“I’ve always wanted a blue mixer…”

“I’ve always wanted a blue mixer…”

It’s easy enough to buy a cobalt-blue KitchenAid mixer these days, but the color is really hard to find in older models. The KSM90 “Ultra Power” tilt-head was the first of the cobalt-blue machines; it was made as an “exclusive” for Williams-Sonoma. They’re findable on eBay, but frequently command a premium, even when sold “for parts or repair”.

Even harder to find is the cobalt-blue bowl-lift model (K5SS). Seller-refurbished ones are selling on eBay for close to $500 (roughly the cost of a new mixer) — when you can find them. Good luck finding one that needs work.

So, when one of my sisters said “I’ve always wanted a blue mixer, can you find me one?” …sure. Tilt-head or bowl-lift? “Bowl-lift, I only have tilt-heads now.” Uh… OK. Challenge accepted.

Remarkably, though, I got lucky and found just the one. The machine was listed as “running badly”. Not a problem — this is what I do.

Then this beauty landed on the bench.

K5SS in cobalt blue, fresh out of the box.

And it did run badly. The motor bearings were shot, so I replaced them. That solved the running problem, and there on out it was a pretty straightforward refurb job. More or less. Except for the extensive amount of cleanup required; there was oil leakage everywhere.

The gear case gasket basically wasn’t doing anything; all the oil leaked past it and wicked away to the far reaches of the machine.

Cleanup took a long time, but it turned out really well.

The machine didn’t come with anything but the bowl, so I outfitted it and sent it on to its new home. I’ve received reports that it’s happily churning away at making huge batches of heavy bread dough.