Thread Number: 33957
Direct drive vs. Belt drive washers
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Post# 510189   4/8/2011 at 09:53 (2,145 days old) by franksdad (Greenville, South Carolina)        

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Although I tend to be handy with a hammer and saw I am not ... and never have been a mechanic. Many of you all are seem to have very express opinions concerning belt drive or direct drive washers. I realize belt drives have a belt and the direct drives do not. Could someone please explain the major differences in the BDs and DDs listing pros and cons of both and which they personally prefer and why. Thank you. Jim

Post# 510194 , Reply# 1   4/8/2011 at 10:17 (2,145 days old) by cfz2882 (Belle Fourche,SD)        

well the BDs are the oldies;Ca late 40sto 1986 or 87,DDs came out in mid 1981
for some 24"washers,27"washers by mid '87.
lots here,including myself,enjoy the sound of the BDs;the "woo woo"and the
little click-snick when the wig-wag engages spin after the neutral drain.

Post# 510197 , Reply# 2   4/8/2011 at 10:29 (2,145 days old) by Pingmeep ()        

This is my experience with North American machines in the last three years in both a commercial and consumer capacity.

For top loaders many prefer belt driven machines. The general consensus is that modern belts last for a long time and aside from a zipping sound provide good/gentle performance with less vibration and motor noise than many DD implementations. The caveat is of course that machines vary.

For front loaders the NA market has a large number of DD implementations but also BD machines especially more recently. DD should allow for more precision of mechanical motion but most of the key motions can be replicated by a BD machine. Personally from a theoretical perspective I favor DD here because I have seen many BD FL belts sagging/becoming uncoupled under less than ideal load balance and if it wasn't the belt it was the suspension system.

Post# 510201 , Reply# 3   4/8/2011 at 10:41 (2,145 days old) by PeterH770 (Marietta, GA)        

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The DD machines are easy to work on. That is about it for the "pro" side.

The major "con" is the short, fast agitation. Put that into a narrow, deep tub and you have a machine that is totally harsh. We don't call them Shreadmores and Shreadpools for nothing.

Other manufacturers also came out with short, fast agitation machines once they abandoned their original designs. While not DD, they are still pretty harsh. Probably the least harsh is the orbital transmission Maytag. They have the original (wide) tub that facilitates better turnover.

A friend called me the other day, saying his Kenmore flooded the basement. This was the Kenmore that we replace the clutch in a few months ago. I went over and saw the damage. They were washing rugs. 1) the washer wasn't doing a neutral drain, probably the OOB rugs caused the water to slosh over the top. That and 2) getting stuck in midcycle -- timer problems. 3) The lid switch broke. Don't know if it was from the load being OOB. 4) The machine will not get up to speed with no load -- blown clutch again. Sounds like a lot, but all of these are very easy and relatively cheap repairs (the timer being the most expensive). He is debating whether to fix or scrap.

Sent him a list of Newton-made Maytags I found on craigslist...

Post# 510217 , Reply# 4   4/8/2011 at 12:11 (2,145 days old) by laundromat (Hilo, Hawaii)        

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As far as top loaders go, I prefer the belt drive over the direct except the L.G. and GE harmony models. They are direct drive and do a great job without damaging or waring out the fabrics.

Front loaders, I am partial to the direct drive over the belt drive because the belts get more tension when the loads are full or over full that can damage their barrings and cost a fortune to replace.In fact Whirlpool's newer high end models are now direct drive.

Post# 510220 , Reply# 5   4/8/2011 at 12:26 (2,145 days old) by danmantn (Tennessee)        

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I love my new Speed Queen belt drives...quieter, gentler, and have that wonderful old school sound!

Post# 510227 , Reply# 6   4/8/2011 at 13:09 (2,145 days old) by franksdad (Greenville, South Carolina)        
Thank you.

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for the information. So, if I were looking inside a top loader I could assume the ones with the narrow deep tub and agitator that you can not turn are direct drives?

Post# 510228 , Reply# 7   4/8/2011 at 13:11 (2,145 days old) by danmantn (Tennessee)        

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My direct drive (WP) the agitator will turn, the SQ belt drive will not. Best to check the tech documentation. Most new WPs are returning to belt drives as I understand.

Post# 510260 , Reply# 8   4/8/2011 at 14:53 (2,145 days old) by macboy91si (Frankfort, KY)        
New WP's

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The trick to new machines is the floating tub test. If it easily swings and spins then it's the NEW belt drive machine. The locked tub and limited, stiffer moving suspension are direct drives. That is for the Whirlpool made machines. Other manufacturers are different.



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