Thread Number: 44281  /  Tag: 80s/90s Vacuum Cleaners
I now own a Kirby
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Post# 460943   3/4/2023 at 12:43 by JustJunque (Western MA)        

Hey all.
As I mentioned in the thread that I didn't mean to hijack, I got myself deeper into trouble and picked up a free Kirby G4 that I found on Craigslist.
It's dirty, but it came with a lot of extras, it runs, and it was free.

Here's what I've learned about it so far.
The tank for the shampoo solution is missing. That's not of great importance to me, since I'd probably never use the shampooer. The only reason I'd like to have it, is so that the system would be complete.
I don't notice an unpleasant smell to the vacuum in general. But, there's a full bag in it. And, when you unzip the outer bag, there is a funky smell; maybe pet odors. The original owner does have dogs. Disposing of the bag will be job one. And, I don't think I'll bother to put a new bag in it until I wash the outer bag. I'm thinking I'll go the route of leaving the Em-tor and everything assembled, and just hand washing it in the bathtub.
Would I use regular laundry detergent?
As I've read is often the case, it does need new rear wheels. And, "hubcaps" for both rear wheels. Fortunately, it appears to be pretty easy to replace the wheels. Even for someone like myself, who's pretty much all thumbs.

In the box with all the accessories, there are a couple of small things that I can't find any reference to. They may not even be Kirby parts. At some point, I'll take a picture of them, and ask for your thoughts.
For now, I only have one picture of the vacuum itself. This is just the way I got it.
Please bear with me if the picture posts sideways or something.


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Post# 460944 , Reply# 1   3/4/2023 at 12:53 by huskyvacs (Gnaw Bone, Indiana)        

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Congratulations! One will become many soon enough!

Post# 460945 , Reply# 2   3/4/2023 at 13:44 by human (Pines of Carolina)        

human's profile picture
Yes, they do have a tendency to multiply when you're not paying attention. That machine should clean up quite nicely. I've always liked the G4 color scheme. When I hand washed the outer bag on my G3, I just used a small amount of liquid laundry detergent and it worked just fine. The thing you don't want to do, especially with it still all together, is put it in the dryer. Just hang it out on the clothesline or some other sunny spot. My preferred drying spot is the tool shed on the side of my house, which also contains the gas water heater. It stays kind of toasty in there and a bag will generally dry overnight. Even if you need a few parts, it's still a sweet deal.

Post# 460946 , Reply# 3   3/4/2023 at 14:27 by panasonicvac (Northern Utah)        

panasonicvac's profile picture
Awesome! That's my second all time favorite Kirby but definitely my all time favorite tech drive Kirby and in my opinion the best Kirby that's ever been sold:)

Personally, I'd wash the outer bag in the washing machine. I've tried doing it by hand before and the washing machine just does a better job. There's tutorial videos of one person that did his before. But you can still air dry it out, it doesn't take very long to do.

Post# 460955 , Reply# 4   3/4/2023 at 20:49 by JustJunque (Western MA)        

Thanks for the support.
Another thing that it would need, if I eventually want it to look really nice, is a bumper.
I looked at some new ones on eBay. They're really not expensive, but I don't know what the correct color should be.
I mean, there were some light colored ones, which wouldn't be correct.
But, I don't know if the original is dark grey or black. And, it looks like it has the remains of a white or light colored stripe in the recessed area.
Not that I'm going to be looking to do a restoration. I just like things to look correct whenever possible.
Also; how is the bumper attached? Is there much involved to replace it?

Post# 460959 , Reply# 5   3/4/2023 at 21:50 by bikerray (Middle Earth)        

bikerray's profile picture
Here's a picture of my G4
The bumper is just stretched over the nozzle.
The stripe is a lavender color.

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Post# 460960 , Reply# 6   3/4/2023 at 21:56 by human (Pines of Carolina)        

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The bumper would be the same dark gray as the rest of the G4's plastics. The factory photo at the link below shows what looks like a white accent stripe. If you order a bumper for a G4, it should be the correct color with the correct stripe.

The G-series Kirbys had the following color schemes:
G3: very light gray
G4: dark gray
G5: burgundy
G6: black
G7 (aka Ultimate G): medium gray


Post# 460961 , Reply# 7   3/4/2023 at 22:41 by panasonicvac (Northern Utah)        

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Unfortunately Kirby no longer makes Grey bumpers for the G4 just like all the other grey parts, they now come in black instead like the G6.

Post# 460962 , Reply# 8   3/4/2023 at 22:45 by JustJunque (Western MA)        

Well that's good to know.
They seem to be pretty affordable. And, if they're easy to install, maybe I'll do it sooner than later!
From what I've found, the brushroll is probably about due to be replaced. The bristles are definitely showing wear, and it's on setting 3.
I'm starting to see how it could be fun to tinker with them. They seem kind of user friendly.

