Kirby Vacuum Transmission Repair

Here at Great Vacs we sometimes get asked how you adjust a kirby transmission. Sometimes if the transmission is not adjusted properly the transmission will work better one direction over the other. This just means that the transmission needs adjusted. It is fairly easy to do and does not mean that anything is wrong with your vacuum. This link is dedicated to help you adjust the transmission by yourself.

NOTICE - This website is ONLY for our customers and employees. If you have not bought from us you are not authorized to view this document. Also GreatVacs and any of its parent or child companies are not liable for any work you do on your vacuum. If your vacuum needs repaired or fixed in any way you need to send it to an authorized repair center. Any work done by anyone reading this document assumes all liability and risks to themselves, others around them and any property that may be damaged. Great Vacs has written this document for informational purposes only and assumes no risk or liability in any way.
Thanks, Dustin

Disclaimer - All information that we have provided is third party information. The information contained is just what we have learned over the years from repairing and rebuilding kirby vacuums. All information and statements are merely our opinions. All official and technical information on kirby vacuums is not contained within this information. For that information you need to contact the kirby company or your local distributors. We are not a Kirby distributor nor are we associated in any way with the Kirby Vacuum company. We don't claim to include all information in this document but if there is something that you would like us to add, please let us know.

The main steps to adjusting the transmission is taking the vacuum apart to be able to get to the transmision. The following steps are how to take it apart.


Remove the Powerhead To do this you will select your carpet height adjuster to its highest settings. Then spin the belt lifter so the two red arrows are pointed at each other. Then disconnect the head and take it off. Side note - when you are done and put your head back on dont forget to realign the arrows to green on green.
Remove the bag and handle Right where the handle goes into the actual vacuum it snaps out. To unsnap the handle their is a button on the back of the handle right at the base where it goes into the vacuum. To take off the bag put your hand under the boot mini emptor (plastic part at bottom of bag) and pull away from the vacuum and it snaps off. That is how you take off the handle and bag.
Remove the trim around the Pivot handle The next step is to remove the trim around the pivot handle (where the handle snaps in). The first thing you want to do is to undo the screw at the bottom of the trim. The screw is located right above the transmission switch. Then you want to remove the screw that holds the cord under the trim. When that is off you want to unsnap the trim buy grabbing the bottom of it and lift up and at the same time push toward the front of the vacuum. The trim then comes off.
Remove the Metal Body With the powerhead and rear trim removed the 4 screws that remove the Metal body are now visible. First we remove the 2 on the rear of the metal that were covered up by the trim. Once those are removed we move to the front of the vacuum and remove the two remaining screws that are holding on the front of the trim. With the 4 screws removed now you simply lift the Metal body off of the vacuum.

With the completion of this step the vacuum is taken apart as far as we need it to be. Now the motor, transmission. and other main parts of the kirby vacuum are exposed. Now all that is left to do is adjust the transmission and then put everything back together.
Before Adjusting the transmission If your transmission is not working in either direction then do this step first. If your transmission is working in one direction but not the other then you can skip this step. What we want to do in this step is to make sure all the linkage is connected. Really the only link that I ever check is the one pictured. Sometimes the linkage pops out and that is the reason that the transmission is not working. If that is the problem put it where it should go and go below to testing the transmission.
Adjusting the Transmission We are now ready to adjust the transmission. First we want to locate the two large adjusting screws (see picture). You will need to get a large phillips head screw driver and loosen them. Then you will want to move the bracket up or down in the direction it needs adjusted and then tighten the screws again. A point to be made here is that you just need to expeirement one direction or another until you get it correct. For example I dont know which direction yours needs adjusted so you will have to do it one way or another until you get it right. So lets say that you transmission only works going forward and just barely going back. So you adjust the screws and retighten them and you test the vacuum and now it works even faster going forward and none at all going back then you know that you moved it in the wrong direction. So then you simply loosen the screws again and move it in the opposite direction until you get the desired adjustment.
Testing your adjustments

Now you are ready to test your adjustment to make sure it is correct. To do that you are going to resnap the handle and bag on. Then you will put the powerhead back on. We put this on because kirbys have saftey switches so that the vacuum will not turn on until the powerhead and the bag are on correctly. Remember to test it you dont have to put all the metal and trim back together.

Once you have recieved your desired results you just simply have to put everything back together and then you are finished. We hope this has been a help to you. Thanks Great Vacs !

Free Advice - If you are still confused as to the right model or vacuum for your family (everyones needs differ) then please feel free to fell out the form below and tell us about your situation (like how much carpet, hardwood, allergies, pets, kids) and we would be glad to help you get a vacuum that would be perfect for you.

Which vacuum cleaner is the best?   We get asked that question all the time.    The fact is it depends on YOUR needs and YOUR situation.    At GreatVacs we are experts at vacuum cleaners and carry all the best brands.    We have rebuild over 50,000 vacuum cleaners (all models) and we know vacuums.    A FREE service that we offer is tell us about your situation and we would love to suggest something that you will LOVE.    Put our expertise to work for you and get a vacuum or air purifier that is perfect for your needs.    

  • Example: 3 Kids & 2 dogs that shed. 60% carpet and 40% hardwood floors. 2 sets of carpeted stairs.

  • Example: I want my next vacuum to work good on pet hair and be able to vacuum carpet & hardwood. I am tired of throwing my money away and want it to last at least 10 years.

* Required Fields

Contact Us