Thread Number: 17494
Must be something in the (Rainbow) water...?
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Post# 188689   7/6/2012 at 23:32 (2,825 days old) by HooverCelebrity ()        

All of this talk lately about Rainbows... I just couldn't stand it!  Most people who talk about their Rainbows absolutely love them.  I have a D2 that's in OK shape, but wanted something a bit newer to actually use for a while.  While I would love to purchase a brand new Rainbow, that's just not in the cards right now. Eventually, definitely. But just not now. I found an e-series a few months ago, but I'm missing too many attachments to justify spending the time rebuilding it. When I find a suitable set of tools, I'll invest the time and energy.

So, in the meantime, I've been browsing here and there.  Craigslist, eBay, etc... waiting for something to come along.  Something finally did that I thought would be good to follow up on.  It looked pretty complete, and had one of the boxes -- so that at least meant that they cared enough about it to keep a box.  More than most people do. 


So, after a few emails, I was on my way to pick it up last Sunday.  I was excited, and knew that I was going to need to tear into it sooner than later.  I did plug it in when I got it home, and it squeeeealed when it turned on and off.  Had a bit of a whine to it while it was running too.  So I knew it was going to require the full "tear-down and rebuild" that I would be giving it regardless.  Cool


So, $50 later, I got myself a Rainbow D4C SE (but no cat)!

Post# 188690 , Reply# 1   7/6/2012 at 23:33 (2,825 days old) by HooverCelebrity ()        

The spread!

Post# 188691 , Reply# 2   7/6/2012 at 23:33 (2,825 days old) by HooverCelebrity ()        

The machine.

Post# 188692 , Reply# 3   7/6/2012 at 23:34 (2,825 days old) by HooverCelebrity ()        

Manuals & Mini-powerhead - I'll rebuild that at a later date...

Post# 188693 , Reply# 4   7/6/2012 at 23:35 (2,825 days old) by HooverCelebrity ()        

Not un-fixable...

Post# 188694 , Reply# 5   7/6/2012 at 23:36 (2,825 days old) by HooverCelebrity ()        

So, on Wednesday, the 4th -- it was really nice, but HOT out.  Robert wanted to spend some time outside, "sunning" himself.  I wanted to keep busy with a project.  So I grabbed the Rainbow, a hand-full of tools, a few towels, a bottle of water (to remain hydrated) and pulled up outside for the initial tear-down.  ((We also had a blueberry pie in the oven -- that's what the timer is for!))

Post# 188695 , Reply# 6   7/6/2012 at 23:37 (2,825 days old) by HooverCelebrity ()        

Away we go!

Post# 188696 , Reply# 7   7/6/2012 at 23:38 (2,825 days old) by HooverCelebrity ()        

Top cover off!

Post# 188697 , Reply# 8   7/6/2012 at 23:38 (2,825 days old) by HooverCelebrity ()        


Post# 188698 , Reply# 9   7/6/2012 at 23:39 (2,825 days old) by HooverCelebrity ()        

Of course, I got really into taking it apart -- so this was the last picture I got while taking the motor apart.  Sorry.  Smile

Post# 188699 , Reply# 10   7/6/2012 at 23:40 (2,825 days old) by HooverCelebrity ()        

Now through the Dishwasher!  I ran about 4 loads, some of the really dirty parts (like the fans, and motor stages) went through a few times.

Post# 188700 , Reply# 11   7/6/2012 at 23:41 (2,825 days old) by HooverCelebrity ()        

Everything's been run through and given a wipe down with a microfiber cloth.  Back outside drying!

Post# 188701 , Reply# 12   7/6/2012 at 23:41 (2,825 days old) by HooverCelebrity ()        

Here are the bearings... can we guess which one was the lower motor bearing, closest to the water?

Post# 188702 , Reply# 13   7/6/2012 at 23:44 (2,825 days old) by HooverCelebrity ()        

Here's the garbage pile.


I ordered many new parts -- everything that's in the picture below, and other items...including new bearings (ya think?)!  I placed my order on the 4th, got shipping confirmation on the 5th along with tracking info -- parts should arrive on Monday.  Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion of re-assembly and its maiden voyage! 

Post# 188703 , Reply# 14   7/6/2012 at 23:48 (2,825 days old) by HooverCelebrity ()        

Oh, here's the Blueberry Pie!  :-)  It was delicious.

Post# 188708 , Reply# 15   7/7/2012 at 00:56 (2,825 days old) by Kirbysthebest (Wichita, KS)        

kirbysthebest's profile picture
Where do you order your parts?
I've been ordering from Hesco, and love them. But I am always interested in other venues to order.

I want to tear down my D2, but I scared.

Post# 188709 , Reply# 16   7/7/2012 at 01:04 (2,825 days old) by HooverCelebrity ()        

One word for this website.  Amazing.