Post# 460965 , Reply# 9   3/5/2023 at 02:11 by Caligula (Nutrioso, Arizona)        
Kirby G-4.

caligula's profile picture
Hi JustJunque:

Congratulations on getting a great Kirby. I have a G-4 and love it.

The small things you speak of have been part of the Kirby since the early days. Most likely they are the inflator/deflator, and the massage cup. Also, a coupler to activate the motor when the hose is on the exhaust instead of the Sani-Em-Tor. Also there should be the lifter grip, or portable handle. The inflator/deflator is for blowing up toys, air mattresses and the like. And got the kids amused if they watched the home demo with their parents. The massage cup is primarily for use on the scalp, though has a myriad of uses too long to go into here.

As to the shampooer tank. The shampooer, originally called the Rug Renovator was not part of the Kirby parse, it, like the Miracle Head, and Handi-Butler were extras, but most people bought them anyway. And as with the inflator/deflator drawing in the kids, the butler was a way to get the husband interested. And it worked.

I think you'll really like your G-4, these really are great machines.

Alex Taber (Caligula was the cat shown in my avatar.)

Post# 460968 , Reply# 10   3/5/2023 at 08:55 by JustJunque (Western MA)        

Thank you, Alex.
I don't seem to have the inflator. I've seen pictures of one, and I don't seem to have anything that resembles it.
And, I do have the lifter grip/portable handle.
The mystery pieces are different. Two of them have some sort of screen-like material in them. And one looks like an adapter of some sort, but with gear-like teeth on one end. That piece looks like one of the previous owner's dogs may have used it as a chew toy.
Like I said, they may very well be non-Kirby items that just happened to end up in the box with everything else.
I'll get them together for a group picture at some point, and let the experts have a look-see.


Post# 460969 , Reply# 11   3/5/2023 at 09:04 by human (Pines of Carolina)        

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Barry wrote:
I'm starting to see how it could be fun to tinker with them. They seem kind of user friendly.

I reply:
I've thought the same about Kirbys ever since I first saw a home demonstration of a Classic Omega when I was about 10 years old. It looked like so much fun to be able to configure it in so many different ways. I was very disappointed when we didn't get one back then. I would have to wait some 40 years before I rescued my first Kirby, a Gsix, from beside a dumpster. And now, almost a decade later, I have more than a dozen of them. Scary....

The bumper just slides on. It's very easy, but you have to take the bottom plate off first. It might be that you could do that and replace the brush roll at the same time. And while it's all apart, it would also be a great time to do some polishing on the floor nozzle. Mission creep is a thing when working on a Kirby. One task inevitably leads into the next.

Even if Kirby doesn't offer the dark gray bumper, you might be able to find one NOS (new old stock). There are bound a few of them still around. Over time, Kirby has a tendency to follow Henry Ford's example on replacement parts, offering them in any color you want, as long as it's black. The black one won't look bad, if that's all you can find, but if it's for a Gsix, it will have a bright yellow stripe on it, instead of lavender. It probably wouldn't look bad, and it's just tape, so you could even peel it off, if you don't like it, and maybe even find some lavender or white tape at a craft supply or maybe an auto parts store.

Post# 460970 , Reply# 12   3/5/2023 at 09:14 by human (Pines of Carolina)        

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The pieces you describe sound like random parts from the rug renovator/shampoo system, at least the one with the screen does. If you can post photos, we'll be able to tell you for sure.

Post# 460971 , Reply# 13   3/5/2023 at 11:47 by panasonicvac (Northern Utah)        

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Kirby also quit putting colored strips on their bumpers. You could still find a new grey bumper for the G4 while they're available but they definitely won't come with a strip anymore. I had bumpers replaced on both of my G4 machines a few years ago and neither of them came with a strip. They did this to reduce cost because Kirby has been on a decline.

Post# 460974 , Reply# 14   3/5/2023 at 13:28 by huskyvacs (Gnaw Bone, Indiana)        

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Also you can just get an entire replacement nozzle. They show up on eBay every now and then. This one sold for only $12.00.

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Post# 460976 , Reply# 15   3/5/2023 at 14:48 by JustJunque (Western MA)        

That's something to consider too.
But, knowing me, I'd end up wanting to replace the bumper on the replacement nozzle.
There's a seller on eBay, (I don't know if I'm supposed to mention names), who lists new, dark grey replacement bumpers. I can't tell if it has the lavender stripe or not. I'll probably contact them and ask.
Really though, the dark grey part is the most important thing. Like has been said, I could always add an automotive pin stripe or something.


Post# 460991 , Reply# 16   3/5/2023 at 22:22 by Caligula (Nutrioso, Arizona)        
Hi JustJunque.

