Thread Number: 41488  /  Tag: Recent Vacuum Cleaners from past 20 years
Tempted by an Ultimate G Diamond Edition
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Post# 439664   3/11/2021 at 21:03 by human (Pines of Carolina)        

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So I was killing time in an unaccustomed Goodwill store, tonight, waiting for time to go to get my COVID shot at a nearby shopping mall, where FEMA had set up a mass vaccination site and I spotted a well-used Kirby Ultimate G Diamond Edition a full set of accessories, including the carpet shampooer for $50. I couldn't tell much about it because everything was mummified with cling wrap, which I appreciated since it kept all the small pieces from getting scattered all over the place. The one thing I saw that was broken was the little plastic clip at the top of the bag, which was held up with a piece of wire. That was enough for me to leave it sitting there with its $50 price tag. I don't need another project right now and there was nothing in that package that I didn't already have, except for that particular model Kirby. But I've already got four other G series machines so I could easily live without it. I might go back in a day or two when I have more time, see if it's still there and look at more closely. Maybe I'll get lucky and somebody will buy it in the meantime and save me from myself.

Post# 439668 , Reply# 1   3/11/2021 at 22:52 by huskyvacs (Indiana)        

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The clip is nothing. All Kirbys from the G3 to the Avalir 2 use virtually all the same parts. That bag clip is a $6 part. I'm sure you can get it in a vac shop for cheaper. $50 if it comes with all its tools and kit is a great deal. I pay that much for Kirbys on eBay with shipping.

The whole appeal of the Diamond edition it is a 2 speed motor which is beneficial for cleaning throw rugs and other delicate floorcovering materials (like wool rugs). It was the first and the last time they did this because people were too dumb to figure out that the low speed setting was only temporary for short uses, and would leave it on permanently until they blew up the motor. Kirby got tired of losing money replacing entire motor assemblies so they just cancelled the entire vacuum and said "forget it".

The vacuum only was around for less than half a year and then that was it. Also the fact that the only difference between it and the base model Ultimate G was the motor speed toggle, they did not have the best success actually convincing people to shell out $2 grand for it. A new Kirby did not come out again until the Sentria in 2006.

If you have a house with a lot of throw rugs like I do - it's a great vacuum - as normal Kirbys are so powerful they will eat throw rugs whole - no joke. lol Scared me to death when I was a teenager and tried to vacuum the doormat with mine and it sucked the entire rug into the nozzle and then started squealing and smelling like burnt rubber and hair!

It is the exact same as an Ultimate G in every single detail other than the dual speed motor, the "Diamond Edition" decal, and the fact it is somewhat rare.

Post# 439673 , Reply# 2   3/11/2021 at 23:48 by Lesinutah (Utah)        

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Persian rug you rave most vacuums can't vacuum. This with the slower speed switch will clean your persian rug about as good as any vacuum can.
That's the best thing about the vacuum. It's tech drive is really smooth as well.

Post# 439690 , Reply# 3   3/12/2021 at 11:05 by human (Pines of Carolina)        

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That was my feeling. I have an old G5 bag that I took off of my G series bag assembly that I took off of my G5. I'll see if I can salvage the clip off of it to use on this Ultimate G, if I end up getting it.

Post# 439702 , Reply# 4   3/12/2021 at 15:40 by human (Pines of Carolina)        
What the Hell Have I Done?...

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So I couldn't stand it. I went back across town and bought that forlorn looking Kirby. It's sitting on my back deck right now and will find a temporary home down in the barn in a few minutes. I plugged the machine in and it does run and the headlight even works but it's FILTHY and smells faintly of basement or outside shed. There's evidence of extensive contact with carpet powder. The motor spindle has a good layer of surface rust but the belt and brush roll seem to be okay. All of the tools seem to be present except the crevice tool and the large floor brush. I'm pretty sure I have an extra crevice tool but the floor brush may be a bit of a challenge. Oh well, it's not like I use the tools that much. g onto the Diamond G and put the burgundy bag back onto the G5 from whence it came. Interestingly, there was an extra belt around the dusting brush. I got rid of the bailing wire that had replaced the buckle at the top of the bag. It looks like the only way to replace it, unless somebody knows something I dont, is going to be to rip out some stitching, put the new buckle on the strap and re-sew it. That's kind of outside my wheelhouse, so for now, I've just swapped on the worn burgundy G5 bag I had in the barn. I may ultimately swap that back onto the G5 and move the non-diamond Ultimate G. Everything's very dusty so it has likely sat unused for awhile. Cleaning this thing up is going to take some effort and elbow grease, more than just a weekend project. I don't have time to mess with it today but maybe later this weekend.

