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Servicing Kirby slide assembly
Last Updated: 05/18/2010
When the drive is engaged, it occasionally “sticks”. That is, it doesn't seem to always want to engage the drive. If the vacuum is rolled back and forth a couple of times, it will engage.
Possible Causes:
If you remove upright handle and try to move Handle "Pivot Spring assembly" (the piece where you insert the handle) is is supposed to slide back and forth a little bit under 1/4 on an inch (4 mm or so) each direction. If it sticks, feels like something is grinding does not move smoothly or does not move at all - most likely your Kirby vacuum bearing/slide assembly is dirty, worn or corroded or any combination of the above.
Suggested Solutions :
Clean or replace Kirby bearing slide parts - see instructions below:

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Kirby bearing slide service/replacement

Just to make sure that we use same vocabulary:

This is "Guide Block" (Kirby parts #178797s)
Kirby guide block

This is "Bearing Assembly" (Kirby parts # 178989s)
Kirby bearing assembly (guide)

This is "Slide" (Kirby parts # 676595s)
Kirby slide

This is "Wedge" (Kirby parts # 179489s)
Kirby slide wedge

This is "Slide Bracket Casing" (Kirby parts # 849003s )
Kirby slide bracket casting

This is "Pivot Spring Assembly" (Kirby parts # 671901g )
Kirby pivot spring assembly

FIRST unplug the Kirby from electric outlet!

Kirby cord clip screw


Remove scuff plate screw (Kirby parts number 233506S) holding the cord clip (T15 torx screwdriver or Phillips screwdriver on older models)

Kirby Scuff plate screw


Remove scuff plate bottom screw (Kirby parts # 233405S) (T20 torx screwdriver or Phillips screwdriver on older models)

Kirby scuff plate latch


Put the flat screwdriver through the opening in the scuff plate and push it down thus releasing a latch inside so you can take the scuff plate off.

rear kirby cover shell screw


Remove 2 rear cover shell screws (Kirby part # 232495S ) (T20 torx screwdriver or Phillips screwdriver on older models)

Kirby Cover Shell screws front


Remove 2 front cover shell screws (Kirby part # 232395S ) (T20 torx screwdriver or Phillips screwdriver on older models)

 Kirby slide service


Now you have access to the Kirby slide assembly.
To remove it - remove 5 screws (Kirby part # 434397s) marked #1; #2 and #3.

Clean the parts. Use some alcohol to dissolve the old grease and dirt. Now carefully inspect surfaces for wear. If slide and/or guide blocks are worn - replace worn parts. If parts are not worn but just very dirty or corroded you can use a fine sanding paper. I would say sanding paper #800 is perfect. Would not recommend using sandpaper with number less than #600.

If parts are worn but you have a few sheets of fine sandpaper and hours of free time - you can try sanding the surfaces till they are smooth again (sandpaper has to rest on a smooth hard surface). If replacing guide or slide - we would recommend replacing bearing strips as well as most likely they are worn too it is just not that easy to see the wear on tiny bearing rollers.

Clean the parts again make sure they are completely dry and and lubricate before assembly. Guide blocks are identical so it does not mater what side is facing up or which one is on the left or on the right.

Put in screws #1 and #2 but do not tighten yet. Put the wedge in (tapered side to the taper on the slide bracket casing) and tighten screw #3 just enough to get the slide to your right flush with slide bracket casting. Now tighten screws #1.

Loosen the screw #3 and start tightening it again but this time no more than 1/4 or the turn and keep checking how slide is moving. It has to be tight enough to not have any slack to any other direction other than to the front and to the back. It has to move very easily and smoothly. Now tighten screws #2

IF YOU HAD TO REMOVE "Pivot Spring Assembly"
You have to install it when slide bracket casting is installed on the Kirby vacuum.
Make sure that slide does not reach slide bracket casting when moving pivot spring assembly.
When released it has to come back to the position where Kirby comes to rest even when transmission is set on "D".

  Few things to pay attention to:
 How to bend Kirby slide bearing
Kirby slide assembly manual
When installing pivot spring assembly make sure it is properly engaged with Kirby power drive
Proper tech drive and handle pivot installation older models

This is for Kirby vacuum models G3, G4 and G5.

Proper tech drive and handle pivot installation newer models This is for Kirby vacuum models Gsix, Ultimate G, Ultimate G Diamond Edition and Sentria.

  Now just assemble the shell back onto the unit.

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