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The parts with the screen like thing, could be the cap to turn the sprayer into the Suds-O-Gun, or parts from the Rug Renovator that does the same thing. If you post pictures I can tell if these are even Kirby, but if they are I'll know it on sight. I was a training manager for several Kirby branch offices starting with the Classic III. Here are a number of Kirby models in my display room back in 1986.

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Post# 460996 , Reply# 17   3/6/2023 at 11:33 by JustJunque (Western MA)        
Mystery parts

These are the small parts that I was unsure of.
I have since discovered that the small part with the mesh on it is called a Suds O Cap, and goes on the sprayer. And, the piece next to it is the lid/measuring cup for the shampoo tank; which I don't have.
The other three, I still don't know.
You can see how the one piece, which is sort of rubbery, has been used as a chew toy.
And the oblong piece is the only one that's a different shade of grey. Maybe it's not original to this vacuum?
Thanks for helping me learn Kirby stuff!


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Post# 460997 , Reply# 18   3/6/2023 at 12:12 by human (Pines of Carolina)        

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The middle item is a safety cover that allows the machine to run when the rug nozzle is removed and the hose is connected where the bag would normally go, in order to use it as a blower. The item to its right of it is the massage/pet grooming cup; however, I'm drawing a blank on the piece to the far right.

Post# 460998 , Reply# 19   3/6/2023 at 12:21 by Hoover300 (Kentucky)        

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Left 2 parts I believe are to the shampooer system. The far left fits on the suds o gun to disperse the soap, the one next to it I think is a connector for the tank? Unsure on that.

Post# 460999 , Reply# 20   3/6/2023 at 12:24 by Hoover300 (Kentucky)        

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Never mind, I just saw you already found out what they are. The far right thing may not even be Kirby, just something the last owner threw in because it looks like something the vac might have come with. Like how my 508 attachment set wound up with a window screen cleaner from the 90s

Post# 461004 , Reply# 21   3/6/2023 at 13:50 by JustJunque (Western MA)        

Is the massage/pet groomer just what it is, or is this just a part of it?
I tried YouTube, but the only Kirby massager I see there is the turbo tool that's also a sander.

Post# 461005 , Reply# 22   3/6/2023 at 14:10 by huskyvacs (Gnaw Bone, Indiana)        

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Part 1 - sprayer nozzle for suds gun for shampooer

Part 2 - dispenser cup and cap for the shampoo tank

Part 3 - Air intake / safety cover for the motor intake when using the shampoo system

Part 4 - head and scalp massager / upholstery agitator / pet hair comb

Part 5 - Not 100% definitely sure on it, but it looks like part of the mounting plate for a kitchen sink faucet (see photos attached).

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Post# 461010 , Reply# 23   3/6/2023 at 16:18 by rugsucker (Elizabethton TN)        
"Part 3"--

--placed on the front allows motor to run with hose on exhaust to use suds gun shampooer for upholstery or car interiors but not needed for carpet shampooer.

Post# 461011 , Reply# 24   3/6/2023 at 16:27 by huskyvacs (Gnaw Bone, Indiana)        

huskyvacs's profile picture
Oh yeah that's what I meant, I mis-typed the wrong thing.

Post# 461012 , Reply# 25   3/6/2023 at 16:29 by JustJunque (Western MA)        

Hey, Husky,

LOL. It sure does look like that faucet mounting plate!
I was so busy trying to figure out what kind of vacuum part it was, that would have never even crossed my mind!

Post# 461015 , Reply# 26   3/6/2023 at 18:48 by Lesinutah (Utah)        

lesinutah's profile picture
Got everything and part of a kitchen sink.
I attached a link for a power nozzle with trim that looks original . The belt liftervyou could swap around as needed. My 3rd kirby and my first g series. I did a complete overhaul brand new everything.
In think there might be different gears or something for the transition to fix slipping with tech drive that's common on g3 and g4.
Great pickup.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO Lesinutah's LINK on eBay

Post# 461016 , Reply# 27   3/6/2023 at 18:56 by Caligula (Nutrioso, Arizona)        
The massage cup.

caligula's profile picture
This is certainly not new; it goes back to the late 1940's. Nor is it exclusively Kirby. I know that Filter Queen also had one, and I think Air-Way. Don't think Electrolux had one, but I could be wrong.

The part with the screen was exactly what I thought, the cap to turn the sprayer into the suds-o-gun, and the cap to the rug renovator tank. It's a measuring cap, designed to hold the right amount of Kirby suds. The rug renovator goes back to the late 1950's or early 60's I'm guessing the Dual Sanitronic or the D-80. Incidentally the only green Kirby and sold when avocado green was all the rage.