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Post# 439703 , Reply# 5   3/12/2021 at 16:07 by human (Pines of Carolina)        

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I don't know what happened with the photos in the previous post. There seems to have been a camera card malfunction. Anyway, here are a couple of substitute shots from just before I put everything in the barn.

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Post# 439719 , Reply# 6   3/12/2021 at 19:31 by Lesinutah (Utah)        

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Im not positive what bag it takes but I have a bag that's either a ultimate g, g diamond edition. It's light grey with yellow speckles on the bag.
I got it with a lot of kirby parts. It may take a few days to locate but I'd you want to pay the $8 shipping I'll send it to you.
I'm attaching a ebay pic. I think it's off the ultimate g.

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Post# 439720 , Reply# 7   3/12/2021 at 20:02 by luxflairguy (Wilmington, NC)        

Lucky buy! You got one of the 4 speed Ultimates! Yo have both a high and low speed setting for carpets and the same for attachment use!
The bag is NOT original and are plentiful on fleabay! Remember to use a genuine knurled Kirby belt for best performance! Greg

Post# 439722 , Reply# 8   3/12/2021 at 20:26 by human (Pines of Carolina)        
Ordered a bag clip

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So I did a quick eBay search and found a bag clip for $6 shipped. If that's all I have to buy for this machine, I'll be happy. I'm really not up for another money pit. It's a black one for a G6 or Avalir but that's okay. I've never been too particular about colors matching and it's going to be almost completely hidden, anyway. A gray one would have been closer to $9 with tax so I'm good with what I'm getting. Looking at the photo of the complete clip, there is a split up the middle that allows the strap loop to slide up onto it so that'll be very easy. No sewing required, as I had previously feared. I'm actually relieved because the original diamond-patterned bag assembly is actually in much nicer shape than that ratty G5 bag. It's also surprisingly clean inside, given how dirty everything else is on that machine but I've formulated a theory on that.

I believe the original owner must have used the shampoo system a fair amount and was perhaps in the habit of vacuuming up the shampoo residue before everything was completely dried, so perhaps what I initially thought was carpet powder is actually dried shampoo residue. Still, cleaning this beast is going to require a complete tear down before I even get to the point of polishing it up. I'm going to try to sand the rust off of the spindle before replacing it. I think that will work well enough to get it into acceptable shape. Perhaps If not, the spindles aren't expensive. We'll just have to see. I believe this is shaping up to be a multi-weekend project before it's all said and done.

Oh, and I did find my spare crevice tool. I had stuck it in with some Heritage accessories. It's a darker gray than the tools that came with the Diamond G—it's the G4/Sentria gray—but I'm not really worried about it.

Post# 439723 , Reply# 9   3/12/2021 at 20:52 by human (Pines of Carolina)        

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Les--That bag is for an Ultimate G. It's the same one I put on my G5 'Frankenkirby'. It would work just fine on this machine as well. I'll gladly pay the shipping.

Luxflairguy--Yes, I am aware that bag isn't original. It's the one that came on my G5. I put it on when I got home so it would be functionally complete for testing purposes until such time as I could figure out a more permanent solution. This machine came with its original diamond pattern bag (last photo) but the clip that attaches it to the handle is broken off. It looked like someone had tried unsuccessfully to super glue the clip back together but then resorted to baling wire.

Post# 439729 , Reply# 10   3/12/2021 at 22:21 by vaclab (Pickerington, Ohio)        
The Four Speed Diamond Edition

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Since Kirbys already have two speeds (PN & hose) the Diamond Edition technically has four speeds. I nabbed one back in 2019 and not only did it look like a wreck, it smelled even worse. BUT everything cleaned up nicely.

Post# 439740 , Reply# 11   3/13/2021 at 15:20 by human (Pines of Carolina)        

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That was an interesting series of videos. Your machine was in about the same condition as mine, in some ways better and in some ways worse. Unlike yours, mine has no foul odors, just that earthy smell that comes from sitting in a basement or a damp corner of a garage or maybe a garden shed, coupled with a perfume smell that I first associated with carpet powder but now I've decided is more likely shampoo residue.

Watching all three parts of the video did inspire me to start the cleaning process with the nozzle, which was absolutely gross. I couldn't believe how encrusted it was, which supports my damp carpet theory. The belt lifter hook is very rusty. I've got the screw soaking in WD-40 right now in hopes of being able to take the lifter off and give it some more intensive cleaning. If I can get this machine looking anywhere near as good as yours, I'll be thrilled.

Since I am determined to keep costs down to a minimum on this project, my strategy will be to use parts I have on hand wherever possible, including swapping better parts off of my G5 'Frankenkirby', if need be, unless it would leave that machine in an inoperable condiiton.