No parts for models as old as the D2 though... I want to tear that one apart, too.  I'm working up to it!

CLICK HERE TO GO TO HooverCelebrity's LINK

Post# 188723 , Reply# 17   7/7/2012 at 04:07 (2,825 days old) by jmurray01 (Scotland)        

jmurray01's profile picture
I must say, that Rainbow looks different to what I expected! I knew they were "water vacs" but had never seen one because we don't have them here in the UK and I'd never bothered clicking on any of the threads here. I thought they would be quite futuristic, but I'm pleased that they look traditional, much prefer that.

Now, onto the more important subject, that pie looks delicious... Don't have a spare slice, do you ?

Post# 188732 , Reply# 18   7/7/2012 at 07:11 (2,825 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

eurekastar's profile picture

You got a great deal!  It's so much fun to tear stuff down, clean everything, and then rebuild it.  I was afraid to run the main housing through the dishwasher because of the decals, but yours stood up to the challenge.  For those parts, I've been hand washing with laundry detergent and bleach.  But I think I'll give it a try in the dishwasher!  Parts for the D2 are a little more challenging to find, but not impossible.  Here's one site I've used.  Like, they are very reliable and ship quickly. 


Post# 188733 , Reply# 19   7/7/2012 at 07:13 (2,825 days old) by Vinvac (Dubuque IA)        

vinvac's profile picture

I wish I had your talent...I can tear them down, but when it comes to the motors...I chicken out...LOL

That pie looks wonderful!

It has been too hot here to work on anything. I started taking a lux powerhead apart yesterday..was soaked clear through in about the time it took to take out the two I cam back in the house.


Post# 188734 , Reply# 20   7/7/2012 at 07:16 (2,825 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        
D2 Parts

eurekastar's profile picture

Here's another site that I've found reliable and helpful.  The D2 used two different motors during its production.  Parts for the newer motor are still available.  But I don't know if they are interchangeable. 


Post# 188758 , Reply# 21   7/7/2012 at 11:33 (2,825 days old) by RainbowD4C (Saint Joseph, Michigan )        

rainbowd4c's profile picture
That's a good model Fred. I have a RainbowD4C that I use for everything almost everyday. The only difference is that my powernozzle hose are a different configuration. I have the old old school where the cord is strapped to the outside of the hose and it's one long cord that pluggs directly into the unit. I just recently bought new hoses that look a lot nicer. I hope you enjoy your new Rainbow. I love mine.

Post# 188774 , Reply# 22   7/7/2012 at 13:07 (2,825 days old) by fan-of-fans (USA)        

fan-of-fans's profile picture
Looks like the parts came out great. That's the same model Rainbow that the guy demonstrates on Matlock by dumping sawdust on the carpet. LOL Didn't know those had a mini powernozzle.

Post# 188791 , Reply# 23   7/7/2012 at 13:58 (2,825 days old) by reginafan ()        

Your skills are amazing! And that pie looks fabulous!

Post# 188832 , Reply# 24   7/7/2012 at 15:56 (2,824 days old) by williamr1248 (USA)        
There Must Be Something in the (Rainbow) Water

Thanks for sharring the pictures of the tear down!
That is the same mchine I have, although I don't remember you ever using it at the house.
Please don't judge the performance of the Rainbow on the old SE. There is really no comparison with the much stronger suction and air flow. Also the new machine is worlds apart with the single longer electric hose,direct connect wands and new power nozzle,new dolly system,new design of the hose handle and off/on/lock on control and suction relief.
Of course you will get the famous air breathing floor brush,sofa tool and the power nozzle is very easy to push. My old SE power nozzle was doing a better job than I thought but with the Rainbow it is all about no loss of air flow.
I cannot even imagine you using anything but a HOOVER! Oh my!

Post# 188967 , Reply# 25   7/8/2012 at 00:24 (2,824 days old) by goadie12 ()        

Wow Fred I must say you got a good deal with that machine it is actually very clean considering it is an older model rainbow, the previous owners obvsiouly took very good care of it. Keep us posted on your progress thanks. Zach

Post# 189029 , Reply# 26   7/8/2012 at 15:21 (2,823 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

eurekastar's profile picture

Fred, when you run your parts through the dishwasher, do you use the heated wash and rinse options?  I know you said you don't use the heated dry (which makes sense).  Also, the pie looks great!  Wish I could have a piece. 

Post# 189075 , Reply# 27   7/8/2012 at 22:00 (2,823 days old) by raycarter (Taylor, Michigan)        
Very Nice!

A friend of mine for whom I used to clean house had that same model. She had the full-sized power nozzle, but not the miniature, which would have been a great help in getting her pomeranian's hair off of her carpeted stairs! Looks like you really got your money's worth on that deal (and I certainly would have made an offer for the cat. He looks like a real sweetie!)

