Thread Number: 38932  /  Tag: 80s/90s Vacuum Cleaners
Kirby Tadition Wiring
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Post# 413323   9/3/2019 at 09:28 (307 days old) by JimP (New Jersey USA)        

Hi all. I'm new here.
I just restored / rebuilt my mom's old Kirby Tradition. I disassembled the unit down to it's basic parts and replaced the armature bearings, motor brushes, foot switch, drive belt, brush roll, floor plate and all gaskets and O-rings. I also polished her up the best I could.
Anyway, during the teardown the white headlight wire came undone and I can't figure it's proper install spot.
The headlight is a 12v bulb, but everywhere I try the wire installed I'm getting 120v at the bulb socket. I'm miffed. Help please.

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Post# 413329 , Reply# 1   9/3/2019 at 10:02 (307 days old) by crazykirbydude (Lexington, KY)        

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Someone put the wrong bulb in there. AFAIK, there is supposed to be 120VAC coming from the headlight socket.

Post# 413330 , Reply# 2   9/3/2019 at 10:16 (307 days old) by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

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Parts breakdowns for you...


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Post# 413331 , Reply# 3   9/3/2019 at 10:47 (307 days old) by JimP (New Jersey USA)        

Ok, thanks guys.
So the white wire from the headlight harness should go to the "hot" constant black wire on the switch or the "neutral" white switched part of the foot switch? I'm sick of taking the motor cover off. I hope that makes sense.
Thanks again,

Post# 413332 , Reply# 4   9/3/2019 at 11:26 (307 days old) by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

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I wonder if all of these may help you too? The third one should really help you.


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Post# 413334 , Reply# 5   9/3/2019 at 11:29 (307 days old) by JimP (New Jersey USA)        

That's the schematic I was hoping to find.
Thanks for all your help everyone. The vacuum works fantastic since the rebuild but my wife keeps complaining about the headlight.

Post# 413335 , Reply# 6   9/3/2019 at 11:31 (307 days old) by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

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You're welcome!


Post# 413336 , Reply# 7   9/3/2019 at 12:16 (306 days old) by Rowdy141 (Biryani)        

If you can find KiWi Blue Shoe Polishing Cream, the one for scuffed kid's shoes, it works wonders on those Brushroll-head Bumpers. Their polishes for scuffed shoes have a stronger dye/pigment content than regular polishes.

KiWi stopped selling blue here in the UK, but you might be able to source some where you are.

I suppose Leather Dye in the right shade of Blue would do? Follwed-up with paste wax. But I haven't tried that yet.

I first use Autosol Chrome Polish (Mother's Mag) to gently remove the paint scuffs, outer layer of dirt, scratches, and rough brittle oxidation. Then the blue KiWi polish works really well. I guess it also slows down future UV damage.

Post# 413337 , Reply# 8   9/3/2019 at 12:40 (306 days old) by JimP (New Jersey USA)        

Thanks for the info on the Kiwi. I'm not worrying about aesthetics too much at this point. I just didn't want my wife to have to use a beat up looking vacuum.
We've been using the Tradition as our daily vacuum for a few weeks now since my Riccar broke down, and it's growing on us. I noticed the dust level in my house has dropped tremendously since we started using the Kirby. Who woulda thunk?

Post# 413339 , Reply# 9   9/3/2019 at 14:34 (306 days old) by Rowdy141 (Biryani)        

I agree. My Tradition out-performs anything I've owned before.

The general consensus seems to be that the Fill-Tube is too narrow. Personally, I disagree. The Fill-Tube is wider than the Hose, and Traditions stick to the carpet so well you can't push them without relieving some suction. How much more suction could one use? I believe the narrower tube gives the air more force to lift larger particles.

You have a cloth outer bag that's better than most. Try not to wash it. They can instantaneously bleed all their blue colouring so you'll often see them faded and washed-out. You cannot dye them. It wasn't dyed in the conventional, permanent way - more like an impregnated coloured powder. Later bags are okay to wash, but original Tradition bags were unique.

Post# 413352 , Reply# 10   9/3/2019 at 20:57 (306 days old) by aaron158 (Canada)        

the white wire for the light goes into the hole on the very bottom of the power switch he whole next to that is the black wire that goes inside to the motor and at top of the switch u plug in the wire that goes to the carbon brush on the top of the motor.

Post# 413387 , Reply# 11   9/4/2019 at 19:17 (305 days old) by Lesinutah (Utah)        

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The wires from headlight are power and neutral. Black and white it is wired directly to the switch. B,W,G the switch will have a power and ground wire from the field coil. The light and coil are wired directly to the switch. The wiring harness or safety switch I can't explain other than hi speed low speed neutral and ground. They follow no similarities.
The headlight is always direct to switch. The bulb is a single bayonet.

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