Thread Number: 44862  /  Tag: 80s/90s Vacuum Cleaners
Performing a Royal Upgrade
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Post# 465713   9/1/2023 at 06:21 by StanL (Florida)        

I have a Alva 895 that's actually a Royal from the 80s.

Reading threads I see that Royal had an improved version of adjusting the height of the rear wheels. My vacuum has the annoying screw knob version.

If I can get the parts, is it possible to replace the control with the foot release/incremental height assembly?

It LOOKS like I'd need a half dozen parts, but I'm not sure which ones are necessary or if it's something I can even exchange on my vacuum.

Below is a link to a parts list that include that assembly.


Post# 465787 , Reply# 1   9/3/2023 at 12:34 by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

kirbyclassiciii's profile picture
Hi Stan,

The "Rite-Hite" is actually more reliable than the toe-touch height adjuster.

And, may I see pictures of your 895, please, that way I know for sure what repair parts you need for it?

Thank you,

Ben (KirbyClassicIII)

Post# 465788 , Reply# 2   9/3/2023 at 13:43 by StanL (Florida)        

Sure. I was asking about the step-on height adjustment because it sounded like an upgrade I might be able to add. If it's not, that's fine.

The bulb is a mystery to me. There's no printing on the bulb and I can't find a schematic for this model.
I have an similar bulb from another vacuum that is too loose. The base on the original is a bit longer than this one:
I don't know what the right part number, Tx, or even wattage should be.

The nozzle guard is looking rusty and dirty. While the model for this part doesn't match, it does seem right:

Finally, the two front wheels have crumbled. I understand they don't exist anymore, but I found a dealer selling homemade(?) replacements that seem right as well:

I'll also get a couple new caps to hold them on from the same place, although the old ones are still fine.

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Post# 465814 , Reply# 3   9/4/2023 at 02:37 by hygiene903 (Galion, OH)        
Hi Stan,

hygiene903's profile picture
I agree with Ben that the Rite-Hite knob is more reliable than the toe-touch system. As for bulbs, look for appliance or sewing machine bulbs at your local discount, hardware, or building supply store. The bulb will have a bayonet base and be available in 15 or 25 watts. A good scrubbing with steel wool and rubbing or polishing compound might bring back the rug guard for you if the rust isn't too bad. However, if that doesn't do the trick, or if you just want to get a new one anyway, the one shown on the link you posted looks right to me. The rug guard, like many other parts on Royals are interchangeable from one model to another.
Your Alva might possibly be older than you think. It looks almost identical to an Electro-Hygiene 880, 890. or 903, also built by Royal and except for cord, bag, and trim color, they are identical to the Royal 880. The EH 880 was built from 1966-68, the 890 from 68-71, and the 903 from 1971 until Electro-Hygiene went out of business in the mid 80's. Here is a pic of one of my Electro-Hygiene 903's and one of my Royal 880.
If you post a pic of the data plate (or sticker) Ben or I could probably figure out when it was made, at least within a ballpark figure. Another source you might want to check out for parts is Vac Parts Plus, the online store of the Henry Company, which many of us consider to be our "go to" source for Royal parts. Hope this helps,

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Post# 465816 , Reply# 4   9/4/2023 at 06:51 by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

The toe touch Royal height adjust can "adjust" itself if you bump the vacuum into a wall.For parts go to a well stokced vac shop that was a Royal dealer.The machines and their parts have been discontinued.You will need to rely on parts existing in shops and other vac collectors.

Post# 465822 , Reply# 5   9/4/2023 at 12:47 by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

kirbyclassiciii's profile picture

Here's an 880 parts list for you. Yes, your 895 is covered here!

The light bulb you want was part no. 1-880629-000, a 120-volt, 10-watt double-contact type.

Front wheels were 1-880705-000.


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Post# 465825 , Reply# 6   9/4/2023 at 17:25 by StanL (Florida)        

After talking with my dad, he agrees that it's been modified a lot, and it's probably the vacuum they got in the 60s or early 70s.

