Question about Hoover U6437-900 / U6439-900 Windtunnel Bagged Upright Vacuum

3 Answers

Hoover wind tunnel won't self propel

Everything seems to be working fine except my self-propel won't work

Posted by teelsteel on

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3 Answers

Chris Jones

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There are really two reasons why the self-propelled wouldn't work. It could either be the belts on the vacuum cleaner are stretched or broken. The belts on this model control both the self-propelled transmission, as well as the brush roller. Here's a video that shows you how to inspect the roller brush and belts to make sure that they are installed properly and working. Try this repair first, as this is the easier one to fix.


The other problem if the belts are installed properly that would cause the self-propelled wouldn't work would be the self-propelled actuator arm. There is a cable that starts at the handle of the vacuum, and runs all the way down to the floor head of the vacuum that controls the transmission. As you pull backwards on the handle of the vacuum, the cable pulls this actuator arm backwards, which then turns the wheels backwards, and when you push forward it turns the wheels forward.

The problem with the way it's designed however, is that if you pick up the vacuum cleaner by the handle of the machine rather then using the carrying handle on the back of the vacuum, it causes too much tension on the actuator arm, and will cause the cable to rip right out of the arm.

This is a VERY common problem on this model. To check and see if this part is broken on your vacuum, step on the handle release pedal so that the handle is in the vacuuming position, push the pedal a second time so the machine lays flat on the floor.

Now if you look right behind the height adjustment switch, and the rug / floor switch where the floor part meets the upright part, you should see a cable that connects into the actuator arm. Pull up and down on the handle and look for movement. Is the cable loose with only a nut attached to it, or is it resting in the actuator arm?

Here's a very helpful link that shows you exactly how to replace the actuator arm:
How to Replace the Actuator Arm on Hoover Self-Propelled Windtunnel

If this didn't help you, and the problem is still happening, please just use the add a comment form here on Fixya and let me know that you're still having problems. I'd be honored to go through and do some more advanced diagnosing with you.


I hope this we helpful to you. If you did find this helpful, please be so kind and leave feedback for me. This is why repair professionals like myself continue to come back and give free repair advice, to get the recognition of a job well done.

Thanks so much,

Chris Jones
GoVacuum.com

Posted on Apr 17, 2010

  • 14 more comments 
  • Anonymous Sep 27, 2010

    I followed the instructions and did need to replace the actuator arm. Replaced the actuator arm; both Hoover belts and installed a new roller - all Hoover replacement products and no problems installing. Everything seemed to be going fine until I turned it on. The main belt burned/melted on in seconds and the brushes did not spin. What did I do wrong??

  • Eamenard Dec 21, 2010

    Need to replace the actuator arm on Hoover Windtunnel but when I click on the underlined web forwarding I get a link to someone selling domain names. Could you please post the web address or correct same on your discussion? Where can I purchase the arm? Thanks

  • spottter Feb 11, 2011

    Chris- the video you refer to here doesn't come up.

  • spottter Feb 11, 2011

    Chris-help me please! I need to find that video.
    When I inspect my cable, it appears taut and it does move back and forth when you move the handle. So now I'm thinking is not a cable problem, but the big wheel you put the wide belt on does not turn. Does this mean I need a new power drive assembley? or perhaps a new vacuum?

  • Chris Jones
    Chris Jones Feb 14, 2011

    Hello, sorry it's showing up here on my broswer as you an embedded YouTube video. Not sure why it's not displaying on yours, maybe your settings are set to prevent the video from displaying, Anyway here's a link to the video on youtube; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=meX8lgZo7...

  • Susan Baker Jul 17, 2012

    I too couldn't find the video you refer to. Please help. The video you linked with your response if for replacing the belts, not the actuater arm.

