Hello Randy, for your case it sounds like a bad hose handle switch. Did the suction come on originally when you opened the port door before? Or on after hose insertion? If after then look inside the port for two small metal contacts. Use foil to short them (no shock). Suction should work which means you need to replace the hose switch, if available, or the hose. Here are the hose options: http://builtinvacuum.com/help/kenmore.html#hoses
and here is a switch that may work http://builtinvacuum.com/retail/shopretail.php?part_no=342S
(Hayden is same as Kenmore, same original manufacturer, but the switch may have changed after all these years). Hope that helps! Oh, and always consider a new complete kit as well, just look at the top of the page from first link given in this answer.