I can tell you that both the massage cap and inflator/deflater were placed atop the main box at the start of the demo and had the customers shaking their heads as to what they were. And as I said, the Handi-Butler was designed for the husband who saw great potential of power tools for the workshop. Right, if he could get the Kirby away from the wife long enough. But it did a lot to sell the Kirby.

Post# 461033 , Reply# 28   3/7/2023 at 11:39 by jscarlato (Clairton, PA)        
Avocado green . . .

Hi Alex,

You mentioned in your post the popularity of avocado green back in the day. Yes, it was everywhere: carpets, appliances, the DS80, and anywhere else. Yep, I owned an avocado green refrigerator, stove, dishwasher, washer, dryer. All served me well and are now retired and replaced. Ever since I saw a DS80, I liked the looks of it and wanted one. So, several years ago Kent Oyler hooked me up with one. It is one of my all-time favorites among my other Kirbys. Incidentally, the original model did not sport the bank on the back of the handle. Kent added one for me and painted it to match the green. Perhaps if Kirby is still in business later, they may consider putting green on a future model. Green is coming back in paint color, furniture, and clothing.

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Post# 461034 , Reply# 29   3/7/2023 at 11:53 by jscarlato (Clairton, PA)        
Kirby G4 . . .

This thread began with a discussion of the Kirby G4. The G4 is a favorite of mine. I like the dark gray color and style of the motor housing (like the G3). The mini emptor is replaced with a more updated one, and I added a better brushroll. This Kirby cleans very well. I use it often.

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Post# 461047 , Reply# 30   3/7/2023 at 18:47 by Lesinutah (Utah)        

lesinutah's profile picture
Was the paint Kent used the SEM paint?.
I had him paint a few things for me.he used SEM paint.

Post# 461059 , Reply# 31   3/8/2023 at 07:55 by jscarlato (Clairton, PA)        
Yes . . .

I believe he did use this paint. At the time, if I remember correctly, he told me this paint worked well with that plastic part.


Post# 461068 , Reply# 32   3/8/2023 at 13:59 by JustJunque (Western MA)        

I've just started to give it a little cleaning.
A little wipe-down with Simple Green, for starters. I also got rid of the full bag, and vacuumed the inside of the outer bag.
I sure wish I lived near one of the Kirby masters. Even though I got this ol' girl for free, I'd love for it to look its absolute best. Without stripping it down completely, and machine polishing, that's never going to happen.
I used a metal polish that I've gotten good results with in the past; just in a small, inconspicuous area. It gives it a little more shine, but it doesn't touch the blotches in the finish that look sort of like liver spots or something.
I'll have to settle for getting it "better", but not great. And, despite my lack of knowledge and skills, I'm a perfectionist. So, of course, as I'm wiping it down, I'm seeing all the little details that I'd like to improve.
I now feel like it needs all four wheels replaced, as opposed to just the rears. Maybe a new headlight lens, etc.
And, sure...those are affordable, and easy enough to replace. But, I'm still going to focus on the tarnished aluminum.
I don't know if Mother's would do a better job. Seems like a lot of people highly recommended it. Or, since I have to settle for just hand polishing, without a full disassembly, I'd probably still just get mediocre results.
Also, I've discovered a couple of places where there's a small hole in the plastic parts, and I don't know if there's supposed to be screws in them. I'll try to take a couple of pictures and post them.


Post# 461069 , Reply# 33   3/8/2023 at 14:04 by JustJunque (Western MA)        
Should there be screws?

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Post# 461070 , Reply# 34   3/8/2023 at 14:24 by texaskirbyguy (Plano, TX)        

Yes, there are supposed to be screws in those locations.
Mothers mag and aluminum works great and can be found at many places.
Looks like you are off to a good start.
Take your time - you will learn a lot in this new adventure!

Post# 461075 , Reply# 35   3/8/2023 at 15:41 by human (Pines of Carolina)        

human's profile picture
Those two screws frequently fall out. The one just above the Tech Drive pedal is exactly the same size as the ones on an electrical switch or outlet that hold the wires in place.

I've had pretty good results polishing my Kirbys with a combination of Mother's and Nev-r-dull wadding. I use some cheapo knockoffs of Scotch-Brite pads. I get them at the Dollar Tree and they're much softer than the genuine article and won't scratch the metal. I've also heard that #0000 steel wool is also a good choice for that purpose.

Post# 461084 , Reply# 36   3/8/2023 at 20:29 by JustJunque (Western MA)        

I've been looking at lots of pictures of G4s. I see the screw that goes right above the Tech Drive control. But, I haven't found a picture showing a screw in that piece on the side by the Em-tor. It looks like the cord is supposed to go under that piece. Mine is not. But that's easy enough to remedy.
Does anyone have a parts machine that they could spare the screw/screws from? I'd like to know that it's a correct screw, rather than trying to substitute something.

