Thread Number: 14459
Kirby Tradition like new rebuild and photo fun!
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Post# 152803   9/24/2011 at 02:06 (4,539 days old) by bnsd60m9200 (Akron OH)        

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This is my first solo project. I bought it off member Jayelux here for $20 which included all basic attachments, and original owner's manual!. Broke it down totally myself, cleaned, sanded, steel wooled, buffed and waxed it all myself. it originally had a bagged system and lexan fan. the bagged system and outer bag were donated to my friend's tradition he's gonna work on (and in great shape). I ordered a new replacement shake bag. it is an oem kirby bag for the trad, just newer material like the heritage series outer bags and works great. Also installed a metal fan from a dead parts classic omega that i have for my vac restoration business.

below is one before photo from jaylux showing the corrosion and weird discoloration on the nozzle. the others after after photos including some detail shots, and rarely photographed, in portable/canister mode.

Post# 152804 , Reply# 1   9/24/2011 at 02:07 (4,539 days old) by bnsd60m9200 (Akron OH)        

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head on view restored

Post# 152805 , Reply# 2   9/24/2011 at 02:09 (4,539 days old) by bnsd60m9200 (Akron OH)        

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close up nozzle after rebuild.

Post# 152806 , Reply# 3   9/24/2011 at 02:10 (4,539 days old) by bnsd60m9200 (Akron OH)        

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artsy. "tradition" name reflected in headlight cap. and for ben, the serial F473758.

Post# 152807 , Reply# 4   9/24/2011 at 02:11 (4,539 days old) by bnsd60m9200 (Akron OH)        

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overall sani-emtor side

Post# 152808 , Reply# 5   9/24/2011 at 02:11 (4,539 days old) by bnsd60m9200 (Akron OH)        

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overall rear

Post# 152809 , Reply# 6   9/24/2011 at 02:12 (4,539 days old) by bnsd60m9200 (Akron OH)        

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with my trad.

Post# 152810 , Reply# 7   9/24/2011 at 02:14 (4,539 days old) by bnsd60m9200 (Akron OH)        

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portable/canister mode!

Post# 152811 , Reply# 8   9/24/2011 at 02:15 (4,539 days old) by bnsd60m9200 (Akron OH)        

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all the attachments, and manual

Post# 152812 , Reply# 9   9/24/2011 at 02:17 (4,539 days old) by bnsd60m9200 (Akron OH)        

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last but not least, my two restored kirby's together. tradition and heritage II.

Post# 152818 , Reply# 10   9/24/2011 at 03:47 (4,539 days old) by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

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I also want to ask you: is there any written information in the instruction book, on the warranty page? Example: Serial No. F473-758, Date of Delivery 9/22/79, Signature John Q. Public

Thank you,

Ben (KirbyClassicIII)

Post# 152828 , Reply# 11   9/24/2011 at 08:10 (4,539 days old) by Blackheart (North Dakota)        

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You did a wonderful job on it! The Tradition with it's style 1 bag set up was not the best performer but in my opinion it was the most beautiful of them.

Post# 152834 , Reply# 12   9/24/2011 at 08:43 (4,539 days old) by vac-o-matic (Saint Louis, Mo.)        

Fantastic job Will! How about a pic with the vac running in the carpet mode?

Post# 152840 , Reply# 13   9/24/2011 at 09:15 (4,539 days old) by Jayelux (Dallas, TX)        
Well Done!

I thought of you during the convention when we were given an excellent Kirby demonstration where it was disassembled down to the bearings, transmission, etc. by a Kirby-authorized repairman. He had all the tid-bits and factory know-how. Hope you can join us next year. You'll be impressed with the Kirby knowledge available in one place.
The restoration looks terrific. You model it well, and I know it has a good home.

Post# 152843 , Reply# 14   9/24/2011 at 10:09 (4,539 days old) by kirbyvacuum (Long Island New York)        
Beautiful job

Hi Will Very nice job it must have taken you many hours to do such a WONDERFUL JOB. I hve Many Kirbys but not one Tradition i love the blue and the new bag. Good luck Doug

Post# 152889 , Reply# 15   9/24/2011 at 13:57 (4,539 days old) by vac_whisperer ()        

Very nice job on the resto! The Trad is my favorite Kirby, (and my favorite vacuum, at that) and Im proud to own one as well!


My Tradition was my first restoration project- it was a fun time, to see it before and after.


But one question: How did you get rid of the little "age spots" (as I call them)?


