Thread Number: 37760  /  Tag: 80s/90s Vacuum Cleaners
New Member, new Kirby Generation 3 owner
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Post# 402609   12/14/2018 at 22:38 (530 days old) by Ah2692 ( USA)        

Hello everyone. My names Andrew. I've been interested in vacuums since I was 4 years old. Only then though I could name some of the brands like Dirt Devil, Hoover, Eureka, Rainbow, etc. However once I started school I was made fun of for it by kids and by adults. I decides to focus my attention to another hobby. Now in my 20s, 26 to be exact, my once childish hobby has bloomed into an obsession almost.

My collection is relatively small, consisting of 11 machines.
3 Hoover Convertibles
My first one is a u4119 with no tools
The second is one for parts after an unfortunate teardown and rebuild that went wrong
The third Convertible is a u4171 thrift store find.
Hoover Sprint with tools
Hoover Encore Supreme w/o tools
Hoover Elite Energy Efficient with tools
Hoover Dimension with all tools intact
Dirt Devil Featherlite from the 90s (dark green in color, not the light blue model from the 2000s)
90s Singer Poweramp 6.8 (the forerunner to the Bissell Soft Body which is what I actually had as a kid) which is missing its hose and tools
A Eureka The Boss (not sure of the model but it looks like a "cousin" of the Bissell Soft Body which is why I grabbed it)

Now my 11th and newest model is a Kirby Generation 3. I've never owned a Kirby let alone used one so im totally lost as to owning one. Im hoping there might be some generous people in here who can pass along some advice about the Kirby G3. I've watched some videos but I prefer to hear personal opinions along with videos.

Here's the scoop. I found the poor thing at my job site in a metal container along with the Eureka, Dimension, Singer and the Encore. Managed to rescue them all and now I want to restore the Kirby to make it look new again. I've tested it and it works but I want to do a tear down and rebuild like I have with my Hoovers.

I do believe I have everything that a Kirby G3 could come with. Hose, cleaning tools and I even found a carpet shampooing box at a Goodwill that had every single piece that I would need to use it as a shampooer. It even has a bottle of original Kirby carpet cleaner (used but original.)I can't post pictures right now but will tomorrow so if im missing anything, someone here will let me know.

Anyways, the metal body has lots of spots on it(corrosion of the metal?) I've been told that Mothers Polish from Wal-Mart will clean that up? Im going to wash the outer bag and hopefully I won't lose the logo like I did with my Encore :/

The package also came with some Kirby G Series bags. They say they are for the G4, G5, G Six and Ultimate G. Will they fit on the Kirby G3?

Thats all the questions I have for right now. I do apologize about the rambling. Thanks for reading

Post# 402611 , Reply# 1   12/14/2018 at 23:29 (530 days old) by human (Pines of Carolina)        
Welcome to the Kirby family...

human's profile picture
As you can tell from my avatar photo, I really like Kirbys. That and Electrolux are my two favorite brands. I especially like Kirbys because they're designed to be serviced and rebuilt. Using them isn't that different from other machines although I still haven't gotten terribly good at taking the nozzle off and putting it back. It always takes me a couple of tries, so I usually just pull out an Electrolux canister for hose-oriented tasks. But as an upright, the thing is an absolute beast. I'm pretty sure any bags that fit the G4 through Ultimate G will fit the G3. I've used bags labeled Kirby G3 in my G6 before.

Post# 402617 , Reply# 2   12/15/2018 at 02:11 (530 days old) by huskyvacs (Midwest)        

huskyvacs's profile picture
Welcome to the site! Another 1992'er too! I grew up with both Electrolux canisters, Eurekas, and a Kirby Ultimate G throughout my life, so it's no wonder I became a collector having played with so much variety at a young age.

I think you will love your Kirby, I love mine! Big fan of them (but not their sales methods). Since I became a collector in fall 2017 I made it a point to add more Kirbys to my garage. They are the "only vacuum you ever need" types of vacuums, but sadly people abuse them and ruin them like they are some bagless vac and they get tossed short in their life.

Post# 402621 , Reply# 3   12/15/2018 at 08:28 (530 days old) by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

suckolux's profile picture
Welcome, the folks here can answer anything, trust me! Enjoy the machines and the site here.The bags should work

Post# 402624 , Reply# 4   12/15/2018 at 08:45 (530 days old) by dysonman1 (Rolla, MO)        

dysonman1's profile picture
I bought my G3 brand new in 1991. My collection at home consists of virtually all high-end cleaners (no dirt devils or things like that). I like the really good ones like Filter Queen, Rainbow, Electrolux, Kirby, Miele, Simplicity, etc. As you can see, my G3 is still in excellent shape.

