Thread Number: 8036
Sunbeam Challenger Vacuum
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Post# 89391   1/20/2010 at 05:41 (3,683 days old) by electrolux-dude (Canyon, TX)        

I found a Sunbeam Challenger vacuum at a thrift store and bought it beings it is what I am thinking is a pretty rare model. It is a blue machine and looks like a suitcase. I paid $15.00 for it. I decided to go through and clean its motor. Wow, what a bear of a machine! The motor still seems to be good, yet the gasket is pretty much all gone, it's badly cracked, and dried up, and falling apart so there's no suction. Can you get any rubber gaskets that will work at say like Lowe's or Home Depot? I would like to restore this machine as cosmetically it's in really good shape, I would take a picture of it but have lost the cord to my digital camera--Darn! Did I waste my money? I consider it to be a rare machine, it has the hose, 2 extension wands, the rug tool, dusting brush and upholstery tool.
Thanks in advance, guys--for all your help. Also--what year model is this machine--I'm thinking early 1960's?

Post# 89396 , Reply# 1   1/20/2010 at 07:13 (3,683 days old) by singingrainbow (Texas)        

That is not a chalengar if it is blue and looks like a suitcace it sounds to me like it is a courior. But anyways no you did not waste your money they are not easy to find and usualy their motor is gone if you do find one. PS I do think it is from the 1960s

Post# 89397 , Reply# 2   1/20/2010 at 07:30 (3,683 days old) by electrolux-dude (Canyon, TX)        

You're Right--It is a Courier.
My Mistake!

Post# 89398 , Reply# 3   1/20/2010 at 07:41 (3,683 days old) by vinvac (Dubuque IA)        

vinvac's profile picture

Not sure about the gasket...but I would bet there would be someway of making a new one.

Or hang on to it and perhaps another machine will have some spare parts...


Post# 89399 , Reply# 4   1/20/2010 at 07:52 (3,683 days old) by arh1953 ( River Park, in Port St. Lucie, Florida)        
Congrats on your latest find and

arh1953's profile picture
Why don't you check out auto parts stores for gasket material?

Post# 89400 , Reply# 5   1/20/2010 at 08:02 (3,683 days old) by aeoliandave (Stratford Ontario Canada)        
Rarer to find even than the green flowered Challenger. And p

aeoliandave's profile picture
Yes, hang on to it! Twice in three years I have watched Couriers on Ebay and both times went very very dear...and not to me. :-(There was a third one came up - bol - that was rusted out and dented that no one bid on...with good reason.

This one pictured was posted in 2007 and is the top of the line model with bumper strips along the sides and internal cordwinder.
There was also a plain bottom of the line model painted the same light blue without strips and trim and no cordwinder.

Post# 89401 , Reply# 6   1/20/2010 at 08:14 (3,683 days old) by aeoliandave (Stratford Ontario Canada)        

aeoliandave's profile picture
I love how the small attachments store inside around the motor. I imagine it won't be too difficult to find a substitute for the bags.
As I am sure you'll figure out a way to create a new motor seal gasket.
I've not seen one of these in person yet but I have repaired all sorts of gaskets by adapting mounts from other machines and plumping them up with inner tube rubber or real rubber adhesive weatherstripping. I get it at TSC Farm stores where Farmers insist on something better than consumer grade foams most homeowners use. It comes in many widths and thicknesses.
If the gasket - I am assuming it is a donut ring type that surrounds the motor (like on a Compact)or is it a rubber end cap like a (Constellation)? - is cracked but all there perhaps you could fill in the cracks with silicone rubberfor a positive seal and then build it up with a flat weatherstripping band layer.

Post# 89402 , Reply# 7   1/20/2010 at 08:30 (3,683 days old) by aeoliandave (Stratford Ontario Canada)        

aeoliandave's profile picture
Going by the blue colour scheme and tool shapes I would date it to the late 1960s/very early 1970s.
All you need is a matching Sunbeam crevicetool and a fixed gasket and you have a winner!
From the rarity one finds these they did not sell as well as the Hoover Portable Cleaning Center which stored everything under the lid. A great design by Hoover but the Courier is much more elegant, light and maneuverable with its upright configuration.


Post# 89403 , Reply# 8   1/20/2010 at 08:33 (3,683 days old) by electrolux-dude (Canyon, TX)        

It's Fallen to pieces, I'm going to look at auto parts stores, etc to try to fix up a new one. Thanks for the photos, mine looks very similar.

Post# 89428 , Reply# 9   1/20/2010 at 15:48 (3,683 days old) by kenkart ()        
That motor--- --- ---

Is a Sunbeam built, single fan motor,the gasket is a sponge rubber type thing,similar to the gasket on a rainbow between the motor and water pan,you probably can buy that type material in a roll,like weatherstripping, and form it to fit and join the 2 ends,those motors have great suction and even better airflow.

Post# 89775 , Reply# 10   1/23/2010 at 14:03 (3,680 days old) by schwinnapproved ()        

Oh my gosh, I had one of these! In fact I think its still sitting at a never visited resale shop in my moms town! I might have to go back and get it lol. I brought it in there to try and sell when I was 14 years old! I'm 23 now lol. Shows how much buisiness they get. The reason I had brought it there was because I could never find bags for the thing. I had to retro-fit bags from other machines to work with it.

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