Thread Number: 8198
1969 Electrolux 1205 motor question
[Down to Last]

Vacuumland's exclusive eBay Watch:
scroll >>> for more items
Post# 91189   2/10/2010 at 12:55 (3,760 days old) by kloveland (Tulsa, OK)        

kloveland's profile picture
I am back with another Electrolux Question. I just bought a model 1205 off of ebay, after a good exterior cleanup it really looks great. I removed the cord winder and the plastic housing that surrounds the motor and blew out the excess dirt in there as well. I havenít opened the motor any further.

My problem is that when I first turn on the canister it makes a buzzing sound followed by a faint electrical smell after that the motor sounds okay. What could be the problem? Carbon brushes, armature, bearings. I will open the motor further to see how worn down the carbon bushes are.

I know that canister was purchased February 18, 1969(the day after my birthday in 1985) so I canít expect it to run perfectly. The suction on the unit is about equal to my model L although I think the model L may have just a little more. One of the most interesting aspects about this machine is that it can use both the newer style electric hose and the older pigtail style. I am currently using one of my pigtail style hoses from my model L.

I may end up ordering a new motor for it from an online vac shop, but the new motors are around $120. I am concerned that the quality might not be as good. In the perfect world it would be nice to have my equipment running as it should, because I do rotate my Electroluxís for different tasks.


Kenneth Loveland

-I am really glad that we can now pay by paypal. I plan on becoming an official member after my next paycheck. I would really love to read the newsletters and it would make me feel more responsible, instead of taking all this great advice and not giving anything in return.

Post# 91274 , Reply# 1   2/10/2010 at 20:12 (3,760 days old) by kenkart ()        
DO NOT buy a new motor!!

You will probably get a Lamb replacement..Not a genuine Lux motor,there are several guys who can fix your motor for 1/4 that amount, come on all you guys who run vac shops!!help this guy out.

Post# 91293 , Reply# 2   2/10/2010 at 22:13 (3,760 days old) by electrikbroomgu (Rome, NY)        
1205 motor

electrikbroomgu's profile picture
I have worked on 100's of these motors over the years. Luckily the fatality rate of these is very low. 98% of the time I can bring a 1205/L motor right back to good health. There are certain years that you need to watch the carbon holders on these motors but that was generally in the early 70's as a rule. The inner portion of the carbon holder would slide out and eventually into the communtators. If let go too long the end result is not pretty. I doubt that is your case however. A good spring cleaning, bearing grease or replacement, non gumming motor bearing oil in the back sleeve bearing and running a good stone over the commutators with the motor running usually does the trick. Having high pressure air is a must too to clean out all the fine dust from the motor windings and armature. If you have never worked on a vac motor you may want to consider taking it in to a local vac shop or to a knowledgeable friend. If you want to tackle it yourself the first thing to do would be to remove the long slender screws holding the fan cover in place (once you have removed the motor out of the vacuum). The top fan should be now visible. Remove the nut holding the top fan in place. Pull the fan off and you will now be able to pull off the bottom fan cover portion. Sometimes a screwdriver and hammer are necessary when doing this but be careful to not distort the fan covers too much. After removing the lower fan cover you will now be able to take off the lower fan, spacers etc. Next thing to do is to remove the small white plastic brush covers on both sides of the commutator end of the motor. You can then remove the wire and tabs that hold the carbon springs in place and pull the carbons themselves out. Warning! Always mark your brushes with a screwdriver or something that will etch a small mark in the carbon. I always label them L and R by using the writing on the back end of the motor for refference. If you put them in backwards your motor could arc and burn up if run too long that way! You are now all set to remove the screws that hold the fan end bearing cover in place. It should slide right off with the bearing still in place. Note that the bearing should be held in with rivets. You will need to drill these rivets out to gain access to the bearing it'self. You now should be able to pull out the armature. Take note that on the sleeve end of the armature there will be a washer. This must be in place when re-assembling the motor. This will be a good time to air blast the motor out. You can always do this by visiting a local car garage or even some canned air will do the trick. After this step you are going to want to get at the sleeve bearing. Take a look at the back end of the motor. Notice there is a round cap or cover that can be pried off with a fine tipped screw driver. Work the screwdriver around it until it comes free. Take a ear swab with some rubbing alcohol and work it up and down the sleeve bearing until it is clean. Get your self some non gumming motor bearing oil at the hardware store and saturate the felt that sits inside the end cap you just removed. Re-install sleeve bearing end cap and tap back on with your hammer carefully. Now replace your armature and set aside the motor. You are now going to want to deal with the front bearing plate assembly. You are going to either need some new rivets or some equal sized screws and nuts to use for the bearing cover plates front and back. Drill out the rivets and discard. The bearing covers will fall off and the bearing will now be visible. I always assume the worst with bearings in a 41 year old vacuum like yours or even a 21 year old one. I recommend replacing the bearing. It will come out by tapping on it with a ball pean hammer! This is a standard size vacuum cleaner motor bearing unlike the earlier Lux 30's and 60's etc which have a larger sized bearing and most any vacuum store should have one or even the local hardware store. When getting your new bearing just clean out the hole where the old one resided with some fine 400 grit sand paper and push the new bearing in place. With your new replacement screws you can now secure the bearing covers back in place. The larger hole goes on top towards the fans. Replace the bearing plate on the motor along with your spacers, fans and covers in the same order you took them off. I also recommend cleaning out your fans. Look inside the air passages and you will see lots of built up fine dust. Obtain a small skinny brush from the hardware store and clean out every passageway under water until they are clean! Put your carbons back in place with the end caps. Your motor is now fully assembled back together but there is one more crucial step that will decide the fate of your Lux motor. The commutators still need to be cleaned up. You can do this with a running motor in a bench press and a commutator stone or some 400 grit fine sand paper will also do the trick. Your objective is to get the commutators nice and shiny clean so that both brushes will seat in place nice and smooth. Pay close attention for arching and sparking as the motor runs full speed. After running the stone or 400 grit sandpaper you will notice the motors RPM's pick up considerably. If you have a nice smooth barely noticeable spark then you are good to go. Your Lux motor should be good for years more service. I seem to remember a thread a while back with pictures of a complete Lux motor tear down but can't remember for sure. The very best of luck with your 1205 motor!