Post# 439857 , Reply# 12   3/15/2021 at 22:16 by human (Pines of Carolina)        
It's coming together...

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I was utterly astounded this afternoon to find the bag clip that I had ordered Friday night had been delivered. Miracles never cease. It was super easy to install on the bag. Had I known it was that easy, I might have tried to use the one from the G5 bag but knowing my luck, I would have broken it and then I would have had to order two. It actually took more effort to put the bag topper back into place. It had fallen off when I removed the baling wire.

So at this point, the original bag is back in its rightful place and I have thoroughly cleaned the floor nozzle but have not polished it. The belt was all stretched out when I removed it and the brush roll so I replaced it with the spare one that I found on the dusting brush. At some point in the not-too-distant future, I'll be cleaning the rest of the machine and polishing up the aluminum. I'm going back and forth about replacing the belt lifter hook. The thing looks almost like it's been sitting in seawater. I'd be more apt to go for it if it came with a screw because mine is just as rusty as the hook. Oh well, I can probably find something at Lowe's that would work. I'll post more photos as it progresses.

Post# 439860 , Reply# 13   3/15/2021 at 22:41 by gregvacs28 (U.S.)        

It looks like you got a good deal. I'm sure it will clean up beautifully.

Post# 439959 , Reply# 14   3/18/2021 at 11:59 by human (Pines of Carolina)        
Little Progress...

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So progress on the Diamond G has been almost non-existent due to the rainy weather this week. I don't really have an indoor area to work on vacuums so the deck out back is it and I am thus limited to clear weather and daylight hours.

When I went to put the nozzle back onto the machine the other day, the newly installed belt snapped as soon as I put tension on it. I guess it was old and had gotten hard. The temperature was in the mid-40s and that surely didn't help, either. But it pushed me over the edge about replacing the rusty belt hook. A new one has been ordered and will arrive next week, along with a bushing kit. The hook doesn't appear to include the screw and the end of the one that's on there looks pretty rusty. I guess we'll see just how 'screwed' that screw is when I take things apart to install the new hook. I may have to get a stainless steel one from Lowe's or somewhere.

I'm looking forward to tearing into the heart of the unit once the weather breaks and seeing exactly what I've gotten myself into. The rusty belt spindle is somewhat a cause for concern. I plan to try sanding it first but I recognize that a new fan kit may be needed, parts from which could be shared with my Heritage, which still has a gray Lexan fan.

Post# 440009 , Reply# 15   3/19/2021 at 14:39 by human (Pines of Carolina)        
And so begins the task...

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So I caught a little break in the weather today and decided to pull the Diamond G out onto the deck and tear it down to see just how bad it really is and once I cleaned all the gunk out of it, the thing really isn't all that bad. Once I had it torn down, I still felt a little momentum so I filled up my scrub bucket with water and a healthy dose of Pine-Sol and went to work with a scrub brush. The plastics are all looking great, practically like new, and while the metal parts are still a bit dull looking, they're nice and clean so I can see what's what. I think it'll polish up okay. I cleaned the fan without removing it from the motor unit and it's really in good shape. The belt spindle is looking better but needs some more sanding as there are still some deeply pitted spots but the end where the belt rests is looking nice. I'm still considering buying a fan kit, mainly for the spindle, and using the rest of the kit on my Heritage 1HD at some point down the road. For now, I'm just glad the machine is now thoroughly de-gunked and on the road to back to its former glory.

Post# 440037 , Reply# 16   3/19/2021 at 18:40 by human (Pines of Carolina)        
Cleaned, polished (somewhat) but not quite finished...

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So I decided to do a little polishing after my last post and I ended up getting it looking pretty good. Not perfect, mind you, but not too shabby. The metal has a nice shine to it but there's still some 'freckling'. I used my standby combo of alternating between Nevr Dull wadding and Mother's with the buffing wheel on my cordless drill. I did add one new thing, which was a cheapo scrubbing pad (came in a 10-pack from the Dollar Tree), sort of like a Scotch Brite pad but maybe a third as abrasive. Buffing lightly with that and Mother's took away some of the more stubborn freckling without etching the metal.

I ran into a couple of hiccups putting the thing back together, though. One of the plastic bushings for the headlight hinge was split right in half lengthwise and I tried to glue it back with a hot glue gun, basically to get everything to stick together long enough to reassemble it but I think doing that threw the geometry off slightly and now the headlight assembly catches on the edge of the main motor cover when I raise or lower it. I guess I'll have to take that apart again to see if I can fix it better. I also ended up with two long screws left over and I have no idea where they're supposed to go. I didn't see any empty screw holes, though. I hate when that stuff happens.

