Question about Riccar 8955 Upright Vacuum

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Won't pick up dirt and hard to push

I cleaned out the vacuum because it was not picking up anything and I couldn't find my manual to find out how to take it apart. It is also very hard to push when it is usually so lightweight.

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  • Riccar Master
  • 1,581 Answers

Try installing a new belt. Belts should be replaced once per year because they lose elasticity. If it's an older model or is used heavily there are other parts that may need adjusted or replaced. If it's over 5 years old and has never been professionally serviced I would recommend it.
The 8900 series has been made about 17 years and was preceded by the 8600, 8700 & 8800 series for many years before that. I have many customers with 8000 series Riccar vacuums that are between 10 to 30 years old still running great but they do require routine maintenance. The best way to make them run great for a long time is to have them properly serviced by a qualified Riccar service person on a routine basis

Posted on Sep 06, 2018

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  • Master
  • 438 Answers

Hello,

This sounds like it is most likely a belt issue with your Riccar. In order to verify this, turn the vacuum on and turn it over on it's side after making sure that the carpet / floor switch on the top of the roller brush housing is turned to Carpets.

When you turn the vacuum on after changing the switch to carpet mode, does the roller brush spin? The belt controls the the roller brush and makes it spin. When the belt is broken or stretched out, and the brush is not spinning, or stops as soon once it hit carpeting, the brush roller will no longer help pull the vacuum forward. This would explain why the vacuum is very hard to push.

In order to help you the best, I went ahead and took some pictures for you on how to change the belt. The only really tricky part is the clutch actuator arm. If you don't already have a new belt, here's a link for you to a 2 pack of belts for your 8955 on our website:
Riccar 4000 / 8000 Series Upright Belts (2pk)

The model that I took pictures of is actually a model 8650, but this is identical in every way to your 8955 in terms of changing the belt.

What you'll need to have handy for this repair;

- Phillips Head Screw Driver
- Riccar 4000 / 8000 Series Belt
- Riccar 8000 Series Roller Brush With Clutch Assembly (only if the brushes have worn down, not necessary if brushes are still long)

Step 1: Make sure the vacuumwon't pick up dirt and hard to push - 2_bing.gif cleaner is unplugged, and turn the vacuum cleaner upside down so the bottom plate is upwards. It's easiest to do on a work bench or counter top.


485aeb8.jpg
Step 2: Unscrew the two metal screws on the metal bottom plate with your Phillips head screw driver, and remove the bottom plate from the vacuum cleaner so the belt is completely exposed with the roller brush.

Step 3: Remove the belt guard that sits to the left of the roller brush, this is a metal part that protects any dirt & debris from going over to the belt. Here's a picture of that part being removed;



Step 4: Remove the Rug / Floor actuator arm from the clutch on the right hand side of the roller brush. Simply pull the metal actuator arm to the left of the brush and out of the circle that it sits in. Here's a picture of that;won't pick up dirt and hard to push - fa36553.jpg> fa36553.jpg

Step 5: Once you have removed the actuator arm from the clutch, as well as the belt guard, lift straight up on the roller brush and remove the roller brush from the vacuum cleaner:




Step 6: Once you have removed the roller brush, and the old belt from the vacuum cleaner, take a new belt and wrap it around the metal pin in the back of the vacuums agitator housing. Here's a picture of where that pin is locwon't pick up dirt and hard to push - f76bd31.jpghe belt wrapped around it;

f76bd31.jpg


Step 7: Once you have the belt wrapped around the metal pin (this is the shaft to the motor that actuwon't pick up dirt and hard to push - 68efbd6.jpgthe belt), put the other end of the belt through your roller brush;

68efbd6.jpg


Step 8: There is a specific way that the roller brush has to be inserted. If the roller brush is not put in properly, this can cause all sorts of problems including the brush not spinning, as well as continuously having to replace belts. You can see on the end cap of the roller brush (the right side where the won't pick up dirt and hard to push - 96719f8.jpg that there are two little teeth that protrude out of the end cap. Here's a picture of how it looks:

96719f8.jpg

Step 9: With the roller brush inserted through the belt, position the two teeth facing downwards. You can see in the vacuum cleaner where the roller brush sits, a little groove inside of the roller brush housing. These two teeth need to straddle that groove. Also make sure that the little ring, or circle that the clutch actuator arm sits into, is facing upwards completely. It should be directly on top of the two teeth. Stretch the belt using the roller brush as leverage down into the agitator housing of the vacuum cleaner, making sure that the two teeth are facing downwards straddling the little groove. After the brush is backwon't pick up dirt and hard to push - 837f4a1.jpgacuum cleaner, take the metal actuator arm from the rug / floor switch, and insert it back into the metal ring (or hole) on the roller brush;

837f4a1.jpg

Step 10: Replace the metal belt guard that rests to the left of the belt. You'll notice on the belt guard that there are two little 90 degree notches on both sides. These notches need to face towards the belt or to the right.

Step 11: After inserting the belt guard back into the vacuum, turn the vacuum cleaner over so the top of the agitator housing is facing you. Make sure that the rug / floor switch set to the carpet setting again, and then turn the vacuum upside down again so the brush and belt are exposed again.won't pick up dirt and hard to push - f8f8407.jpg /> Step 12: With the vacuum set to the carpet setting, pull the belt forwards to ensure that the brush is spinning freely. If the belts do not spin freely, repeat steps 2-10.

f8f8407.jpg

tep 13: The last tricky part can be reinstalling the metal bottom plate. There is a little lip on the front of the vacuum cleaner that the edge of the bottom plate has to slide under for it to be installed properly. A lot of people just install the bottom plate over top of this lip, and this prevents the brushes from hitting the carpet as close as if the bottom plate is correctly installed. It will take away the vacuums cleaning cleaning ability dramatically. Here's a picture of the lip with the bottom plate in the backgroud;

381c631.jpg

Here's a picture of the RIGHT way to install the bottom plate:

0b3129c.jpg

The Riccar 8955 is great vacuum, and cleans better then most other upright s when it has a new belt on. I hope that this repair solution is helpful to you in fixing your vacuum. If you did, please be sure to click the Thumbs Up Icons in the top right hand corner of the solution. Feel free to request a clarification on the repair if you have any questions. I'm always happy to answer any questions. I hope will consider GoVacuum.com storefront for any Riccar supplies that you may need. We carry all Riccar Vacuum Bags, Filters, Belts, and Parts.

Thank you very much,

Chris J.
GoVacuum

Posted on Apr 04, 2010

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6ya6ya
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SOURCE:

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Good luck!

Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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