Post# 461088 , Reply# 37   3/8/2023 at 21:13 by human (Pines of Carolina)        

human's profile picture
Yes, the cord should go under that little loop. My G3 has the same setup and it's a pain. The screw is supposed to hold the cord in place, but it doesn't do a very good job. They improved the design, beginning with the G5 by molding a tab onto the cord, which slips under the trim plate and is held in place by a screw.

The screws themselves are commodity items, available off the shelf at any hardware store. In a worst case scenario, you might need to cut a screw to the proper length. Just clamp it into a pair of Vice Grips with the part to be cut off sticking out the front, and then go to work with a hacksaw.

Post# 461100 , Reply# 38   3/9/2023 at 08:41 by rugsucker (Elizabethton TN)        
Reply 33,pic 2--

--hole is not for a screw but a cable tie.As above this was much improved on later models.

Post# 461102 , Reply# 39   3/9/2023 at 09:14 by texaskirbyguy (Plano, TX)        

Rugsucker is right. The cord goes inside that channel and a zip-tie goes in the hole.
The screw holding the channel piece is in the other side, out of view.
Thanks for clearing that up!

Post# 461112 , Reply# 40   3/9/2023 at 17:19 by JustJunque (Western MA)        

I gave in and bought the correct screw for the scuff plate online. I think it was called a scuff plate.
I know, I could probably have gotten something from the hardware store that would have worked. But, that's just me. I wanted the correct, genuine part. So, I paid a ridiculous price for one little screw.
I guess I can afford to splurge a little bit here and there, since the vacuum itself cost me nothing.
As for the tab where the cord goes; I'll probably just leave it as is. Tuck the cord in there, and hope it stays.

Post# 461113 , Reply# 41   3/9/2023 at 17:54 by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

kirbyclassiciii's profile picture

That reminds me also of the first-generation American Lincoln Super Sweep sold from 1969-72, which descended from the 1967-68 Janitronic. That Super Sweep was in jade green and white. LesinUtah and OpelGTKarl both own one.


Post# 461129 , Reply# 42   3/10/2023 at 08:30 by jscarlato (Clairton, PA)        

Yes. I've seen pics of this model. I think that was a good color choice. Back in '78 or '79, I bought a Hoover Concept One model 3105. That was a white and green model. It looked good in that color.

Post# 461155 , Reply# 43   3/10/2023 at 20:31 by kirbyvacuum (Long Island New York)        

Love the color
Love mine

Post# 461187 , Reply# 44   3/11/2023 at 17:41 by JustJunque (Western MA)        

Hey all.
I hope you don't get angry with me because of this. But, I get discouraged very easily. I've talked about some of my issues over at AW. But, in a nutshell, anxiety and depression play a big role in it.
I've spent a good portion of this afternoon trying to get the G4 to shine. I bought a little jar of Mothers, hoping for better results than I was getting with my other polish. Sadly, it's not the case. There's what look like water spots or something all over this thing.
Someone who can take it all apart, maybe hit it with some fine sandpaper or steel wool or something, I'm sure they could make it look like new.
I'm going to put the new HEPA bag in it, when they arrive. I have that scuff plate screw coming, and I may still replace the brush roll.
But, I see myself trying it out on my area rugs, and trying the bare floor tools in the rest of the house; basically, just to be able to say that I've used a Kirby. Then, I'll probably look to pass it along to someone else. Maybe for free...or maybe just trying to recover what I spend for replacement parts.
I'm just really disappointed that I couldn't do more with the aluminum. And, every time I look at it, I'm just going to be reminded of my failure.
Again, please forgive me for being Debbie Downer. I just had hopes that a hand polishing would yield better results.


Post# 461189 , Reply# 45   3/11/2023 at 19:52 by huskyvacs (Gnaw Bone, Indiana)        

huskyvacs's profile picture
Hand polishing will only work if it's not that badly tarnished - basically as a touch up. It will get tarnish off but it would take you forever and as you saw not do very good of a job with badly corroded metal. Your hands can only do so much (unless you have Hulk Hogan's biceps lol) Heavy tarnish and oxidization you need a polishing machine to work down beyond the top layer.

VacLab has a great easy video to follow on how to polish up a Kirby. No sanding needed. Just a couple buffers and a packet of polishing sticks.

Post# 461231 , Reply# 46   3/12/2023 at 21:21 by human (Pines of Carolina)        
Don't beat yourself up over this...

human's profile picture
Don't look on your hand polishing experience as a failure. If zero is where it was before you started on it and 100 is factory perfection, where are you now? 60? 80? 90? Wherever it is on that scale, just see it as progress, not perfection.

