Thread Number: 63371  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
Picking these up tomorrow- Kenmore Portables!
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Post# 859537   1/1/2016 at 22:10 (657 days old) by Dustin92 (Jackson, MI)        

Saw these on the local Facebook Free group, the dryer works fine but the washer won't turn on at all... Hopefully something simple! Any ideas how old these are? I'm thinking late 60's early 70's? The dryer is 110v and they have the stacking kit. They said the washer did work fine but they went to use it the other day and it wouldn't work at all- no noises whatsover and no water fill. Don't know anything else about them, will find out tomorrow!

Post# 859569 , Reply# 1   1/2/2016 at 06:08 (657 days old) by washdaddy (Baltimore)        

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Those portables are from the late 60's or very early 70's at the latest...



Post# 859606 , Reply# 2   1/2/2016 at 09:46 (657 days old) by cleanteamofny ((Monroe, New York)        
Welcome to the 3 cycles, 24" portable club!

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That's the set I grew up with and the dryer is the rare bird because no one in this club has the complete set like this like you!

My cousin has the dryer I grew up with in avocado and I did ask for it if she were to move and I have the same washer in my garage.

Great find on the pair!

If anything the dryer will need is new drum wheels and probably a new belt and lint filter, otherwise the dryer is rock solid for 110 volt!

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Post# 859607 , Reply# 3   1/2/2016 at 09:52 (657 days old) by cleanteamofny ((Monroe, New York)        

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The motor capacitor maybe burnt out and needs replacement.

Post# 859610 , Reply# 4   1/2/2016 at 10:34 (656 days old) by Combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Portable Kenmore pair

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Cool find indeed these would be from about 1970 to possibly 1972. If the washers really completely dead the first thing you look at is the cord in the power connections going into the wiring harness a bad motor capacitor will not cause the washer to be completely dead in any case.


The dryer if it's been used much certainly could use a good going over and servicing, but I would only replace things as necessary replacing perfect good drum rollers etc. doesn't make anything run any better, note this dryer is really 120 V they didn't make 110 V versions of these machines.


All in all some really fun machines the dryer in particular could last just about forever with a little bit of service, and as far as the washers condition goes the it would just depend on how much use it has had,  enjoy and let us know how they work out.


John L.

Post# 859634 , Reply# 5   1/2/2016 at 13:31 (656 days old) by Dustin92 (Jackson, MI)        

They are safely home and I had time to do a little checking... Washer completely dead... Nothing... Not a peep. Turned out to be a burned connection to the cord. Installed a spare cord and it's working fine! Dryer works perfectly and looks to have seen very little use. They are both covered in 40+ years of cigarette smoke residue. Will post an update and picture later!

Post# 859641 , Reply# 6   1/2/2016 at 14:30 (656 days old) by Kenmore58 (Rhode Island)        

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Great score!

Post# 859673 , Reply# 7   1/2/2016 at 19:40 (656 days old) by delaneymeegan (Mary Richards lived here)        

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Great Find. Even still have the labels, albeit covered in smoke scum. I wouldn't turn them away.

Good job, too, with the deduction of the problem.

Post# 859684 , Reply# 8   1/2/2016 at 21:27 (656 days old) by gansky1 (Omaha, The Home of the TV Dinner!)        

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That's a very cool find. Nice capacity for a portable and you get the famous "woo woo" sound. :-)

Post# 859686 , Reply# 9   1/2/2016 at 21:28 (656 days old) by Dustin92 (Jackson, MI)        

The labels are there, yes, but neither are readable so they will be removed. Overall, they aren't in too bad of condition for their age. Some scrapes, scratches, and stains, but both work well. They both need a complete cleaning and deodorizing (!) but should turn out well. In my opinion the washer doesn't fill quite as high as it maybe should, but I would think that will be a simple adjustment. I will need to pick up a couple new washers for the fill hose, and a faucet adapter. The dryer will need a new cord, it gets quite warm at the plug and about a foot back. All in all I would think I'll have less than $20 in them all said and done. Pictures will follow as soon as I go downstairs to take some!

