How To Service the Inside of a Hayward Navigator Suction Cleaner


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Is your Hayward Floor Vacuum (or Ultra Vacuum) not performing like it used to? Is it spinning in circles or getting stuck in corners instead of going around the pool? There are an assortment of gears and moving parts inside the Navigator that need to be checked and replaced now and then. Sometime, it’s just debris interfering with the movement of the gears. This guide will get you inside the Navigator to check mechanisms that typically go wrong.

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Things You'll Need

Step by Step


Step 1

Tools you will need. 1) Phillips screwdriver - small and medium. 2) A work area where you can spread out. TIP: It is very important that you are careful when taking this apart. If you lay all the pieces out in a row as you remove them, it will be easier to put back together. 3) Five small Tupperware or paper bowls to put parts and small pieces in. Label them #1 – #5 with a magic marker. If Tupperware, use masking tape for a label. 4) Patience!

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Step 2

Here is a parts list for the inside of a Hayward Navigator Cleaner. For a larger parts list click here Navigator Part List.

Step 3

Turn the Navigator upside down and remove the plug in the center. The screw will not come out all the way but you should be able to lift it out. Now remove the other four screws. You will have to hold the flaps back to access these screws. Put the screws and plug into the #1 container.

Step 4

Pull the two sections apart. Once apart, they will look like this; the Middle Body on the left; and the Lower Body on the right.

Step 5

Turn the bottom of the Lower Body over and inspect the bearings of the rubber wheels. If they are worn, remove the wheel subassembly and get a new one. Replacement Part # XXXX A Frame Kit. Set this Lower Body aside as we will not be working on it further.

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Step 6

Returning to the Middle Body, remove the four screws on the bumper and put them in container #2. Lift off the bumper.

Step 7

We will now divide the Middle Body into its two sections: the Lower Middle Body and the Upper Middle Body. Remove the two screws as shown on the picture and put them in the same container. They are smaller than the others, so remember that when putting it back together. Gently lift the Lower Middle Body away from the assembly and turn it over. The names seem off, but remember that the Navigator is on its back. If the Navigator was placed right side up, this Lower Middle Body would be on the bottom.

Step 8

When you turn the Lower Middle Body over it might look like this. Sometimes the little red 3/4 circle show here (the Spinner) and the black Turbine fall off their mountings and end up in the other section. Remember this when you are putting the two sections back together. Carefully lift out the red Spinner and the white washer that's behind it and put them in container #3.

Step 9

Inspect the Rear Screen on the Lower Middle Body. Again this may have stayed with the Upper Middle Body. Brush the screen with a brush to remove any debris. If the screen is damaged, replace it. Replacement Part # 3259-0040, Screen.

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Step 10

Lift out the black Turbine and inspect the wheels and bearings. These are the most common things to wear out. Replacement Part # 3259-0006, Main Turbine Bearings. Put the Turbine and Bearings in container #3. NOTE: The ends of the Turbine and the Middle Body Assembly have L & R letters for left and right. When you put it back together, it is important that they go back together like this.

Step 11

Lift the Gear Box Assembly out of the Lower Middle Body. You don’t need to open it as it consists of layers of gears.

Step 12

Blow into the little square hole on the angled end. The gears should make a high spinning sound. If not, or it sounds off, carefully remove the top and see if there is any debris inside of it. If you do open this, be careful that the gears don’t spill out. (I once found a small copper wire in one)

Step 13

Move to the Upper Middle Body. Remove the two screws on the Medium Turbine Case and put them in container #4. Remove the case. Open the case and inspect the gear on the Aqua green Medium Turbine. Replace if worn. Replacement Part #3259-0008, Medium Turbine. Put case and Turbine in container #4.

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Step 14

Remove the four screws on the Upper Middle Body and put them in container #5. The gear circled is the Medium Turbine Drive Gear that it is connected to the shaft of the Spindle Gear. This gear is discussed in steps 16 and 17 below.

Step 15

Turn the Upper Middle Body over and let the Cone Gear assembly drop onto your hand (The Cone Gear may fall out separately). If the Cone Gear dropped out with the rest of the assembly, it will look like this.

Step 16

After you lift the Cone Gear off, the assembly will look like this. The most common pieces to wear out are the Intermediate Gear, the Spindle Gear, and the Medium Turbine Drive Gear that is connected to other end of the shaft for the Spindle Gear. After checking the Intermediate Gear for wear, pull it out and set in container #5. Replacement Part # 3259-V301, Intermediate Gear.

