Thread Number: 38971  /  Tag: 50s/60s/70s Vacuum Cleaners
Kirby Handle Spring
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Post# 413665   9/10/2019 at 17:51 by Kirbyrama (Pennsylvania)        

I have a 519 model Kirby on which the handle spring mechanism just gave way. The handle with the added weight of the bag falls back so loosely now. Well I guess that is to be expected of a 60-year-old vacuum cleaner.
Should I purchase the somewhat expensive spring winder tool , or a new handle spring assembly. I would prefer if that could be purchased already assembled, so I would just take off the outer motor unit housing and remove the damaged handle spring assembly and just screw in the new one. Can this component be sold as completely assembled?

Post# 413666 , Reply# 1   9/10/2019 at 18:05 by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

kirbyclassiciii's profile picture

Until recently, I encountered the same thing with that on my 1984 Kirby Heritage II... but an identical motor shell housing was found that had a good handle fork spring assembly (including the yoke) and the handle assembly no longer leans (falls) toward the bottom.

To disassemble the handle fork spring assembly, you will need to buy or rent a T123 spring winding tool (for models 516 to Legend II). If getting a new assembly is more convenient, here's one with all the necessary parts...


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Post# 413667 , Reply# 2   9/10/2019 at 19:11 by aaron158 (Canada)        

id say just order the part that KirbyClassic linked but rather then waste $50 buying the tool for winding it that u will only use once take the part and your machine into a small local vac shop they will probably have the tool on hand and will probably put the new one on for you for not a lot of money.

Post# 413668 , Reply# 3   9/10/2019 at 19:20 by kirbyvacuum (Long Island New York)        
Handle Spring

A friend of nine worked as a repairman for Kirby He Hated that repair not easy

Post# 413670 , Reply# 4   9/10/2019 at 19:25 by a007kirbyman (--->> Originally My Mom <<--- (now Wisconsin))        
Kirby Handle Spring & (Louis) kirbyrama...

a007kirbyman's profile picture
Hello Louis,

If you think you're going to be doing more than one (1) Kirby handle spring in the near future, then I suggest getting the tool to do so. If you're 'allergic' to screwdrivers & such, find someone to do it for you. ~lol~

I've had customers ship their "repairs needed" parts to me, & it's been less cost than if they had it done in their locale. And, that's with the shipping.

"Kiby" does not make a 'kit' per se for repairing handle springs, let alone one being pre-assembled; however, that said, there are those of us who have put together a 'kit' of the parts to use to replace with all new in the various models. Total of all parts included in the 'kit' for your model is under $15.00; & they're GENUINE OEM Kirby! ~lol~

It may take less than a 'kit' of parts for an actual repair, always your (meaning the customer's) choice, with me.

Depending on how (who) it's shipped with, it would be approximately $8~$12 each way shipping/postage.

I have repairs shipped to me such as (& including) this one being discussed.

