Thread Number: 9249
My Kirby Tradition
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Post# 101726   6/23/2010 at 19:35 (3,529 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

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This is the vacuum my Mom owned for several years. My brothers and I always called it "Jaws" because my brother accidentally ran it over the hem of the drapes and pulled it down, rod and all! I think it is pre-1980 because it has a shake out bag. From what I've been told, Kirby introduced a disposable bag system somewhere in mid production of the Tradition. I don't know if that's correct. So if someone knows for sure, please let me know. I'm planning to install a disposable bag system as soon as I get all the parts.

Post# 101727 , Reply# 1   6/23/2010 at 19:37 (3,529 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

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It currently has a four row brush roll from a Kirby Heritage (I think). But I know the original had only two rows. Will the extra two rows put harmful drag on the motor?

Post# 101728 , Reply# 2   6/23/2010 at 19:38 (3,529 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

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I think this is her best side! LOL!

Post# 101729 , Reply# 3   6/23/2010 at 19:39 (3,529 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

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One final shot.

Post# 101732 , Reply# 4   6/23/2010 at 19:50 (3,529 days old) by sleepdoc (St. Louis, MO)        
Tradition pic

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That's great! Mine has a disposable bag setup. Would you post of yours when it's running? I'd like to see a Tradition shake-out bag inflated. I don't think I've ever seen one. Thanks!

Post# 101736 , Reply# 5   6/23/2010 at 20:37 (3,529 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

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Per sleepdoc's request, here is photo with the bag inflated.

Post# 101737 , Reply# 6   6/23/2010 at 20:37 (3,529 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

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Rear view -- bag inflated.

Post# 101738 , Reply# 7   6/23/2010 at 20:40 (3,529 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

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Metal fan -- To me, it makes a very different sound than the new Kevlar fans do. Not sure why. Or maybe it's just a figment of my imagination!

Post# 101753 , Reply# 8   6/23/2010 at 22:01 (3,528 days old) by kirbyclassiciii (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

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That's a metal fan, but what's gone from this example is the infamous headlight-mounted safety switch.

Post# 101792 , Reply# 9   6/24/2010 at 08:20 (3,528 days old) by kirbyduh (Louisville, Kentucky)        

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anybody have a tradition with the headlight safety switch? If so , I'd really like to see a picture of that troublesome assembly.

Post# 101794 , Reply# 10   6/24/2010 at 08:37 (3,528 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

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I've seen someone with a headlight safety switch on youtube, but he never provides a closeup shot of it. I would like to see one too. I vaguely remember hearing that they were problematic, but what exactly was the problem? Did it come early in production? The manual has instructions for the headlight safety switch, so I'm assuming it was an early production design. I'll scan that page later today and post it, but it only has a drawing and doesn't show much detail.

I'm beginning to think that mine is a later Tradition. Does anyone know how to decode the serial number? The manual was printed in 1979, but it shows the inner bag assembly as an option. So I'm guessing it was already an option when the Tradition first came out.

Post# 101798 , Reply# 11   6/24/2010 at 09:37 (3,528 days old) by jfalberti (Visalia, CA)        
I sold the Tradition

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The Tradition was introduced in 1979, and it was the first Kirby to have a disposable bag, and had it from the onset. The shake out bag was an option for people who preferred it, and some people actually did. Mainly commercial users, but some home users too. Look inside the Sani-Emptor where the bag connects to it, and there should be a lip around the opening to accomodate the bag tube, unless they switched it out as well. The headlight switch was truly a PITA, and about mid run, Kirby switched the machine back to the Classic Omega/Classic III style switch, and we were instructed to convert any Traditions that came in with the headlight switch to the other style, and cover it under warranty. All in all, I have to say the Tradition is one of my favorite model Kirbys.

Post# 102381 , Reply# 12   7/2/2010 at 21:43 (3,519 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

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I finally converted my Tradition over to the disposable bag system. I've seen some examples on Youtube where people converted their Traditions over to a G series bag docking system by adapting the Heritage fill tube collar to the Tradition Sani-Emptor. I know the filtration and airflow will be much better with the G series system but I want to keep my Tradition as original as possible. I had a Heritage/Legend II brush roll on it and didn't realize it was the wrong style. So I bought the correct two row brush roll for it, along with the old style belt.

Post# 102383 , Reply# 13   7/2/2010 at 21:47 (3,519 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

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The outer bag all nice and new. It takes some muscle to get this style bag onto the Sani-Emptor collar! I didn't realize how faded the old shake-out bag was until I got this new bag. I kind of miss the old shake out bag. It doesn't filter well, but it really is easy to empty when you know how to do it.

Post# 102388 , Reply# 14   7/2/2010 at 22:46 (3,519 days old) by midcenturymike ()        

Hi Bill, That Kirby looks great! You did an excellent detailing job! I've always been fond of that model; I love the returns/fins that partially cover the front wheels on this machine, as well as swoop of the nozzle. Nice work!

Post# 102393 , Reply# 15   7/3/2010 at 00:20 (3,519 days old) by briankirbyclass (Eudora Kansas)        

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I have to agree about the Tradition as a favorite model,,yours is in excellent condition, good job!
I started selling for Kirby in late 1981,,and our office was just getting rid of the last few Traditions when i went to work. Yours looks as good as when they were brand new out of the box!
Im really kicking myself for not having saved one new in box when i had the chance.
If we sold 11 Kirby's we got the 12th one for free to do with as we pleased. Alot of the salesmen would pawn their 12th machine, or sell it to a relative or friend for whatever they could get out of it. Or, if you were a really good salesmen,,you sold the 12th machine for WAY more than normal,,and kept every penny.
I did get my 12th Tradition, but sold it to a friend, who ended up hating it, trading for an Electrolux. (Humpf!)
By the time i realized that the Tradition was a special Kirby (color, features, ect) the new in box machines were long gone.
I did keep a Heritage 84 for myself tho,after selling 11 machines,,,still have it.
So, hang onto your awsome Tradition!

Post# 102438 , Reply# 16   7/3/2010 at 14:21 (3,519 days old) by swiveltop (Galveston, TX)        

Thats one of the most pristine Traditions I've seen since '79 when they were brand new, I worked for a Kirby dealer doing repairs during the Classic Three, Tradition era, I found one a few months ago,the first one I've seen in person all these years for 7.00 at a thrift store and it had the headlight switch but was converted, It came with some attachments and the manual. It was a machine that was sold through our office and the manual was signed by the office manager,so that brought back some memories.

Post# 253331 , Reply# 17   10/20/2013 at 02:28 (2,314 days old) by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        
Tradition Speed Switch (Early)

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Here's a montage I put together of what the headlight on the summer 1979 Traditions looked like.

These pictures are screen grabs from a video by Adam Mercer (adambomb89).


Post# 268914 , Reply# 18   2/22/2014 at 01:34 (2,189 days old) by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        
Closer View of Tradition's Original Speed Switch for Lan

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Picture credit: Adam Mercer (adambomb)


Post# 269043 , Reply# 19   2/23/2014 at 00:31 (2,188 days old) by kirbykid (Horseheads,New York 14845)        

Ben, did you ask adam if you could use his photos? From what I hear you haven't and he isn't to happy about it.

Post# 269052 , Reply# 20   2/23/2014 at 02:04 (2,188 days old) by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

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I did after I had a chat with him about doing that.


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