Thread Number: 41008  /  Tag: 50s/60s/70s Vacuum Cleaners
How to safely get stubborn fancase off of Sanitronic VII?
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Post# 435350   11/22/2020 at 23:14 by superocd (PNW US)        

Shortly after I came across a circa 2006 Sanitaire System_Pro upright, fate landed me a Sanitronic 7, cast aside on the curb on trash day (what a shame). It runs well from what I could tell but of course will need to be polished and shined up, that is after I thoroughly clean and disinfect it. I've restored five Kirby machines of varying ages (oldest a DS50 and the newest an Avalir) and I've been able to separate the fancase with relative ease. However, on this S7, it does not want to separate. I've tried running a razor blade around the fancase to no avail. Tried tapping on it with a rubber mallet -- nope. Borrowed my wife's hairdryer to heat up whatever adhesive, if any -- nada. I don't want to stress the aluminum by being forceful with a screwdriver.

I will say that this machine looks like it was serviced through the years by a Kirby dealer (as evidenced by the sticker on the handle, and a sticker of a different Kirby dealer on the emptor). A peek through the motor casing (after the outer shell has come off) reveals what looks like a brand new (or at least newer) bearing plate, so I'm guessing it had been serviced recently. Since I found this on the curb, I have no history of the life of this Kirby.

What do vacuum shops typically use to seal fancases? How do I separate the fancase without causing damage?

Post# 435351 , Reply# 1   11/22/2020 at 23:47 by Lesinutah (Utah)        
Fan case

lesinutah's profile picture
Are you talking about front fan case or the back fan case.
The 3 or 4 screws in the motor housing shell and popping off switch button. That will take the motor housing. This will give you access to the screws you weren't aware of because the motor housing was covering it.
If no avail get a heavy screwdriver and an rubber mallet. Where exhaust hole is put screw driver in the hole on front casing. Give it a pop or. Two.
Sealing it use atv silicone for it. V

Post# 435353 , Reply# 2   11/22/2020 at 23:57 by superocd (PNW US)        
I've got the outer motor shell off

It's just the inner motor shell. I did a once over around the motor/fan case to look for any screw I may have forgotten to remove, but I've got them all. Seems like the fancase was super glued to the unit, but I have no proof of that, lol.

Post# 435354 , Reply# 3   11/23/2020 at 04:07 by vacuser (milford,ohio)        
gan case stuck

vacuser's profile picture
use a thin blade screwdriver & mallet & work around the will break free.

Post# 435362 , Reply# 4   11/23/2020 at 12:56 by kirbyklekter (Concord,Ca.)        
Yeah there's no telling

what somebody else used as a gasket. I've opened up at least 30 Kirby's and I've seen what appeared to be everything from contact cement, rubber cement,plastic modeling cement,Forma-gasket,cork gasket,J.B.Weld,and just about any glue that was peg hooked in a hardware store, and more. \

I had a few that wouldn't budge no matter what I tried.You won't find what worked for me in any service manuals. I resorted to using a hack saw on just a little section of the fan housing, just enough to separate a space to get a screw driver or strong putty knife in between the two halves, about half an inch length of area, not deep! A utility knife might work to cut in some where so you can pry it open.

You might want to tape it off if you have to involve tools that could scratch the area your trying to break through. Good luck. It can be done!

Post# 435368 , Reply# 5   11/23/2020 at 22:13 by Lesinutah (Utah)        

lesinutah's profile picture
Could be applied to the gasket area. If you have a heat gun it would make quick work. I don't mean open flame just enough to loosen it up.

Post# 435371 , Reply# 6   11/23/2020 at 22:57 by kirbyklekter (Concord,Ca.)        

Like a hair dryer 2000 watt?

Post# 435373 , Reply# 7   11/23/2020 at 23:02 by kirbyklekter (Concord,Ca.)        
Retrackting that last question

heat gun would be the way to go, thanks Les.

Post# 435389 , Reply# 8   11/24/2020 at 13:12 by Lesinutah (Utah)        

lesinutah's profile picture
A half dryer would work.
There's a million ways to skin a cat is the old saying.
Hopefully you can get it.

Post# 435412 , Reply# 9   11/24/2020 at 16:59 by huskyvacs (Indiana)        

huskyvacs's profile picture
and just be careful to gently heat and check pliability of the housing, don't want to melt the plastic. Those heat guns can get incredibly hot very fast.

I'm betting the refurbisher used some kind of sealant to bond it together to make an airtight seal.

Post# 435433 , Reply# 10   11/25/2020 at 01:07 by electrolux137 (Land O Plenty USA)        


1. Get a hammer.


2. Smack the crap out of the fan case.


3. Behold! It's off!!


4. hahaha!!

Post# 435436 , Reply# 11   11/25/2020 at 03:27 by superocd (PNW US)        
A few intrepid taps with the hammer

on the casing around the area where the foot pedal adjuster would go did the trick. Didn't see any evidence of any glue or adhesive around the edges on the fan case by the way, which was really strange. It seemed like it was cemented together.

On to soaking the fancase/metal fan, polishing the casing and vacuuming out the motor/swabbing the parts of the motor with an alcohol wipe to sanitize. The carbon brushes still have quite a bit of life left in them and the bearings seem smooth. In fact, the bearing plate looks newer, so the front bearing must have been replaced at some point. I wonder why this machine was set out on trash day? A power-up and quick test in my garage revealed no problems.

I have the bag soaking (it's not the original Sanitronic VII bag but a tan Kirby bag nonetheless) It's in OK condition though we will see if the stains come out and there is a small hole at the top rear -- if it cleans up I'll use this bag and patch the hole, otherwise I'll just store it away and order a new generic tan bag -- I won't throw it away, perhaps I'll run across someone who isn't so picky and give it to them. In either case, I am going to convert the outer bag to facilitate a disposable bag like I did with my Dual Sanitronic by going to a dry cleaner and have them add a zipper to my bag, and putting in a fill tube/bag adapter.

The headlight trim and wheels (wheels are black) have seen better days so they're getting replaced. There's some scuffing on the furniture guard on the nozzle but it seems salvageable. The Sanitronic bag topper is in top notch condition, as is the handle grip. Looks like this is mostly a cosmetic restore.

Post# 435508 , Reply# 12   11/26/2020 at 17:20 by Lesinutah (Utah)        

lesinutah's profile picture
You should post some pics.
The wheels available from kirby are sirocco/tan and would match the vacuum topper. If you spray a cleaner on the bumper and use a mr. Clean magic eraser or a S.O.S. brillo pad will take the scuffs off. When the trim dries if you use a car interior cleaner like Armor-all or Mageiars it will hydrate the trim.
The bag if you turn it inside out and use super glue and pinch the bag together. This fixes most holes. I had 2 cigarette holes (I'm not a smoker) on my rear seats in my corolla. I used this super glue method and no more holes.

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