Post# 189082 , Reply# 28   7/8/2012 at 23:08 (2,823 days old) by BriGuy (Wichita, Kansas)        

briguy's profile picture
Fred, thanks for sharing your teardown process photos. I always enjoy seeing the process step by step & older machines given a proper thorough cleaning. On my next teardown & rebuild, I am going to try running parts thru the dishwasher. I usually wash parts down outside or in the bath tub. Been a little hesitant to use the dishwasher, but I guess as long as the heat dry cycle is not used then they should be fine?? Excited to see your reassembly photos when you post them!

Post# 189088 , Reply# 29   7/8/2012 at 23:35 (2,823 days old) by HooverCelebrity ()        
Fred, when you run your parts through the dishwasher, do you

Well, no -- the machine doesn't "heat" the water, there's no need for that.  I just bleed the tap, to make sure the water is as hot as it can be from the water heater... it's an "extra" dishwasher that we picked up just for running vacuum parts through, nothing fancy.  If parts are super dirty, I'll run them through multiple times.  I also give everything a wipe-down with a microfiber cloth when it comes out, before laying out to dry.  I do hit the "energy saver dry" button -- so no heating element to potentially melt anything, although in a Vintage KitchenAid, that would never happen.  Cool


Thanks for the compliments, Brian... Parts should be here tomorrow; hopefully I'll have the energy to start re-assmbly after work and my personal training session. 

Post# 189091 , Reply# 30   7/9/2012 at 00:07 (2,823 days old) by goadie12 ()        

Quick question Fred what kind of detergent do you use because since every one else is running the vacuums through the dishwasher I had to try but mine didn't come out very clean at all thanks? Zach

Post# 189405 , Reply# 31   7/10/2012 at 17:52 (2,821 days old) by floor-a-matic (somewhere)        

I don't know why the "cup style" Spider isn't made anymore? Or are they only available through a Rainbow service center?

Post# 189407 , Reply# 32   7/10/2012 at 18:38 (2,821 days old) by mark40511 (Lexington, KY)        

mark40511's profile picture
God that pie looks good! Blueberries are and always will be my favorite fruit....... I put frozen blueberries in the blender for my shake every morning for breakfast. I can't remember the last day that went by that I didn't consume blueberries. Fresh is best, but frozen is still good.

Post# 189408 , Reply# 33   7/10/2012 at 19:14 (2,821 days old) by pdub ()        
Great thread Fred

I really enjoyed seeing this Rainbow get torn down. I have always been fascinated by Rainbow's but have not bit on one yet. I got to play with one at Marty's in Palm Springs and it was so cool to see the dirty water when emptied. This came from carpet that had already been vacuumed too!

Thanks for sharing the pictures. Now craving fresh blueberry pie!

Post# 189413 , Reply# 34   7/10/2012 at 20:02 (2,821 days old) by floor-a-matic (somewhere)        

I have yet to give the D4SE (the one my parents bought new) a spa treatment soon.

btw, I use Mr. Clean to hand wash the parts, since I don't have a dishwasher.

Post# 189428 , Reply# 35   7/10/2012 at 22:40 (2,821 days old) by HooverCelebrity ()        

Thanks for the comments, everyone.  So, the parts did arrive yesterday...  But I hit a bit of a hurdle (to be explained...)


To answer the Dishwasher question -- I just use regular Cascade powder.  We also have some phosphates which I run as well -- as DW detergent is no longer phosphated.  But that's a whole other discussion.


So, here are all of the new parts I ordered.  I'm a sucker for a long hose, so I absolutely had to order the 12' hose.

Post# 189429 , Reply# 36   7/10/2012 at 22:41 (2,821 days old) by HooverCelebrity ()        

Everything laid out on the dining room table ready to go back together...

Post# 189430 , Reply# 37   7/10/2012 at 22:42 (2,821 days old) by HooverCelebrity ()        

There was some grease residue behind the bearing retainer, so I decided to put some grease in there after all (if you don't know what I'm talking about, see this thread -- regarding grease in the slinger ring).

Post# 189431 , Reply# 38   7/10/2012 at 22:45 (2,821 days old) by HooverCelebrity ()        

So, I get it all back together, and when I tighten the nut on the spider, the spider doesn't turn freely.  In fact, the whole motor doesn't turn.  I don't remember if it did turn freely, but based on the fact that the separator needs to ride on top of it, I deduced that it needs to spin freely.  I also went and checked the D2 upstairs, and the spider spins with the motor. 


I'm 100% sure that I didn't miss anything, as far as parts/spacers go... so back apart the motor comes again. 