Post# 91302 , Reply# 3   2/10/2010 at 23:23 (3,760 days old) by kloveland (Tulsa, OK)        

kloveland's profile picture
Actually this evening it seemed to run fine. I did not hear the buzz sound that I have heard before. The machine probably has been sitting for awhile would this have any effect? Other than the buzz sound the motor seems to run fine. I will keep a close eye on it to see if any other problems occur. I could go to the local Electrolux/Areus dealer but they are so pricey. We also have the House of Vacuums here in Tulsa that I could take it to as well. Although I am kind of weary about having just anybody look at it. I donít know how much knowledge local vac shops have about older equipment. It would be nice if there was vac shop that specialized in older Electrolux canisters.

I took some pictures that I would like to share. The original hose came with the unit but it leaks and is bent especially near the machine end. I wish these older hoses were made out of a different material. Most of the older women that I know who have an Electrolux still use their vacuum with a leaky hose. One of my motherís friends who is in her early eighties just bought a new hose because the plastic handle broke on hers. I remember using her Electrolux to clean her furnace filter and there was barely any suction at the hose end. It is also really irritating that Electrolux did not include upholstery brush holder on this model. It makes it really inconvenient not to have the combination tool stored on-board. Not sure why they did this.

But overall I like the 1205 I have been wanting one for a long time. One of my earliest memories of a vacuum cleaner stems from this machine. My grandmother had one and before I was born she broke the Power Nozzle and the only other tool I remember she had besides the two long wands was an after market white upholstery tool. She said she cleaned her entire 3 bedroom house with just the upholstery tool. Later she got a Kirby Classic Omega and she was much happier with the Kirby. Today she has a Kirby Generation 3.

Anyway thanks for the help (electrikbroomgu, Joel). I had a feeling that if I bought new carbon brushes that they would have to be somewhat worn down to get the right groove for the communicator. I may just take it in and have it serviced after all. It sounds like a process to get the motor apart.

A little mothers aluminum polish goes a long way!!!

