Dyson DC02 Cable Rewind Mechanism

Looking for a Dyson DC02 cable rewind? Unfortunately, the news for you is not good.

The Dyson DC02 was the first cylinder (canister) model sold by Dyson in the mid 1990’s. It was smaller and easier to carry than the preceding upright DC01. Its shape allowed it to sit on the stairs and this design was named “stair-hugging” by Dyson. The cleaner features an extendable hose designed to work around corners and objects. To the rear of the machine, there is a pedal which retracts the cable back into the cleaner. It uses the cyclone system. This model is commonly duplicated by Asian manufacturers, presumably because the more complicated Dyson models (Root cyclone models, etc.) have better protected patents. The model is also available in a special edition called the ‘DC02 Recyclone’, named such because it was the first vacuum cleaner to be made out of reused plastic materials.

Nowadays, DC02’s are quite thin on the ground. One of the well-known faults that sends them to their electronic grave is the cable rewind failing. There are several reasons for this:

  • The cable can break inside the outer sheathing near the plug. Wiggling the wire near the plug may allow the machine to burst into life. If this is the case, you are quite lucky — simply remove the old moulded plug and fit a standard electrical plug after shortening the cable a couple of inches.
  • The cable can also break up mid way down. This is much harder to pinpoint the exact spot, so you need a new cable. If you are *very* practical, and can find the right gauge cable, and the rewind mechanism is working OK, you may be able to replace the cable if you strip the machine down.
  • The cable can break up inside the rewind mechanism itself. This grim and necessitates a new rewind mechanism.
  • If the rewind mechanism is not rewinding any more on your DC02, it has most likely given up the ghost. This is also grim and necessitates a new rewind mechanism.

The difficulty you will encounter is that Dyson discontinued making these DC02 cable rewind units some time ago. There are not enough Dyson DC02’s still around for anyone to bother making them after-market. Various sites on the internet still list them, until you actually get through to their pages and find it says “out of stock” or “not available”.

If you elect to attempt a repair on a DC02 cable rewind unit, be careful. As mentioned above, it is possible to change just the cable and reuse the old cable reel. But, you must be very cautious with the rewind spring. If it springs out of its aperture (which is likely), not only is it a swine to get back correctly, but it can cause injury if it catches you skin or especially your eyes. Be very cautious if you are stripping one of these units down. Wear goggles even.

If you need a new rewind unit, your best chance is a used item or finding a used machine to cannibalise. However, a used machine is likely about as old as your DC02 is, so don’t hold out too much hope of the cable rewind unit being much good. If  you can locate a good one, you are lucky.

If you happen to find anywhere that still has some old stock of new DC02 cable rewind units, post it in the comments section below and help your fellow Dyson Medic reader find one for his machine.

10 Responses to “Dyson DC02 Cable Rewind Mechanism”

  1. We had a few of these used in a batch of old machines we bought for recycling a couple of months ago, and we had a waiting list for them that eagerly snapped them up. We haven’t been able to find anyone who has stock of them either. Will be good to know if any readers know of any little back street vacuum shops anywhere that still has some tucked away.

  2. Wht cause the Dyson DCO2 rewind mechanism to re-wind when you do not want it to?


  3. It has simply worn out I think. I don’t believe that can be repaired.

  4. In reply to Tony Byrne’s question where the reel will not stay put and constantly rewinds, the answer is that a small rubber washer has hardened over time and so does not “lock/wedge” itself into place without slipping.

    I have just repaired a mechanism by using a soft tap washer. Although the hole in the middle is smaller & it is smaller in diameter as a whole, stretching it over the little plastic wheel brings it up to the correct diameter. The width is perfect.

    To get to it is not as bad as it seems and can be done without dismantling the reel and risking damage from the spring. Simply gently pry open the reel and casing slightly where the locking mechanism sits (about half an inch should do), the release the 4 clips that hold the plastic rocker arm. The outer two are OK, but the two on the plastic shaft in the centre of the arm are a bit more awkward. When released, just push the entire arm down enough to release the rubber wheel. No need to push the rocker shaft out entirely. It only has one “nipple” about 2mm high which moves about in a groove on the rocker arm. Once out, get the nearest undersized washer. I think it might be a standard 1/2″ but make sure it feels slightly softer than the one you’ve taken off. Don’t use the really soft ones. Even though the hole will be smaller, stretch it over the little wheel as I have mentioned and it should then look pretty much the same as the original. Put it all back, remembering to push the rocker arm back into place and test. Might be a good idea to clean off the dust from the inner plastic reel rim to give it even better grip. Sorted.

  5. Strong information Tony. Thanks.

  6. Some DC02 cable rewinds are currently available: DC02 Cable Rewind.

  7. My DC02 has the rewind problems outlined above. Having removed the unit and finally put all back together would not now run at all. Stripped and by dint of running the cable in and out found I had a break somewhere in the cable. Obvious answer to sudden stops in the past at full cable stretch. So after about two hours searching came across manchestervacs.co.uk who can supply a replacement rewind unit – new and complete with fitting instructions for £29.99. Ref:9.01735-02.As my machine is otherwise still working well it is now a choice between a repair or a couple of hundred for a new cleaner. Wife still deciding!.

    regards wray.

  8. Tony, you actually saved my 25 year old DC02 from being replaced!

    All was working apart from the cable reel wouldn’t hold position, replaced the washer as you said and it worked like a charm.

    This vacuum will be a family heirloom at this rate

  9. Another DC02 saved thanks to Tony’s advice. I bought some 3/8″ rubber washers for £1.87 and swapped it over. Sorted!

  10. In response to Tony’s comment; it’s actually quite easy to open up the cable reel and access the spring and ratchet mechanism – I found out when I dislodged the torsion spring from the centre spindle when I turned the reel in the wrong direction.

    On the back of the reel (where you see the manufacturer name ‘Atlanta’) you’ll notice where the blue and brown wires enter the mechanism. There is a plastic split pin which separates both wires. Gently tease each end of this pin with a small screw driver, being careful to avoid using too much force – you may find it easier to use 2 small screw drivers at each end to tease this section up.

    Then use a pair of needle nose pliers to pull the pin out. Now you can use the same pliers to compress the split centre piece together and separate the rear of the mechanism, revealing the spring with the locking mechanism.

    It’s surprisingly easy, and doesn’t require any force, so avoid damaging it when gaining access.

    Now, there’s a little (2-3 inch) piece of aluminium that provides the spring tension for the locking mechanism that’s become dislodged on my DC02 and I can’t ‘yet’ figure out how to reattach it. If anyone has any ideas, please let me know..

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