The pic you posted looks a lot like the Alva vac I grew up with. I guess it really is older than I thought.

I tried steel wool and Brasso and went at the nozzle guard several times. It's maybe 50%+ better and I think I'm okay with it. At this point if none of that comes off under those circumstances, it's probably not getting on a carpet.

At this point it's still the bulb and wheels that need replacing. I'm intrigued by the custom ones I linked, only because the last ones really did crumble like the picture on their site.

I don't see the wheels or bulbs on Vac Parts Plus, but of course I don't know exactly what I'm looking for either.

I checked out Home Depot and Lowes and they have an appliance bulb that looks right, but the base seems a tiny bit smaller and the bulb is longer (not that that should be an issue). I really wish I had a part number since there are sites selling several different Royal bulbs.

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Post# 465830 , Reply# 7   9/4/2023 at 18:38 by Lesinutah (Utah)        

lesinutah's profile picture
Sylvania 1156 I believe is the oem bulb used. Double bayonet dual polarity ba15d bulb. It has to have 2 bayonets on the bottom.
Kirby, royal, eureka/sanitaire, riccR, eureka power nozzles all use this same bulb.

Post# 465833 , Reply# 8   9/5/2023 at 02:31 by hygiene903 (Galion, OH)        

hygiene903's profile picture
The bulb pictured looks right to me. As long as the base size and pin location match, the overall length of the bulb doesn't matter much. The one in the package looks pretty much like the ones in most of my Royals and Electro-Hygienes. And I think Les is right about it being a Sylvania 1156 (or equivalent).
Going by the serial number of 67C C 103100 on the data label, your Alva was built in March of 1976 at Royal plant 3. Breaking that down, 67 is the year in reverse, the first C is the month (March), the second C is the plant number, and 103100 is a sequence number. Royal started this date coding system in 1971, with the year in reverse until 1977, which was the same either way, and forward reading date numbers from 1978 on. For example, 82G A 123456 would have been built in July of 1982 at plant 1.
Another thing I might mention, is that even though your vac is an Alva, you should always use Royal for your parts searches. That will give you the most results. And almost all parts (with very few exceptions) for Royal built uprights are the same across the board, whether it's a Royal, Stark, Alva, Regal, Good Housekeeper, or Electro-Hygiene. Good luck with your search,

Post# 465834 , Reply# 9   9/5/2023 at 07:34 by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

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It was in late 1978 that Royal changed the date code format by placing the letter for the month first (e.g., L78 for November 1978 instead of 78L).

Yes, Stan's machine was built in March 1976. It would have had a 3.0 amp motor (it changed to 4.5 amps in September 1980, at date code J80).

Royal did not use "I" to denote the month of September until 1985, when it switched over its serial number system to a computerized format (therefore redesignating J=October, K=November and L=December).


Post# 465847 , Reply# 10   9/5/2023 at 12:49 by StanL (Florida)        

Funny thing, I dug through the storage area today and found the manuals and parts list for the Royal 880 as well.

The bulb has me stumped. I can't find the right bulb anywhere. I did this search, but I can't go on that information, really:
Like I said before, I did try a standard 15W bayonet bulb but it was loose and vibrated on and off with the vacuum on. I'm pretty sure if I put a drop of solder at the end of each contact that it would fix the problem, but that seems sketchy.

The wheels I linked are RO-671705 which I can't find any evidence that they are the same as the 1-880705-000, which I need.

I getting ready to get rid of this. It's so frustrating.

Post# 465848 , Reply# 11   9/5/2023 at 13:38 by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

kirbyclassiciii's profile picture

Please don't give up yet. As I said, the bulb you need is a 120-volt, double-contact, so the 1156 is not right for your machine.

The bulb you need would look more like this:

Please let me see the literature you have for the 880 before you decide to part ways with it.

~Ben (KirbyClassicIII)

Post# 465872 , Reply# 12   9/5/2023 at 22:03 by Lesinutah (Utah)        

lesinutah's profile picture
Dual polarity dual bayonet bulb.

