Thread Number: 17452
Fixing My Kirby G4: One Step At A Time
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Post# 188000   7/2/2012 at 23:51 (2,837 days old) by Wolffie ()        

Those whom have read my initial thread to this forum, know that I purchased a Kirby G4. Unfortunately, I did not know what I was getting myself into when I bought it from a "reputable" seller on Ebay.

The thing is a wreck. The seller purposely used specific camera angles to try and hide problems. To start, the thing came in a broken and busted box, held together with tape. On top of that, as soon as I got the Mini-Mtor and bag out, I realized something very bad. HUGE chunks of dirt fell out. I mean, it was significant. This 100% certified seller didn't even have the courtesy to clean it out. Also, they took FOUR days to ship this thing, and they can't even get the packaging right.

The next problem I noticed, was the headlamp cover, and the handle. Both are off a bit, and shaking. Not good.

So I turned the thing on, thinking those were the only problems. Boy was I wrong. The power button has sunk into the chassis slightly. I can get it fixed, but it is not pleasant. As soon as I turn it on, loud abrasive noises. There is a huge sucking noise before I lower the nozzle. I continue to lower the nozzle to match the carpet, then engage the powerdrive. The powerdrive makes a strange noise, not the worst, but not the best. Could use an oil-ing and service at a repair store, I thought.

Then, I realized the vacuum was leaning to the right. I check the front right wheel. The wheel chassis bar is fractured and oxidized. No fix could help this. It could not be welded, taped, or glued if I even tried. This is when I almost broke down into tears. My birthday gift was a disaster. The thing is covered in aluminum oxide and blemishes, luckily not many scratches.

The thing can barely suck, a little handheld vacuum can outperform it, made by Oreck. I took off the nozzle, to see what was wrong. The fan is completely covered in hair, dust, and grease. I do notice, that the gray lexan fan has been replaced with a kevlar fan, but right now just about any other fan would be nice. I have no idea how I can clean this thing without taking it apart, if you guys have any ideas, let me know. I already tried vacuuming and blowing it out, to little success.

So here I am, sitting in shame over my purchase. I could return it, 14 day money back guarantee, but I would feel wrong. This poor vacuum, put through so much abuse. I couldn't bring myself to do it, which leaves one option, take it to a repair store. The wheel chassis is the biggest problem.

After a few hours of thinking, and sadness, I find out what I could do. Look for the wheel chassis bar online, and BOOM! I got it for 17 bucks. It only solves one issue, but the vacuum should be functional.

The whole vacuum could use a servicing, and there is a good place in Tucson. The only problem, is I have a limited income, being only 15 years old.

Do any of you guys have advice for how I can clean the fan, or perhaps oil (if that is what should be done) the techdrive?

Please assist.

Post# 188022 , Reply# 1   7/3/2012 at 07:16 (2,837 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

jmurray01's profile picture
I can't help, but I would be leaving that seller bad feedback. If he said it was in working order, he was lying blatantly.

I hope you get it fixed then post some pictures!

Post# 188024 , Reply# 2   7/3/2012 at 07:22 (2,837 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

eurekastar's profile picture

I suspect that returning it would cost you more than it's worth.  The good news is that a Kirby is very repairable and parts are readily available.  You might use it to teach yourself a few things about do-it-yourself vacuum repair.  There are lots of people on the forum who can help. 

Post# 188026 , Reply# 3   7/3/2012 at 07:25 (2,837 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

jmurray01's profile picture
That's true Bill, the best way to learn how to fix something is to get thrown in at the deep end. It will work out for the best I'm sure, because you'll have a great Kirby and the knowledge to do it all again on purpose if you saw another Kirby for sale in poor condition, or any other Vacuum Cleaner for that matter.

Post# 188031 , Reply# 4   7/3/2012 at 07:59 (2,837 days old) by ncovert (Grove City, PA)        
I would say...

Contact the seller and tell him all the things wrong with it and leave him negative feedback.

Post# 188033 , Reply# 5   7/3/2012 at 08:21 (2,837 days old) by sarasvacshack ()        
If you need

any spare parts for that G4, we have many used. The axle breaking is common in shipment as most sellers do not drop the unit to its lowest setting when shipping it out, making the two front wheels bear the brunt of any box drop. We learned this the hard way :)

Post# 188034 , Reply# 6   7/3/2012 at 08:35 (2,837 days old) by kirbykid63 (Wilmington Delaware)        
I live in Tucson Az.

If you need any help or parts I rebuild those machines all the time and I have lots of G parts,that I could give you.I live near Shannon and Orange grove.