  • cead mille failte Jan 16, 2013

    That was a fantastic video. I especially liked the way you walked us through it so slowly and patiently. Thank you. Unfortunately for me as a woman, I would have to be a brain surgeon to complete all that, which I am not--not to mention having to have either a power screw driver or strong muscles. I have already paid to have this exact same problem repaired professionally last on this lousy vacuum . My question to you is: can I just DISCONNECT the self-propel aspect of this vacuum and let it operate without self-propel feature? The vacuum itself sucks things up just fine and I am not willing to spend another cent on this piece of trash. I hate to dump it into the garbage can and incur the cost of a new vacuum if I can simply have a way of disconnecting the self-propel feature and use the vacuum manually. Thank you

  • cead mille failte Jan 16, 2013

    That was a fantastic video. I especially liked the way you walked us through it so slowly and patiently. Thank you. Unfortunately for me as a woman, I would have to be a brain surgeon to complete all that, which I am not--not to mention having to have either a power screw driver or strong muscles. I have already paid to have this exact same problem repaired professionally last on this lousy vacuum . My question to you is: can I just DISCONNECT the self-propel aspect of this vacuum and let it operate without self-propel feature? The vacuum itself sucks things up just fine and I am not willing to spend another cent on this piece of trash. I hate to dump it into the garbage can and incur the cost of a new vacuum if I can simply have a way of disconnecting the self-propel feature and use the vacuum manually. Thank you

  • John Ritter
    John Ritter Oct 24, 2013

    My 'self propel' Hoover wind tunnel vacuum cleaner won't propel. I have changed both belts. I also checked the actuator arm and it appears intact. I put a book under the motor/brush part of the vacuum so that I had the drive wheels raised above the carpet, and so that I could view them when I forcibly moved the actuator arm forward and backward to confirm whether the drive wheels respond. They do! I also moved the handle forward and backward and the drive wheels again do respond. BUT,------when I try to operate the vacuum in the 'normal mode', I get no propulsion. I also checked the cable to make sure that it is 'tight' and I don't see any problem. Any thoughts/ideas on what else may be causing it to not propel?? Please respond to Jack at [email protected]

  • Rudy Ten
    Rudy Ten Jul 01, 2014

    I am having the same problem as "John Ritter", BUT my wheels are not spinning. Is the motor dead? or am I missing something. Is there a proper way to test this?

  • John P
    John P Jul 06, 2014

    Found the cable end where you said, but the little black block on the cable prevents a longer throw for reverse power. Can I remove it?

  • Cathy
    Cathy Jul 08, 2014

    I'm so excited! I just changed the belts and brush and my self-propelled vc self-propels again! Thanks so much for your video. Cathy

  • Philip Mayer
    Philip Mayer Aug 15, 2014

    I replaced he belts, checked the actuator which is good. Ran the machine before reassembly and it was like new. After putting it back together it was hard to push on the rug. I wonder it the carpet height and floor adjuster levers are the problem. Works great on hard floor or a short rug. But very hard to pul on a higher rug.

  • Judi Love
    Judi Love Feb 10, 2017

    This video is so amazing to explain exactly what to do, now my problem has been not finding the belts or bags or filter. Been to Target, K'mart, and Walmart to no luck of finding them. Been online all morning. I hope I can get them, because this video is so excellent and I need to clean.....!!!

  • Regina Mastillo
    Regina Mastillo Sep 09, 2019

    Thank you for posting this information. You have saved me about $300 that I would have spent on a new vacuum. Turns out, all I had to spend was $11. The video is very comprehensible and just what I needed. Regina M.

  • Eric Broder
    Eric Broder Apr 30, 2020

    The actuator arm seems to be functioning just fine. When last using the vacuum, I noted that it had suddenly become non-self-propelled. In fact, it was pretty resistant to going forward (back seemed ok-ish). Smelled smoke. The belts look fine. Any other ideas? What does the actuator arm actuate? Could it smoke?

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If the flat belt is over a year old replace to be sure it's not slipping. If it works in either forward or reverse the cable may need adjusted. If the transmission doesn't work at all it may need to be replaced.

Posted on Feb 11, 2017

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Lee Balaklaw

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The actuator arm and cable are in place but the carpet/floor height adjustment switch is broken. The vacuum seems to self propel on bare floor not on carpet. I am ordering the hoover lock idler arm to replace it in the hope that this fixes the problem.

Posted on Feb 22, 2016

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