Thread Number: 40973  /  Tag: 80s/90s Vacuum Cleaners
Hoover Concept One
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Post# 435076   11/15/2020 at 17:55 by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

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(If I made a thread for this machine before, I couldn't find it.)

Got it from an estate sale, marked $50, paid $5, elderly owned, dings and scratches, bag was full, etc, etc.

I completed a mechanical restoration. The back motor bearing was dry and making noise. I replaced both. However, the back bearing is an open roller bearing, which is kind of dumb because this is a machine handling dust - which would easily contaminate the bearing grease? I dunno, that seems like planned obsolescence to me. I replaced it with a SEALED roller bearing JTT-67. It's a bit longer, 7/16" as opposed to the original 3/8". Only a 1/16th bigger. I has careful to make certain the bearing seals would land on a usable part of the motor shaft, since the shaft gets smaller near the bearing. Also, the bearing is pressed into a bakelite housing, and rather fortunately for me, the shoulder meant to hold the bearing in was already broken off. Thus I was able to press in the new, longer bearing past where the old one was supposed to stop. I coated it in threadlock before installing, so it should stay put, and because it has seals, it should stay lubricated!

Has anyone else made this mod?

Also, I wanted to go ahead and replace the brush roll bearings and the two transmission bearings that are the same part as the brushroll bearings. Here's the problem. These bearings were rough and noisy. Well, so are the new ones. You can feel the roughness when you turn them in your hands, I thought maybe - just maybe - they had to be broken in but it doesn't seem like the case. As a result, the vacuum is still very noisy. It sounds like it has bad brushroll bearings. I wonder why lol.

Has this been an issue for anyone else? Is there a better replacement bearing for it?

I also thoroughly went through the transmission. It did not have much power drive effort in the forward 'gear' but had enough in reverse. I basically found that the clutch and disc had too much air gap for the forward 'gear.' While I was in the transmission, I added washers as spacer shims to take up the slack. And it has mostly worked well. I think it could to with a hair more, but the washers would have to be pretty thin. I might use paper or card stock, but really, I think it's good enough so I probably won't take it apart again any time soon.


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Post# 435077 , Reply# 1   11/15/2020 at 18:36 by kirboover (Watertown South Dakota)        
I have had better luck...

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Not ordering from amazon. It is usually better to order from a machine parts website or go to a local bearing shop. Try the link below


Post# 435078 , Reply# 2   11/15/2020 at 18:47 by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

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Actually, the JTT-67 hasn't been a problem at all. It's the brushroll bearings. Hoover part number 43267002. Though to be fair, I bought those from amazon :/

I just took apart one of the old ones. I really don't see a problem beyond old grease. Nothing that explains the roughness I'm feeling. I'm guessing they're just worn, but that doesn't excuse the new ones.

Post# 435092 , Reply# 3   11/16/2020 at 08:20 by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

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I remember your other thread, when I read open bearing my jaw dropped. I have one which I enjoy, but boy they are loud

Post# 435095 , Reply# 4   11/16/2020 at 09:24 by huskyvacs (Indiana)        

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Not planned obsolescence. The Concept One and a lot of Hoovers of this era are anti-obsolescence. Ever gotten ahold of the first Dial A Matic With Power Drive yet? That vacuum no joke outweighs a Kirby in sheer bulk alone!

The bearing was likely left open on purpose (these are called open type bearings by the way and are used in many applications), and my guess was to counteract heat issues and keep it from failing quickly, like an air cooled bearing. In open type bearings, the balls are exposed, so there is less friction on them from the bearing shield and they spin faster at a much higher RPM. The dust getting in there is likely minimal enough that it negates the risk. You would have to ask the designer. There is always a reason for everything in every design.

Post# 435142 , Reply# 5   11/17/2020 at 02:36 by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

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@huskyvacs - I'm sure there was a reason. But as always, one of those reasons could very well be to increase sales of parts or service. I get the feeling that if this were not a mighty Hoover, you'd agree >_>

@suckolux - That's interesting, I wonder if they are simply just loud machines. They do have a lot of moving parts. To be totally fair, it's not a ball bearing with an open race, it's a needle bearing, so the opening to the world is very small. Still, it's a dust machine. And when I removed that bearing on mine, it was bone dry. Anyway, I've rectified that design flaw, you could always mod yours when the time comes.


Anyhow, I've found a ball bearing very similar to the oddball Hoover bearings. I'm gonna try using those as replacements. I worry that they might need to take a little too much thrust force in the transmission, which ball bearings are generally not meant for, but they're like $1 each, so if they get ruined it's no biggie.

Post# 435211 , Reply# 6   11/19/2020 at 01:58 by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

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I got my bearings rather quickly. They are regular ball bearings, not the specialized Hoover bearings. The part number is 1602-ZZ. They are the same inner bore diameter and outer diameter, but not as thick. I used a stack of four 1/4" washers to take up the slack. I was able to immediately tell the difference in the brushroll. The new replacement bearings I had installed previously were rough, and you could hold the end of the brushroll in your hand and twist it and feel the roughness. You could even feel it just by holding the bearing between your fingers. Which is a shame, I guess they are not OEM bearings, but they are still new and shouldn't be... crap. Besides, all four of the original bearings felt the same. Well, three, one of them was completely shot.