Post# 461233 , Reply# 47   3/12/2023 at 22:08 by Lesinutah (Utah)        

lesinutah's profile picture
G series kirbys don't shine like older kirbys.
I recently collected a few vacuums. Old straight suction electro hygiene, vacuette electric, ds 80, 505, super sweep and 2 avalirs.
They all run great. The avalirs I tried polishing with mothers may not nope its going to take more time and there not going to shine like the 505 or ds 80.
The super sweep is mostly original and it's original paint color. It's got alot of paint missing and scratches. Ib like using the super sweep more than every vacuum except the ds80. The super sweep has 8 wheels 7 black and one green. It doesn't even have the original bag.
It's like a sleeper car. They don't paint them. They keep the original look and they run like brand new cars. Imagine ta race between a sleeper car and a new corvette. The corvette loses the race. The sleeper isn't the prettiest but it out performed a new corvette.
Try as best you can and use the vacuum and keep it because it doesn't have to be the shinier it works well and your doing the work on it. There's alot more satisfaction using a vacuum you restored more than a brand new vacuum.
Warren buffet has had the same house since 1970s and a 80s or 90s model car. He splurged on a cup of coffee and a breakfast treat every day. He'basically invented the best way to invest in the stock market. He was the richest man in the world and could buy anything he wants.
I think your doing a great job on the vacuum. Your proud of what you done and nobody will treat it like you. Keep the vacuum and realize not everything has to be new and shiny.
People are sometimes a holes. There's been alit of bad weather everywhere and it's like the whole country has been in a prissy mood. I was mean on this board and I walked away for almost a year. I try to help people and be positive.
2018-2020 I lost my mother 11/2/18 and I wasn't talking to her. My dad passed in 12/10/20 and I was there for him the last part of his life. I found him on the toilet passed away. He didn't want anyone to have to clean up his pooh. I also lost my job in 8/2018 I worked 10 years at.
There will be bad things happen and there will be mean people. Usually mean people are having a bad day and are taking it out on you. It also comes from people who were insecure with themselve.
Keep your head up your a good person with a good heart

Post# 461241 , Reply# 48   3/13/2023 at 12:59 by JustJunque (Western MA)        

Thanks, guys.
Les; I'm glad you decided to come back to the forums.
That's some rough stuff you had to deal with. I'm sure it would take a toll on anyone.
Health issues have cost me my job of 25 years. It's been three years for me now. The anxiety/depression go hand in hand with the physical health problems. They seem to feed each other.
I'm going to try to take y'all's advice, and just do what I can do with the G4, and try to have some fun using it, instead of worrying that it's not flawless. Emphasis on "I'll try". My brain is wired to default to the negative in every situation.

Edgar; That's a good way to look at it. I appreciate you. I will try to look at it as looking better than when I got it. Thank you.

Husky; That is a good video. Granted, I'm not the type to take the whole machine apart like VacLab did.
But, I'd say that G3 and my G4 are in very similar condition. He seems like a cool guy. I wonder if he's a member here.

I got a package in the mail today. I think it's the HEPA bags.
I've decided to settle for hand washing the outer bag. If I were the type to name my machines, "Good enough" might be a good name for this one. It's not like it's ever going to be a showpiece.
Plus, watching the video of removing and reinstalling the Emtor, I'm not willing to risk tearing that rubber sleeve thing at the bottom of the bag. Hand washing the whole assembly will have to be "good enough".
Thanks again to everyone for your kind words. It means a lot.


Post# 461261 , Reply# 49   3/13/2023 at 19:29 by human (Pines of Carolina)        

human's profile picture
That's exactly right, Barry. You have invested time and energy, as well as a little of money, into that free Kirby and you are making it better in the process. Take satisfaction in your ongoing accomplishment.

Post# 461286 , Reply# 50   3/14/2023 at 15:26 by JustJunque (Western MA)        

Latest updates, for anyone interested;
The screw for the scuff plate arrived today. It was expensive, but I like that it looks like the one that would have been there originally.
And, I have the outer bag in the bathtub with some liquid Tide. It may not come out as good as a machine washing would have done, but a lot of dirt did come out. The water was instantly brown. Maybe I'll drain this water, after some soaking and swishing, and wash it a second time. We'll see. My back is already yelling at me for leaning over the tub.
It would be wonderful if the splotch of white paint would come off in the wash. But, it doesn't seem likely.

Post# 461289 , Reply# 51   3/14/2023 at 16:39 by JustJunque (Western MA)        

Washing complete.
I did do a second washing. That water ended up looking about how I expected it to look during the first wash.
After the second washing, I filled the tub with clear water, and gave it a good rinse.
Now, it's hanging over the laundry sink in the basement.
It seems like it should be dry by around July or so.
I'm not really complaining. Sometimes, I just sound like I am. I'm actually relieved that that job is done. It will be dry when it's dry.
I watched a video where a guy dried the bag for his G3 by installing it on the vacuum, without an inner bag, and running the vacuum. I don't think I'm daring enough to try that.

