Thread Number: 13957
In Need of Some Advice Re: Lux Model XXX Motor
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Post# 147717   8/18/2011 at 19:22 (4,580 days old) by mercuryman ()        

Hello Fellow Vacuumlanders:

Recently, I acquired an Electrolux Model XXX that appears to be in pretty nice shape cosmetically. It came with the original hose and all the attachments, sans the sprayer and vaporizer.

Unfortunately, I didn't have the opportunity to test it before it was given to me. When I got it home, I was pretty excited over my "inheritance". However, it wasn't long before excitement turned to dismay.

Before firing it up for the first time, I first checked the cloth bag to make sure it wasn't full of debris and/or overly dusty. It looked "ok". I turned it on...and POOF!!! A huge cloud of dirt blew out of the back of it. The motor also sounded "labored", and not nearly as quiet as I would expect a Model XXX motor to be. Being that I already assumed that the original woven hose was leaky, I attached one of my vinyl hoses to the unit, and the suction was mediocre at best. I then removed the exhaust filter (which was caked with dirt), and ran the machine without improvement in suction. Finally, I ran the machine with both the exhaust filter AND the cloth dust bag removed. The motor still sounded as though it was working harder than it needed to.

Last night, I decided to take the vacuum apart to take a look at the condition of the motor. First of all, I couldn't believe the amount of dirt that was caked on the motor housing. What did surprise me was that the rubber gasket surrounding the motor mount was completely intact and not at all dry-rotted (which would rule out an improper seal being the culprit for loss of suction). Second, (and what I found to be quite interesting), was the fact that the fan blades in the blower unit were actually very clean. I then checked the bearings of all the rotating parts, and they appeared very dirty and dry.

Finally, I checked the motor brushes. They actually seemed fine--although one brush is slightly more worn down than the other.

(Sidebar: my thoughts at this juncture during my inspection were that the vacuum had been somewhat abused once it reached a certain age where the owner might have considered it to be "old" and not worthy of maintenance any longer. While the exterior is not beaten up by any means, the vacuum could very well have become a "shop vac" at some point--and used in a fashion outside the realm of "normal" household cleaning.)

The advice I am looking for is this: considering the condition of the motor, and the fact that it is "filthy" and the bearings appear to be dried out (causing the motor to work harder than it needs to), is it truly worth the effort to attempt to "restore" it? Or would I be better suited to find a replacement motor altogether?

I've serviced motors in vintage vacuums before...replacing brushes, cleaning fan blades, a little lubrication here and there...but I've never before seen a vacuum cleaner motor in such a sad state.

Anyone who feels so inclined, please advise! I'd appreciate any input. =)


Post# 147718 , Reply# 1   8/18/2011 at 19:29 (4,580 days old) by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

suckolux's profile picture
I think the back bearing gets grease, right? No idea on the front. Mine is very zen like quiet. Quite soothing.

Post# 147736 , Reply# 2   8/18/2011 at 20:15 (4,580 days old) by mercuryman ()        
@ David:

I'm not sure if greasing the bearings is going to help...which is my concern. I know that the Model XXX rivals the Model G as far as being "whisper-quiet"...but this thing (before I dissected it like a fetal pig) sounded like a vacuum that had smoked about three million cigarettes in its lifetime LOL. And it also seemed to suffer from that the suction was quite retarded. :-/

Post# 147739 , Reply# 3   8/18/2011 at 20:44 (4,580 days old) by Real1 ()        

electric motor is an electric motor. Pull out the commutator, check for any winding irregularities with an ohm meter, clean groves in the commutator where the brushes touch and then polish the surface, replace brushes, replace the bearings with the proper type and clean everything back to spotless. 99% of the time, that's all she'll need.


Post# 147867 , Reply# 4   8/19/2011 at 17:51 (4,579 days old) by lux1521 ()        

One of the first motors I ever dissected was from a model 30. It's a great motor, but a bit tricky for a beginner. If you can get the bearings off of the shaft, and the new ones on, and everything lined up right, you'll do fine. The thing with the model 30 design, if I remember right, is the parts don't necessarily align themselves the way a newer lux motor will. Make sure everything is in the same place when you reassemble.

Bearings should be available somewhere on the internet. There was an ebay store with a model 30 bearing kit. I'm not sure if it's still there or not.

Post# 147955 , Reply# 5   8/19/2011 at 22:34 (4,578 days old) by Real1 ()        

would that be; are there shims involved or a way to manually line up the shaft?


Post# 148014 , Reply# 6   8/20/2011 at 12:54 (4,578 days old) by lux1521 ()        

It has a lot to do with making sure the bearings sit on the shaft at the proper point, and the fans are tightened down. The greases cups should, if tightened properly, keep the bearings properly located within the motor.

If the motor is rusty, getting everything tightened to the right spot might become a problem. The new bearings sticking to the shaft in the wrong spot is probably the greatest source of trouble. I think the bearings are designed to be press fitted, and the shaft ends have a spot on the ends for a bearing puller for removal.

I actually need a new model 30 motor for my project. The first one I messed up many years ago when I was still a kid, and I haven't done much with that vacuum since.

A later motor, like a Super J motor, I can rebuild in my sleep. I can probably do well with a model 30. I'm much better at that stuff than I was then.

Post# 148073 , Reply# 7   8/21/2011 at 00:21 (4,577 days old) by Real1 ()        

have to see one in the flesh. It sounds self-evident if you've overhauled a lot of old motors. It couldn't be as critical as Babbitt bearings or pillow blocks.


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