Post# 189432 , Reply# 39   7/10/2012 at 22:49 (2,821 days old) by HooverCelebrity ()        

I would imagine this is the problem.  Maybe I tightened it too much, and it broke?  I'm pretty sure it was probably at least cracked before I put the motor back together, but am not 100% sure.  I do recall the nut on the spider being tight, and taking some force to get off when I initially took the motor apart.  That nut is also essentially what holds the motor and fans together, so it needs to be tight, doesn't it? 


Well, this upper fan housing is the one part I didn't order.  So, I placed another order for that housing and some other items I had wavered on getting the first round, but now decided to get. 


Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion when I get my next parts order... hopefully yet this week.


Any advice in the meantime, on how tight the spider is supposed to be would be much appreciated.

Post# 189441 , Reply# 40   7/11/2012 at 00:02 (2,821 days old) by shelly (california)        

This is exciting, too bad about the break. Can't wait to see the finished result.

Post# 189444 , Reply# 41   7/11/2012 at 00:36 (2,821 days old) by mark40511 (Lexington, KY)        

mark40511's profile picture
Yea. Can't wait to see it back together and just like a new machine. Sorry for the break and having to order new parts and play the waiting game again.

Post# 189470 , Reply# 42   7/11/2012 at 07:18 (2,821 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

eurekastar's profile picture

Fred, sorry about that.  It's very frustrating when that stuff happens.  Glad to know that I'm not the only one who has those mishaps.  About the nut --  I don't remember in what direction it tightens.  But if it has left handed threads, I don't think it needs to be too tight.  I think it will continue to tighten up as the motor spins. 

Post# 189724 , Reply# 43   7/13/2012 at 01:43 (2,819 days old) by Vacuumfreeeke ()        


You are so brave to take it that far apart... I'd be scared to death to take any of my machines apart like that... I'd never get them back together. Did you get the parts yet? I'm excited to see the conclusion and to see what you think.

I have the same one, and I don't really use it because I don't like making mud... but it really does sound like a quality machine when it is running... I don't like that power nozzle though (I have the same one).... I prefer the more deluxe one that was kind of tapered instead of this long skinny monster...

Hope you enjoy it once you get it all fixed up. You certainly gave it the spa treatment... complete with sauna and shower!

Post# 189882 , Reply# 44   7/14/2012 at 10:58 (2,818 days old) by hamiltonbeachbo ()        
Waiting anxiously for more .....


Can't wait for the next segment in your blow-by-blow photo essay.

The only thing better than following this thread would be working with you as we've worked on several machines together in the past.

Have to tell you, over the past few weeks I've been using the Hoover DAM that you and I rebuilt when we first met.

Love that machine!!!

As I usually do, I made a few modifications. 

I changed out the brush roll to a more contemporary spiral design (I think I might have gotten it from you??) that seems a bit more aggressive in addition to upping the headlamp to 25 watts to better light the highway .... great fun to pilot it around my place.

I'll be sending you a few shots of the Regina model K I finished rebuilding ..... the new lower bearing made a huge difference.

I had to use several parts from the model 1 I got from you and Robert so that machine bit the dust but for good cause.

Also, put Terry's tan G through the spa (Tania found new rear wheels for it)..... it looks fabulous and it's Terry's.

I think the best part of this hobby is cleaning up and restoring machines to almost-like-new condition.

Great Fun!!

More to come ....


Post# 189937 , Reply# 45   7/14/2012 at 22:51 (2,817 days old) by HooverCelebrity ()        

The parts arrived on Thursday -- they were waiting for me when I came home for lunch on Thursday.  So I grabbed a super fast sandwich so I could get as much done as possible while on my break.  Here are the parts I ordered on my second round of ordering parts.  I almost didn't order the parts for the Rainbow-Mate mini powerhead, but am glad I did.

Post# 189939 , Reply# 46   7/14/2012 at 22:53 (2,817 days old) by HooverCelebrity ()        

I realized pretty quickly that I was in fact doing something wrong.  Everything seemed to make sense -- everything was in the exact order as in the exploded parts diagram.  For some reason, I had it in my mind that the metal plate with the 8 screws (one of the last items you put on when reassembling the motor) went on before the spider.  I could swear that's how the machine came apart.  Well, duh, it goes on after the spider.  I don't know why I didn't notice that on the parts diagram -- I think because I was sure the spider went on last.  Well, sure as I was, I was wrong.  The spider spins underneath this ring. 


So, once I got that figured out, everything else went together in a snap.  I got it mostly back together, but had to get back to work.  I came home that night, and finished up.  Hit a bit of a snag, when I realized the new switch had wiring that was different from the old switch.  So, a bit of googling, and I was set.  Switch in, new cord in, I glued the gasket on, and clamped it to the water basin.  I wanted to let it set overnight before exposing it to water.  Here's a picture from that night...


One more day until I could reap from the fruits of my labor...

Post# 189940 , Reply# 47   7/14/2012 at 22:53 (2,817 days old) by HooverCelebrity ()        

So, here's the final product, all back together  -- ready for some closeups!

