Thread Number: 44848  /  Tag: 50s/60s/70s Vacuum Cleaners
Recently got a hold of a 514 Kirby...have some questions
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Post# 465582   8/27/2023 at 17:02 by superocd (PNW US)        

Got around to tearing into it last night to clean it and assess its condition, but I have some questions.

1. Armature - I vaguely remember reading about 4A Kirby motors and the motors basically being the same from the late 513 to the S7. However, my armature resembles a 3A one, based on the kinds of armatures Ive seen on here. The pointed-star cooling fan is a giveaway, and not like the cooling fans you see on the Sanitronics et. al. I've never had a Kirby older than an S7 till now, so I'm confused. If it helps any, the numbers stamped on the rotor, from commutator end down, are 12 (illegible) 3 53, so I'm assuming that's the date code. What do I have?

2. Field - there looks like what resembles two wires coming out of the coil, but obviously there's no wires extending past the coil. What's up with this? It doesn't go to the light, as it was wired into the foot switch.

3. Fan - Imagine my surprise when I popped off the floor nozzle to be greeted by a six-blade fan. I was excited! However, after disassembly, I noticed that one of the blades has a chip off the corner edge, the edges of the blades show obvious wear and I think there's been some bending as the sides of the blades "lean" rather than stand 90. Again, I've never had anything older than an S7 so maybe the "lean" is OK. I just want to know if it's OK to use this fan since I will be putting brand new bearings into this machine, or should I shelf my metal fan dream and spring for a 505-515 Amodel fan kit to preserve the life of the motor and bearings?

4. Rubber wheels - Every piece of this vacuum (save for the non-original Kirby Sanitronic-era bag which was machine washed and will be saved as a "backup" for my S7/D50) was cleaned with hot water and Simple Green disinfectant. The wheels came clean but are kind of chalky. How do I restore the blackness of the wheels?

I'm real excited to finally have a pre-516 style Kirby as I've wanted one for the longest time. I love the "crude, tactical" design.

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Post# 465598 , Reply# 1   8/28/2023 at 05:19 by superocd (PNW US)        

Also, are there any particular places where date codes may be cast onto the machine's castings?

Post# 465629 , Reply# 2   8/28/2023 at 23:27 by Lesinutah (Utah)        

lesinutah's profile picture
Only date codes are on the armature and the coil. You have a 3 amp armature. 516 to s7 are the same motor. The 513 through 515 amp motors are different size of the armature shaft. The fan is also orog9nal to 3 amp motors. The fan is pretty rare and a most 3 amp motors had the fan replaced with the 11 blade fan.
There is stamps all over the vacuum but none are date stamps.
I'd keep the 3 amp motor in it and fan.
Does it have a push push silver power button or a toggle switch
Someone could have just switched out the front motor housing and put it on an earlier 500 series body.

Post# 465635 , Reply# 3   8/29/2023 at 02:48 by superocd (PNW US)        

The switch is a "push push" rather than the flip/toggle style.

I wonder if this machine is cobbled together now that you confirmed my suspicions of having a 3A armature. The fan case has the 514 data plate (with the 4A rating), yet the armature is the old 3A (which I'm not complaining, I'd love to experience some low amperage cleaning!) as long as it will work with the field I have. I have no idea about the field and whether it belongs to a 3A or 4A or if there is any difference.

The push-push would be on the 4A 500 series machines, right?

I don't know when the push-push debuted, was it the 514 or was it earlier?

Post# 465637 , Reply# 4   8/29/2023 at 08:30 by VacMadMan (Pueblo Co.)        

vacmadman's profile picture
The 513 was the first with the push on off switch.


Post# 465657 , Reply# 5   8/29/2023 at 17:52 by Lesinutah (Utah)        

lesinutah's profile picture
Quote me but the armature is the same for 3 amp and 4 amp. There are 513s with a 3 amo motors an F 4 amo motor too. The differences are minimal.
The fan is rare treat it well.

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