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Thread Number: 68160  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
Lost bushing on Lower Arm Support - what to do?
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Post# 908828   11/28/2016 at 08:57 by Leon (New Haven, CT)        

Hello vintage Kitchenaid and Hobart lovers. I have a KDI-16 with stainless panels that came with the house I purchased two years ago. I like it a lot and it works perfectly with the exception that the detergent door sticks and doesn't open sometimes, but that's another story.

My post today concerns the Lower Washer Arm Support, part number 4161063. Every few months I like to remove the lower arm and the dome-like screen to clean out debris. Last night I found a small curved piece of metal and saw that it came from the arm support. It looks like a metal ring that seems to serve as a bushing; not the platter-like piece on the top of the support arm but a couple of inches below.

I was able to find the whole support piece for sale for not much money, about $45 for a new one and less for a used one, but was wondering if you'd think it worthwhile to do this or if I could possibly just replace the ring itself.


Post# 908835 , Reply# 1   11/28/2016 at 10:17 by chachp (Conway, AR)        
Is this the part you're talking about?

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It's actually 4161073 and as you've probably seen there are a few available on eBay.  I think most here will tell you not to attempt to repair but replace instead.  At least that's what I would do.


There are others who could say for sure so you may want to wait for a couple more opinions.

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Post# 908841 , Reply# 2   11/28/2016 at 11:04 by Leon (New Haven, CT)        

Thanks for the response! Yes, you caught my typo - sorry. Saw the whole support on ebay and glad it looks to be an easy and cheap fix assuming nothing goes wrong along the way. Still wondering if it's advisable to replace the single bushing? If I replace the whole assembly it looks like two versions are available: one has the white plastic piece at the top like the one you have in your post, and the other (presumably older) type has the bronze top like the one that's currently in my unit now.

Was looking at some other threads concerning the lower arm support and it seems that some other models also have a fine mesh screen or filter. I don't see anything like that on my model so either it's missing or it isn't supposed to be there. Just wondering.

Also, is the circular heating element surrounding the support there to provide extra heat to the wash water or to help with drying? Was wondering about that for a while.

Thanks again!

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Post# 908847 , Reply# 3   11/28/2016 at 11:50 by chachp (Conway, AR)        
Send a pic.

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Can you post a picture of what yours has and the condition it's in?  It will be easier to assess that way.  Not sure about the white plastic top vs. the bronze.  Someone with more knowledge will be able to advise.


Looks like a nice machine by the way.

Post# 908848 , Reply# 4   11/28/2016 at 11:54 by stevet (palm coast florida)        
Go for Broke!

Buy the complete NEW Support. You won't be sorry. Also, the bushings were never available as a separate item and if it has come off it indicates that the support and or the bushing or both are worn beyond what would be factory specs.

And you may want to clean those filters a bit more often than once a month unless you never or rarely find anything on them. It is easy enough to do and will prevent any bad odors from forming inside the machine.

Post# 908850 , Reply# 5   11/28/2016 at 12:09 by chachp (Conway, AR)        
It looks like it heats the water....

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I took this out of the KD16 Service Manual.  You can download it here under Manuals and Literature.  But it looks like the heater is heating water.  It won't stop to raise the temperature anything considerable but it will help to retain the temp throughout the cycle.


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Post# 908852 , Reply# 6   11/28/2016 at 12:26 by Leon (New Haven, CT)        

Thanks for the great feedback. I'm guessing the version with the metal bushing on top might be better than the plastic version?

I purchased the sales brochure from the literature part of this website and it's really cool. Noticed that the KDI-16 in the brochure has a "soak" button but mine does not. Wondering if mine is an older version that did not offer that feature.

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Post# 913502 , Reply# 7   1/1/2017 at 14:54 by leon (New Haven, CT)        

Hello again, I finally purchased the replacement washer arm support and I was eager to get it installed. I decided to do a visual comparison of the old vs. new before bolting it into my machine. I observed to my disappointment that the new one is not the same: the shaft on the new part is shorter by 1/2 inch.

