Thread Number: 44449  /  Tag: 50s/60s/70s Vacuum Cleaners
Hard to find Kirby parts
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Post# 462502   4/22/2023 at 16:15 (306 days old) by VacMadMan (Pueblo Co.)        

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I don't mind spending a little money to buy extra hard to find Kirby parts. I now have a good original 510 bag to put on my 510.

What would you say are the most difficult parts to find when restoring an old vacuum?

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Post# 462508 , Reply# 1   4/22/2023 at 17:34 (306 days old) by Lesinutah (Utah)        

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Bag topper on kirby 505
508-512 bag in good shape
505 handle
505 bag.

Post# 462509 , Reply# 2   4/22/2023 at 17:36 (306 days old) by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

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I am with you when it comes to finding unique parts to some of our favorite vacuums. What an awesome score you got for your 510!

In my case, I believe the rarest Kirby parts of all are:
* The black trim used on models 2C to 505.
* The gray headlight bumper and nozzle bumper used on models 508 to 512.
* The 13" double bristle brush roll (as used on the COMVAC 1300 and the 13" nozzle versions of the Heritage/84 1-HD and the Heritage II/Legend and Legend II 2-HD).
* The 18" brush roll used on the Janitronic, the American Lincoln Super-Sweep and the Super-Vac 180.
* The top-mounted speed switch and headlight lock button, as used on the very first Kirby Tradition 3-CBs.


This post was last edited 04/22/2023 at 18:53
Post# 462520 , Reply# 3   4/23/2023 at 11:48 (306 days old) by VacMadMan (Pueblo Co.)        
Original bags and cords

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Here is my 510 with her new-old original bag. Thanks Les, and Ben, for your feedback. I think overall the hardest parts to find for older vacuums are the original bags. I still need to find bags like this one for my 509, 511, and 512.

The original cords can also be a challenge to find. Most of the older Kirby's I've seen have Beldin replacement cords. To me if you don't have an original cord the Beldin replacement cords are the next best thing.


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Post# 462533 , Reply# 4   4/23/2023 at 19:37 (305 days old) by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

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I do agree with you in that area, regarding the original black cords with their lozenge-shaped male plugs.

And I also believe that the next best thing for these black-trimmed Kirbys (and also the early gray trimmed ones, 508 to 512) is to use the gray and red trim that Kirby used to rebuild these machines during the mid 1950s to early 1970s, such as what was the case of this model 3C.


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Post# 462534 , Reply# 5   4/23/2023 at 20:46 (305 days old) by Lesinutah (Utah)        

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What are the name of the rivets you use. I had 2 and the rest are pop rivets.

Post# 462537 , Reply# 6   4/23/2023 at 21:33 (305 days old) by huskyvacs (Gnaw Bone, Indiana)        

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Body panels, wheels, and bags.

Post# 462542 , Reply# 7   4/24/2023 at 07:15 (305 days old) by gmkubancsek (GREENWOOD)        

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Sharing here - the rivets used by Kirby are known as blind or tubular rivets and use a bench top press in a majority of cases. I have seen hand versions - I am currently looking for a device to install bumpers and nozzle / light cap trim.

I am looking for a bag for a 505- a reproduction with Kirby logo is fine, an OEM bag is welcome. they seem very hard to find.

Post# 462545 , Reply# 8   4/24/2023 at 08:19 (305 days old) by VacMadMan (Pueblo Co.)        
Kirby rivets

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I bought these from Kirbyfans or Kirbyneeds. I bought the last ones they had and they have not reordered them as of yet. Maybe if you call and ask they might reorder some...Original Kirby Rivets for vintage headlight trim and nozzle bumper, 4/Pk. 1545A.

Update: I just got off the phone with Kent's wife Yolanda and she said she would look into getting more of the Rivets and also some of the early brush roll adjustment screws. She said she would call me to let me know when and if she gets them.


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This post was last edited 04/24/2023 at 10:46
Post# 462550 , Reply# 9   4/24/2023 at 10:22 (305 days old) by bnsd60m9200 (Akron OH)        

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specifically for kirby, original bags, cords, bumper trim and decals. for most other brands its completely different items that are hard to find. with hoover its cords, vinyl jackets and attachments and attachment hoses. with other brands its outer bags, cords, and brushrolls and belts.