Step 17

Wiggle Spindle Gear a little. Is it firmly in place or does it feel sloppy? If the later of the two, it needs to be replaced. You can replace it by removing the screw on top. Replacement Part # 3259-V303, Spindle Gear. Check the Medium Turbine Drive Gear that is on the other end. Replacement Part # 3266-0010, Medium Turbine Drive Gear. The Cone Gear usually doesn’t wear out but check it anyway. Replacement Part # 3259-V070.

Click Here to View Hayward Navigator Replacement Parts

Step 18

That’s it! If you experienced any of the problems mentioned in the guide, research the parts and prices at Navigator Part List. Remember, if you have to replace several parts, it may be less expensive to replace the whole Navigator.

Step 19

To reassemble the Navigator, start by reassembling The Cone Gear assembly to look like this. Make sure all the gears line up.

Step 20

Put the top back on, and gently turn the assembly over. Using the four screws from container #5, reconnect the top to the Cone assembly. From the top turn the cone assembly tube to make sure all the gears are meshed and turning. You should see the white gear on the other side of the Cone Gear assembly rotate.

Step 21

Put the Medium Turbine and Medium Turbine Case back together and screw in place using screws from container #4. Be sure the teeth on the Medium Turbine match up with the white gear. This completes the reassembly of the Upper Middle Body.

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Step 22

Moving to the Lower Middle Body, put the Gear Box Assembly in place. The little tab will be facing out towards the back of the assembly.

Step 23

From container #3 put the white washer on the small square of the Gear Box and the red spinner on top of that (it doesn’t matter which way it faces). Put the Turbine Bearings back onto the black Turbine. The bearings have a little slot in them so they can only go on one way. Then put the Turbine back into its slot in the Lower Middle Body Remember that there are LEFT and RIGHT markings on the Turbine and Body Frame.

Step 24

Put the Middle Body back together by placing the Upper Middle Body on top of the Lower Middle Body. This can get a little tricky because the Rear Screen slips into little grooves. Carefully turn the combined Middle Body over and secure it using the two smaller screws from container #2. DO NOT put the last four screws in yet. It will mess things up.

Step 25

Put the Bumper on top of the Middle Body using the remaining four screws from container #2.

Click Here to View Hayward Navigator Replacement Parts

Step 26

Put the Lower Body back on taking care that the black wheels fit snuggly on the outside of the turbines. DO NOT FORCE. It should just drop in but you may have to wiggle it a bit.

Step 27

Use the screws from container #1 and put it all back together.

Step 28

Now, with the top of the cone gear protruding from the top of the vacuum, pull up on it and turn it. You should hear a nice slow spinning sound coming from the Navigator. If you hear any kind of crunchy sounds or the mechanism doesn’t sound right, then you did something wrong and will have to take it apart (that’s how I leaned!). However, before doing so, put it in your pool and see how it works.

Step 29

TIP: Under one of the back pods you will see a turquoise screw marked I, II, and III. By adjusting this you create more service tension on the flaps. A "II" setting is the normal operation level for the cleaner. A "I" setting slows the Navigator/Pool Vac Ultra down if it's climbing the walls or sticking in corners; A "III" setting speeds the Navigator/Pool Vac Ultra up if it can't climb the slopes.

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(1 to 31 of 31)

 Posted: 2/16/2019 

My problem initially was the Hayward Navigator was not, turning at all, replaced the turbine and bearings, A frame and bearings, still did not turn, and finally gear box. Now it only turns left in circle after circle. Did not disassemble the rest of the housing to inspect medium turbine spindle gears. If I get the medium turbine spindle replacement kit should this solve my problems?

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 2/18/2019 

It's rare that the medium turbine spindle would need to be replaced. We would recommend taking the cleaner apart to inspect the medium turbine spindle and cone gear. There may be a piece of debris stuck in one of the gears. I would also wash out the gear box while you're at it.

 Posted: 2/23/2019 

Robert M Thanks for the reply. Ok we took it apart COMPLETELY. All the medium turbine and gears were in good shape no broken teeth, no dirt or other debris in there, no debris in the gear box (which is brand new). On the lift test it still only turns left, goes left in circles never stops. On the bottom of the pool it turns left only and frequently comes off the bottom with the feet moving (even when flat on bottom doesnt necessarily float down to bottom from wall). Before I break down and buy a new one, what else if left?

