Thread Number: 44436  /  Tag: 50s/60s/70s Vacuum Cleaners
Vibra-Groomer II with Square Ends
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Post# 462397   4/18/2023 at 15:24 (310 days old) by Paul (USA)        

Was the Vibra-Groomer II originally designed with square ends when it debuted in 1978, or was this a retrofitted version for swapping out a Vibra-Groomer or Disturbulator?

If so, I'm wondering if the change to the hex ends came about in 1981 with the updated Roto-Matic power nozzles?

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Post# 462401 , Reply# 1   4/18/2023 at 19:00 (310 days old) by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

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I actually think that Eureka’s classic 1960’s Disturbulator brush roll came with hexagonal ends, because I remember that you could set the roller to a “worn” setting so that used bristles could stick out further, extending the life of the brush roll before replacing it. I may be wrong, but I think all Eureka Disturbulator brush rolls had hexagonal ends. The Vibra Groomer always had square ends from the very beginning, if I remember correctly.

Post# 462409 , Reply# 2   4/19/2023 at 08:40 (310 days old) by Paul (USA)        

Hey Brian,

I recently saw a Sixties Disturbulator with only brushes and it had the square ends, so maybe both types were made concurrently - one for budget models and one for higher end models.

Thanks for the info.

Post# 462412 , Reply# 3   4/19/2023 at 11:43 (310 days old) by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

eurekaprince's profile picture
You know Paul, I could be totally confused on this one. The brochure for the 260 also shows a Disturbulator with square ends. I personally was involved with four Eureka fan-down uprights: 260, 2083, Walmart orange DAN and blue 1425. Only the 2083 had a VG - the others had basic Disturbulators. And one of them had a hexagonal end that could be installed either showing a “New Bristles” setting or a “Worn Bristles” setting. Maybe it was the later 1425? I can’t remember exactly….

Post# 462415 , Reply# 4   4/19/2023 at 14:11 (310 days old) by human (Pines of Carolina)        

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I'm guessing they came both ways. I've got a Sanitaire SC686 that I rebuilt a few years ago and replaced the original VibraGroomer brush roll with a generic VGII. Both had the same hexagonal ends.

Post# 462417 , Reply# 5   4/19/2023 at 14:28 (310 days old) by kloveland (Tulsa)        

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I bought a Eureka from a fellow collector that had the vibra-groomer II with square ends (just like the one pictured above). I thought someone just switched the end caps. I do not think these were made like that.

Post# 462422 , Reply# 6   4/19/2023 at 17:16 (309 days old) by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

eurekaprince's profile picture
Come to think of it now, the 2083 Rugulator (from 1974) came with a VG One with square ends. I remember that you had to secure the small square ends with a very tight green metal spring clip that hooked around a small nub on each side of the metal motor base. Usually had to use a Robertson square screwdriver to push that clip into place!!!!

Post# 462437 , Reply# 7   4/20/2023 at 13:41 (309 days old) by Paul (USA)        

It seems logical that Eureka's R & D would have found that hex ends held the brush rolls in place better with higher amp motors.

If so, Eureka could have then made Disturbulators and VGs with the hex ends in smaller quantities for replacements. That would have been more cost effective than producing brush rolls with both ends in similar quantities.

Newspaper advertisements indicate the following debuts:

1 - the ESP 6-amp upright motor in mid-1978 - Brandywine Type A models
2 - the VG-II in July 1978 with the Model 1458-A
3 - the Self-Propelled ESP upright Model 5060-A in the fall of 1979
4 - the ESP 6.5-amp & 4-amp motors in late spring 1981 (& updated Roto-Matic power nozzle around that time) - models 1425-D, 1458-B/D, 2061-A, 2062-B, & possibly others

So if anyone has these models they could shed some light on the matter.

Post# 462439 , Reply# 8   4/20/2023 at 16:49 (308 days old) by kloveland (Tulsa)        

kloveland's profile picture
Yeah, but did the VG II come with square ends? I tend to believe all Eureka's used hex ends by the time the VG II came out.

Yes, I have several Eureka uprights with the VG I (one) with square ends.

Post# 462468 , Reply# 9   4/21/2023 at 11:23 (308 days old) by Paul (USA)        


Hopefully someone that owns a 1978 model with a VG-II will chime in at some point, so we know if the VG-II with square ends was OEM.

One thing I discovered in searching newspaper advertisements is that the Model 1458-A was equipped with a Vibra-Groomer II, while the higher-end Model 2087 had the Vibra-Groomer. That may be a clue to a square-ended VG-II that could be swapped out for a VG in that era. Note the distinction of "beater bar brush roll" and "beater brush roll".

From the July 23, 1978, edition of the YOUNGSTOWN VINDICATOR:

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Post# 462474 , Reply# 10   4/21/2023 at 16:57 (307 days old) by kirbyklekter (Concord,Ca.)        
Can you tell me

what the difference is between Vibra Groomer and Vibra GroomerII? Of the 10 Eureka/Sanitaires I have, nine have the metal shiny chrome roller with the blue bristles encased in orange. A few of those had a rubber piece that fit over the metal end caps to cushion the rollers a bit. These all date from late 70's to late 90's.

The odd man out is the 10th roller that has longer black bristles and the roller isn't chrome but a grey non shiny metal with a dramatic fin-like sweep to it. I hope that makes since. Looks like it adds to the velocity of air and can really paddle the dust into the bag! Is this the Disturbulater?