Post# 859704 , Reply# 10   1/2/2016 at 23:10 (656 days old) by oldskool (Kansas City, MO)        
Really Nice

Glad to see they didn't go to 'scrap'.

Very nice and interesting pair. Fantastic luck - just a cord.

Post# 859775 , Reply# 11   1/3/2016 at 11:10 (655 days old) by Dustin92 (Jackson, MI)        

Pictures.... This is after only a light wipe down, both need a much deeper cleaning.

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Post# 859783 , Reply# 12   1/3/2016 at 11:34 (655 days old) by delaneymeegan (Mary Richards lived here)        

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Wow. look at that drum shine. Not stained blue or scratched.

If I'm not mistaken, the washer has a retractable support system, on the back, that one is supposed to push into place when ever the washer is to be used. Can we get a pic of the back as well?

I know the labels are probably scuzzy, faded, and smelly and thus, need to go. Just a suggestion, if there is anything readable on the labels, for authenticity sake, I would take the tops off (easy to do with these) and literally make a photo copy of the label as is. Then cut out the copy of the label, in the same shape as the original, and use it to reapply when these crème puffs are done with their spa treatment. Neatly covering the paper with clear contact paper, or perhaps making a copy using plastic label material with a glue backing.

Can't wait to see the finished product, either way.

Post# 859794 , Reply# 13   1/3/2016 at 12:09 (655 days old) by Dustin92 (Jackson, MI)        

Yes, the washer has retractable wheels in the back, they are operated by a lever in the back. That seems to work fine as well. The labels are pretty much toast, the dryer's is completely unreadable, and the washer's is not worth saving, I think they will look better with the labels removed. I cleaned a bit more on the dryer today, trying to remove the layer of tar, and it's just unbelievable what is coming off. Seriously people, when you smoke you're putting all that in your lungs! I am going to pick up some ammonia to clean with, I just finished off a bottle of cheap glass cleaner (with ammonia) and I've got a long way to go. The dryer drum is really nice, one spot about 3" across that looks like maybe something wet was left on it and the paint started to lift/bubble, but not bad. The washer has a bit of hard water staining in the tub (not too bad though), but both seem to have seen relatively little use. The timer knob on the washer looks to be out of whack a little, it won't fill until between the 8 and 10 minute wash, where it should be filling between 12 and 14, it doesn't drain until it's into the rinse, rinses in the spin portion, and spins on "off", shutting off just before the start of the next cycle. It runs through the cycle fine, just the knob is out of tune. The dryer is pretty quick for running on 120v, it takes around an hour for half a load from a normal size washer, and around 1 1/2 hours for a load from it's mate. Not bad at all in my opinion, seeing as our Maytag Performa gas dryer upstairs takes about 1 1/2 hours for an average load. The dryer runs super smooth and quiet, only a slight noise from the front of the drum. I am going to get them cleaned up and offer them to friends who are currently using portables from rent a center, basically the same dryer!. If they don't want them, I may just keep them. It's nice being able to vent the dryer inside in the winter for the heat and humidity, which we can't do with the gas dryers (no 220v in the laundry rooms for a standard electric dryer)

Post# 860014 , Reply# 14   1/4/2016 at 14:39 (654 days old) by Dustin92 (Jackson, MI)        

Just an idea what's coming off of these things, here is a picture of the front of the washer after I've sprayed it with some diluted Awesome cleaner...

Post# 860016 , Reply# 15   1/4/2016 at 14:49 (654 days old) by kimball455 (Cape May, NJ)        

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I had the dryer. It outlasted three washers. Great little machine and with the rack it sat right over the washer. Before I has the washer plumbed, it was over to the sink to hook it up. These were removed in 2005 when I did the kitchen remodel. The dryer was still working. Today, the same space is occupied by stacked LG units.


