Thread Number: 10149
Kirby Classic 1-CR Restoration
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Post# 110146   10/3/2010 at 16:58 (3,531 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

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This restoration has been a work in process for several weeks. Frozen screws on the bearing plate proved to be a REAL challenge. But I finally got the problem resolved and got her all dolled up this weekend (even with kids running all over my house!). I don't know if it's my poor photography skills or a lousy camera, but my photos never turn out very well. Sorry about that!

Post# 110147 , Reply# 1   10/3/2010 at 16:59 (3,531 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

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The rug nozzle that originally came with the vacuum wasn't in great shape. Fortunately a friend gave me one he had which turned out really well.

This post was last edited 10/03/2010 at 17:16
Post# 110149 , Reply# 2   10/3/2010 at 17:02 (3,531 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

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I was lucky enough to have a handle fork with the original 1-CR label. The rug nozzle that my friend gave me also had an original label. So I masked off the labels and worked around them while I polished. I'm glad I was able to save them since the 1-CR labels are no longer made.

Post# 110150 , Reply# 3   10/3/2010 at 17:04 (3,531 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

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The bag is in very good shape too. I had to patch a couple of small tears. I really like this bag style too.

Post# 110151 , Reply# 4   10/3/2010 at 17:14 (3,531 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

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When I dug into this machine, I discovered that it is very much a "transition" design. It still uses older engineering and components from the 500/D50/D80 series, while introducing design themes carried through the rest of the Classic series. One thing I found kind of interesting is the nozzle design. It uses a flange that fits into the fan case (reminiscent of the early 500 design) AND a rubber gasket. In the photo is the foot switch that is straight out of the D80. However, it is placed on the rear of the vacuum just like the rest of the Classic/Heritage series vacuums.

Post# 110160 , Reply# 5   10/3/2010 at 21:26 (3,531 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

Hey, you did a great job on your Classic!! I always liked the "Big Beefy" Classics, but a lot of people complained about the size, weight and difficulty in moving them around. They really were best suited for "wide open spaces."

Post# 110174 , Reply# 6   10/4/2010 at 07:56 (3,530 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

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Thanks Charles! It's not just "beefy" but it's a "cleaning beast" too! I don't know if the aluminum fan makes a difference but I did install a new four row brush roll. The four row brush roll makes a huge difference.

Post# 110199 , Reply# 7   10/4/2010 at 11:49 (3,530 days old) by sukething ()        

Congrats, it looks like it came out of the box. Wasn't there a tag on the bag at the top like the ones before, meaning the Duals 50 and 80. I have had some of those tags that were hung by string on the top of the bag. That is all that seems to be missing from you Classic.

I remember as a kid and my grandmother Watters (dads mom) was still in her house and not yet had moved into her apartment. One evening my family stopped by grandmothers to take her out to dinner and there was a knock on the front door and it was a Kirby salesman. Knowing my mother already had her Dual 80 the only person who really wanted to see the vacuum, as you can tell was little me. My grandmother, I being her favorite (LOL) and she knew how much I loved to vacuum and could see how bad I wanted to see it. She let him bring the machine in and demonstrate it on Grandmosthers oriental rug. It was the Classic. Seeing the left side view of your machine clicked this memeory. We all sat in the living room watching him demonstrate his machine. But alas my grandmother, although she could have afforded it by anymeans, she had plenty of money, but did not by the machine. My mother sitting there did not know that in the near future that dad would take away her Dual 80 away and replace it with the first Dial-amatic that was self propelled, she hated it from the begining, as was mad at dad for taking her Kirby away. Yes we finally got a Kirby back 1975 Classic Omega.

Grandmother had an early 60's Kenmore upright with attachments. The color was tan and white, with a gold hood over the light and where you took then the plate off to put the hose on. I traded it in for my Hearitage dad bought me. I have hated it sence then that I got rid of grandmothers machine.


Post# 110209 , Reply# 8   10/4/2010 at 13:00 (3,530 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

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I'm always interested in the stories of Kirby salesmen making a call. We had a Classic Omega, but I don't ever remember a salesman coming to our home. I must have been running around the neighborhood causing mayhem when he or she was there! I have that Omega sitting out in my garage now. It looks like it's been through some mayhem too! LOL! I think that's why my Mom bought a Kirby Tradition when I was in college. I actually had a woman selling Kirby vacuums stop by my house a few weeks ago. It was the usual "You can win something or other routine . . ." She didn't immediately identify herself as a Kirby salesperson. Then she looked through the door and happened to see my Model 517 sitting by the fireplace in the Family Room and said, "I'll bet you're ready to trade that in." So I let in the house and showed her my collection and she left pretty quickly! LOL! I think she realized that she had no possibility of making a sale.