Post# 189941 , Reply# 48   7/14/2012 at 22:54 (2,817 days old) by HooverCelebrity ()        

Ta daa!

Post# 189944 , Reply# 49   7/14/2012 at 22:54 (2,817 days old) by HooverCelebrity ()        


Post# 189945 , Reply# 50   7/14/2012 at 22:56 (2,817 days old) by HooverCelebrity ()        

New Cord!  The attachment caddy/cord wrap is kind of cheezy, but it works, and is somewhat handy.

Post# 189946 , Reply# 51   7/14/2012 at 22:57 (2,817 days old) by HooverCelebrity ()        

That stupid &$#@&^ spider, under the retaining plate where it belongs...  Cool

Post# 189947 , Reply# 52   7/14/2012 at 22:59 (2,817 days old) by HooverCelebrity ()        

Cool picture.  I think the "493" means it was made in April of 1993?  Does anyone know what that number means?  The serial number is stamped on the other side.  The motor had "DEC 93" stamped on it.  So that 493 = April 93 doesn't make sense then...  Unless the motor was replaced?

This post was last edited 07/14/2012 at 23:25
Post# 189948 , Reply# 53   7/14/2012 at 22:59 (2,817 days old) by HooverCelebrity ()        

Another cool picture.

Post# 189949 , Reply# 54   7/14/2012 at 23:00 (2,817 days old) by HooverCelebrity ()        

I think it may feel a bit out of place?

Post# 189950 , Reply# 55   7/14/2012 at 23:04 (2,817 days old) by HooverCelebrity ()        

Oh well, it got a hose stuck in it and I put it to work!  I should have had Robert take a picture of me using it... I vacuumed the whole downstairs and did some dusting with it.  Tomorrow.


I had also used it on the carpeting upstairs, Friday during my lunch break.  Not sure about that powerhead.  Something may not be quite right with mine... I'll have to take it apart again and give it a look-see.  It doesn't sound like it's really doing much.  I know Rainbows use airflow to its advantage -- so is it not supposed to suck tight to the carpet?  I guess I'm just not used to that.  It also runs kind of rough/noisy, may need a new motor at some point.


Really glad I got those parts for the Rainbow Mate as well.  That works really well, and was perfect for the stairs.  I'm also super glad I got both of the longer hoses... Love leaving the Rainbow in one place and not having it constantly at my ankles!

Post# 189953 , Reply# 56   7/14/2012 at 23:25 (2,817 days old) by shelly (california)        

Wow, you really made the effort to get it running and looking good while doing it. Your kitchen is beautiful! BTW, my SE PN is a bit noisy like that too, it may just be the way it is.

Post# 189962 , Reply# 57   7/15/2012 at 03:53 (2,817 days old) by Vacuumfreeeke ()        

Wow, Fred, you have that thing looking brand new! Have you watched any videos on Youtube with other machines like yours to hear the power nozzle to see if yours sounds similar? I did that with my Electrolux Sidekick because it rattled terribly, and it seems that they are all like that, so I didn't worry about it... but I never use it because it's less powerful than a turbo tool and rattles so much I can't stand the noise! I don't remember how my power nozzle sounds, it's been so long since I've used it. Be careful with the water pan clips... they are fragile if the machine is older and can break easily.... I guess the plastic becomes brittle. I had to replace one of mine from one on Ebay and it doesn't match the machine now.... actually it does, because I peeled the decal off the old one and stuck it on the new one :o)

Anyway, what did you think when you looked at the water? There likely wasn't a speck of dirt in it at your house :o)

How is your water tub... is it dull and cloudy? They usually get that way... I thought about taking plastic polish to mine to see if that would help...

Post# 189975 , Reply# 58   7/15/2012 at 06:09 (2,817 days old) by pr-21 (Middletown, OH)        
Seal to carpet

pr-21's profile picture
Hi Fred,

I have had the power nozzle you have and mine did not seal to the carpet. However it was not very loud. Also your water basin looks a little different than mine. Almost like it has an extra lip...I sold my SE and got the SE PE when it came out. Both the SE and SEPE had the same water basin without the extra lip that seals the basin to the gasket. I looked at goodvac and their water basin for an SE looks like says it will fit D3's on up until the E Series.

The powernozzle you have should still be a very good cleaner. It uses the same brush roll as the wooden distributor that is still made by Eureka. The SEPE powernozzle is a very good power nozzle as well, the only problem with it is that it lifts up on the back stroke. They took care of this problem on the new Black Rainbow.

PS the water lift on these is in the 60's. But as you said earlier, it is the airflow that cleans. As long as you do not pick up non wettable things, your exhaust port will always be nice and clean.


Bud Mattingly

Post# 189977 , Reply# 59   7/15/2012 at 06:57 (2,817 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

eurekastar's profile picture

Very, very nice!

