Thread Number: 36746  /  Tag: 80s/90s Vacuum Cleaners
Strange Kirby G5 Issue
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Post# 393150   6/12/2018 at 17:34 by huskyvacs (Northern Indiana)        

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I have a Kirby G5 that I just bought, and it has a really weird issue. The transmission is stuck in neutral, and it won't budge into drive because the lever is rusted solid. However, the transmission is not broken and is working like it should. The wheels move and it goes forward effortlessly...but in neutral. I've never heard of such a thing. There is no clicking or any abnormal noises when pushing it in neutral when off either.

I will be dismantling it later this year hopefully and cleaning the vacuum up, but just was asking now so I know what to look for.

Post# 393153 , Reply# 1   6/12/2018 at 18:35 by rowdy141 (United Kingdom)        

I've just had a Kirby G4 to peices for refurbishment - it should be the same as your G5, or at least similar.

Once the Handle & Casing are removed, the forward/rearward Slide-Mechanism is accessible on top. You have four (silver) Screws holding two V-Plates in which the Bearings and Handle slide back and forth < >

The Slide-Bearings themselves are just right-angled plastic carriers for a series of tiny Rollers. Mine just needed cleaning and lubricating.

It WILL go forward and back in Neutral (fairly) effortlessly. It's just a lot easier with motor-assist.

If your problem is NOT the Slide-Bearing, but within the Clutch mechanism of the Tech-Drive Unit, I can't help you. I imagine it's a nightmare in that complex self-contained unit. Kirby even went as far a putting a Security Seal on it to prevent tampering during warranty.
Online recommendations are to replace the whole Tech-Drive if/when it fails.

Mine had that clicking noise when pulled backwards in Neutral. Luckily it only needed cleaning and greasing of the Gears,Bearing,Cam,Lever - all are clearly visible and accessible. Otherwise it would have indicated a worn Gear, Cam, or Lever.

How do you know your trasmision is working as it should, if you can't switch forward/back?

BTW: I delivered this newly-refurbished, gleaming, perfect, Kirby G4 to my Neice yesterday, but her new house has no carpets! Just a tiny rug in the lounge. No wonder Kirby Salesmen are struggling.

Post# 393155 , Reply# 2   6/12/2018 at 18:58 by huskyvacs (Northern Indiana)        

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I'll have a video up hopefully sometime soon this week, but I mean that with the vacuum in neutral, the transmission is already engaged and it goes on its merry way and works like it would if it was in drive. But the vacuum is in neutral, not in drive. It cannot be switched to drive because the lever is jammed or otherwise rusted.

It should not be engaged and even working at all in neutral. But the cam and gears sound normal and have no issues with slipping or hopping and you wouldn't think anything was wrong with it at all. That's why it's so weird.

Post# 393167 , Reply# 3   6/13/2018 at 08:13 by bikerray (Middle Earth)        

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Have you checked the neutral drive cam lever to see if it's worn down to a nub?

Choice number 2 is that the cam on the neutral drive pedal has slipped on the splines and not pushing the cam lever far enough to disengage the clutch from the gear.

Just a thought.

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