When you rebuild your G3, add the centering spring to the pivot slider. It brings the pivot slide back to center so the machines doesn't run over your foot. Upgrade to the beige suction fan (pretty much unbreakable), and use the HEPA bags in your cleaner (get them from ebay or amazon). Adjust your brush roller so the bristles penetrate about 1/8 inch past the soleplate guard. Use a treaded belt. You can wash your cloth outer bag on delicate cycle (use lots of fabric softener in the rinse so it smells great).

I had a chance to see the new A2 model Kirby a few weeks ago. The saleslady talked and talked about all the unimportant improvements they've made to the Kirby over the past 27 years since I bought mine. One thing she didn't mention was the lifetime rebuild warranty. For $199 I can send my G3 back to Kirby and have it rebuilt as many times as I want as long as I'm alive. The factory rebuild service is available to any original Kirby owner for their entire life. You should never have to buy a new Kirby ever - as they will do all the updates during the rebuild at the Factory in Cleveland. Since she was unwilling to sell me a new Avalir 2 for $199 (the cost of rebuilding mine), I declined her low-ball offer of $550 for the new Avalir 2 with my G3 as a trade-in. She started the pricing at $2000. Say "no" and the price falls.

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Post# 402626 , Reply# 5   12/15/2018 at 08:54 (530 days old) by rugsucker (Elizabethton TN)        

Where is Camden TN?I an near Johnson City TN with a vac store that must be emptied as I have a new vac store/book store location.If you can make the easy drive you might find most any vac or part that might be on your Christmas list.Most prices might be from $0.00 to $20.00.There is MUCH Kirby(50s-90s)&accessories,MUCH Hoover including Convertibles(& hoses),Constellation,Futura & MORE & MORE!!I have little time for this but can always help anyone who drives up fill a car or van or truck or SEMI!

Post# 402654 , Reply# 6   12/15/2018 at 19:17 (529 days old) by hmc1981 (St. Augustine, Florida)        

hmc1981's profile picture
Focusing on restoration, the Mothers works very well, but you sometimes need extra elbow grease and sometimes a wheel buffer. 0000 steel wool can be super helpful as well. Once you post some pictures, it’ll be easier to see what you are dealing with. Again, welcome! Email me if you have any questions:

Post# 402762 , Reply# 7   12/17/2018 at 17:28 (527 days old) by Ah2692 ( USA)        

Thanks for the warm welcome everyone.Sorry it took so long to upload my pics. I had to get the Kirby out of my storage space so I could take pictures of it. It needs slot of work. But hopefully it's not as bad as I think it is. If anything specific needs to be fixed please let me know
Dysonman1, what so you mean by the centering spring to the pivot slider?
Also, I have reason to believe that the power assist drive is not working. Any ideas how to check that? Also, any good tips how to clean the metal and plastic?

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Post# 402763 , Reply# 8   12/17/2018 at 17:41 (527 days old) by huskyvacs (Midwest)        

huskyvacs's profile picture
Oooh, lots of mold stains and surface rust, that poor Kirby.

Post# 402776 , Reply# 9   12/17/2018 at 20:03 (527 days old) by Ah2692 ( USA)        

I sure hope that I am able to save it and make it look new again :/ the bag just came out of the wash on a gentle cycle and the logo partially faded away. Double:/ I have no idea what the best way to get the mold off is

Post# 402791 , Reply# 10   12/18/2018 at 02:31 (527 days old) by scudo (uk)        

...........” Anyways, the metal body has lots of spots on it(corrosion of the metal?) I've been told that Mothers Polish from Wal-Mart will clean that up?”…………….

If polish doesn’t get the corrosion marks out don’t be afraid to use wet & dry grit, I had some deep scratches on one I was tiding up for a friend, I started with 400 wet & dry and worked up from 400, 800, 1000, 1500, 2500 then I used auto-sol aluminium polish and finished this on a buffing wheel. You can see the results.

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Post# 402795 , Reply# 11   12/18/2018 at 08:16 (527 days old) by Louvac (A)        
Some Kirby Tips

Hi Andrew!


Any time I wash a Kirby bag (and they can be washed successfully) I wash them in COLD water which helps to reduce pilling. I learned this from a fabric store. Use gentle cycle and put it through a second rinse. I personally would not recommend using fabric softener because it is designed to remain in the fibers of the material thus relaxing the material. This causes it to become limp. It will also reduce the airflow, as well. Once you remove it from the washer or wash tub, reshape it with your hands and let it air dry. Again, I would not recommend putting it into the dryer.

You will be surprised how clean they turn out. And, many times the crispness to the fabric is restored to some degree. Also, the zippers seem to come back to life, too!