Post# 189982 , Reply# 60   7/15/2012 at 07:37 (2,817 days old) by mark40511 (Lexington, KY)        

mark40511's profile picture
So cool!

I didn't realize they had the 14 foot hoses with the older machines, but I do know one thing, they are GREAT! Glad you ordered one. You can literally park the rainbow and get everything high and low as far as dusting & you don't need to keep switching outlets as well. Did you put anything in the water for scent?

Post# 189984 , Reply# 61   7/15/2012 at 08:08 (2,817 days old) by williamr1248 (USA)        
Must be something in he (Rainbow) water

Dear Fred,
What a beautiful job! It was great to see all the pictures of the guts.
As you remember I have the very same machine. I agree with Bud. My machine and power nozzle are very quiet.
When I did he Rainbow test and ONLY used my Rainbow SE for 1 year,I was SURE that the power nozzle wasn't doing much but at end the end I used my Kirby and Hoover Windtunnel and they pulled almost nothing from the thick carpet so I found the power nozzle was doing a better job than I thought. My power nozzle was also very easy to push on the thick carpets.
On the down side, I hated all the different pieces,hoses and the fact that the dolly did not lock on the machine. I never used the attachement holder or the dolly.
I think you will get about same reults with any Rexair but that new machine is worlds apart from the older SE in user features.
The trouble is once you get used to not having to dust anything and not storing the dirt and filth it is hard to go back.
The door storage rack and the fact that the new machine stores right back on the lock on dolly and ONE set of hoses and wands makes it much more user friendly.
I have been told by several Rexair experts that the SE was one of the bettter Rainbow models and I never had any problems with mine. I bought mine in fall of 1993.
Now, that Rainbow just does not look right in your house of beautiful Hoovers!
Thanks for sharing all the pictures.

Post# 189994 , Reply# 62   7/15/2012 at 10:03 (2,817 days old) by floor-a-matic (somewhere)        

How about an AquaMate to shampoo the carpet & squeegee & squeegee adaptor to wash the floors? I'll bet that'll be a COMPLETE Rainbow vac; no Rainbow SE is complete without an AquaMate.

Post# 189995 , Reply# 63   7/15/2012 at 11:11 (2,817 days old) by vacman117 (Valparaiso, IN)        

vacman117's profile picture
That turned out absolutely beautiful! As of right now, I really do not have the confidence to do a tear down like that, so I applaud you on that! I do have one question, when you ordered the 10 foot electric hose, did the handle come attached? I would like to get one for my SE, but I would want it to have the trigger handle like my regular hose has.

Thanks and Congrats!

Post# 189996 , Reply# 64   7/15/2012 at 11:25 (2,817 days old) by floor-a-matic (somewhere)        

Here's a 12ft ELECTRIFIED hose, complete w/handle.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO floor-a-matic's LINK

Post# 189999 , Reply# 65   7/15/2012 at 12:04 (2,817 days old) by HooverCelebrity ()        

Chase -- The hose did not come with the handle attached. I had to swap the handle and all of the parts inside of the handle. I did order new handle halves, as the ones on the hose which came with the machine were cracked/broken.

The 12' hose without the handle attached was $94 bucks... vs. the one in the link above which is $146, complete with handle. It wasn't the easiest handle to swap over, but I've certainly encountered ones that are more difficult. I may buy all of the parts to put a trigger-handle on my hose, that seems like a smart idea.

I don't think I want to mess around with an Aqua Mate. I have a Hoover SteamVac that has suited me well for years. I don't want to have to hook something up to the sink and deal with that. I might get the squeegee eventually, but I have a Haan steamer that does an incredible job on the floors.

I did put a few drops of "clean air" into the tank, but didn't really smell it while I was using the vacuum. I probably should have used more. Next time.

The water was pretty black. I should have probably emptied and refilled halfway through. Next time.

I may replace some parts on the powerhead, motor included. It just doesn't sound very healthy. I'm also curious to try the aftermarket agitator with all bristles. I may also need to adjust the gasket on the bottom plate. The old one was dried out and crumbled when it went through the dishwasher. I had put some closed-cell foam back in its place, but might not have it seated exactly where it needs to be.

I may also at some point get the larger water basin. But that's low on the priority list. More stuff to store. I still haven't figured out where this one is going to live. All of those hoses and wants.. It's a lot to keep in one place. I need the hanger to mount on the back of a door.

The collection is getting pretty full -- I'm going to have to part way with some machines soon... Just not enough room for all of them!

Post# 190004 , Reply# 66   7/15/2012 at 12:39 (2,817 days old) by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

gsheen's profile picture
Fred ,
First off nice work on the rainbow, you have given me the motivation to get one that has been sitting in my shop for ages out and rebuild it.