Post# 91324 , Reply# 4   2/11/2010 at 07:54 (3,759 days old) by kirbykid63 (Wilmington Delaware)        
Most electrolux motors need rebuilding

Its a good Idea to rebuild these motors.I get many 1205's and most are in need of new brushes and bearings.As you read this is not a hard task and it will make your vacuum run like new.By the way I sell original equipment electrolux motors in my ebay store new2youvacuums. I get my carbon brushes from Hesco and my bearings from Gopher bearing here in Tucson,I am currently rebuilding a 1958 electrolux AF for my collection that sour smell you are referring to is most likely mold build up in your fans and motor compartment.

Post# 91332 , Reply# 5   2/11/2010 at 10:48 (3,759 days old) by luxg ()        

Kenny, I am so glad to hear that you will be joining the club!! I know that you are going to enjoy it. Welcome!!


Post# 91383 , Reply# 6   2/11/2010 at 20:13 (3,759 days old) by kloveland (Tulsa, OK)        

kloveland's profile picture
Can I use 2 in 1 Oil on the top and bottom bearings? I cleaned the communtator with sand paper and washed the fans throughly. I put the unit back together but now I hear bearing noise. I guess I will have to go further into the motor.

Thanks for all your help.

Post# 91409 , Reply# 7   2/11/2010 at 23:30 (3,759 days old) by kirbykid63 (Wilmington Delaware)        
Replace the fan bearing

Lubrication wont fix a worn bearing,if this is the original parts the fan bearing is most likely worn out.The rear sleeve bearing almost never wears out,I find that most 1205's also need new carbon brushes which have to be seated with a seating stone. You can call me at 520-742-4885 if you need assistance with your machine.

Richard Groski

Post# 280404 , Reply# 8   5/13/2014 at 19:59 (2,207 days old) by DJub85 (Virginia)        

kloveland, I really like the light blue bag door on your machine... does anyone know how to tell the 1205 models apart, speficially regarding how to find one with a light blue door?

I recently purchased a 1205 on Ebay with all of its accessories, but when it arrived, the bag door was dark blue/green. It has a smooth body rather than the later textured body, but that's all I know. Oh, and it arrived not working, contrary to the advertisement, and the local vacuum shop says it can't be fixed... something melted in the motor and some problem with the contact strips inside the machine (the cord winder itself winds). I was told the cord winder is worth more than the machine as a whole. Sigh.

Post# 280413 , Reply# 9   5/13/2014 at 22:16 (2,207 days old) by BikerRay (Middle Earth)        

bikerray's profile picture
I'm guessing the contact (or Terminal) block on the side of the housing melted, this happened a lot on the 1205's. They had a repair kit that bypassed the block and wired to the connectors on the cord reel. The motor may be fine, it's just not getting any power.

If I remember correctly it should be the top and bottom connector of the block that contact the cord winder. The middle connection is an internal connection between the bag switch and the power for the motor.

Post# 280516 , Reply# 10   5/14/2014 at 16:58 (2,206 days old) by kloveland (Tulsa, OK)        

kloveland's profile picture
I believe the first 1205 with the smooth body had the lighter colored door and the later ones were a darker blue. I have both the early and later 1205 in my collection. My later 1205 has the darker colored door. Hope this helps.

Post# 280533 , Reply# 11   5/14/2014 at 18:13 (2,206 days old) by Paul (USA)        

According to Charles Lester, the bag door colors went from black (1968) to light blue (1970), to dark blue (1972).

Also, according to Charles, the small tool clip was removed from the design in 1970; although I remember reading somewhere else that it made a comeback after customer comments (Charles' information doesn't indicate that).

Post# 280574 , Reply# 12   5/15/2014 at 10:11 (2,205 days old) by rugsucker (Elizabethton TN)        
1205 changes

Early 1205 did not have clip for above floor tool.Was later added and continued as rear part of handle on Golden J and later.Servive managers were told to add clip and polish alumium top trim when a 1205 was serviced.
Other early features are serial number on bottom of cordwinder,no drain hole under motor,6 screws on bag door,round bag lock out switch button,no screen between bag chamber and fan housing,etc.

Post# 280609 , Reply# 13   5/15/2014 at 13:22 (2,205 days old) by Paul (USA)        

Interesting info., Jimmy. Glad you posted.