Post# 462499 , Reply# 11   4/22/2023 at 16:02 (306 days old) by Paul (USA)        

Here are photo's that show the brush roll differences. Regarding the Disturbulator, there were several different versions from its launch in 1945 with the Model D-272 according to advertisements. The first had 4 sections of 2 rows of willow brushes - one longer than the other; replaced by nylon bristles in 1949 on the Model 250. Then beater bars were added in 1972 and introduced on the models 238-FB & 2022. I'm unsure if other modifications were made after that. The Vibra-Groomer III was added to the line in 1986.

Photo 1: (from "swingette" in thread 940) - from top to bottom: helix-shaped Vibra-Groomer - introduced in 1969 with the Model 2080 "Vanguard", Disturbulator with nylon bristles, Vibra-Groomer II - introduced in 1978 with the Model 1458.

Photo 2: Disturbulator with beater bars introduced in the fall of 1972 with models 238-FB & 2022.

Photo 3: Vibra-Groomer III, launched in 1986 with the Express Power Team models 8260, 8283, 8285 & JCP's 3003; it's similar to Hoover's 'Quadraflex' brush roll with 4 brush strips.

Photo 4: New Disturbulator article from the November 15, 1945, edition of the EUGENE REGISTER-GUARD

Photo 5: June 28, 1946, NEWS-SENTINEL ad featuring the new Home Cleaning System

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Post# 462501 , Reply# 12   4/22/2023 at 16:13 (306 days old) by Paul (USA)        
Other Advertisements Featuring Early V-G II Upright Models

As mentioned earlier, the 1978 Model 1458-A was the first to be factory-equipped with the V-G II. Here are the 1979 models that were:

1. 1979 Aug 9 DAYTONA BEACH MORNING JOURNAL - Model 2042 (Orange trim - Type E)
2. 1979 Mar. 7 SPOKANE DAILY CHRONICLE - Model 1447 (version 1)
3. 1979 May 23 SPOKANE DAILY CHRONICLE - Model 1448-A (& 1276-A Power Team)
4. 1980 May 22 THE PRESS-COURIER - Model 2084 (debuted in 1979)

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Post# 462503 , Reply# 13   4/22/2023 at 16:29 (306 days old) by human (Pines of Carolina)        
Another Vibragroomer variant...

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My 1980-vintage Sanitaire SC686 came with a different variant of the original Vibragroomer. It's black with four strips of bristles, instead of the beater bars. I've still got it, but the bearings are shot, so the machine now has a generic Vibragroomer II in it.

Post# 462511 , Reply# 14   4/22/2023 at 22:12 (306 days old) by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

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Many Sanitaires now come with a Vibra Groomer One helix brush roll that only has bristles - no beater bars. This works better on flat commercial carpeting that has very shalow nap, so no need to aggressively beat the carpet. This commercial carpeting is often glued directly to concrete, and so hitting it with steel beater bars is actually quite damaging to both carpet and vacuum cleaner.

I’ve always been kind of skeptical of the benefits of a hard beater bar over a row of bristles. The brush rolls are spinning so fast that even rows of bristles create a “beating” vibration on any carpet. And if I remember correctly, a Eureka upright with an all bristle Disturbulator fared better in Consumer Reports tests in the early 1960’s than a Hoover Convertible with beater bars.

Post# 462515 , Reply# 15   4/23/2023 at 05:06 (306 days old) by kirbyklekter (Concord,Ca.)        
Paul and Brian

Thank you for all this info, this has been a really informative thread.

Post# 462517 , Reply# 16   4/23/2023 at 10:53 (306 days old) by Kloveland (Tulsa)        

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I’m not sure when this one came out. Late 70s? But it has the VG I hex ends. I still don’t think originally the VG II had square ends. I could be wrong. My vacuum room looks tragic. I know.

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Post# 462622 , Reply# 17   4/25/2023 at 09:29 (304 days old) by Paul (USA)        

That's the Model 2385 "Chic" from the 1976 Continental (European) Styling series. What type is it? It was produced until at least 1980, so a different type could mean a change in brush roll ends. Otherwise, it may be that the hex ends were phased in over time beginning with the Continental Styling series or premium models.

Post# 462636 , Reply# 18   4/25/2023 at 19:59 (303 days old) by Centralvacs1928 (Chicagoland)        

Would the change from square ends to hex ends have been concurrent with the change from metal bases to plastic?

I've only ever seen square end machines with metal bases and wooden disturbulator or spiral aluminum Vibra Groomer I brushrolls. I suspect the square end VGII was made only as a replacement for earlier models and was never an original supplied item.

I'll throw something else into the discussion here:

Does anyone have any knowledge of the Eureka/Sanitaire models that used a "round end" VGI or VGII brushroll as shown on this early 1990s Star for Parts catalog?

I think this was a short lived and possibly problematic design but have no idea which models used it or when.

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Post# 462642 , Reply# 19   4/26/2023 at 10:34 (303 days old) by Paul (USA)        

Good thought about the change from square ends to hex ends.

Thanks for adding the Sanitaire brush roll round ends to the discussion; that's the first I knew of them.

Post# 462655 , Reply# 20   4/26/2023 at 19:25 (302 days old) by human (Pines of Carolina)        

human's profile picture
@eurekaprince: Thanks for the info on the Sanitaire variant on the Helix brushroll. I didn't realize they had special ones for the Sanitaires, but it makes sense that they would have a specialized version for commercial environments.

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