BTW we use a large Indesit dishwasher to wash all the body partsof the vacuums we work on , however we do use it on heat but I have fitted a new lower temp element into it as the original one got very hot, it never melted anything but would dryout the plastic, especially on lavender colour parts.

If you don't mind me asking what do you do for a living


Post# 190028 , Reply# 67   7/15/2012 at 15:20 (2,816 days old) by williamr1248 (USA)        
Therre Must Be Something in the (Rainbow) water

I just checked the date on mine and it was 392.
Can you imagine that Tom was surpriesed when I bought that new Rainbow back in 1992!!!
I have the Aquamate for my SE that hooks up to the sink. I would not bother with one as mine is a real pain to hook up and use. Also, I never liked or messed with that stupid attachment holder and cord holder. That is just a personel preference.
I do love the squeegee. You need to find a door rack if you keep the SE.
It really simplifies all the storage.

I need to replace the foam seal on my power nozzle too. I did replace the origianl beater bar with the newer style all brush. It does a better job of grooming the carpet but I have tried both the brush and the beater bar and with the sand the beater bar seemed to work just as good.
If I could not get a HOover or my Kirby to pull dirt on my rugs after a year,the Rainbow was doing a good job.
There is not even a close comparison between the old power nozzle and the new design.
Now what ever you do DO NOT TRY THE NEW BLACK RAINBOW or you will want one.
You did a beautiful job.

Post# 190045 , Reply# 68   7/15/2012 at 16:11 (2,816 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        
Long hose

eurekastar's profile picture

I'm curious about the loss of suction and airflow with the longer hose.  I guess it's not significant; otherwise, Rainbow wouldn't offer it. 

Post# 190079 , Reply# 69   7/15/2012 at 18:26 (2,816 days old) by mark40511 (Lexington, KY)        

mark40511's profile picture
I don't think it's significant. I can speak for the 14 foot non electric hose as it wants to inhale everything in its path. I didn't bother buying the longer electric hose since I'm only getting carpets with that and not high places, but I guess the suction loss due to length would be minimal. I do know they also sell a 30 foot hose! Can you believe that? I mean, that's like a central vacuum hose!

Post# 190104 , Reply# 70   7/15/2012 at 22:00 (2,816 days old) by HooverCelebrity ()        
Now what ever you do DO NOT TRY THE NEW BLACK RAINBOW or you

Too late, Rob!  I already want one.  But I'd order mine with the longer hose.  :-)


I'm really itching to get my e-Series up and running now... I need a powerhead and powerhead wand for that one.  It also could use a new set of regular wands and a bare floor tool.


I'm excited to use the SE again! 


To those of you who have one of these, how wet is the gasket supposed to get?  I feel like when I'm done, and empty the machine, that gasket is a little damp.  Not sopping wet, but damp enough.

Post# 190146 , Reply# 71   7/16/2012 at 07:24 (2,816 days old) by countryguy (Astorville, ON, Canada)        

countryguy's profile picture
I don't know about your Rainbow model but on my model D, the gasket is dry after vacuuming. Are you putting too much water in the basin? It should not go over the top of the centre post.


Post# 190151 , Reply# 72   7/16/2012 at 07:40 (2,816 days old) by williamr1248 (USA)        
There musdt be soemthing in the (Rainbow) water

The gasket on my SE always is a little damp after use (not soaked)and has always been that way since it was new. I don't think this is the case with my "d" or the new machine.

Post# 190200 , Reply# 73   7/16/2012 at 16:11 (2,815 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        
Wet gasket

eurekastar's profile picture

I'll have to check that out the next time I use one.

Post# 190227 , Reply# 74   7/16/2012 at 18:48 (2,815 days old) by floor-a-matic (somewhere)        

I meant this AquaMate (the blue one) All you need to do is change the cord & it should work on the older Rainbows like the D4SE & earlier.

U can also get the squeegee blade for it too, to do bare floors.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO floor-a-matic's LINK

Post# 190247 , Reply# 75   7/16/2012 at 20:46 (2,815 days old) by dial-a-nap (Omaha - the home of the TV Dinner)        

dial-a-nap's profile picture
I'm way behind on my V-Land! Very nice restore, Fred!!
I see Rainbows all the time on CL here, but $50 was a great price.

Post# 190273 , Reply# 76   7/16/2012 at 22:40 (2,815 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

eurekastar's profile picture

I vacuumed tonight with a D4 and afterwards checked the gasket.  It was slightly wet on one side.  That made me curious so I latched an empty water basin onto the motor unit and did a visual inspection.  What I found was that the mouth of the water basin doesn't line up perfectly with the gasket.  There's just a little overhang and that's where the gasket was wet. 