Post# 462555 , Reply# 10   4/24/2023 at 13:18 (305 days old) by Lesinutah (Utah)        

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Thanks for the help on the rivets

Post# 462559 , Reply# 11   4/24/2023 at 14:07 (305 days old) by VacMadMan (Pueblo Co.)        
your welcome

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Yolanda just sent me a text letting me know she ordered the rivets and roller bush adjustment screws. She said she would call me when she gets them in stock. It could take a month or so to get them.


Post# 462609 , Reply# 12   4/24/2023 at 21:49 (304 days old) by Lesinutah (Utah)        

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I may call her but it's good she's still doing some kirby sales.

Post# 464129 , Reply# 13   6/26/2023 at 18:18 (241 days old) by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

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Also rare was the very first 508 bag that looked like it was for the 505, only it was in gray and it had silver stripes.


Post# 464131 , Reply# 14   6/26/2023 at 20:08 (241 days old) by Lesinutah (Utah)        

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Mean the whitish duvetynne bag adam mercer has.

Post# 465385 , Reply# 15   8/19/2023 at 21:16 (187 days old) by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

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Hi Jim,

I am not sure if you are aware of this, but the gray plastic handle grip cover did not first show up until midway into the 512 run.

Hence, models 508, 509, 510 and 511 may have had primarily gray trim, but all have had the 505's black grip originally throughout their run.

The very first 512s that had the earlier black grips from the factory also had a gray-painted composite front axle, because of material shortages related to the Korean War.

That is information according to David O. (odavid123)


This post was last edited 08/19/2023 at 21:32
Post# 465398 , Reply# 16   8/20/2023 at 12:00 (187 days old) by odavid123 (Los Angeles ca )        

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Great find Jim!
For me the hardest cosmetic parts to find are :
-Bags ! Especially early model C , 508 , 509-512 that are not yellow .
-Bumper trim in black and dark gray for the early 500 series
-Gray handle grip ( ornate) that came with the 508 and early 509.
-Original cords for C-513
- C brass belt cover 1C first Bakelite cover , 1C-505 later belt cover

But I strongly agree bags are the hardest to come by :)

Ben , thanks for the shout out .

Post# 465669 , Reply# 17   8/30/2023 at 10:51 by VacMadMan (Pueblo Co.)        
Kirby handle grips

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I grew up working in my dad's vacuum shops seeing a lot of Kirby's come and go. Having said that, I never had or remember seeing the 505 black handle grips. I did however remember seeing many grey handle grips on 510's 511's and so on.

If the handle grips on these Kirby's had all been black like the 505, then why are they so hard to find? This fact alone makes me question that statement. If all 509's 510's and so on came with them there would be many more then the grey handles, we see today. Again, based on that fact alone it just doesn't hold water.


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Post# 465670 , Reply# 18   8/30/2023 at 11:03 by odavid123 (Los Angeles ca )        

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Itís bc the material they were made from was prone to degrading and breaking apart . The gray rubber handle was only introduced at the end of the 512 production . Iíve seen new sealed in boxes units and own a couple that all had the black handle grip . 508 and early 509 still had the gray ornate handle.

Post# 465671 , Reply# 19   8/30/2023 at 11:22 by VacMadMan (Pueblo Co.)        
agree to disagree.

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If all Kirby's from 505 through 512 had the black handle grip they would hands down, be the most common grip out there. The grey 509 handle grips were made of the inferior metical you speak of (pictured) not the 505. The 510 was the first grey rubber handle grip. As I have said before almost nothing about the Kirby and what came with what was written in stone. You can always find exceptions to the rules.


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This post was last edited 08/30/2023 at 12:20
Post# 465674 , Reply# 20   8/30/2023 at 12:12 by odavid123 (Los Angeles ca )        

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Both the 508 and some of the early 509 gray handle was made of that material . Iím just stating facts . The introduction of the new rubber gray handle is mentioned in their literature as 1952 Ö

Here are some pics of a brand new 510 out of the box. That was posted online. The black handle is right there in the second image.
And all my 510,511 and early 512s have the black handle . ❤️

Hope this helps answer your question :)

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Post# 465675 , Reply# 21   8/30/2023 at 12:40 by VacMadMan (Pueblo Co.)        

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So based on these pictures and your comments, you're telling me that Kirby went from the black handle grip on the 505 to a grey handle grip, with the 508 and 509 then back to the black handle grip? Do I got that right??

