Thread Number: 35518  /  Tag: 80s/90s Vacuum Cleaners
my very first refurbishment!
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Post# 381776   11/25/2017 at 14:03 by oldskoolguy (Chicago, Illinois)        

Today begins my VERY first refurbishment of a vacuum cleaner. I bought a used dirt devil car vac off eBay with intent to gift it to my brother to use in his car. It just came today, and I went ahead and got to wiping it down. As soon as I removed the outer bag dirt and dust came POURING out of the back. there was no way I could use a type g bag in there - it didn't have an adapter or a built in port. Just now the actual switch itself came loose. couldn't find a switch for it. I thought I would have to take it in. The fan is in EXCELLENT shape, so there's no need to replace it. I've cleaned the case, the belt plug, the cord, the screws, and the brush. Currently I need to: remove rust on the base plate, replace the switch (it's actually cheap), put a bag adapter on, hand wash the outer bag, maybe replace the carbon brushes and put a new belt inside. If anybody has any ideas on what else I might need to do, feel free to chime in, but nonetheless, Wish me luck!

Post# 381778 , Reply# 1   11/25/2017 at 14:24 by huskyvacs (Indiana)        

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If you know how, SAE-30 non detergent oil into the motor and it will run like a top (have to leave it sit overnight though to let the oil soak in).

Because the motors are so tiny and people use them hard, they overheat and run while overheating so much they wear out quickly. Can't tell you how many Dirt Devils I have come across with sick-sounding motors or ones that spark like a subway train.

Post# 381780 , Reply# 2   11/25/2017 at 14:28 by huskyvacs (Indiana)        

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Forgot to post the link. Many collectors say that oil type is what you need to use. I found this on WalMart but have not tried it yet:

It is something that came out recently, states its not for use in gasoline engines, and its for compressors and hydraulic systems, so should be safe for electric motors.

Post# 381781 , Reply# 3   11/25/2017 at 14:48 by oldskoolguy (Chicago, Illinois)        
about the motor...

It's actually a different type of motor surprisingly. It has a label that says "Johnson" and the shell of the motor is metal and is more round instead of ovular and made by G S Electric like the other hand vacs. I'm not sure if other car vacs use the same motor, but it was in fact an interesting surprise. it's MUCH higher in amperage too (but i guess for 12v it might make more sense). I'm not sure if detergent oil is going to affect it positively or negatively considering that it's a different motor, I'll take your suggestion into consideration nonetheless! thanks!

Post# 381837 , Reply# 4   11/26/2017 at 18:42 by texaskirbyguy (Plano, TX)        

Johnson Electric makes slews of small electric motors for all different applications. Is there a model number on it? If you plan to have this machine a long time even after the motor dies, you might want to take some RPM and current measurements while it is working. Eventually the carbon brushes will wear down and they are not replaceable.
A few months back I replaced the Johnson motor in my blow drier from 1982. After that many years of daily use, the brushes wore down and the metal spring was running on the armature. I was able to use tech specs and measurements to get an almost identical replacement from ebay. All I had to do was grind a flat on the shaft. Operation and fit was perfect.
As for oil, that little guy will not be to picky. They are lucky to get anything.

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