Post# 465914 , Reply# 13   9/8/2023 at 08:23 by StanL (Florida)        

Have a bulb and wheels on the way that MIGHT work. Will definitely let you all know how it goes.

Another question: I see in the diagrams that there is a port for oiling the motor on the side. What is needed for maintenance on these?
I know repair shops are pretty hesitant to take on something so old.

Post# 465915 , Reply# 14   9/8/2023 at 08:24 by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

kirbyclassiciii's profile picture

You would be using SAE 10W30 motor oil. Make sure you do not overfill the wick.


Post# 465916 , Reply# 15   9/8/2023 at 09:35 by StanL (Florida)        

Is there a youtube video on how to do this? It's new to me.

Post# 465922 , Reply# 16   9/8/2023 at 10:54 by StanL (Florida)        

I see a lot of talk of what's right for the motor, especially no detergent.
Should this be good?


Post# 465969 , Reply# 17   9/8/2023 at 22:28 by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

kirbyclassiciii's profile picture
Hi Stan,

Have you watched this Royal 880 teardown video yet?
(video: Hank's Garage)


Post# 466004 , Reply# 18   9/10/2023 at 06:07 by StanL (Florida)        

Nice video. Doesn't really answer my question of how often, how much or where to oil. It also doesn't recommend an oil.

Still, neat vid.

Post# 466006 , Reply# 19   9/10/2023 at 09:09 by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

kirbyclassiciii's profile picture

As I earlier said, you want to use SAE 10W30 grade motor oil. Since you have a 1976 model, there would be only one oil port (there will be a red cap), and that is by the rear wheels. When filling up the wick, make sure you do not overfill it.


Post# 466009 , Reply# 20   9/10/2023 at 11:34 by StanL (Florida)        

Thanks. Do you think this oil is appropriate or can you recommend something better?

Post# 466013 , Reply# 21   9/10/2023 at 16:48 by 2011hoover700 (owosso michigan)        

2011hoover700's profile picture
I recommend this and never detergent oil as detergent oil I understand ruins bronze bearings.

Post# 466022 , Reply# 22   9/10/2023 at 20:19 by Lesinutah (Utah)        

lesinutah's profile picture
3 in 1 oil or 5 in 1 oil. This is what I have used.

Post# 466096 , Reply# 23   9/12/2023 at 09:57 by StanL (Florida)        

Aren't 3 in 1 and 5 in 1 20 weight?

Post# 466122 , Reply# 24   9/12/2023 at 21:28 by Lesinutah (Utah)        

lesinutah's profile picture
Here's a link. This is what I use and alot of people on the oiler royals.


Post# 466146 , Reply# 25   9/13/2023 at 14:56 by StanL (Florida)        

@Lesinutah - I'd be concerned that the 3-in-one on Amazon doesn't give a weight to the oil (like most multi-in-ones).
Heck, it's made by WD-40 which is even less encouraging.

Post# 466159 , Reply# 26   9/13/2023 at 19:56 by Lesinutah (Utah)        
Good grief

lesinutah's profile picture
It's an sae 20 weight machine lubricant.
I have over 20 royals it doesn't ruin anything. Its what vacuum shop uses when servicing royals. You really think a thick ass 30w oil is any good. It's thick. And won't penetrate and lube everything g well.
If you don't believe then maybe you shouldn't ask advicevand when someone gives you sound advice you Question it because it's not a 30w oil. BTW it's #2 selling lubricant on Amazon. Do as you wish put that 30w and watch the bearing seize up because the oil won't break down.

Post# 466282 , Reply# 27   9/17/2023 at 20:12 by StanL (Florida)        

I was just asking if the Ace Hardware oil I linked was acceptable.

If you want to argue about the weight, here's a thread:

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Post# 466312 , Reply# 28   9/18/2023 at 23:35 by Lesinutah (Utah)        

lesinutah's profile picture
I suggest and question every answer. If you shoot down everyones advice don't ask.

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