Post# 461293 , Reply# 52   3/14/2023 at 18:23 by Lesinutah (Utah)        

lesinutah's profile picture
Use hair hairspray the link explains how.
Don't dry the bag on the vacuum. There can be dust or something in brush roll or dirt and build up going back onto the bag.


Post# 461319 , Reply# 53   3/15/2023 at 11:29 by texaskirbyguy (Plano, TX)        

If the bag is detached from the other parts, it can be spin dried in the washer for a short time - I have done this.
Then hang it outside in the sun & breeze, zipper open, and it should be dry in less than a day.

The paint spot may need some light scraping with a plastic scraper - just go easy on it. Better to have it than a hole, lol. If it doesn't budge, consider coloring it with a permanent marker instead to mask it.

Glad you made it look better after polishing. Water spots and stains are very hard to remove without heavy polishing equipment. Even buffing wheels on drills will not remove them as they are quite deep. The G4 I had recently restored was like that. I was disappointed not being able to remove them, but it looked a heck of a lot better than the crusty hulk I started with. I had doubts going in they would remove completely but it looked great at 6' away on the floor. That part was a win.
Bottom line is if you make it look better, then it was certainly no failure. Only few machines can be restored to show quality with basic handyman tools.

Keep up the good work, Barry!

Post# 461321 , Reply# 54   3/15/2023 at 11:41 by JustJunque (Western MA)        

Thanks, Rob.
Even just hanging the bag in my basement, it's dried a lot more just overnight than I was expecting.
I kind of have the same thought with regard to the paint splotch. It's not huge, and I don't want to damage the bag by trying to remove it. The colored marker idea is interesting.
I don't have any hairspray, as mentioned by Les. But, that article went on to mention rubbing alcohol. If that wouldn't damage the bag material, I could try that. We do have that on hand.
Bottom line; I'd rather live with a smudge of white paint than damage the bag.
As for the aluminum; I'm going to do the rest of it by hand, and be content with it looking better than when I got it. Like you said; from a distance, it looks pretty good.


Post# 461325 , Reply# 55   3/15/2023 at 12:58 by texaskirbyguy (Plano, TX)        

The bags on these are mostly synthetic materials, so they do dry fast. Turn a fan on it to help it.

Polishing takes a lot of effort - speed and pressure. This is the hardest part of a Kirby resto. The more you can give, the more material will be removed. Hand polishing is the lightest you can do, a wheel on drill is about the most I can do, which is way above hand polishing. I need a 6" wheel for my bench grinder next.
Kirby had 8-12" 3600RPM buffing machines that meant serious business. Those would even buff out scratches if not too deep. So the polishing results are really equipment driven.

Alcohol should not hurt the bag. Start with a small hidden area first to tell for sure. If it is really paint, then it may not help, and nothing may. If it is ink or another substance, alcohol or paint thinner might dissolve it. It all depends on what the substance is and what solvent dissolves that substance.

Post# 461352 , Reply# 56   3/15/2023 at 20:16 by JustJunque (Western MA)        

I finished the hand polishing on the aluminum this afternoon.
Looks kinda purdy from a distance, in dim light, if you squint. LOL

Post# 461374 , Reply# 57   3/16/2023 at 13:07 by JustJunque (Western MA)        

I don't know how much difference you can see in my lousy picture. But, here's the "after" shot, in the same location where I took the "before" shot.
And, my apologies in advance. I imagine this picture will post sideways as well.

  View Full Size
Post# 461379 , Reply# 58   3/16/2023 at 15:10 by JustJunque (Western MA)        
First impression:

After installing a HEPA bag, (found it a tad tricky to get it secured onto the fill tube), I fired it up and did the braided rug in the breezeway.
I got a little chuckle out of it. Being a Kirby noob, as this is the first time I've tried one, I was finding it a little bit heavy to push, but not unmanageable.
About a third of the way through the task, I realized that I hadn't engaged the Tech Drive.
I stepped on the lever, and tried it again.
Woo! Basically, the thumb and index finger was all it took then! What a difference!
Kind of neat too, that the room smelled faintly of clean laundry, since I just washed the outer bag with liquid Tide.
I know I got discouraged initially, and didn't plan on keeping this vacuum. But, I'm kind of impressed! I just wish I had some wall to wall carpet to really get some use out of it. Maybe I'll bring it with me when I visit my mom some time. There's a couple of carpeted rooms at her house.
I did discover that the headlight is burnt out. But, that's an easy fix...even for me.