Post# 110211 , Reply# 9   10/4/2010 at 13:29 (3,530 days old) by sukething ()        
One more thing if you don't mind me saying....

On your fourth pick which triggered my last memory, the back motor housing which covers half way of the back wheels looks like to me the old fender skirts on the older cars. My folks had several cars that had them. I can remember my dad going with him to wash the car, how very particular he was in washing our cars. The fender skirts had to be washed seperatly. My 1965 Chrysler which was my last classic car I owned had them as well, they were not easy to get off or back on.


Post# 110221 , Reply# 10   10/4/2010 at 17:00 (3,530 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

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LOL! I've always thought that Kirby must have hired a Cadillac stylist when they designed the Classic series. Although the rear end of the Classic is reminiscent of the early Chrysler Airflow automobiles. The only thing that's missing are running boards!

Post# 110252 , Reply# 11   10/4/2010 at 22:23 (3,530 days old) by sukething ()        
LOL how funny..

Your words are exact. LOL....On my room door of my bedroom at my home I grew up on, I put a classic car poster that I believe I got from one of those litte newspapter booklets we got in school to by books from. It was simial to the weekly reader if you remember. Anyway the bottom auto of the poster was that Chrysler Airflow but in grey or green, my memory fades some. You are so right about the design of the Classic it sure does remind one of old Cadillac.


Post# 110266 , Reply# 12   10/5/2010 at 04:39 (3,529 days old) by sanimatic ()        
Favorite Kirby

Bill. You have restored so many beautiful Kirby's. Do you have a favorite Kirby model?

Post# 110270 , Reply# 13   10/5/2010 at 08:03 (3,529 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

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Chris, thank you for your kind words! I think my favorite always turns out to be the Kirby I just finished restoring! LOL! I have a lot of fun taking them apart and studying the design and engineering differences from model to model. Having restored a few models, I'd say my LEAST favorite is the Heritage Legend II. I think the safety switch design on that model is unnecessarily complicated AND it's just a hard model to use on short Berber style carpeting. Anyway, it's just fun taking an "ugly duckling" that was probably retired to someone's garage for several years and returning it to its former glory. Plus, I feel like I'm preserving a little bit of American history, especially with the 500 series machines. The pre-516 models are always the most fun to work on.

Post# 110288 , Reply# 14   10/5/2010 at 11:50 (3,529 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

"The pre-516 models are always the most fun to work on."

I completely agree with that! They're also, by far, the EASIEST Kirbys to work on.

Post# 110294 , Reply# 15   10/5/2010 at 13:29 (3,529 days old) by vac-o-matic (Saint Louis, Mo.)        

Great job Bill, it's a stunning restoration! Did you have the bag dry cleaned or did you wash it? Someone I knew years ago had theirs dry cleaned and it turned out well, but don't remember what model it was. It was either a Classic III/Omega/Classic original, don't remember. Anyone else out there had theirs dry cleaned? Any risks involved?


Post# 110315 , Reply# 16   10/5/2010 at 17:16 (3,529 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

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I've never thought of dry cleaning a bag. I wonder how it would turn out. This bag is in excellent shape. It has one small tear over which I put an iron on patch. The vacuum was given to me by a vacuum shop owner last summer. It was stacked in a room filled with old Kirby vacuums. I suspect that's where the small tear occurred. I simply turned the bag inside out, vacuumed it, and then hand washed it. In the final rinse, I poured in a little Downy Fabric Softener to open the fabric pours so it will breathe more freely. Then I let it drip dry before ironing it. It looks really good too!

Post# 110319 , Reply# 17   10/5/2010 at 18:01 (3,529 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

FWIW, I would not recommend ironing any cloth vacuum cleaner bags, nor washing them in hot water. Because the heat will cause the fabric to shrink and the pores to close up. Better to hand-wash them in cold water with Woolite and then just line-dry them, first upside down and then right-side up.

And, at that, I've had enough heartbreaking results even with just gently hand-washing old Kirby bags with silkscreened logos that I'd never do it again. Let them be a little dirty and musty smelling with intact lettering than to have it clean and meadow-fresh with flaking, peeling lettering.

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