Thread Number: 36106  /  Tag: 50s/60s/70s Vacuum Cleaners
Hoover Constellation 86
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Post# 387137   3/3/2018 at 20:02 (206 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

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After electrolux137 recently posted about his Constellation collection, it inspired me to dig into mine to see what makes it tick. I've had this Model 86 for several years and turn it on occasionally but that's about it. So this afternoon, I took it apart and gave it a once over. For a 60 year old vacuum, it's in amazing shape!

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Post# 387138 , Reply# 1   3/3/2018 at 20:04 (206 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

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I love its simple, straightforward design. It is so much better than today's over-engineered vacuums.

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Post# 387139 , Reply# 2   3/3/2018 at 20:06 (206 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

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I can't imagine that these machines ever saw too many service calls unless the owner abused the vacuum.

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Post# 387140 , Reply# 3   3/3/2018 at 20:10 (206 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

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The only modification I made was to replace the rotted bag seal gasket with this. It came from an Electrolux aftermarket motor. I think it does a much better job of providing a seal to the bag.

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Post# 387141 , Reply# 4   3/3/2018 at 20:13 (206 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

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So all in all, I think the Hoover Constellation is an excellent machine!

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Post# 387158 , Reply# 5   3/3/2018 at 22:05 (206 days old) by vacuumkid47 (Sibley, IA)        
Very nice machine!

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Mine is abused lol. I got mine from a guy who gets junk stuff and I get vacuums from him to part off. This was one and the other was a sears kenmore magicord. Mine has a broken handle, rusted outer and inner body (due to the guy leaving it in the bed of his pickup OUTSIDE) but, it still purrs beautifully and with a new bag, I just need a new hose as the other was trashed.

Post# 387159 , Reply# 6   3/3/2018 at 22:19 (206 days old) by kenkart (Mocksville, NC)        
I have

Many of them, and they are a great design, from the very first to the last one , high quality!

Post# 387162 , Reply# 7   3/3/2018 at 22:51 (206 days old) by Real1shep (Walla Walla, WA)        

I have three pumpkin colored units.....the best pulls 65" of water......nothing mind boggling. I've made that seal real supple, I've been through the motors and I can't get better than 65".....adequate.


Adequate that is, until you possess the retro Connie as well. All the weaknesses of the original are addressed in this one. Over 80" of water and that big HEPA bag keeps the flow going to the bitter end. I love this one and the tools are quality, unlike a lot of modern Hoovers. Some designers spend a lot of time thinking about this unit before reissuing. Too bad they didn't go with an electric PN....I don't get along with the 'turbo nozzle'.


Curiously, the Euro models of the original Connies had a 'diffuser' pad to catch the carbon dust from the motor. The US models had naught.


A lot of customers let the secondary filter on the original fail and/or took it off. The motor was therfore subject to a lot of dust grit.....causing many to fail. If they maintained that filter though,  the motors trudged on seemingly forever.



Post# 392496 , Reply# 8   5/29/2018 at 17:42 by jason60 (Lichfield staffordshire)        
Biggest improvement to your hoover constellation

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Hoover constellations floated quite well on carpet if maintained well. However, they did not float as well on uncarpeted areas like tiled floors without scraping along the floor surfaces, especially if not 100% flat. Not many floors are that flat. But not any more, how would you feel if you can make your "constellation" float on any hard floor, even concrete!!!
Now with just a simple addition to your Connie, you can make it perform like a hovercraft. Using the constellation skirt as a template, mark a circle on some felt, cut out the circle of felt and using some double sided sticky tape apply to the underside of the skirt. Making sure that the felt overhangs on the inside of the metal skirt about 1cm or 1/2 inch or so. This traps the air from the exhaust.
Now try in on any hard floor area, and I can quarantee it will float away on its own accord. Doesnt matter if its on tiles with grooves, or floor boards with cracks, its not enough to allow the air to escape. Not even if you constellation skirt is a little "bent up", makes no difference. I did this 2 years ago on my constellation 862 (british) 1962 model and it performs just as well as the Hoover "satellite" or better. Amaaazing!!!!!
Once converted like this to run on hard floors, the hoover then will not or course float on carpet unless the felt is removed as the cloth felt grabs the carpet like velcrose. But hey, why not have just one "constellation" when you can have two, three or four!!!!


Post# 392500 , Reply# 9   5/29/2018 at 20:57 by Seijun (Portland, OR)        

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Where can I get a rubber gasket like that? The foam one on my machine is also very disintegrated.

Post# 392526 , Reply# 10   5/30/2018 at 16:30 by jason60 (Lichfield staffordshire)        
Rubber bag seal collars

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I think you mean "Rubber bag seal collars", I purchased 5 recently over here for very little money. Before that I did find companies in america where they still made them but did they not post to the UK. If you google Rubber bag seal collars for sale and go to images, they do come up. It took me a long time to find the correct name for them and wondered why I got no joy.

Post# 392535 , Reply# 11   5/30/2018 at 18:41 by bikerray (Middle Earth)        

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Those bag seals are listed as Hoover Constellation Bag Seal, they're about $2. You can also get them as the seal on the pvc pipe in the Electrolux replacement motor kit, it takes up the gap between the new motor and the bag chamber.

As a replacement for the premotor filter I cut up a HEPA cloth bag to fit.

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Post# 392582 , Reply# 12   5/31/2018 at 13:56 by fan-of-fans (USA)        

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Good idea. I need to make a new filter for mine. I threw the old one away because it smelled bad.

Post# 393482 , Reply# 13   6/18/2018 at 17:22 by jason60 (Lichfield staffordshire)        
diffuser filter, motor filter and motors

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The diffuser filters were added to the European "connies" in the late 60s namely model 670s. The major downside was they tended to restrict airflow coming out of the exhaust, thus reducing its capacity to float. which went against the whole of idea of what the "connie" was about.
protecting the motor from dust is important, they can tolerate some dust but not large debri, be careful what you use, restricting the airflow with layers of hepa filters over the grill does not help floatation and can make your motor work hard, save the hepa to be used as dustbags as they have a larger surface area to suck air through. You only need to use a piece of felt or similar material that minimises air restriction.
Connie motors last a long time, mainly due to the fact that they were situated upright putting very little pressure on the top and bottom bearings. the long cylinder vacuums mounted motors lying on their side, causing them not to fare quite so well. Modern vacuums will of course not last nearly as long as the vintage ones due to less well engineered motor parts.

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