooled. Rivets through the holes first, then stretch them on around. Perfect fit on each! I also heated an old, hardened 5xx bag guard collar so it was easier to work with and contoured to the bag and emtor horn like new - NICE!!!

Now perhaps I need a vacuum to go with each of the other trim pieces not used, haha....

Post# 370451 , Reply# 8   4/10/2017 at 21:02 by KirbyKleanKarpet (Florida )        


Do you, by chance, happen to have a red headlight trim for the 517? The only one I can find online is a dark tan one, and I want the original color.


Post# 370504 , Reply# 9   4/11/2017 at 20:42 by texaskirbyguy (Plano, TX)        

I have two more red ones but not sure if they are the shade of red you need. Do you have a picture of one from a 517?

Post# 370523 , Reply# 10   4/12/2017 at 07:37 by KirbyKleanKarpet (Florida )        
My 517

This is my 517. It is the original bumper trim, both on the nozzle and on the headlight.

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Post# 370589 , Reply# 11   4/12/2017 at 20:13 by texaskirbyguy (Plano, TX)        

Tim, I cannot make out the true color of your trim (too small and dark). It looks similar to what I have, but may be darker than mine.
How does it compare to this new one on the machine?

BTW, are you bidding on the Classic III set? It ends tomorrow night. If you are bidding, I will not (sure I 'want' it but have no real room to store it, and really should not be getting it...)

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Post# 370595 , Reply# 12   4/12/2017 at 20:49 by KirbyKleanKarpet (Florida )        
I wish...

No, I'm not bidding on it. We had some house expenses that came up, so no, if you would like to bid on it, feel free to. It's really a good deal. And I'm sure you could make room for it. Who needs a kitchen stove anyways! I'm sure you could fit two or three Kirbys in its place! Lol.

And yes, my headlight bumper is just like that. Only mine's color is faded. I'd love to acquire one, if you've got a spare. Let me know, and I'll pay ya!


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