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 2/27/2019 

Have you used the suction gauge that came with the cleaner to see if the cleaner is receiving the correct amount of suction?

 Posted: 9/5/2018 

Hello Geno - the pool hose may be the major problem here. Hose memory is a byproduct of being stored for long periods coiled up or from repeated use. The hose becomes rigid, less pliable, making it difficult for the cleaner to stay on its directed path. But you can "reset" the hose by laying the hose sections out straight in the sunlight for a day, letting the bake the curves out of the plastic.

 Posted: 9/1/2018 

We have an Aqua Bug for an above ground pool. The bug always goes to the far corner and all the hoses are twisted. What could be my problem?

 Posted: 5/15/2016 

Thanks so much for these excellent instructions. My problem was that the cleaner was not turning, so would get stuck against the wall or corner. It turned out that there was a tiny string stuck in the gear box. I just opened the gear box, then carefully removed the stack of gears, making sure I kept track of the order. After cleaning out the debris, I reversed the process. After I was done, I was able to blow into the gear box and hear the spinning sound, as described. I suspect that some people are replacing their gear box, when it really just needs to be cleaned out.

Thanks again!


 Posted: 5/9/2016 

No-one has mentioned the screw (your picture 29) that tensions the flap. Not even U tube. Very good and thank you.

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 11/22/2015 

Gear box - I have not taken this gear box apart so I don't know the relative sizes of the gears inside. I do know that that because if the gearing, one end of the gear series is going to be harder to turn that the other. What you feel as very stiff may be natural. Or, depending on the age of your cleaner, one of these gears may be worn to where they are binding. Try blowing in the corner hole of the gear box. You should hear the gears spinning inside the box. If not, you might consider replacing this gear box with a new one. Here is our link to that part: Hayward / Arneson Cleaners Navigator/ Gear Box Assembly (axv408p).

Anonymous  Posted: 11/21/2015 

Took gear box apart but when i try to replace gears They do not turn are very stiff . Is there a certain way they are replacedc. In box i know the bottom gear and top are differant . The rest look the same

 Posted: 7/13/2015 

Now that's what I am talking about. A site that has Authority.. Thank you. I had spent tons trying to fix this hayward pool gizmo and it was still getting stuck. People (repair) complain is too many parts compared to the newer ones, never the less at bottom of this page I believe you mention a turquise screw I adjusted it to one and everything is groovy.

I know this sounds like a spam in the beginning, but I am also starting an Authority blog (different topic) and I hope my info will be as valid as yours.

please feel free to use this reccomendation any way you want..

This site rocks :)

Great job!!



 Posted: 6/30/2015 

Cw - Sometimes air gets caught in the top of the cleaner when you put it in the water. Try swishing it back and forth under water before you drop it to the floor. Also your cleaner's hose may have developed a curl in it that's putting side pressure on the cleaner. Try stretching the hose out straight on the pool patio and leaving it in the sun for an afternoon to get the twist out. If neither of these suggestions work, call Hayward at 866-722-2100. They should have other suggestions.

 Posted: 6/29/2015 

I have Hayward pool vac -- guessing. Purchased 2003 when pool built... Not positive. Problem, the canister will not stay on floor of pool and turns on it side almost immediately. Thanks

 Posted: 3/19/2015 

I had an epiphany on how to fix Hayward pool vav / cleaner getting stuck in corners as follows: Go to Grainger get a tube of White Lithium Grease Part # 6ZKW1. Take a part the gear box and use this lube to lubricate the two metal shaft all the way to the bottom. YOU MUST COMPLETELY REMOVE THE LAST GEAR WITH THE PROPELAR AND LUBRICATE THE METAL SHAFT TO THE BOTTOM. This action instantly fixed my getting stuck in the corners problem. My cleaner now turns almost instantly. You can use this same lube to lubricate everything in the cleaner, plastic gear teeth, ball bearings, parts rubbing or rotating against each othe. BUT THE MOST IMPORTANT LUBRICATION IS THE TWO METAL POST IN THE GEAR BOX ALL THE WAY TO THE BOTTOM.

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 2/14/2015 

duckscanswim - This cleaner works off of water pressure not electric power, so there is no on/off switch.

 Posted: 2/13/2015 

So where is the. On. Off switch.