Quick story:

~~~~~ I have one customer who relocated to North Carolina. When she told me she was moving, I said to call me when you get there, with your 'details' & I will check with my contact(s) at Kirby, to find your closest full-service Factory Authorized Service Center, & she said, & I quote:

"Thank you, but no! NO ONE else but you will work on my Kirby. ;-)) We vacation &/or will come back to see family, so I will pack the Kirby, & bring it along with, for you to work on it."

[[ If I get ran over by a a road roller (see photo)today or tomorrow, she might have to do things differently then. ]] ~lol~

She has done this multiple times over the years, whether it's a Tune-up or other repair. Bring it in when she arrives, pick it up then before she leaves. :-))

Louis, if you have further questions about this or other Kirby questions, shoot me an email & I will provide you all of my contact info. And, if you are after Kirby parts, keep me in mind next time as a source for your Genuine Kirby wants & needs. I'm sure I will be able to save you substantially.

I carry only Genuine Kirby parts.

Cheers & hagn/d all,



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Post# 413672 , Reply# 5   9/10/2019 at 19:49 by texaskirbyguy (Plano, TX)        

If you have good mechanical reasoning skills and a pretty strong wrist, it is possible to wind these with a stout pair of needlenose pliers. Having a helper can allow you to use both hands, reducing the strength needed.
However, if this sounds beyond your desires, take the part and vac to a shop who can do it quickly for cheaper than the tool.

Post# 413673 , Reply# 6   9/10/2019 at 20:15 by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

kirbyclassiciii's profile picture

Have you seen this video by Hank yet? This could really help you!


Post# 413675 , Reply# 7   9/11/2019 at 07:00 by Rowdy141 (Biryani)        

The purpose-made Winding Tool is not going to be a complete waste of money, if you sell it soon afterwards.
It'll just do the rounds again and again on eBay.
Or hire it out to contacts on here? Under Super-Market.

Post# 413701 , Reply# 8   9/11/2019 at 23:28 by Lesinutah (Utah)        

lesinutah's profile picture
If you have a vise. It would work. If anyone has take struts off a car understand the vise The theory. I have the tool new in package. I tried older Kirby my 510. I mailed to Kent oyler and he installed it for me.
Ive done 2 d50 d80 I used clamps and vise grips.
I have also switched out one from parts machine. The switch was the easiest to do. Not everyone has a parts machine.
Send it to bill.
Is it true you have 18" Kirby brush roll?.
Email or call m.

Post# 413733 , Reply# 9   9/12/2019 at 18:03 by bikerray (Middle Earth)        

bikerray's profile picture
Be glad it's a 519 they're fairly easy.
If you want real fun try replacing the spring on a 1C through 515, I've done several of these.

Post# 413769 , Reply# 10   9/13/2019 at 20:55 by Lesinutah (Utah)        

lesinutah's profile picture
The spring is easy. Like bikerray the early 500 are purely a pain in my arse. I believe one and a half full rotations and lots of hurt knuckles and just as many swear words.

Post# 414235 , Reply# 11   9/24/2019 at 21:07 by Kirbyrama (Pennsylvania)        

This may seem like a silly question, but is it really possible to rent a Kirby spring wonder tool? I recently ordered a handle spring assembly for my 519 model and would like to attempt to install it my self.

Post# 414237 , Reply# 12   9/24/2019 at 22:19 by rivstg1 (colorado springs)        

rivstg1's profile picture
let us all know if you find it, I've never heard of that being possible or enough of a 'market' there for a shop or whomever, to even advertise that option.

Post# 414255 , Reply# 13   9/25/2019 at 19:02 by texaskirbyguy (Plano, TX)        

You can rent one yourself.

First, go buy the cheapest tool you can find, preferably used (check online).
Second, use it all you need.
Last, sell it for, say 1/2 or more of what you paid for it (depending on what you paid for it).

If you can find a used one cheap enough, you might be able to recoup the cost completely, or even more.

Example, I had bought a cheap used 8hp branch chipper for 150, used it a lot and sold it for 250 the next year. I even sharpened the blades for them.

Post# 414267 , Reply# 14   9/26/2019 at 02:16 by rivstg1 (colorado springs)        

rivstg1's profile picture
very good idea!!!!! clever

Post# 414268 , Reply# 15   9/26/2019 at 03:59 by Rowdy141 (Biryani)        

Excellent idea !!!!

Wish I'd have thought of that.

You could sell it afterwards on eBay, or
Advertise it here under Super-Market.

Post# 414320 , Reply# 16   9/27/2019 at 18:45 by texaskirbyguy (Plano, TX)        

Uh, actually you DID think of that back in your 9-11 post. I did not even see that until now. Your idea, just like renting!

Post# 414332 , Reply# 17   9/27/2019 at 22:09 by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

madman's profile picture
inb4 there's one tool that keeps changing hands around here.

Post# 414624 , Reply# 18   10/5/2019 at 12:52 by Kirbyrama (Pennsylvania)        

I had ordered the Kirby handle spring kit . It was a bi#%& to assemble. Even watching a YouTube video did not help very much. After wasting about 3 hours; I found out that the handle yoke is too wide, and when I used the spring winder tool that I also ordered, the whole mechanism did not work as should . The handle bolt will not even insert all the way. It appears to me that the handle spring assemblies are not exactly the same throughout more than three decades of models. For a 519 model that I have; the pieces would be more compatible with Heritage models. Unfortunately , I may have to send all of this back to where I have ordered it and order a shell housing which this is an included feature.
I remember thirty years ago when my parents'519 Kirby had the same problem. The repairman told me that this was a difficult repair and that replacing the outer shell housing with handle spring would be easier. So that is what my dad decided to do--- have the housing replaced.

Post# 414640 , Reply# 19   10/5/2019 at 16:46 by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

kirbyclassiciii's profile picture
What you really need is part no. 137067, not 137073, as your handle fork spring. Also, 137556 was the original spring yoke, but that hadn't been made for years now.


Post# 414654 , Reply# 20   10/6/2019 at 01:30 by Lesinutah (Utah)        
Pot que

lesinutah's profile picture
If you take handle spring off. You take inner tubing plastic slider handle, lever and circular housing and the spring goes in very easy.
The 505 to 512 are the biggest pain.
I have armature tool to hold armature still when taking off the fan. I have the bearing puller. The bearing installer and spring tool for 500 series handle springs.
There all sub pat shorty tools.

Post# 415078 , Reply# 21   10/19/2019 at 16:14 by Kirbyrama (Pennsylvania)        

I have just had the handle spring assembly replaced. When this is brand new; is it normal for the handle bolt to be quite difficult to push in and pull out? I had to use a rubber mallet to fully insert it. Can the bolt or the inside of the tube where it inserts be lubricated? Any suggestions?

Post# 415079 , Reply# 22   10/19/2019 at 17:15 by Lesinutah (Utah)        

lesinutah's profile picture
It is difficult to move. It had 30 plus years wear on it. You can get a little oil but it won't do much good.

Post# 415085 , Reply# 23   10/19/2019 at 17:55 by Kirbyrama (Pennsylvania)        

Thanks Les.

Post# 415098 , Reply# 24   10/20/2019 at 11:16 by Kirbyrama (Pennsylvania)        

So, I would guess that like a new shoe, it would have to break in. It would take general wear and tear for the pin to be more easily inserted and pulled out.

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