Thread Number: 43877  /  Tag: Recent Vacuum Cleaners from past 20 years
RARE 1998 Miele S401i
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Post# 457499   10/20/2022 at 21:02 by kirbylux77 (London, Ontario, Canada)        

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So back in the summer of 2021, I picked up this rare machine at a vac shop I was buying parts for my Miele Callisto from. They just so happened to get this in as a recent trade.

So, what makes this modern Miele so rare? It's one of only 2 models, the other being the S301i that uses FJM bags, that takes a SF SFHA30 HEPA Filter, yet has no circuit board! All it has inside is a cord reel, switch, Ametek 117923 motor, motor thermostat, the switch built into the parking slot on the back of the canister, and the receptacle for the electric hose....that's it. So it's one modern Miele that will LITERALLY last a lifetime.

It came with a original straight suction wand, and the original hose. The attachments were replaced with new genuine Miele attachments, but I chose to replace the crevice tool with a longer aftermarket 35mm replacement from AliExpress and replaced the upholstery tool with a nice used one from the S5 series and put in new felt strips. I just prefer the more substantial felt strips on that tool vs the C3 style upholstery tool, does better picking up pet hairs. Also added the radiator tool since it has a spot for it in the tool compartment, and ya just have to have all the available accessories :)

The electric hose is brand new N.O.S from Ebay, and picked up a spare just in case. The red tape on it is to stop it swiveling in the machine end so the cord doesn't wear out. The powerhead is a gently used Simplicity Wonder powerhead found on Ebay....I thought that would be fitting to use with it, since the full size corded Miele PN at the time would have been the SEB204 with the metal brushroll and flat belt. So with the swivel neck, serpentine permanent belt and headlight, this was a nice modern upgrade. Just had to buy a Miele SEB213 powerhead cord and put a receptacle on it to plug into the powerhead neck to make the electrical connection. I also have the compact SEB213 powerhead and the compact Simplicity Wonder powerhead I can also use for area rugs and mats if so desired.

I also bought a second genuine straight suction wand and found a nice genuine Miele Smooth Floor Brush with the proper parking bracket to activate the switch in the parking spot on the back of the canister. I also have the optional Parquet Brush, that looks like the Smooth Floor Brush, but with the extra long horsehair bristles for delicate hardwood floors. And just recently found the AllTeq SBD 285-2 rug/floor nozzle with the split parking bracket for the S500 series, which works a bit better than the SBD265 rug nozzle this S401i would have originally been standard equipment on this model.

Overall, this is a really nice Miele to use and clean with as a daily driver. I actually prefer it over more modern Miele's like the S5 and C3 canisters because the hose swivels and the crushproof Plastiflex hose material is much more flexible and not stiff like the Wessel Werk made hoses that came after this with the S500/S600 series. Also, the pistol grip hose handle fits nicely in the hand, very comfortable to hold, and the powerhead on/off switch and bleeder valve for suction control are nicely placed and easy to use while operating the vacuum. One pleasant surprise I found when I got it home was that the parking bracket on the back of the vacuum actually had the micro switch to shut the vacuum off when you park a tool into it - was not expecting to find that feature on a base model, let alone one with no circuit boards, very nice! The only disadvantages these older S300 and S400 models have over newer machines is they are a bit heavier with the double stage Ametek motors, and you do have to manually unplug the powerhead cord from the hose handle when using the hose with tools. But if you can overlook those minor quibbles, these are a much more pleasant machine to use daily and will also be much more durable and long lasting as well.


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