Greetings from GoVacuum,
I will attempt to walk you through the belt change on your Riccar 8955 upright vacuum cleaner. I have taken pictures for you for each step to ensure that it's done properly. 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 vacuum 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.
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, and 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;
Step 5: Once you have removed the actuator arm for 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 one new belt and wrap it around the metal pin in the back of vacuum cleaners agitator housing. Here's a picture of where that pin is located with the belt wrapped around it;
Step 7: Once you have the belt wrapped around the metal pin (this is the shaft to the motor that actually spins the belt), but the other end of the belt through your new roller brush;
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, and continuously having to replace belts. You can see on the end cap of the roller brush (the right side where the belt rides) that there is two little teeth that protrude out of the end cap as well as an indentation on the opposite side;
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 down inside of the 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 back into the vacuum 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;
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. Here's a picture of the belt guard being put back into place;
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. Change the the rug / floor switch from bare floors to the carpet setting, and the turn the vacuum upside again so the brush and belt are exposed:
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.
Step 12: There is a flap that can be opened after the metal bottom plate has been removed, that will give you more access to the motor shaft. Make sure that this flap is closed;
Step 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 low as if the bottom plate is correctly installed. Here's a picture of the lip with the bottom plate in the backgroud;
Step 14: Slide the metal bottom plate into the lip on the vacuum cleaner, and fasten the screws back into the bottom plate to secure it. The lip is a little tricky, but after doing it just once, you'll have no problems in the future changing your belt.
Here's a picture of the bottom plate installed INCORRECTLY with the bottom plate over top of the lip;
Here's a picture of the CORRECT way to install the bottom plate:
I hope that this repair solution is helpful to you in installing the belt properly. If you found this helpful, please be sure to click the 4 Thumbs Up Icons in the top right hand corner of the solution. Feel free to request a clarification of the repair if you have any questions about this repair, or other repairs. I'm always happy to answer any questions.
Thank you very much,