Thread Number: 18434
Panasonic vacuum motors
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Post# 202633   10/3/2012 at 14:35 (2,735 days old) by Durango159 (State College, PA)        

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I'm hearing mixed reviews on Panasonic/ Kenmore canister motors.

Panasonics have been recommended by several vacuum shops and many of their machines are in the $300+ range to include Kenmore.

Now I am hearing news that their motors are single stage so they only last 4-5 years. Hate to break the news to some but MANY vacuums are single stage. My Hoover PowerMax canisters I believe are single stage and our oldest is going strong at 15 years old, granted the carbon brushes could use replacement.

I also know that Panasonics exhaust system is weird as there is no real grate for air to escape through after passing through the "HEPA" claimed filter. Therefore much of the exhaust goes out through cord and other crevices.

So I am posting this thread for more input and ACTUAL EXPERIENCES with these machines. Also are the motors Lamb, Ametek or Panasonic? Power nozzles for Kenmore/ Panasonic vacuums are produced by Cen-Tec systems. Who produces those motors and are they good?

If Panasonic/ Kenmore canisters are no good, is there any semi-decently built power head canister vacuum on the market for under $600, since I know some don't like Hoover, and the new S3670 hose isn't very flexible. Shame to those who don't like Hoover--how do you sleep!!!! JK!!

Thank you very much to all.

Post# 202635 , Reply# 1   10/3/2012 at 14:44 (2,735 days old) by Durango159 (State College, PA)        

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The above vacuum is Panasonic MC-CG902. It is based off the original Kenmore Progressive canister. I've seen this vacuum with 2 different hose handles.

The below vacuum is Panasonic MC-CG917. Power head is the same as above, the suction unit is a different design but I do not know about the motor.

Post# 202638 , Reply# 2   10/3/2012 at 14:46 (2,735 days old) by Durango159 (State College, PA)        

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This model is Panasonic MC-CG983. I believe it is very similar to the above black and green MC-CG917. I am quite honestly unsure of the differences between the 2, I have done as much research to that extent yet. Despite the picture I believe this unit does come with a turbo hand tool.

This is the model that my local vacuum shop sells.

Post# 202641 , Reply# 3   10/3/2012 at 14:54 (2,735 days old) by mark40511 (Lexington, KY)        

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Well - I've never had an issue with the motors - I've had three.........Then again, what usually goes first is the connections so I didn't have them long enough for the motor to go bad......The first one I had for two years of everyday use and then gave it to my dad. He told me a few months later than it caught on fire while he was vacuuming.....It was the exact model pictured above bought in 2004, the burgundy one.

Post# 202668 , Reply# 4   10/3/2012 at 16:08 (2,734 days old) by Durango159 (State College, PA)        

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Well a fire is not a good thing at all. Did he take care of it with filters, etc.?? I don't remember the MC-CG902 being available on the market in 2004. In 2004, Panasonic would have had the red square based canister MC-V9644 I believe. Mark, is the vacuum below that you're talking about? Also in 2004 Panasonic had a teal blue MC-V9638, slightly stripped down model from the red unit below.

Post# 202670 , Reply# 5   10/3/2012 at 16:58 (2,734 days old) by mark40511 (Lexington, KY)        

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The burgundy one pictured above was purchased in 2004, but it was a Kenmore..It looked identical to the one pictured, only where it says Panasonic, it said Kenmore. I know this because I wanted a brand new vacuum when I moved into the new house in 2004, so that's the one I got. I LOVED that vacuum ......I wondered if my dad changed bags, filters and he said he did, but who knows.......I late got another one and same thing went wrong with the connections.....about 2 to 2.5 years.....

Post# 202671 , Reply# 6   10/3/2012 at 17:02 (2,734 days old) by mark40511 (Lexington, KY)        

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This is what the one I bought in 2004 looked like. Sorry for spelling errors above.


Post# 202674 , Reply# 7   10/3/2012 at 17:40 (2,734 days old) by fan-of-fans (USA)        

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My mom has two 1999 Kenmore Whispertones, and both are going strong with the original motor. They look like the squarer canister pictured above. I took one apart earlier this year to clean the motor compartment and foam exhaust filter and it appears to be an Ametek/Lamb motor, but a single staged one. The PN motor is a Lamb/Ametek as well. One of the PN motors still works great, the other has worn brushes apparently as it no longer works with the belt attached and runs and shoots sparks with it removed.

I also have a cheapo model from about 2005 that Kenmore called the sky blue that was one model above the BOL Guacamole. I mainly bought it for parts, and it had been heavily used and without a bag! I took it apart and found a very small single stage motor that seemed to have an M logo on it. I assume that means it's made by Matsushita. I've heard of some of these canisters having "Sip Cinderson Ltd" branded motors.

I don't know what kind of motor my new red Progressive has, but it has a more high pitched sound than the older ones I've used, so I assume it spins faster and is single staged.

The model MC-CG983 above looks like it could be based on the Kenmore Intuition.
I think Panasonic/Kenmore had used single stage motors in lower end models since the late 90s if not earlier. I am guessing dual stage motors are not used in any model they sell anymore, but I don't know. I would think the earlier Progressives of the late 90s/early 00s, based on the model pictured at top would be dual stage.

Post# 202680 , Reply# 8   10/3/2012 at 19:43 (2,734 days old) by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

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I bought the top-rated Kenmore Progressive ("Elegance" in Canada) power nozzle canister in 2001. I bought the more deluxe version with the telescopic wand and 7-foot hose. I think it is Model 27210 if I am not mistaken.