I am not sure if I ordered the incorrect part or if there was a packaging mistake somewhere along the line that resulted in this mistake.

Post# 913507 , Reply# 8   1/1/2017 at 15:36 by leon (New Haven, CT)        

Here is the new part which has a 1 inch shaft extension and another picture showing the 1.5 inch extension on my existing wash arm support. My machine is a KDI-16.

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Post# 913520 , Reply# 9   1/1/2017 at 17:37 by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

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Well, Stevet or Combo would know for sure but I think the only thing that might happen is the spindle will protrude though the top of the HydroSweep a tad.

I'm no expert but it certainly look like the same structure and design.

The amount of space where the water flows into the arm looks the same.

I hope it works.

Post# 913530 , Reply# 10   1/1/2017 at 19:10 by leon (New Haven, CT)        

I figured out that this part "should" work because the top of the saucer shaped bushings are at the same height, the only difference is that the shaft on the new part would not extend all the way to the surface of the wash arm.

I attempted to install the new part but the bottom surface does not mate perfectly to the area around the pump? impeller?, which is weird. So, I'm looking for a new wash arm support and also some advice about how to avoid this slight but significant mismatch in the future. Thanks

Post# 913533 , Reply# 11   1/1/2017 at 19:30 by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

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Sometimes the part must face a certain way. Have you tried it in different positions ?

Like turning it around ?

Post# 913549 , Reply# 12   1/1/2017 at 21:51 by stevet (palm coast florida)        
Right way, Wrong way!

Eddie is correct, the support can only go on one way. There should be a hole that fits over a protrusion in the lower part which houses the wash impeller. Try re-positioning it.
As far as the length of the shaft is concerned, it should not usually stick out over the top of the wash arm itself. Since you did not show the whole support in your pictures, I cannot tell if maybe over the years, the one in your machine was actually from a very early 15 series machine which had a higher profile on the wash arm with a longer bushing in it and thus, a longer support shaft.
As long as the new one comes up to the top of your wash arm, then you should be fine.

Keep us posted and perhaps post some more pics.

Post# 913598 , Reply# 13   1/2/2017 at 09:29 by Leon (New Haven, CT)        

Thanks guys. The top of the original part's shaft extends to the surface of the wash arm, but the new part's tip stops below the surface creating a small space. Regarding installation, I figured out how it is keyed in the correct position but the bottom surface is an imperfect match and i would need to dremel out some material for it to fit.

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Post# 913765 , Reply# 14   1/3/2017 at 10:48 by leon (New Haven, CT)        

Does anyone have this wash arm support with a 1.5" shaft extension that I could purchase?

Post# 913770 , Reply# 15   1/3/2017 at 11:32 by swestoyz (Waterloo, Iowa)        

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The KD-15 and some of the early KD-16 wash arms have a longer bearing for the wash arm support shaft.  More than likely, if your original wash arm support was missing the bushing your original wash arm is probably on the way out as well, but you should be able to use your earlier wash arm on your replacement support.


Here is a picture of the early version of the wash arm with the longer bearing (picture taken from a KDS-15).  Notice the center protrudes higher and the bakelite center has additional material added to support the longer bearing.

Post# 913772 , Reply# 16   1/3/2017 at 11:34 by swestoyz (Waterloo, Iowa)        

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And... here's a shot of the later KD-16 through KD-20 wash arm.  Notice the bakelite is flush across, with the shorter bearing. 


Replacement wash arms are on eBay (PN 416484).  After replacing the wash arm support and wash arm, you'll have a brand new KitchenAid!

Post# 913776 , Reply# 17   1/3/2017 at 12:45 by leon (New Haven, CT)        

This is extremely helpful, thank you so much!

Post# 914091 , Reply# 18   1/5/2017 at 10:35 by leon (New Haven, CT)        

I see that the machine pictured is a KDS-15 but was wondering if my KDI-16 should also have the donut shaped filter screen with the large circular holes?

