Thread Number: 40843  /  Tag: Pre-1950 Vacuum Cleaners
Kirby 505,508 motors
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Post# 433911   10/21/2020 at 20:14 by Hoover300 (Central Kentucky)        

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I had my 505 and 508 apart(no pics unfortunately) and noticed that the motors are very different. Both seem to be original, as they have "47" and "48" stamped on the rotors, respectively. They do not interchange, and the 508 one seems way beefier. It also has a larger cooling fan.
Neither have plates, as they are both rebuilds. Was this a factory thing, or a weirdly done motor swap?

Post# 433915 , Reply# 1   10/21/2020 at 21:21 by johnnyb59c (13240 n 3980 rd dewey oklahoma)        

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hard to tell without pics. seems to me the they changed the motor design some starting with 508 and going to 514. the armature on 508-513 or 514 armature still had this skinny "star" shaped cooling fan. I'm guessing they started making the motors a little bigger starting with the 508. I know one thing that the 505 still had a bakelite cover coming off the bottom of the switch characteristic of the old "c" series and the 508 didnt

Post# 433916 , Reply# 2   10/21/2020 at 21:34 by johnnyb59c (13240 n 3980 rd dewey oklahoma)        
here a pic of 508-514 ive seen

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this is a pic out of a service manual I have showing bent cooling fan

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Post# 433919 , Reply# 3   10/21/2020 at 21:45 by Hoover300 (Central Kentucky)        

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That is exactly what the 505 one looks like, the 508 has a thicker cooling fan that is less star shaped, and the whole rotor piece is thicker and stubbier. i should have pics soon as I need to put my 508 back together, which involves taking the bearing back from the 505.

Post# 433921 , Reply# 4   10/21/2020 at 21:59 by johnnyb59c (13240 n 3980 rd dewey oklahoma)        

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like this?

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Post# 433924 , Reply# 5   10/21/2020 at 22:06 by Hoover300 (Central Kentucky)        

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YES exactly the one

Post# 433927 , Reply# 6   10/21/2020 at 22:13 by johnnyb59c (13240 n 3980 rd dewey oklahoma)        

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i've seen a lot like that and a lot like the smaller cooling fan. i'm guessing they replaced it on your 508 with a larger cooling fan when they would rebuild. i think it make sense. the new style cooling fan would mean better airflow inside motor housing for better cooling maybe

Post# 433928 , Reply# 7   10/21/2020 at 22:19 by johnnyb59c (13240 n 3980 rd dewey oklahoma)        
i'm guessing

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when they changed to the larger fan in the 516 they also replaced with larger fan on the earlier ones too( this repair manual is so fun to look at! its how i figured out some of the tips and tricks-however mine only covers 505-1CR

Post# 433929 , Reply# 8   10/21/2020 at 22:22 by Hoover300 (Central Kentucky)        

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Makes sense to me, but the thing is, the field has a larger opening for the rotor, and the rotor is much thicker and stubbier than the 505. Says 48 on it too

Post# 433930 , Reply# 9   10/21/2020 at 22:37 by johnnyb59c (13240 n 3980 rd dewey oklahoma)        

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maybe the field coil was also replaced? my only guess. because my book says parts 505-515 are same. somethin' strange in this neighborhood...this is an overhaul book afterall so maybe the the later 505s were different and you have an earlier one? as far as i know they DID produce the 505 for 3 years skipping 506 and 507

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Post# 433931 , Reply# 10   10/21/2020 at 22:44 by Hoover300 (Central Kentucky)        

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My 505 is a 47, and has the regular 3 amp motor in it. In the page you just posted, the armature in it is exactly like the 508. Compare it and the 505 pic, there is a big difference. I will have to post some comparison pics soon of the two together.

Post# 433932 , Reply# 11   10/21/2020 at 23:08 by johnnyb59c (13240 n 3980 rd dewey oklahoma)        

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I have noticed on the 505s i've worked on had a round hole where the switch goes but the one in the parts pic has a larger square hole. i have a 514 and it does seem a little different

Post# 433940 , Reply# 12   10/22/2020 at 01:07 by johnnyb59c (13240 n 3980 rd dewey oklahoma)        
just a thought

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do the front bearing plates look the same on both?

Post# 433943 , Reply# 13   10/22/2020 at 03:07 by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

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I have a Dual Sanitronic 80 and a Classic 1CR, therefore, I would like to ask you this question: may I please have you scan or take pictures of the appropriate pages from your service manual covering these two machines (including the parts diagrams themselves)?

I am most interested in the parts diagram and list for both the 1CR and the D50 & 80 as well as the service procedures for models D50 & 80, since I already have a revised version of the 1CR service procedures (updated in 1974). In addition, I would like to see what the wiring diagram for models D50 & 80 looks like, please (a picture of my D80 wiring setup will be attached for proof).

Thank you,


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This post was last edited 10/22/2020 at 03:30
Post# 433954 , Reply# 14   10/22/2020 at 10:45 by texaskirbyguy (Plano, TX)        

Your 505 has the original 3A motor with the longer, skinny armature windings. Your 508 has the later 4A motor in it with fatter, shorter armature windings.

Somewhere back in time Kirby discontinued the 3A motor and intended any bad 3A motors to be replaced with 4A motors (both field and armature). Therefore the parts book you have reflects that and that is by you see the same motor in all 5xx units.

