Comes to the
Home for Wayward Vacuum Cleaners

—Page Two—



I took the Hoover over to my buddies at Boulevard Vacuum to see if they have carbon brushes to fit it. Those guys are so great! They didn't have the correct carbon brushes, but they shaped a set down to size with the wire brush on their electric grinder. Popped them in, gave the motor a spritz of machine oil, and YAAAAAAYYY!!! "IT'S ALIVE!!!!!!!" (I wish I had thought to bring my camera along but I forgot it.) It runs like a top, the motor very smooth and purring sweetly.

Then I brought it home and began working on it. First I disassembled all the main parts.


Here's the main housing before I cleaned it.


After cleaning. While there is a good bit of mottling on the metal, I can't say I totally dislike it. There's something kind of noble and endearing about it, like the age spots and wrinkles on a senior person's skin.


I haven't made my mind up yet whether to let its "age blemishes" show or to paint it metallic silver. The machine would look nicer if I paint it, but it might lose a bit of its charm. We'll see how it goes.


The motor housing. Here again, I could spray-paint it glossy black, or I could let the minor blemishes remain.


The fan before cleaning it. Look at what great shape it's in! There's not a single 'ding' to be found. I love the artistically shaped blades. "They just don't make 'em like this anymore."


Straight-on view of the fan. Isn't it beautiful!


The fan after cleaning. I had to do this by hand with steel wool since I don't have my repair garage anymore. If I still had my electric grinder, I could have made the fan look new. But this "will do."


The serial number plate after carefully cleaning it.


The bumper. Another decision to make here. Obviously, this is not the original bumper. But it has an interesting "tortoise-shell" look to it. I'll have to think about whether or not I want to spray-paint it black.


The brush roll, after cleaning it with steel wool. I can hardly believe what great condition it's in!


The bag after cleaning -- I didn't want to do a lot to it and risk ruining it. I just turned it inside-out and vacuumed out the small amount of dirt inside, then turned it right-side-out again and vacuumed the outer surface. Then I wiped it down with a dampened sponge. That minor, "non-invasive" clean-up made a big difference.


The cord - not the original cloth-covered cord but it's a very early replacement. Note how the rubber 'molds' around the coiled wires inside. The outer rubber jacket of the cord is not smooth and circular (in cross section), but looks kind-of braided.


The bottom, after lightly cleaning with steel wool. That's really all it needed.


This model has an interesting nozzle height-adjustment. The rear wheels are mounted inside a ridged strip, tightened in place with a flat thumb-screw. You loosen the screw and move the rear axle up and down the ridged strip, then lock it into place. Kinda primitive but it works! Here, the axle is in its lowest position -- the nozzle would be at its highest for thick, padded rugs.


Here, the axle is in its highest position -- the nozzle would be at its lowest for very thin rugs.


All the wheels are in excellent shape.


Everything cleaned up and ready for reassembly. I just have to decide whether or not to do any painting.




Well, after sleeping on it I decided to go ahead and paint the old gal. She just seemed to be sighing and languishing, wanting more than just a superficial clean-up. She was calling to me in my dreams, "Make me pretty again." So I went for a full face-lift, botox and liposuction!

Main motor housing before painting . . .


. . . and after. I found a great paint, Rustoleum Bright Coat Metallic Finish in aluminum. It has a beautiful, satiny sheen that looks very much like the original finish on these early Hoovers.


Motor housing before painting . . .


. . . and after. I used Rustoleum high-gloss black.





So here she is, in all her newly restored radiant glory!

Before and After


I saved the little belt that came with the machine and put it back there, as an affectionate nod toward the donor's grandmother. The belt had been there for who-knows-how-many years; let it stay there!


I must say, it came out really nice, considering I had to do the work on the living room floor and in the back yard. No longer having a workshop certainly is a handicap, but "life goes on."


"Houston, we have lift-off."


A Very Special Hoover Special!


And, finally, the "Glamor Shot."





I received the following very interesting and informative information from fellow collector Tom Gasko.


Beautiful rebuilt Hoover. You did an amazing job on it.

Here's a few things you might not have realized, but you'll understand they make perfect sense in retrospect:

That Hoover was rebuilt by a vacuum shop or any number of concerns rebuilding vacs for sale to vac shops (like Buckeye or the Henry Company).

It was not rebuilt by Hoover. Why did I know this? Had Hoover rebuilt the machine, they would have used a different nameplate with the words "Previous Model Reconstructed at the Hoover Factory". All Factory Rebuilt Hoover's had this wording on the new nameplate. Your machine has the original serial number plate, held on by screws rather than rivets, as Hoover used originally and would have done on their factory rebuilts.

You have a Robbins and Meyers motor, which Hoover discontinued using with the model 102. ALL model 105's had Hoover-Built motors. Your switch is on the incorrect side for a 105.

Your bag spreader didn't appear until the model 541.

By the way, the belt is for a Premier/GE/Universal/Eureka type motor driven brush machine.

While it's beautiful, and you did a wonderful job, I just wanted to point out that it was not, in fact, a real Hoover factory rebuilt cleaner. Nonetheless, it's very collectible and gorgeous now that it's done.

Let me know what the next one you get is? Hopefully a 150. Or maybe a Norca model 1 or 80 - now wouldn't that be something?


I gave him a call to thank him for the information and he told me some more interesting things on the phone.

He said that the designation "Special" meant it was a household model.

He cleared up the mystery about my five-digit serial number. He said it means that mine is a very early 105 - noting that the last patent date on it is 1920, while the later 105 has a last patent date of 1922 and has a seven-digit serial number.

This 105 surely has turned into a wonderful and interesting excursion for me!



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