Billy Goat VQ802SPH Vacuum Maintenance and Troubleshooting Tips

With its 8 HP engine, 10-bushel bag and 33-inch steel nozzle, the VQ802SPH Lawn Vacuum can rapidly clean huge amounts of turf. But like any piece of equipment, it needs frequent maintenance to maintain peak performance. Here’s what you need to know about maintaining this vacuum from oiling the chain to removing the impeller.


Before any repair, disconnect the spark plug wire to prevent accidental starts. After making a repair, reconnect the spark plug wire and make sure the guards, bag, cap and hose (if equipped) are attached before starting the engine.

Maintenance Schedule

Before each use: Clean the debris bag and make sure the bag strap is tight. A dirty bag can reduce vacuum performance.

Every 5 hours or day of use: Check for excessive vibration and inspect the vacuum for loose or damaged parts. Vibration is usually the sign of an out of balance impeller or a loose engine.

Every 25 hours: Make sure the tires are inflated to 14 PSI, oil the control pivot points and lubricate the chain. Low tire pressure can make the vacuum difficult to maneuver.

Every 50 hours: Check the belt adjustment and grease the wheels using the grease fittings.

For maintenance on your vacuum’s motor, refer to the included engine manual.

Impeller Removal

The impeller must be taken out of the vacuum to get full access to the drive belt. It also may need to be accessed to clean out large debris that has worked its way into the vacuum.

  1. Disconnect the remote control rod from the nozzle gobbler door.
  2. Place the vacuum on a stable support that leaves the front caster wheels off the ground.
  3. Remove the brackets for the nozzle and caster wheel.
  4. Take off the side belt guard and top belt guard. Both are located between the transmission and the housing.
  5. Loosen the belt guide, located on the front left between the housing and the engine.
  6. Pull the belt away from the drive pulley.
  7. Unscrew the impeller bolt and remove the lock washer.

The impeller should easily slide off the shaft. If it doesn’t, apply some penetrating oil around the shaft and try the following:

  • Using a pair of pry bars, pry up on the impeller near the shaft.
  • Get a bolt that has the same diameter and thread as the impeller bolt, but is at least one inch longer. Flip the engine and impeller over, resting the engine on a support that protects the recoil mechanism. Screw this bolt into the shaft, using it as the point of leverage for a gear or wheel puller.

Assemble in the reverse order, adjusting the belt tension and drive (see the sections below). The drive should engage with the bail closed and disengage when it’s open.

Brake Adjustment

Remove the brake guard and loosen the mounting nut linking the transmission and the brake arm. Move the cable, then tighten down the nut. Adjust the cable so that the vacuum can freewheel with the brake off.


To oil the chain, add SAE 30 oil through the hole on the rear axle cover. Move the vacuum around to expose different parts of the chain, allowing the full length to be oiled.

To access the chain, remove the differential and chain guards. The chain will last longer if the chain and sprockets are replaced at the same time.

Installing and adjusting a new chain:

  • Install the new chain, locating the keeper clip of the chain connecting link on the inboard side.
  • Reinstall the bearings on the axle and install the bearing mount screws, leaving them just partially tightened.
  • Push the bearings against each rear wheel. Keeping the axle even with the engine, align the chain and tighten down the front bearing screws followed by the rear bearing screws.
  • Check the alignment and tightness. The wheels should turn without the chain binding. If it does, loosen the bearings, slide the axle forward, and retighten the bearings.
  • Reinstall the chain guard and differential guard.


To adjust the belt tension, loosen the clutch cable nut, move the cable, then retighten the nut. When the clutch is engaged, the belt should clear the wire belt guides by 0.06-0.125 inches (1.5-3.3 mm). A loose belt will prevent the self-propulsion system from engaging.

To replace the belt, the impeller must be removed (see section above.) Run the belt so that it wraps around the drive and transmission pulleys, while the outside of the belt is against the idler pulley

Sourcing Parts for Your Billy Goat Vacuum

When you need parts for your Billy Goat equipment, go to We’re a certified Billy Goat and Honda engine dealer, which means we carry every part you need for the VQ802SPH vacuum. We even have factory parts manuals available to view online for free. We can ship any part to any address across the U.S. and Canada.

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