Richard Groski

Post# 188064 , Reply# 7   7/3/2012 at 09:46 (2,837 days old) by rugsucker (Elizabethton TN)        
Kirby Generation

Wolfie,Looks like bad news,good news.Seller description & packing is bad and I hope you consider complaint,partial refund & bad feedback.Good news is you have a Generation that can always be serviced and repaired.The front axle problem could have been prevented but is easy to fix.Common(and simple)problems include cracked fill tube,worn back wheels,possibe control unit(switch)wear and fan issues(your newer fan may or may not need replacement).Many of us could & would help but looks like Richard is close.If you have mechanical skills and can deal with a 'jigsaw puzzle' group of parts look at it piece by piece.The motor unit is most complicated but using caution such as unplug first,can be disassembled.I teach "If it will be more than 5 minutes before you reassemble put each screw back in hole it comes out of".Try it,it is not double work.For motor unit remove cord,plastic cover,metal cover,switch button,remove rear wheels & trans unit.This will require more brain & thought power than muscle.I then remove cooling air intake,then motor rearward with headlight wires attached.Good luck.Hope 'buyers remorse'is temporary and you will soon have Happy Vacuuming!

Post# 188076 , Reply# 8   7/3/2012 at 12:04 (2,837 days old) by Wolffie ()        

Thank you for all your feedback. I am thinking of tearing it down today and cleaning everything while I wait for my axle. I am not exactly sure what on it is broken, but it is somewhat of a mess.

It turns on and turns off at its pleasure, it looks like some wires may be sparking in the back, and the fan is just a wreck.

@kirbykid63: Thank you very much for the offer, it is much appreciated, but I must see what is wrong first. I already ordered the Axle, which is one of the main things stpping me from using it.

Post# 188080 , Reply# 9   7/3/2012 at 12:36 (2,837 days old) by broomvac (N/A)        

broomvac's profile picture
I once went through a similar thing with a Sanitaire I bought which when it arrived had an exploded fan which shattered and totaled the base, along with a shot motor with a bent armature and a bent brush roll. Functionally, it was useless! The seller had advertised it as perfect working condition, so I emailed him to organize a refund and to ship it back. He emailed back saying that he refunded me all of my money including shipping, but that he didn't realize the vacuum was so beat up when he sold it so he told me to just keep it! He had no use for it. So, I spent all of my refunded money on a brand new base, motor, and VGII brush roll, and now it is the prettiest and most powerful vacuum I own!

Post# 188081 , Reply# 10   7/3/2012 at 12:39 (2,837 days old) by Wolffie ()        

I asked for a full refund including shipping, but I don't expect to get it. They did advertise it as fully functional, so I may open a paypal dispute if she refuses to even give me a partial refund. I am also covered under EBAY buyer protection.

I have started the disassembly process, and it is a wreck.

I PB50'd the belt lifter mechanism which is fairly oxidized, and also the clamp that holds the nozzle to the machine. Both are in much better working condition.

I just got the top housing off...I am ashamed. Somebody treated this poor old girl so badly. I was shocked. I found myself whispering "Don't worry, everything will be okay."

Cobwebs, dust, you name it. This will be a long job.

Post# 188121 , Reply# 11   7/3/2012 at 15:49 (2,837 days old) by kirbylux77 (Orillia, Ontario, Canada)        

kirbylux77's profile picture
Best of luck to you with the rebuilding of your Kirby. Once you are done & get it working properly, you will find that your Kirby will be one of the best uprights you will EVER own. It may be an old design, but it's a design that works!

If I could make one little suggestion though....since this vacuum was clearly abused & used hard by it's previous owners, I would check the carbon brushes while you have it apart. With the age of this vacuum & hard use it has seen, they are probably due for replacement by now.


Post# 188182 , Reply# 12   7/3/2012 at 21:58 (2,837 days old) by kirbykid63 (Wilmington Delaware)        
I have parts

I have a like new g castings and tech drives and some head belt lifter parts I was planning to take them to recycle so if you need anything give me a call.

Post# 190202 , Reply# 13   7/16/2012 at 16:30 (2,824 days old) by Durango159 (State College, PA)        

durango159's profile picture
Good luck with the repair. It can be really fun to take something apart clean it up and get it working again. Keep a notepad with you and take notes of where or how things go in. You can also put masking tape labels on parts for which side is up, etc. for reassembly. Use another vacuum with crevice tool and dusting brush for sucking and cleaning everything.
The carpet nozzle can be hand washed with some mild soap and then dried immediately so that no rust occurs. I had a problem with one of our G4's, the carpet head latches for access to belt removal and brushroll, were rusted shut. We coated them with a heavy lubricant and gently tapped on it with the blunt end of most any tool, this vibration helps lubricants seap into tiny areas and help free nonmoving parts.

As others mentioned there are many experts on this forum for help and LOTS of Kirby fans, you came to the right place.

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