PS heres a pic of my Trad after the resto

Post# 152900 , Reply# 16   9/24/2011 at 16:12 (4,539 days old) by bnsd60m9200 (Akron OH)        

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ben the sale date was 11-12-79 and all that was on there was the dealer signature. whoever owned it never wrote thier name in it.

blackheart, i converted it to a shake bag. (i prefer them anyway)

vac_whisperer : simple, sanding with various grits of sandpaper (320-2000) in a left to right then up and down as the grits change, 0 and 0000 steel wool. both with a mothers/mineral spirits mix. then of course, buffing with a polishing compound on a wheel. there is no other way to get rid of water spots or corrosion. a vibrating sander will get out the "coffee table gouges" then you wet sandpaper it as above.


Post# 152901 , Reply# 17   9/24/2011 at 16:16 (4,539 days old) by bnsd60m9200 (Akron OH)        

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doug and everyone thanks for the very kind words. a like new kirby just looks great and i love it. it performs amazingly with the shake bag and metal fan.

doug, it took me about 10 hours including breaks to completely tear it down, clean of the rubber and plastic parts, as well as the metal finishing work, reassembly and waxing.


Post# 152942 , Reply# 18   9/24/2011 at 22:24 (4,538 days old) by JHGVac ()        

Hello Will,

Did you remove the nozzle bumper for the polishing or just work around it?

In 10 hours you did and amazing job. I would have guessed twice that!


Post# 152945 , Reply# 19   9/24/2011 at 22:28 (4,538 days old) by bnsd60m9200 (Akron OH)        

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joe i did in fact remove the bumper. anything that wasnt metal was removed for metal work and polishing. including the front axle assembly.


Post# 152946 , Reply# 20   9/24/2011 at 22:29 (4,538 days old) by vac_whisperer ()        

And another question: How did you remove the bumper, and get it back on?

Post# 152947 , Reply# 21   9/24/2011 at 22:37 (4,538 days old) by bnsd60m9200 (Akron OH)        

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there are two silver studs that hold the bumper on, on the back of the nozzle. removal is easy. putting it back on is a pain in the a$$. you have to stretch the slit over the circular stud and it takes quite a bit of effort to get the both on. but once you do, putting the rest of the bumper on isnt as hard. make sure you reattach both ends FIRST, then stretch the bumper around the front of the nozzle, or your kill yourself twice instead of just once.


Post# 152952 , Reply# 22   9/24/2011 at 22:53 (4,538 days old) by vac_whisperer ()        

Makes sense. Now I just need to figure out an easy way to get the bag back on. HAha.


Well, time to turn in for the night. G'night all.

Post# 153068 , Reply# 23   9/25/2011 at 10:36 (4,538 days old) by KirbyLover (Louisville Kentucky )        

Once again looks great Will!

How much did that new bag cost you? I think I will keep the one I have but I do like how the newer bags feel and "puff out" more when not in use. And Will I'm still curious as to the headlight cover with the "Kirby" on it, I've never seen it before not on either of my Trads, Heritage 84, or Omega. Surely not all of them have been replaced?

Here is a shot of my newly acquired Trad. I have just done a basic cleaning and put the new bag and mini-emtor I got from Richard (I'm going to use the sani-emtor with Heritage bag adapter, after I polish it, to keep it looking original). It runs good with that cloth HEPA bag in it! I might change the wheels and trim on it and handle sticker to freshen it up as well. This is a crappy shot with my P&S was too lazy to use my big camera (looks better without the harsh flash!).

Post# 153131 , Reply# 24   9/25/2011 at 21:18 (4,537 days old) by bnsd60m9200 (Akron OH)        

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dave the bag is $39.50 from "b0sslady2001" on ebay. has the "over 10 available" next to the buy it now. if you change the wheels, make sure to keep the wheel covers. kirby no longer makes the original "chrome" tradition wheel covers. also make sure to wetsand (i go from 320 up to 2000 grit) and steel wool (0 and 0000) both with mothers/mineral spirits combo before you put it to a wheel. of you'll kill yourself on the wheel.


Post# 153133 , Reply# 25   9/25/2011 at 21:24 (4,537 days old) by bnsd60m9200 (Akron OH)        

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far as the headlights, go i cant answer that question. all i know is originally they had the kirby logo on them, but only for the trad and heritage.

Post# 153160 , Reply# 26   9/25/2011 at 23:32 (4,537 days old) by briguy (Wichita, Kansas)        

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Wil that looks like an awesome restoration! I love the blue color of the Tradition. My sister had one in the mid 80's that I used to love playing with when I was at her house. Sometimes I would get to use it in canister mode to vacuuum out her van which was always a thrill.

Post# 153166 , Reply# 27   9/26/2011 at 01:39 (4,537 days old) by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        

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And, I'm not a Kirby guy.  I have both the red and blue for sale.

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