A few other things ...

1) Did the very first 1205s have the telescopic wands or did they come later? If not telescopic originally, was it a full plastic wand like the older ones?

2) Were all the 1205's bag bins teal, or were some ivory like the 1205-Js?

3) When was the pigtail receptacle omitted, and was it by the front wheel like the Model Rs, Gs ('63-'68), and Ls?

Post# 280629 , Reply# 14   5/15/2014 at 15:27 (2,205 days old) by rugsucker (Elizabethton TN)        

1.First had telescopic wand with direct connect hose that was somewhat troublesome with latch wear and cracked hose handle.Then back to older style and then improved direct connect without telescopic wand.
2.I think all were blue.
3.Early 1205 had PN outlet at bottom center of door.Swivel lock was no longer needed.

Post# 280684 , Reply# 15   5/15/2014 at 21:19 (2,205 days old) by DJub85 (Virginia)        

I think my post vanished...


My 1205 (currently in the shop) is an odd middle year. It's too new to to have a black or light blue bag door or pigtale, but it's too old to have a textured body or drain hole.


I wish Aerus would list year-by-year changes for all models on their website, but I'm sure that's asking way too much of them. They'll probably put something together for their 100th Anniversary... or do they lose all rights to the Electrolux/Lux name before then?

Post# 280997 , Reply# 16   5/18/2014 at 20:12 (2,202 days old) by Paul (USA)        

I was in a vacuum store yesterday and saw a 1205 trade-in with a METAL handle (the style is identical to the plastic ones). It was kind of scratched, but looked like it had originally been painted the same teal color as the body. It didn't have a power nozzle receptacle, though, and the color of the bag door was light blue; so either the handle had been swapped with another, or it was yet another version.

Post# 367034 , Reply# 17   2/17/2017 at 20:29 (1,196 days old) by Mimikins6 (Wisconsin)        

"There are certain years that you need to watch the carbon holders on these motors but that was generally in the early 70's as a rule. The inner portion of the carbon holder would slide out and eventually into the communtators. If let go too long the end result is not pretty."

If both the carbon brush things are popping out, do I need to replace them? (First time taking apart the motor on my $25 garage sale Electrolux 1205) There was a lot of rust and corrosion on the motor casings that I scrubbed off. However, after reassembling the motor it's not turning very freely. HELP!

Post# 367050 , Reply# 18   2/18/2017 at 00:37 (1,196 days old) by kenkart ()        
I Think Biker Ray

Has probably found your problem, The cord winder has copper contacts that kind of plug into contacts on the cleaner body, these are notorious for heating up and arcing, this causes the motor to not get full power so you think it is motor trouble when actually its not, in any event , its a easy fix even if it is a motor, any 1205 or Golden J motor will fit and they are plentiful, I pass up at least 1 or 2 a month at the Goodwill.

Post# 367051 , Reply# 19   2/18/2017 at 00:39 (1,196 days old) by kenkart ()        
They must have

Sold a gazillion Electroluxes in NC down thru the years,they are still plentiful, even 30s 60s and Gs.

Post# 367070 , Reply# 20   2/18/2017 at 11:08 (1,195 days old) by Caligula (Benton, Pa)        
Happy Birthday from the V.C.C.C.

caligula's profile picture
Hi Kenny:

Just read this thread and see that you had a birthday yesterday. So this is from the entire club.
Alex Taber.

Forum Index:       Other Forums:                      

Comes to the Rescue!

Woops, Time to Check the Bag!!!
Either you need to change your vacuum bag or you forgot to LOG-IN?

Discuss-O-MAT Log-In

New Members
Click Here To Sign Up.

Discuss-o-Mat Forums
Vintage Brochures, Service and Owners Manuals
Fun Vintage Washer Ephemera
See It Wash!
Video Downloads
Audio Downloads
Picture of the Day
Patent of the Day
Photos of our Collections
The Old Aberdeen Farm
Vintage Service Manuals
Vintage washer/dryer/dishwasher to sell?
Technical/service questions?
Looking for Parts?
Website related questions?
Digital Millennium Copyright Act Policy
Our Privacy Policy