I still have the original 3A motor in my 505 - has a unique sound to it.
My resto thread shows the 3A rotor in picture in reply #5.

Post# 433960 , Reply# 15   10/22/2020 at 14:25 by johnnyb59c (13240 n 3980 rd dewey oklahoma)        
pics from years ago

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i will try to find the old manual and photograph new pics. you say service procedures you need help with? I've always done it the way my uncle taught me without the manual

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Post# 433961 , Reply# 16   10/22/2020 at 14:30 by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

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Yep, those are the ones I wanted... thank you!

Yes, as to the D50/80 service procedure pages. And if I see that right, that print date says June 1972. That is exactly how old my Classic 1CR is.

More trivia: the very first Classic 1CRs produced in early 1970 had the exact same fan case (120065S) and front axle (131656S) as the D50/80, only the two front wheel screws were different in that they were longer (10-32 x 3/4" long) to accommodate the new wider front wheels.


This post was last edited 10/22/2020 at 14:51
Post# 433969 , Reply# 17   10/22/2020 at 17:11 by johnnyb59c (13240 n 3980 rd dewey oklahoma)        
I like Kirbys

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whats your favorite model? whats your oldest model?

Post# 433974 , Reply# 18   10/22/2020 at 17:30 by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

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Favorite models? My 1969 D80, 1972 Classic 1CR, 1979 Tradition 3CB or 1984 Heritage II.

The first machine I mention is the oldest model in my Kirby collection.


Post# 433978 , Reply# 19   10/22/2020 at 18:15 by Hoover300 (Central Kentucky)        

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The bigger one says "48" on it, hard to tell in the pics

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Post# 433979 , Reply# 20   10/22/2020 at 18:43 by johnnyb59c (13240 n 3980 rd dewey oklahoma)        

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that 47 one kinda resembles the one from my 1C

Post# 433982 , Reply# 21   10/22/2020 at 19:40 by johnnyb59c (13240 n 3980 rd dewey oklahoma)        
my oldest and fave Kirby

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that would have to be the 1C which I also cleaned up and buffed in '05 then 2 years ago did a complete tear down, rewire, ground, sanded, buffed, and cleaned the pre-historic grease and dirt build up from the insides. I don't know why I didnt paint the handle rod and buff the aluminum handle parts. the 1st pic is from '01 right after a mysterious box showed up on my porch containing a 1C, 2C,super j Electrolux and Compact probably 10 years old at the time with not much use. I was dumber back in the early '90s and traded a 1C and 2C (both in very rough shape) for a rebuilt omega because it was like the one mom and dad had when i was born. kinda spooky these were the 2 I had traded in and we had moved to a new house since then. how did they get my new address?!they had left oklahoma not long after I got the omega. I wish I had some more before pics from '05. thats before I had my first digital camera. 2 years ago I got over 100 before pics so I'd know exactly to a "T" how it came apart.

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Post# 433990 , Reply# 22   10/22/2020 at 22:39 by Lesinutah (Utah)        

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Could you take a close up of your bag on The 1c. I now have one pretty good condition not polished yet. It came with classic wheels and cord. I have wheels and the cord for it. I'm not restoring it yet. I have a GE straight suction and a royal straight suction I want to do first.
Do you by chance have the manual for the 1c?
The model c through 513 are the same 3 amp motors.
The 505 to 513 motor has a different fan than model c's. The motor housing changed and belt lifter.

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Post# 433996 , Reply# 23   10/23/2020 at 00:01 by johnnyb59c (13240 n 3980 rd dewey oklahoma)        

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man I sure miss my GE model 69. just like that but the bag I had was from the next model. I'd like to have another 69 someday. I knew how old it was but I asked my late uncle several years ago and he said(jokingly) "I think thats what they used to clean up Al Capone's house with"

heres the 1C pics. I wish I had the manual but I only have the one for my 2C. my the bag on my 1C and 2C look similar but only difference in the 2 is the one on my 2C is corduroy and the one on my 1C is quite a bit thinner and has a kind of herringbone pattern. I'd like to make a new one for the 1C but I can't find the exact pattern fabric. the last pic is a closeup of the fabric with a penny showing how narrow the lines are so I could do an exhaustive search online for the exact. close but no cigar. also after about 83 years the bag color has faded a bit

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Post# 433997 , Reply# 24   10/23/2020 at 00:08 by johnnyb59c (13240 n 3980 rd dewey oklahoma)        

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I found all the 315 pics i took of disassembling cleaning and reassembling!

Post# 434192 , Reply# 25   10/25/2020 at 17:07 by johnnyb59c (13240 n 3980 rd dewey oklahoma)        

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I might be able to get you some black wheels too

Post# 434193 , Reply# 26   10/25/2020 at 17:11 by Lesinutah (Utah)        

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Dude u have a vacuette,1C,2C parts for 508s etc.
Where are you finding these machines nobody has.

Post# 434198 , Reply# 27   10/25/2020 at 17:33 by johnnyb59c (13240 n 3980 rd dewey oklahoma)        
I not know

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used ro just be lucky before internet I guess

Post# 434202 , Reply# 28   10/25/2020 at 18:03 by johnnyb59c (13240 n 3980 rd dewey oklahoma)        

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one of my 1C's I got from David Watters back in '96(RIP Dave)

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