I still need to polish the nozzle but I'll wait until I tear it down to replace the guts of the belt lifter. I may bring the rest of the machine inside and stick a different nozzle on it to give it a test run, but not tonight.

I'll post some photos once everything is done but I have a great sense of accomplishment about what I did on it today.

Post# 440068 , Reply# 17   3/20/2021 at 15:02 by human (Pines of Carolina)        

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So I had a little brainstorm this morning and decided to take some screws loose on my G5 to see if anything corresponded with the two long machine screws I had left over and I quickly discovered they went in the lower part of the front fan shroud. The question now is where do the two short screws I'll be taking out to make room for the long screws go? This type of thing can be so vexing. I honestly don't recall seeing any empty screw holes as I was putting the thing back together yesterday but I guess at some point I'll pull things back apart and see what I can find. I knew there was a reason I hadn't put the silicone on the fan shroud yet.

Post# 440072 , Reply# 18   3/20/2021 at 17:43 by human (Pines of Carolina)        
I now know where I screwed up...

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Okay, after re-watching select scenes from vaclab's tear-down and re-assembly videos (parts I and III) at 1/4 speed to bring the sped-up action a little closer to normal, discovered where I had—ahem—screwed up. The long screws went in at the top of the fan shroud BEHIND the motor cover. The two short screws just attached motor cover to the front half of the fan shroud. With those screws now in their proper places, the binding problem between the headlight assembly and the motor cover is improved but not entirely eliminated. I may try gently prying with a large, flat blade screwdriver to see if I can massage those two pieces into a better position to further reduce the binding. I guess that's what I get for trying to push through a project when I'm tired and my blood sugar is getting low.

While I had my Torx screwdriver out, I went ahead and took the belt lifter assembly off of the nozzle. I couldn't budge the screw last weekend when I washed the nozzle but a heavy dousing of WD-40 and sitting for a week seem to have broken things loose. The screw appears to be in good shape, except for the very tip so I think it can be reused. I'm glad I ordered a new hook but the bushings looked to be okay with only a couple of rust spots. I'll go ahead and replace them anyway since they're coming with the new hook, which will arrive on Monday. I'll try to put a little bit of a shine on the nozzle tomorrow so I can put everything back together when the mail comes Monday and then put the 'done' stamp on this project.

Post# 440114 , Reply# 19   3/21/2021 at 13:58 by human (Pines of Carolina)        

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I got the nozzle shined up to where it is presentable—not perfect but very presentable. I didn't even bother with my drill and the polishing head. I just used the soft scouring pad from Dollar Tree with some Mother's, Nevr-Dull and a little elbow grease to get results comparable to what I'd gotten on the rest of the metal parts a couple of days ago using the drill and without significant scratching or anything remotely resembling the 'brushed chrome' look. I was able to get the shine I expected in about 45 minutes. I'm now just waiting for the belt lifter parts to arrive so I can put everything back together and take it for a test run. It's definitely not the 'ugly duckling' I started out with a little more than a week ago.

Post# 440188 , Reply# 20   3/22/2021 at 16:28 by human (Pines of Carolina)        
Ready for a close-up, C.B....

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So the belt lifter parts arrived a little more than an hour ago and after a quick look at the relevant scene from vaclab's reassembly video, again slowed down to .25x speed, to see the sequence in which the pieces go onto the nozzle, everything fit back together pretty easily. One interesting thing I noticed is the screw that holds the belt lifter assembly together is self-tapping and the brand new belt lifter's screw hole is not pre-threaded, so I ran the screw in ahead of assembling it to tap the threads. Probably not completely necessary but I think it helped everything to go back together more easily.

Once I had the machine completely reassembled, I brought it into the house for the first time and gave it a little test run. The machine works beautifully on high and low speeds and the Tech Drive is smooth as silk. I am very pleased overall. There's still a slightly musty odor when it's running. I guess it wouldn't hurt to go ahead and throw a new bag into it, even though the one it came with is pretty much empty. I'm thinking it's been through a carpet shampooing or two.

And now, for your viewing pleasure, here are a few photos of the Diamond G in all its glory, just before its test run.

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Post# 440196 , Reply# 21   3/22/2021 at 22:25 by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        

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Post# 440197 , Reply# 22   3/22/2021 at 22:56 by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

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Well done! Looks great.

Post# 440221 , Reply# 23   3/23/2021 at 15:53 by human (Pines of Carolina)        

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Thanks. I'm pretty pleased with the results, considering how disgusting this thing was when I started. I replaced the bag this afternoon and ran the machine for a couple of minutes. The basement odor is now almost undetectable.

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