Post# 914100 , Reply# 19   1/5/2017 at 11:46 by swestoyz (Waterloo, Iowa)        

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It will not.  The sump and wash arm support (plus filter) are unique to the 15 series machines only.  The 16 and 17 share the same basic sump, wash arm support and filter design. 


It seems you had an oddball and possibly very early 16 with the 16/17 style wash arm support with the long 15 series shaft on the support/wash arm.  Either way, if you replace the wash arm support with the later style and find yourself a good wash arm, you'll be set.  It has been my experience that after 40 years of use on machine's I've seen, the original wash arms are shot.



Post# 914108 , Reply# 20   1/5/2017 at 12:55 by leon (New Haven, CT)        

Thank you, Ben for your thoughtful responses! I appreciate your generosity in sharing this hard to find information.

I plan to take your advice to get a new wash arm and I'm happy to spend a modest amount of money to refurbish my machine. To my untrained eye the current wash arm looks good. Out of curiosity, how do wash arms wear out?

Post# 914113 , Reply# 21   1/5/2017 at 13:31 by stevet (palm coast florida)        
Wear and tear!

Having worked on hundreds of Hobart commercial units sharing the same parts as the 15 thru 20 series domestic machines, I have seen my share of worn out arms.

Basically, the bushings will wear away inside and the arm will develop a pronounced wobble when you spin it. You won't hear anything when it is running but it will slow down a bit which can affect washing performance. The black plastic of the hub will wear out from rubbing against the top of the support and many times it will become so worn that the bushing will begin to be pushed out of the wash arm hub itself and extend above the top of the wash arm.

Hobart began installing a stainless steel washer over the shaft on the top of the support which really slowed down the wear on the wash arm hub and if you were to find a NIB support for your machine, it will likely have that washer as well as the white plastic top piece instead of the bronze top. But you will still find some of the original style ones out there as well.

I will try to find some of the more worn out arms and take a picture of them to illustrate the wear pattern I mentioned above. I have plenty of used,good condition arms as well as a brand new one if you are interested. The problem is finding a properly sized and not oversized carton to ship them in. Nowadays, shipping can cost more than the item you buy!

Post# 914130 , Reply# 22   1/5/2017 at 14:19 by leon (New Haven, CT)        

That is very interesting that you seem to recommend the version of the support arm with the plastic top piece instead of the bronze top. I assumed that the plastic was used as a cost-cutting method and that the bronze would have been superior but maybe the bronze induces more wear to the wash arm.

Post# 914281 , Reply# 23   1/6/2017 at 10:13 by Leon (New Haven, CT)        

I realized that my new old stock support is not perfecly flat on the bottom surface which is why it didn't fit as nicely as the original part. I installed it anyway and I'm hoping it is good enough to do the job.

Post# 914302 , Reply# 24   1/6/2017 at 12:52 by Leon (New Haven, CT)        

is there supposed to be any gasket for the underside of the support where it gets screwed to the lower component?

Post# 914305 , Reply# 25   1/6/2017 at 13:10 by stevet (palm coast florida)        
No Gasket

was used in this scenario. They should fit flat against each other. Is the bottom part the one that is not flat or square anymore? If not then you should search a new part out as it will allow water to flow past the opening. Not so much that the dishes would not get clean but why not have it working properly.

Surely someone can supply the part number for that lower pump housing. I do not have access to the parts manual at this time. I have seen them on ebay.

Post# 914337 , Reply# 26   1/6/2017 at 16:32 by Leon (New Haven, CT)        

It is the arm support that is not flat and it doesn't perfectly mate up to the pump housing. I guess i will source another one and hope it doesn't happen again.

Post# 915518 , Reply# 27   1/13/2017 at 14:51 by swestoyz (Waterloo, Iowa)        

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A question was asked earlier about the difference between the KD-15 and KD-16/17 wash arm supports.  For archiving purposes, I found a picture of an NOS KD-15 wash arm support on ebay. 


The base of the support is designed to fit in the KD-15 sump, only and will not interchange with the KD-16/17 pump.  This would apply to any 15 series KitchenAid (KDS-15, etc.).



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