I've found a friend! I thought I was the only person in the world who owned the Hoover Model U6446-900! This model does not appear on the http://www.Hoover.com
website and when I talked to a human being at the same company to order belts she would not acknowlege that it exists or ever existed!
This was the top-of-the-line Premium Wind Tunnel that I purchased from Sears about 7 years ago for $350.00. Man, this was a beauty... it has all the bells and whistles, 35-ft cord, 20 ft. Deluxe Extension Hose for stairs, electronic embedded dirt finder, self-propulsion system, etc,etc,etc.
Since I was a newly retired engineer I would be performing ALL of the vacuum duties in our new 3,500 sq. ft. condominium. I was tasked with buying a new machine after watching my wife wrestle with the 40 ft. hoses and 40 ft. of electrical cords of our previous Central Vacuum system. I wasn't going to deal with these snakes. I wanted the best machine on the market even if I had to lug it around, since I would be taking over this responsbility from my lovely wife who had been charged with this duty for more than 35 years. I hate snakes!
Actually, after some significant research, I believed I made an excellent purchase! I've used the machine for about 2 hours/week for the last 7 years and have not experienced ANY of the problems cited by owners of other Hoover models. I did not even replace the belts until after 6 years! I thought what a genius I was to have picked the most durable and reliable machine. (One exception... Hoover can not select a headlamp bulb that will last 1,500 hours. I get about 20 hours/bulb if I am lucky.I ante up the dough for more bulbs because I hate sweeping in the dark!)
Then about 1 year ago I started having problems with the propulsion system, the agitator not turning, burning belts, throwing belts, burning more belts... the whole nine yards. I tried replacement belts from Sears and incinerated them. So I decided to pay top dollar and use the Genuine Hoover belts. They were impossible to find in stores, because no one ever heard of the Model U6446-900! So I finally ordered ftom Hoover. (This is another long story.)
If you don't already know, you need the Flat Belt #38528035 and the V Belt #38528034. If you enter these part numbers at the Hoover wesite you can find them. Again, do NOT enter the Model U6446-900 in the Hoover Parts Locator, because it disavows any knowledge that such a machine ever existed. (Maybe it was produced for the CIA!)
Then the Fed-Ex Lady appeared at my door. What a sight for sore eyes... that is the package from Hoover. (The $8.49 shipping charge was worth the short time I spent gazing at this lovely lady.) Now, since I was using the Genuine Hoover belts I thought all my problems would be solved! I slipped on this new pair and fired up my Hoover.
Not so fast! I used the finest rubber in the world produced by Goodyear only to pollute the atmosphere and contribute to Global Warming. I must add that Al Gore was not a happy camper.
However, since Al Gore had invented the Internet, I decided to use his fantastic invention to find THE solution to the increased Carbon Footprint I was leaving for future generations to deal with. I found FixYa and other sites, but became even more frustrated to find that so many of you were frustrated. So being an engineer with a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan, I decided I would get to the bottom of this dilemma. I was a bone-fide rocket scientist. "If we can go to the Moon and Mars, I should be able to solve this problem: How could such a reliable, well-maintained machine go bad so quickly?"
With the goal of finding a solution to this question, I would totally disassembled my Hoover Model U6446-900. I was mentally prepared to dissasemble the motor, propulsion clutch and the transmission, if neccesary, until I could find the source of the problem. I was not going to throw out this shining beauty and plunk down another $350.00 for another machine.... Hoover or any other make available on planet Earth, our Moon or planet Mars.
I'll spare you the disassembly details and cut to the chase. The bottom line is; A SCREW WAS LOOSE!
Yes, after removing the Hood I noticed that two screws that secured the motor mount at the rear of the macine (next to the pedal) were very loose and about ready to come out! This allowed the motor to move out of and away from its mount as it was being pulled by the primary drive belt (#38528035). Replacing this belt a million times, as many others have recommended at this site ad naseum, would have never solved this problem in a million years!
I used my trusty Phillips head screwdriver and tightend up these two suckers! I reassembled the machine using the OLD belts aged 6 years. The machine works perfectly, I saved myself $350.00.
Now I am searching for the solution to another MAJOR design flaw that even the mechanical engineers at Hoover in North Canton, Ohio don't seem even to have a clue how to fix because they keep repeating their mistakes from Model Uxxxx-900 to Model Uyyyy-900. Design Problem: "HOW TO USE THE SWEEPER WITH THE EXTENSION HOSE AND NOT PULL THE MACHINE OVER, HITTING ME...AND FALL CRASHING TO THE FLOOR"
This is an Engineering Statics 101 problem for you housewives. Since these Hoover "engineers" never tried using the machine themselves, they don't get it. One can't expect much from a Buckeye. I bet the solution never comes from the State of Ohio.
Best of Luck Nasherrill...Since you have the the same model U6446-900 as I have, there is probably a screw loose!
(P.S. Owners of other models ranging from the Hoover Uxxxx-900 to Uyyyy-900 may want to check out loose motor mounts. It may save you a fortune in belts and you may even decide to keep the machine rather than increase you carbon footprint by junking it prematurely.)
Dr. Joe Jr.