Post# 461387 , Reply# 59   3/16/2023 at 18:06 by texaskirbyguy (Plano, TX)        

Barry, Your G4 looks much better than when you started - even with just a hand polish - success!
Yes, the tech drive is really nice - I use my G6 to do all my carpet and my Heritage with its hose and attachments to do the hard floors and dusting. They make a great team.

If you have lots of hard floors, then try the hose and attachments.
You can also use the rug nozzle, just disengage the belt and adjust it to almost touching the floor. It will use straight suction to get loose dust and stuff.

Maybe it is time to get a houseful of carper just to enjoy your G6 on! lol...

Congrats on the great free Kirby set!

BTW, if I ever plan on posting a portrait picture to this site, I just automatically rotate it upside down, then post - the site then turns it right side up! Not sure whats up with it...

Post# 461390 , Reply# 60   3/16/2023 at 19:46 by MIVintageVacs (Royal Oak MI)        

Hey Barry,
Nice work on your Kirby, it looks so much better!

  View Full Size
Post# 461395 , Reply# 61   3/16/2023 at 21:00 by human (Pines of Carolina)        

human's profile picture
Very nice work indeed! Be proud of your accomplishment.

Post# 461396 , Reply# 62   3/16/2023 at 21:07 by JustJunque (Western MA)        

Thanks, Rob,
What's ironic is that this house had wall to wall everywhere when we bought it. It had a lot of damage from the previous owners' pets though. We went through and had hardwood installed everywhere.
I'm definitely going to try the hose and bare floor tool at some point. Like the vacuum itself, the floor tool needs a thorough cleaning first though. And, I've seen that Kirby made a bare floor attachment that clips right onto the power nozzle. I don't know if I might invest in one of those eventually.

Thanks, Ben.
And thanks for fixing the orientation of my pictures, and doing the side by side!
It's far from perfect, but it does look better than it did.


Post# 461397 , Reply# 63   3/16/2023 at 21:08 by JustJunque (Western MA)        

Thank you, Edgar!

Post# 461399 , Reply# 64   3/16/2023 at 21:41 by Lesinutah (Utah)        

lesinutah's profile picture
You said you couldn't get it polished. It's quite impressive job.

Post# 461401 , Reply# 65   3/16/2023 at 22:23 by JustJunque (Western MA)        

Thanks, Les.
It looks better than it did. But, if you see it in person, it has a lot of imperfections and what look like water spots in the finish.
From a distance, or in a picture, it looks pretty good.
For the price, I'm not complaining!

Post# 461406 , Reply# 66   3/17/2023 at 10:03 by kirbyklekter (Concord,Ca.)        
Barry Barry Barry

I was amazed when I saw the side by side pic of your Kirby. You have every right to feel good about what you have accomplished. Really! You can also put a coat of car wax or polish as a top coat to slow down the oxidation that occurs with time. My friend who collects exotic autos gave me a tube of Blue Coral that he uses on the chrome of his cars and it actually took the shine a step or two further!

There are a lot of good products out there, that's just one I tried. I have "liver spots " on a couple nozzles also. I was thinking of getting a bench grinder/polisher, but after Les mentioned a while back that he had a part fly across the garage while polishing, I thought, ahh, I'll just wait for a better nozzle to come along!

Also, the compliments you are receiving from the members here are genuine. These people don't mince with words, they call it as they see it,so enjoy the kudos! Give your G4 a good run at your moms like you said. Win/win! Billy

Post# 461416 , Reply# 67   3/17/2023 at 13:51 by JustJunque (Western MA)        

Thanks, Billy!
I certainly appreciate all the kind words. I don't take any of it for granted.
But, since I'm looking at it up close and personal, I just want to make sure everyone knows, the picture doesn't show the "warts" that remain.
I'm definitely pleased with the fact that it looks better than when I first got it.
I was wondering about hitting it with a coat of car wax. I'll probably do that too.
In addition to cleaning up appliances, and things around the house from a very early age, my real passion used to be cleaning cars. I even did it for a job briefly. But, I didn't last long there because, #1, I was just a kid, and it was one of my first jobs. And, #2, they wanted quick turn-around. Get 'em clean, and get 'em out on the lot. I wanted to take my time, and do it "my way". But, it doesn't work that way when you're on the clock.
But, when I started collecting vacuums and stuff, I kind of applied some of the cleaning methods I used to use on cars. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.


Post# 461422 , Reply# 68   3/17/2023 at 20:51 by Blackheart (North Dakota)        

blackheart's profile picture
I think any good collection should have at least 1 Kirby they're an iconic brand.

If you find those water spots are bothering you get some very fine sand paper like 1200 grit wet the spot with polish and sand it until the spot is gone. You'll need to re-polish it afterwards, labor intensive for sure but it's been quite effective.

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