How to disassemble a Dyson DC17 Animal for Cleaning
Ok. To separate sections A and B apart we have to bend the cyclone assembly like a twig and in the process this should release the internal latches. The bend point is exactly where the two sections come together. I used a piece of 2x4 as a fulcrum and a towel to protect the cyclone assembly from scratches it might incur. As illustrated below, place the bend point of the cyclone assembly on the fulcrum and place your hands as illustrated. Using your body weight push down on the ends of the cyclone assembly. Turn the cyclone assembly and keep pushing down. If you get it right you might hear a click which means at least one of the latches have released. Keep rotating the cyclone assembly until all three latches have come undone and the two sections separate. You can toss out the silicone caulk seal between the sections. You'll want to put a new seal during reassembly.
Here's section A:
Here's section B:
The hard part is done. Now take a torx screw driver and remove the fourteen torx screws holding section A together. The parts can only fit one way so there's no need to keep track of how things are positioned. As evident in my pictures everything looks clean. Trust me they were disgustingly dirty that I didn't want to handle my camera with dirty hands. It's easier for illustration-sakes.
It's common to have these eight holes clogged with carpet fibers and goobers.
To clean the parts I soaked everything in warm water with detergent. I washed every crevice I could reach and used ear swabs for the really tight spaces. The black rubber parts were the most odorous and despite two washes they still retained a wet dog smell but not as severe as before.
I think the reason Dyson doesn't recommend using detergent to wash plastic is because detergents will dry out plastic over time. For me there's no way around it. I had to use it. Use it sparingly unless your cyclone smell bad enough to warrant a drench.
Here's a blow-up shot of all the parts. Nice and clean.
Reassembly should be relatively simple. Everything goes back only one way. If it doesn't fit try another position. Reference the images I have provided. Before you snap back sections A and B be sure to put on a bead of caulk around the rim where the original caulk was.