You can remove the mold off of most of the vinyl or plastic components by soaking in Clorox Clean UP which will help whiten/brighten or soaking them in hot water with an automatic dishwasher detergent like Cascasde.

Another thing that can be used in the outer cloth bag is those small bridal sachet bags with the draw string. These can be bought in wally world, too. Take a small cotton round makeup remover pad (also inexpensive at wally world world) and put some aromatic oil of your choice on it. Put the round cotton pad into the sachet bag and hang that inside the cloth bag alongside of the fill tube support strap hook. The idea is that the oil pad or even a scent tablet in the sachet bag (in the bag) will not just get buried in the dirt and eventually lose its effectiveness.

Something else with Kirby G3 is the cords all discolor as though they were victims of cigarette smoke. I was once told that it is inherent in the material of the vinyl cord jacket that caused this. I don't know much more about this.

Lastly, for now, is that the bag of the G3 appears to be larger than its successors. I have been told this is not true but you can be the judge.

Post# 402802 , Reply# 12   12/18/2018 at 09:31 (527 days old) by kirbyklekter (Concord,Ca.)        
Andrew, Welcome! Another little trick I learned

from a Nike shoe salesman is when you're ready to air dry your tennis shoes, or vacuum bag in your case is to stuff it with crumpled newspaper, or similar to puff it out to shape while it dries. You could use anything like hand towels, dish towels, anything clean and dry will help restore it to it's normal state. No, the ink from newspaper won't transfer to the bag! Good luck with the restoration, also consider putting a final coat of car polish on the metal after you've got it as shiny as you want just to slow down future oxidation! Bill

Post# 402803 , Reply# 13   12/18/2018 at 09:32 (527 days old) by kirbyklekter (Concord,Ca.)        
Andrew, Welcome! Another little trick I learned

from a Nike shoe salesman is when you're ready to air dry your tennis shoes, or vacuum bag in your case is to stuff it with crumpled newspaper, or similar to puff it out to shape while it dries. You could use anything like hand towels, dish towels, anything clean and dry will help restore it to it's normal state. No, the ink from newspaper won't transfer to the bag! Good luck with the restoration, also consider putting a final coat of car polish on the metal after you've got it as shiny as you want just to slow down future oxidation! Bill

Post# 402849 , Reply# 14   12/19/2018 at 15:23 (526 days old) by kloveland (Tulsa, OK)        
Even though..

kloveland's profile picture
I like the looks of the G3.. White was one of the worst colors because it faded overtime. Especially the cords for some reason. If you pull a G3 out of a smokers home it will be discolored.

Post# 402850 , Reply# 15   12/19/2018 at 18:00 (525 days old) by Ah2692 ( USA)        

She lives!!!
This little thing got a bath today and got cleaned up real well. I haven't polished yet but will be doing so soon.

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Post# 402855 , Reply# 16   12/19/2018 at 20:49 (525 days old) by human (Pines of Carolina)        

human's profile picture
The G3 is cleaning up nicely. Another suggestion for the aluminum body is Barkeeper's Friend. It's a minimally abrasive scouring powder (much more gentle than Comet or Ajax) that will take the oxidation right off. I have a G5 that looked like it was made out of lead and Barkeeper's Friend, followed up with Mother's gave it a nice satin sheen. It wasn't exactly the original mirrorlike finish, but it was definitely good for a couple of hours' work.

Post# 402944 , Reply# 17   12/22/2018 at 09:08 (523 days old) by Ah2692 ( USA)        

Thanks for all the help everyone. The G3 not only looks better but performs wonderfully. Im surprised even the transmission works remarkably well. Without it I noticed this thing is heavy to push and pull around. I can't wait for my floor to get really dirty so I can really see how it does. Happy vacuuming!

Post# 402949 , Reply# 18   12/22/2018 at 12:16 (523 days old) by human (Pines of Carolina)        

human's profile picture
Yes, the Tech Drive is amazing in how it makes that behemoth move like it weighs nothing. I actually used the machine's bulk to my advantage at a thrift store one time when I saw a nice G6 with all its accessories but couldn't immediately decide whether to spend the $50 for it. Just for pure bedevilment, I parked it with the Tech Drive pedal in the 'D' position, which of course made it next to impossible to move. I came back a couple of hours later to find a couple looking at it. The wife experimentally pushed it back and forth and said to her husband, "I can't use this thing; it's way too heavy!" and they moved off to examine some plasticrap Dirt Devils. Without giving them a chance to reconsider, I swooped in, clicked the pedal to 'N' and headed for the checkout. On my way there, an employee who had been watching the couple and me grinned and said "You knew exactly what you wanted, didn't you?" I just grinned and nodded. Like my earlier G6 dumpster rescue, the machine just needed a bag and a belt and was good to go.

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