Post# 190369 , Reply# 77   7/17/2012 at 16:11 (2,814 days old) by floor-a-matic (somewhere)        

The gasket on my SE is getting brittle & flaking off, so I'm going to need a new one soon. Even with a worn gasket, the SE still has full suction. :)

Post# 190537 , Reply# 78   7/18/2012 at 23:08 (2,813 days old) by HooverCelebrity ()        

Used it again tonight... I needed to unwind after a long day at work.  I'm continually impressed with the constant airflow of this machine.  It's nothing I didn't know about (the fact that Rainbows have great airflow) -- I just haven't really ever used one over any regular length of time before.  It's quiet (which Robert appreciates), and just feels like a quality vacuum when you're using it. 


I put a bit more scent in it tonight (I got a 3 oz bottle of "Fresh Air" to try) -- so we could actually smell it this time.  ;-)


I took it upstairs, to vacuum the carpet.  I had adjusted the gasket on the bottom plate of the powerhead a bit.  It seems to groom the carpet a little better than the other day.  It's still has a little "rattle" to it, and is still a bit on the noisy side.  But I do think it's doing a better job of cleaning than I think it's doing.  That powerhead really does vibrate the floor.


Got Robert to snap a picture of me using it... (with proper Rainbow form, of course!  The machine behind me, hose held in my right hand, coming around my back and letting the tools do the work!)

Post# 190538 , Reply# 79   7/18/2012 at 23:13 (2,813 days old) by HooverCelebrity ()        

Here's the gasket after I was done using the machine.  Not dripping wet, but pretty damp.  I don't think it's anything to worry about.  It dries quickly. 


I do have to say, also -- I'm amazed with how dirty the water is.  It really gets pretty nasty, pretty quickly.  I'll be interested to see if the dirtyness subsides after a few uses. It is kind of a pain to fill up and empty, dump out, rinse, then wipe dry.  But it's also part of the process, so I don't mind it too much.  I like seeing what I pick up, and I like that it's not airborne again when I empty it like there is with a dry bagless machine.  I usually empty those outside. 


Both clips that hold the water pan on are starting to crack.  Something else that i need to order... hopefully that will be it for a while! 

Post# 190539 , Reply# 80   7/18/2012 at 23:23 (2,813 days old) by BriGuy (Wichita, Kansas)        

briguy's profile picture
Thanks again Fred for sharing all your rebuild photos & thoughts on the Rainbow.
I have enjoyed reading your comments & getting to see all the great pics you have taken. It has me thinking that I might need to add a Rainbow to my collection!

I have used one in the past, but have not had alot of experience with them. I guess my biggest "hangup" about them is the perceived hassle I see with filling the water, changing it periodically & emptying & drying it out after every use. But I still think I could get past all of that to enjoy such a nice machine. LOL

Post# 190540 , Reply# 81   7/18/2012 at 23:43 (2,813 days old) by shelly (california)        

My gasket looks pretty much like that too. You look very handsome holding your SE.

Post# 190565 , Reply# 82   7/19/2012 at 06:04 (2,813 days old) by mark40511 (Lexington, KY)        

mark40511's profile picture
I'm pretty sure seeing that wet is normal. My E series has a different gasket type material (almost like a really hard rubber type material) and it's a little wet when I'm done. Glad you're not letting the little extra effort get to you. I'm going to have to look "fresh air scent" up......not sure what it is. Personally, I'm addicted to the essential oil scents.

Post# 190571 , Reply# 83   7/19/2012 at 07:16 (2,813 days old) by williamr1248 (USA)        
There Must Be Something in the(Rainbow) Water

I was looking at your gasket on the SE and it does look much wetter than mine but your gasket my be of a different material or it may just be the angle of the picture.
If you have any trouble with the dolly catching on door sills or area rugs make sure you have a set of wheels located UNDER the hose connection when you set the machine in the dolly. When you lift the hose slightly, it will allow the dolly to roll onto the next surface.
I am still fighting SAND every day from the new walks around the house and it has separated the performance with my different vacuums. I can use the Rainbow first or last and it pulls so much more SAND out of the carpets every day.It took me about 2 months before I really saw the difference when I was doing the Rainbow test but now I DO believe what Ken Bashford told me about constant air flow. After a while you will start getting less carpet fuzz and then you can see all the fine sand and grit it pulls with the constant airflow. If you let the water stand a while when you are finished the sand will drift to the bottom of the basin.

Post# 190576 , Reply# 84   7/19/2012 at 09:05 (2,813 days old) by Blackheart (North Dakota)        
Very nice!

blackheart's profile picture
You did a good job restoring that rainbow. The water in them does get dirty quite quickly as you've discovered by now. It is nice to be able to see the dirt without the flying dust issue though

Post# 190643 , Reply# 85   7/19/2012 at 20:06 (2,812 days old) by floor-a-matic (somewhere)        

Where can I find the latch applique? Are they still available or will I need to buy the plain latches?

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