Sears Kenmore Progressive canister Vacuum repair
First, you are working with 120v electricity. If you
don't know what you are doing, quit and lets an expert fix it.
I created this page, since I can't find any other page on this repair. I snapped the two back screw trying to get it open.
The vacuum was running, the wife was vacuuming and it stopped. It's some 10+ years old. (7-30-'08)
I am not liable for any attempts to fix your vacuum. Know what you are doing, wear leather gloves.
First you can check the hose assemble. There are three contacts. The center and one end one gives continuity when the switch is on FLOOR. If that is what the problem is, the top comes apart. The top cover is held by the top handle side screw. Then it pops off. I didn't get any further as I saw those contacts were good. The second big item that seems to go is the cord reel, there are contacts on that item that could go bad. To check inside parts. There are two screws under the front flap. There are two others under the reel return cover. To get to them, pull up on the back of the reel return lever. It will pop off and a spring is also under there.
Now you can see the motor and reel. There are two wires coming from the reel to wire nuts. With the item unplugged, check the contacts via these two wires. You can just cross them and check for continuity at the plug. That whole thing easily pulls out. There may be a screw holding it down. Mine seems to have a parts sticker on it, so I may have replaced that part years back. Hence I did not see a screw holding that reel.
Mine had a "bag full" light. There is a white cap that just sits on it and that item can be taken off and put aside.
If that checks out. I searched further. There is some block next to the motor with all kinds of connectons, thinking it's some strange expensive fuse, I was going to quit. I took out the motor and happen to see some black item on the side. Looking at the wiring diagram (stuck way on the side) there is a standard fuse ! That hot wire directly from the power cord goes to a fuse. I (carefully) cut off the black shrink wrapping, check the continuity and zip. Checking it twice I twisted off the top connectors. Actually the fuse is in two tight caps. Watch, the glass can break. It's a slow blow 15A fuse. I could only find a quick blow 15A at Radio Shack. I soldered the fuse directly to the two wire connectors (since I snapped off the push on covers), put the black shrink back on and covered in electrical wire. You have to be careful soldering a fuse as if it gets too hot, the fuse connection inside will just melt. I put back the reel wire nuts and pushed the hose to the front connector. Plugged it in (into a fused power outlet) and turn the handle on, yippee, the motor kicks. UNPLUGGING IT, I took the motor out of the holder and cleaned off the foam (it comes off by lifting it off two tabs on the motor) by hitting it against something outside the house. It was really filthy. I put it all back together. Put back the 4 screws and the spring and snapped back the return reel top.
Works ! Cost $2.99 ( 4 fuses were in the package)
Hidden screws, pull up from the back to release the rewind bar. Find the spring.
Below you see the fuse, shrink cover, my broken connectors, the white wires uncapped, and the motor back.
Why did the fuse go, maybe the foam was so filthy it didn't let the motor cool and drew over 15 amps. I will update this in a few months so you know that this repair was worth it. Of course if it works for a few months, it gives you time to look for something else. (Oct. 2009... it's still working fine !)