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 1/25/2015 

Mark - The part numbers in this diagram will match your Navigator unit -"Hayward Navigator - Parts". I believe you are looking for KEY 11.- p# 3259-0001

 Posted: 1/24/2015 

My (old) Hayward Navigator is sticking against steps and sides. The gearbox does not spin easily. It seems odd that those gears would deteriorate but I'm guessing that's the problem. Where do I find a part number so that I match the right gearbox with the old unit I have? Or are all the gearboxes the same?


 Posted: 9/30/2014 

The best Instruction Manual or Guide I've ever seen! Professional Instruction or Owner's Manuals could learn something from this person. Even in the Automotive Industry. The little tips are incredibly helpful, example; the unexpected hint provided in STEP 8 about the "Red Spinner and the White Washer that's behind it: "that it doesn't matter which way the Red Spinner faces doesn't matter. That was the first thing I wonder when I disassembled it and the Red Spinner actually popped out and fell on the floor. I had no idea! About the only comment I would have added because I am even more anal, "Your little RED Spinner might have faded to ORANGE because of expose to the chlorinated water. Thank for going the "extra mile" when writing these instructions! Jerry Slonsky

 Posted: 8/23/2014 

Just found out that if your spindle gear breaks or your intermediate gear is missing a tooth, don't buy them. There is a new replacement piece that is a larger spindle gear. It eliminates the intermediate gear completely and makes the navigator run more smoothly.

 Posted: 4/18/2014 

If your navigator is only going straight, or is only turning in circles, there may be something in the steering gearbox preventing the gears from turning. Before dismantling the whole cleaner and opening the gear box, you may want to try this:

Disconnect the suction hose from the top of the cleaner. Using a garden hose or the return line in the pool, run water down through the top. Use a strong enough flow to turn the gears backwards and dislodge the debris. Reconnect the suction hose to the top of the cleaner, put it back in the pool, and turn on the pump. This may be enough to get the steering working again without disassembling the cleaner. It worked for me!

To the moderator/webmaster: Does this deserve a Guide of its own?


InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 2/21/2014 

rram - You might look at the following guides for additional instructions: "How To Replace a Pod on a Hayward Navigator or Pool Vac Ultra"; "How To Replace the Navigator Pool Cleaner Main Turbine Bearings"; and "How To Replace the Navigator Pool Cleaner Gear Box Assembly".

 Posted: 2/20/2014 

I have one these models. It was working fine till last month. It only works/crawls counterclock wise and pretty much in a set radius. I have checked the insides to see if there was anything stuck in it. Both side legs move well, but just keep going in circles in a spot. The pads looks good. What else should I look at. There is a blue spacer (cyclinder) where the legs go into the main body. One seems to be in place and the other side is loose. Could that be the issue?

Anonymous  Posted: 9/14/2013 

Excellent Step-by-Step directions! Worked through the steps, found Palm Tree seeds in my gear box - clean them out, checked everything else out, put it back together and she is running like a top! Thank you so much - I will add the this to my favorites and tell my friends!!

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 7/22/2013 

pmh - I think you are asking about the alternate cover assembly which is V340, not V341 which is the screw. According to the parts vendor, for a fiberglass pool, you should use this alternate cover assembly instead of V141 which is used for concrete. I do not know what the functional difference is. Use this parts list if you order: "Hayward / Arneson Cleaners Pool Vac (Classic)". Some of the numbers have changed since we issued the guide.

 Posted: 7/21/2013 

Thankyou for a great site. I have just installed a 2nd hand Navigator in my fibreglass pool. It was set up for plastic previously (I am told) with plastic shoes, but was supplied with new spare cork feet and a spare alternative design of part No 29 with a reference V341. Which type of 29 should I use? What is the function of the different types of 29

 Posted: 7/14/2013 

I am a "do it yourselfer" and you just made my life much easier! Thanks for taking the time to do the "step by step" and list the parts!

 Posted: 6/14/2013 

Excellent tutorial and great pictures! Thank you!

 Posted: 3/22/2013 

Best tutorial I've seen on the Hayward. I have learned most of this the hard way, but this article more information and explanations than anything I've seen so far...

Anonymous  Posted: 2/6/2013 

Thank you so much for this!! Very helpful, couldn't have replaced the gear box without this tutorial

Anonymous  Posted: 7/19/2012 

Had a problem with my pool vac ultra-suction was good-would not turn at the walls-called hayward told them the problem said I needed a new gear box-got one(14.99)-installed it-works godd as NEW- thanks HAYWARD