Post# 860027 , Reply# 16   1/4/2016 at 15:57 (654 days old) by Dustin92 (Jackson, MI)        

The dryer is great, dries really well for it's size and being 120v. I've dried all my laundry in it since I've brought it home. The washer works good, but I can see things that could have been done differently in the design process. Working on cleaning them a little at a time, the smell is starting to dissipate anyway! After I'm done I'll have a load of nasty cleaning rags to wash for sure!

Post# 860487 , Reply# 17   1/6/2016 at 21:56 (652 days old) by Dustin92 (Jackson, MI)        

I almost have them finished, and they have found a new home (as soon as I finish them), but I will still be keeping an eye on them and doing any repairs or maintenance they may need. I'll be sad to see them go but I can't keep everything! I will post pictures of them "after", they are looking pretty nice!

Post# 860491 , Reply# 18   1/6/2016 at 22:18 (652 days old) by gansky1 (Omaha, The Home of the TV Dinner!)        

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Isn't that LA's Totally Awesome cleaner great stuff? I love it from full strength to diluted to pretty weak concentration, works so well on grime and grease just melts away.

Looking forward to the "after" cleaning pics. Nothing is so gratifying as a cleaned and detailed vintage washer :-)

Post# 860496 , Reply# 19   1/6/2016 at 22:45 (652 days old) by Dustin92 (Jackson, MI)        

I was using it straight out of the bottle on these... I usually use it diluted but they were NASTY. That and ammonia about 50/50 with water (not mixed, two seperate solutions) and a Mr. Clean eraser. Finishing the cabinets off with a polishing and some appliance touch up paint, still need to clean the hard water stains from the washer's tub, replace the cord on the dryer, and change the rubber washers in the washer's fill hose. Going to pick up a faucet quick connect adapter tomorrow, and after that's all done they should be ready to go. Would like to put wheels on the dryer (they're all missing) or make some type of base/pedestal for it to sit on (neither will be used "portable" but the washer will be hooked to a sink and the house is only wired for 120v, no gas connection at all for a gas dryer) My friends will be happy to get them as they are paying around $40 a WEEK for a Haier compact washer and Whirlpool portable dryer. I'll be completely honest they are paying $100 for the set, but they are glad to be able to own them.

Post# 860720 , Reply# 20   1/8/2016 at 14:54 (650 days old) by bradross (New Westminster, BC., Canada)        
Cool find! Glad to hear the washer was an easy fix!

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I assume this is a belt-driven washer (hopefully I didn't miss that in an earlier post.) I had a Whirlpool washer similar to the Kenmore, but it was direct drive and I hated the short "arc" to the agitation action. To my knowledge, belt-driven models had a more generous sweep (about 180 degrees.) Perhaps somebody can verify this.

Post# 861301 , Reply# 21   1/11/2016 at 22:57 (647 days old) by Dustin92 (Jackson, MI)        

Yes, the washer is a belt drive, long slow stroke agitation, but really moves the clothes around. I don't like the agitator that it has, 3 straight vanes. Does a nice job if not overloaded, but put in one sock too many and turnover comes to a screeching halt. I didn't end up getting any after pictures, but they went to their new home today. I had the set in my van for the 15 mile drive over there, and the front end was feeling pretty light, it took 3 of us to lift the washer over the toilet into the corner where it needed to go! So far both are working well, dryer has a new 12 gauge cord and heavy duty plug, washer has a new cord, hose washers, and quick connect faucet adapter. They needed a lot of cleaning, but turned out pretty nice. The washer is sounding like it may be needing a new belt soon, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.. The belt is making a chirping squeal off and on, but everything is working well so I'm not touching it until it breaks. I told the new owners (friends) they need to do at least one load in hot water a week to keep the crud level down (they are mostly cold water people) or I won't work on it if something breaks. Hopefully nothing happens in the near future, I don't want to lift it back over the toilet any time soon! That washer weighs a ton! The one it replaced, I easily picked up by myself (all plastic!)

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