Thread Number: 36450  /  Tag: 50s/60s/70s Vacuum Cleaners
New Kirby!
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Post# 390606   4/17/2018 at 11:23 (189 days old) by Hoover300 (Kentucky)        

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A few days ago I won a Kirby off Ebay for a total of $35. I did not know if it worked or what model it was. 2 days ago received it in the mail. It turns out it is a Kirby 515 that was factory rebuilt in 1965. It had the ORIGINAL FAN and ORIGINAL CORD, which I will be splicing the ends onto a different cord as 80% of the cord was crumbling, hence the electrical tape. Today I took some steel wool to it, although it still needs to be oiled because when I turn the fan shaft, it does not turn smoothly. I won't test it until then. Thanks for looking, I will post pictures tomorrow.


Post# 390610 , Reply# 1   4/17/2018 at 13:33 (188 days old) by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

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Great score!

The 515 was not only the first Kirby to feature the ten-blade impeller fan that would last up through the 3CB Tradition, it was also the last Kirby to use the 1930s-style motor design.

It also was, at the tail end of its run, the first Kirby to have gray wheels and red attachments.


Post# 390613 , Reply# 2   4/17/2018 at 13:41 (188 days old) by Crazykirbydude (Lexington, KY)        

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Post# 390629 , Reply# 3   4/17/2018 at 21:12 (188 days old) by texaskirbyguy (Plano, TX)        

Congrats on a great deal! Given the age of this machine, and the fact that the shaft does not turn freely, I would replace the front and rear bearings. Oiling will not help much as the grease in them has hardened. Besides, in order to oil them you would need to tear it all down anyway - might as well replace. Then you can clean the internals, inspect for any other issues, and do a super polishing job. It will then be ready for regular use for many more years. The original Kirby bearings for this model are available from kirbyneeds on ebay. Both will cost you around $20-25, but they will add so much more life and value back to the machine.

Post# 390674 , Reply# 4   4/18/2018 at 15:54 (187 days old) by Lesinutah (Utah)        

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Hey you can post ebay link for pics.

Post# 390684 , Reply# 5   4/18/2018 at 19:02 (187 days old) by Hoover300 (Kentucky)        

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Will post pics when everything is done.

Post# 390685 , Reply# 6   4/18/2018 at 19:33 (187 days old) by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

kirbyclassiciii's profile picture

I can see your 515 actually has the original gray wheels that were first used very late in production (replacing the old-style black Vulcanite wheels)!

As to buying replacement motor bearings, they are:
1155 - rear bearing
1160 - front bearing


Post# 390686 , Reply# 7   4/18/2018 at 20:28 (187 days old) by Lesinutah (Utah)        

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Nice vacuum you got great deal.

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