Fixing My Broken Hobart KitchenAid K5-A Stand Mixer

IMAG0241I got up this morning and, over coffee, hopped on the internet to search once again for a fix for my broken stand mixer. As I related in a previous post, I picked this mixer up at a local yard sale for five bucks. It came with the paddle, whisk, dough hook, and the can opener (not pictured) that hooks to the front. It was dirty with years of kitchen grease, but I saw the Hobart name on it and realized I was looking at classic quality. I also knew that the finish was baked enamel and all that grease would clean off nicely. The lady running the sale looked all over for the meat grinder that she was going to include with it (keep in mind we’re only talking five bucks!) before one of her neighbors casually mentioned that she had high-graded bought it earlier and had already taken it home.

Man, I would have loved to have had that meat grinder. But I digress.

Upon getting it home, Mary took it apart and did a great job of cleaning and shining until it looked like new. The problem came in when I got up a few mornings later, wanting to try my hand at making bread for the first time, and, rather than waiting for Mary to put it back together, went ahead and did it myself.

I got all the ingredients in the 5-quart mixing bowl, turned it on and…nothing. Nada. Zilch. It wouldn’t even power up. I disconnected the bowl from the mixer and proceeded to do it all by hand.

Finally, this morning, after searching a couple other times as well, I found the fix! When I had hastily put things back together, I didn’t realize that the brushes had to go back in a certain way. Heck, I didn’t even know they were brushes. Without them in correctly, the motor won’t even power up. So, if you’ve pulled the same bone-headed stunt, below is a description of how to fix this.

IMAG0249You’ll need a medium sized regular screwdriver. Look for a large plastic screw on the side of the mixer head. This is the brush cap. Behind the brush cap is a small metal bushing that holds the spring in place. There will be one set on each side.

 

IMAG0250Slowly unscrew the brush cap and be ready to catch the cap and bushing when you take the screwdriver away. There’s a spring behind this cap, and if you’re not prepared, the brush cap and bushing will go flying off. (Does this sound like advice learned from experience? Good…you catch on quick.)

 

IMAG0251Carefully pull the brush cap and the bushing behind it out and set it aside. I found that the curved surface at the bottom of your mixer (where your mixing bowl sets) is a great place to put these.

 

 

IMAG0252You will have an exposed spring left after pulling the bushing and brush cap off.

 

 

 

IMAG0253Grasp the spring carefully and pull it straight out. At the end of the spring will be the brush.

Important!:If this is your first time pulling this out, be sure and make note which way it was setting in the square opening. One of the corners of the brush is cut off, and it’s very important that it go back in correctly. If you install them wrong they will not go all the way in and will not contact the armature and the mixer will not run.

If, like me, you’ve taken them out and didn’t make note of which way to put it back in, you can still put them back in correctly, which I’ll describe in a moment.

Take this time to inspect the brushes. Sometimes, they get caked up with flour and will cause your mixer to run badly  or not at all. If this is the case, clean the curved end of the brush with a flat knife (like a pocket knife) taking care not to scratch the surface. Reinsert the brushes, taking care to put them in the same way they came out, and reverse the process of dis-assembly.

If you didn’t make note beforehand, it’s a little trickier. Insert the brush into the square opening. Pull it back out, turn it one quarter and insert it again. Repeat this until you find that when you insert it, it goes in about a quarter inch farther than previously. This is the position you want. Insert the bushing into the plastic brush cap and put it all back together. Repeat this whole process for the other side of the mixer.

Plug it in and, if all went right, your mixer will be running as good as new! As for me, I took some butter out earlier to warm to room temperature, so I’m off to make some fresh banana bread. Hope this helped! 🙂

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