With the new regular ball bearings installed, the brushroll is super smooth. I also replaced the two identical bearings on the outer ends of the transmission input shaft. I had some trouble with that, as the dimensions must be just slightly different. With the nuts tightened down, the shaft became stuck. I thought I could find a very thin washer to put on the shaft, to space the bearing up the shaft a bit, but could not find a washer that was small enough in diameter not to interfere with the spring washer that provides thrust for the bearing. Interestingly, my transmission only had one such spring washer (the brushroll has two). I found the solution was to simply remove the spring washer, and that loosened it up just perfectly.

For anyone else attempting this, note that you will have to make the appropriate thrust adjustment as needed, because I doubt these were built to a tight tolerance. In fact, the surface finish quality on the transmission case is garbage.

I wasn't able to run the machine tonight, I finished while everyone in the house was asleep, so. However I am seeing some roughness in the motor as well. I'll have to check that out too. But later, I don't much feel like taking it apart right now.

I was thinking these bearings wouldn't take the thrust forces, but now that I think about it, there really isn't any thrust force. Just a tiny bit from those spring washers.

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Post# 435216 , Reply# 7   11/19/2020 at 09:28 by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        
That "Quadraflex"

gottahaveahoove's profile picture
is a great thing.
Imagine: LED lights, Hepa bags, Quadraflex brushroll, Windtunnel,30' cord, on board tools.
Yikes, what a machine that would be. Taking the best from all the others.
THAT'S Mr. Potato Head at it's best.

Post# 435238 , Reply# 8   11/19/2020 at 13:15 by Ultralux88 (Denver, Colorado)        

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I love me a good Hoover Concept, this green was the first that I personally got to use, but the blue one will always be my favorite, just because itís blue. Not just because it matches my gloves...

I havenít even tried replacing the bearings in the motor, but have always assumed it could be done if needed, how smooth is this thing running now??

Post# 435241 , Reply# 9   11/19/2020 at 13:20 by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        
Another reason to have gloves in every color................

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to go with your Hoovers.
As the great Jackie Kennedy said while shopping, "I'll take this, in every color".
Jackie knew....................

Post# 435245 , Reply# 10   11/19/2020 at 14:02 by Electroluxxxx (Somewhere out there)        

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Other than that Mrs. Kennedy, how was the parade?!

Post# 435273 , Reply# 11   11/20/2020 at 03:22 by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

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You know, I ran it for a while, and I can tell the brushroll sound is gone - though I can only tell with a good ear on the wind-down - but the motor is still kind of rough. I almost want to say it's the brushes. It kind of sounds like the brushes got put in backwards, not that they were, or even could be. I'll take it apart sometime soon. My sunday's already filled, so I'm not sure when.

Still, I'm very pleased with how smooth the brushroll and transmission are now. If I can manage to lick the motor sound, this should be a very smooth machine.

Post# 435274 , Reply# 12   11/20/2020 at 08:59 by electroluxxxx (Somewhere out there)        

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@ madman
I do know that roller bearings aren't the smoothest of bearings, so there is a possibility that it could just be the way it is. Is it arcing at all? If you feel the brushes are the issue and were put in differently when you reassembled it, the only way to reseat them without a stone would be to just run the machine and let them wear in. I do know though having several concepts, they were never the smoothest running machine to begin with.

Post# 435288 , Reply# 13   11/20/2020 at 16:39 by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

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For me, the sound is more of a loud droning, buzzing. All three I have tried.

Post# 435472 , Reply# 14   11/26/2020 at 02:25 by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

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I tore it down again - ugh - I took the brushes out and turned the motor by hand while listening to the bearings with a mechanic's stethoscope. Aggravatingly, the front ball bearing was rough. I drilled the rivets and replaced it... again. Good thing I had those in stock. But, there is still a roughness in the back roller bearing, when you put some radial force on it. Which, you know, this thing has two stretchy belts putting tons of radial force on it all the time.

I think electroluxxxx is right, roller bearings are just not smooth. It's a brand new bearing, it was not dry, and it's a Koyo bearing, not a cheapie like the other one.

Also, irritatingly, the way the brush holders are designed, the commutator is always sort of turning against the grain, which makes noise on its own. Add to that the noisy bearing, and tons of moving parts, and I suppose it's just a noisy machine and that's that.

I also balanced the fan blade, it's all chewed up. Didn't take much to get it right. I found that I had installed it wrong. I had three washers under it, it was supposed to be two under it and one on top, under the nut. Don't know how I messed that up. But still, it wasn't rubbing or anything.

Incidentally, I inspected one of those brushroll bearings a little closer. I want to say it's got rust pitting, but the reality of it is that it looks like it was either not machined to any tolerance or just not machined at all. It almost looks like it was cast or hot formed... I'm not sure what to call it. But it's evidently not machined with the same precision as you'd expect for a ball bearing.

Post# 435507 , Reply# 15   11/26/2020 at 17:08 by Lesinutah (Utah)        

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That machine just doesn't want to work correctly. At least you realize everything and what is going wrong. You will get it eventually. Good thing you have patience.

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