I'm willing to bet that the way it went down was after the reports of the bad handle grips on the 508 and 509, Kirby went back to the black handle grip at the beginning of the 510 run and came out with the new rubber grey grip sometime during the 510 run. Meaning the early 510 came with the black grip and the last of the 510's came with the new grey rubber grip. Now that would make sense to me.

Kind of like the 515, the first to come out had the black hard rubber wheels and the last 515's to come off the assembly line had the new smooth grey plastic wheels. Also, the 505 itself is another great example of that with the interdiction of the belt lifter about one year into its run. Kirby was known to make changes in mid-stream.


Side note: What a fantastic 510 indeed!! Thats a wonderful find!!

This post was last edited 08/30/2023 at 14:41
Post# 465678 , Reply# 22   8/30/2023 at 15:42 by odavid123 (Los Angeles ca )        

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With the Korean war underway the black 505 handle grip was used up until and for the majority of 1952.

A new gray rubber handle was only introduced in 1952 with Model 512 . I had a post about this on FB and another collector then posted the below to show that the Gray rubber handle didnít come about until 1952 .
Please see attached
So the first time the gray rubber handle grip was used is with the 512 .

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Post# 465681 , Reply# 23   8/30/2023 at 17:14 by VacMadMan (Pueblo Co.)        
Nothing like a good debate (o:

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I will except what you're saying as fact, but Kirby is not the best record keeper to say the least. According to what I have "heard" to Kirby the 511 was never made, because of the Korean war, but we do know that's not true. I also again "believe" if that many black handles were made, we would be seeing more of them.

Kirby is still an education in process for me indeed. Keep up the good work David....Thanks.

Side note: I guess we all need to rethink the Kirby history here, funny how no one else has chimed in, but I think we have gathered a silent crowed....LOL!!


Post# 465682 , Reply# 24   8/30/2023 at 17:40 by odavid123 (Los Angeles ca )        
Good debate indeed !

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We share the same passion for Kirbys :) wish we could go back in time ..
I appreciate all your input. itís really great to be able to converse with people who share the same hobby as you .
Always in good spirit

Post# 465685 , Reply# 25   8/30/2023 at 19:06 by VacMadMan (Pueblo Co.)        

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I just sat down to note that same thought! One thing you and I share in spades is a real passion for these Kirby's, and that's a good thing. Every one of them has their own unique history. Have a good night my friend.


Post# 466139 , Reply# 26   9/13/2023 at 13:01 by VacMadMan (Pueblo Co.)        
505 hose and tools

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I just got these parts today in picture 1, I do believe these are 505 tools picture 2 shows the hose and other parts I'm still waiting on, that are also from the 505. Ive ask our friend David to confirm that for me.


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Post# 466149 , Reply# 27   9/13/2023 at 16:11 by odavid123 (Los Angeles ca )        

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Hi Jim.
To make sure Iím not mistaken I checked the box of a model 505 and a 3C .
The attachments in the first picture belong to a late C model like the 3C .
The 2nd model is consistent with a late model 505. Of course they are still interchangeable.

*Note that the gray small handle belongs to a later model .

Post# 466154 , Reply# 28   9/13/2023 at 16:53 by VacMadMan (Pueblo Co.)        

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Thank you for checking on that for me. I will take more pictures when I get the other parts in hand. Every now and then you can still find these old parts but it always helps if you know what to look for. Thanks again David.


Post# 466167 , Reply# 29   9/14/2023 at 10:24 by odavid123 (Los Angeles ca )        

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Anytime Jim

Kirby R series came with an optional attachment case and cost $5.00 .
Kirby model R attachments picture below

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Post# 466225 , Reply# 30   9/16/2023 at 13:13 by VacMadMan (Pueblo Co.)        
second set

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My second set of early Kirby tools are here. I also took pictures of three different handles as well. The hose is in great shape for as old as it is. I'm happy I found these old Kirby tools and hope to find more in the future. Pictures 6 and 7 show all the tools together.


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This post was last edited 09/16/2023 at 13:56
Post# 466594 , Reply# 31   10/4/2023 at 00:33 by Rowdy141 (United Kingdom)        

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Here in the UK, its impossible to find coloured mains flexes. No blue, no red, no green... Black and greys only.
Sometimes you can find white, but only by the spool. No plugs or moulded connectors.

Post# 467719 , Reply# 32   11/28/2023 at 00:18 by 2011hoover700 (owosso michigan)        

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Can I see a picture of an original kirby 508 plug?

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