I took very good care of the vac - used only genuine Kenmore bags and filters and replaced these regularly. I always watched the red "bag full" light to see if I was ever straining the motor - especially when using the crevice tool. The vac was not abused in any way and up until 6 years ago when I gave it to my parents, it was used in my little bachelor apartment with very little traffic and a medium pile carpet.

Suddenly, about three years after bringing it home, while doing some light dusting of my bookshelves with the suction valve open all the way, I heard a "pop" and the vac stopped and smoke started emanating from all the cracks in the machine! I was shocked! I was even more shocked to learn that I could not just take the vac to my local Sears store to have it repaired as in the old days! I was instructed to take it to the central parts and repair depot myself! I decided to take it to my local vacuum shop which seemed to be a Panasonic dealer and for $150 they replaced the motor with a new one. Cheaper than buying a new Kenmore, I figured!

It's been fine ever since, but I will always have second thoughts about buying a Kenmore because of what happened...

Post# 202693 , Reply# 9   10/3/2012 at 21:42 (2,734 days old) by vacu-finder ()        
Panasonic MC-CG902

I don't know much about the newer ones, but my guess is the motors are inferior to the older ones. They seem to last for years, like i mean we have the old Green one 20 years old never been apart. Runs like a clock, same goes for the power nozzle..

Post# 202720 , Reply# 10   10/4/2012 at 09:42 (2,734 days old) by rugsucker (Elizabethton TN)        
Sears canisters

Sears has been and still is a good choice for average customer needing a canister in low to medium price ranges.However what you have heard about motor changes,quality and life span is VERY TRUE!The red style in reply 4 above would have been the 'great' one.The later models are only the'good'ones.There can be many problem areas with only a fraction of the use the older ones would stand up to.One small example is the rear power nozzle wheels that will wobble and fall off with relatively low miles.The more deluxe versions will have more problem areas.The Sears is good but to understand true quality you should compare with most of the Electrolux,Filter Queen and Tri Star type models.This is also where a used quality vac can be better (and cheaper) than a new shopping mall vac.

Post# 203275 , Reply# 11   10/9/2012 at 18:02 (2,728 days old) by sanitaire (anchorage, alaska)        

most vacuum motors are made my amtek lamb. both residental and commerical. I have both styles of vacs in my collection. most motors the brushes will start too go and then the bearings. there's a new company on the market called domel...herd good things about there motors.

Post# 203282 , Reply# 12   10/9/2012 at 19:13 (2,728 days old) by kirbylux77 (Orillia, Ontario, Canada)        

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Colin: No offense, but you do realize there are motors out there that are ENTIRELY disposable....right? Meaning NOTHING can be fixed on them, even carbon brushes. And there's a LOT more companies out there that make motors....Lindhaus (Rotafil), Miele, GS Electric, Ametek, Panasonic, Sip Cinderson, Samsung, YDK....the list goes on & on.

As far as Domel goes....they're a cheap Slovenian-made Ametek copy. I would rather shell out a few bucks more & get a better made Ametek motor for my vacuums.


Post# 203354 , Reply# 13   10/10/2012 at 08:01 (2,728 days old) by bvac6 (Fort Wayne, Indiana)        
Panasonic Motors

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I havent owned a lot of panasonics, I had an older jet flo commercial model that was red, I recall that its motor was made by matsushita electric. The only thing I didnt like about there design was the seemingly excessive use of motor insulation. I would assume that its to dull the loudness of the motor. In my expirience it results in holding to much heat in, resulting in premature failure. I owned an eighties domestic jet flo and I removed all that insullation and it worked flawlessly, ended up selling it to my sister and shes still using it.

Post# 203429 , Reply# 14   10/10/2012 at 22:41 (2,727 days old) by Durango159 (State College, PA)        

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Very interesting thought you have bvac6!! I'll have to open up a Panasonic again sometime soon and see how much insulation and stuff is in there.

One of my worries with them, is that if you look at where the exhaust filters are on the canisters, and then the filter door--there is no grate for the air to easily escape out of. The air has to fight to escape through seems in plastic and the cord reel opening to escape. In my mind that is a big flaw and could be leading to premature wear.

Post# 203469 , Reply# 15   10/11/2012 at 13:38 (2,727 days old) by bvac6 (Fort Wayne, Indiana)        
Motor Wear

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Yes it would, for a motor to breathe properly and vent heat it would need a better openng than trying to find its own. Heck, I would recommend taking a drill or something and making openings in the filter cover if you plan on keeping the machine for longevity. Glad you appreciated my suggestion, happy to help!

Post# 206652 , Reply# 16   11/13/2012 at 16:11 (2,693 days old) by floor-a-matic (somewhere)        

Even my TriStar EXL has a "disposable" motor, is this true?

If so, I'll have to fit a REAL Ametek motor & SUPERCHARGE the EXL!

btw, I just found a TriStar MG2 on the curb, & the bag & even the hose was fully packed with dirt.

Post# 259615 , Reply# 17   12/15/2013 at 15:47 (2,296 days old) by director12 ()        

I don't know much about Kenmore motors.

Post# 259959 , Reply# 18   12/18/2013 at 00:10 (2,294 days old) by gmerkt (Edmonds WA)        

I've worked on many Kenmore canisters made 1990-present and the size of the motor has shrunk several times during that period. Generally, smaller devices that are required to work harder to accomplish the same work wear out more quickly than more robust parts. Bearings do go bad on these machines (of all vintages) and they become screamers. Once in a while, a commutator flies apart but in general, they use fairly reliable motors that have long lives.

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