Thread Number: 68690  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
Whirlpool Imperial 70 Washer capacity?
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Post# 914741   1/9/2017 at 08:10 (193 days old) by alcove (Oneida, NY)        

Does anyone know the capacity of the Imperial 70 washer?

I need to replace, possibly w a SQ, but I don't want to downgrade capacity. Actually, increased capacity (king size bedding) is tempting me toward a TL HE machine, but i'm reading terrible stories about new washers.

I'm told that the transmission is failing and the part is not available.

And, if anyone here thinks I might salvage it... We bought the Imperial Seventy set new in Oct 1986, and the washer has just developed a loud, intermittent knock under full load in the agitation cycle. A video of the washer in action linked to this post. All else is working fine under a lighter load.

Over 30 yrs of uninterrupted service.



Post# 914755 , Reply# 1   1/9/2017 at 09:26 (193 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Capacity Of A 1968 WP Washer

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The tub held approximately 18 gallons of water on hi and this washer could easily wash 9-10 pounds of heavy cotton clothing.


A new SQ TL washer can wash 12-14 pounds, your best bet for capacity and durability would be a SQ FL washer which easily wash 20 pounds.

Post# 914767 , Reply# 2   1/9/2017 at 11:11 (193 days old) by alcove (Oneida, NY)        
1986 WP Imperial 70 Capacity

Thanks Combo52,

That's very useful info re the SQ. I might go that route. I don't know if your reply title was a typo, but to clarify, this is a 1986, and also described as a "Heavy Duty" and "Super Capacity" machine. I gather the capacity is higher than some other models.

Thanks again,

Post# 914786 , Reply# 3   1/9/2017 at 13:28 (193 days old) by Combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        

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Yes I did think it was a 1968 washer, the super capacity 1986 machine you have held 22 gallons it is probably a little bigger than the speed queen top loading machine and useful capacity not much difference though

Post# 914797 , Reply# 4   1/9/2017 at 16:00 (193 days old) by alcove (Oneida, NY)        

Thanks Combo52. Again, that's very useful info.

After watching the video, someone commented that it's the spring on the tranny. Sounds like a greasy job for me, but not out of the question.


Post# 914827 , Reply# 5   1/9/2017 at 19:52 (193 days old) by imperial70 (******)        
Imperial 70 was / is a great washer

I love that washer. I had one from 1986 too. You could wash anything in that washer and it would come out without any flaws.
Quiet and dependable. Until your brother throws a sleeping bag in there one day....

Post# 914864 , Reply# 6   1/9/2017 at 23:16 (193 days old) by 114jwh (Vancouver)        

I think PhilR posted a video quite sometime ago about a similar problem he had with a Inglis (Canadian Whirlpool) belt drive he picked up. If I recall correctly it was something pretty straightforward.

If it is indeed the transmission spring its not as daunting as it sounds if you are mechanically inclined and can find the part.

Good luck!

Post# 914903 , Reply# 7   1/10/2017 at 07:11 (192 days old) by nmassman44 (Boston North Shore Massachusetts)        

nmassman44's profile picture
If I recall that the capacity for the super capacity Whirlpool washer at the time was 2.71 cu ft with the agitator in place. The current SQ top loaders are 3.3 cu ft.

Post# 914906 , Reply# 8   1/10/2017 at 07:33 (192 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Broken Transmission Spring In A 1986 BD WP

combo52's profile picture

This is likley the problem, BUT they break because the transmission is full of water and the springs rust and break.


From the rear of the washer you can push a pipe-cleaner into the breather hole on the top center of the transmission and take an oil sample, if it is rusty or white and murky you have water in the gear case. To fix this you need a new agitator shaft and spin tube and a washer at this age will need a hole lot more as well. Outer tub rust is a big problem on these machines at this age.


In any event you probably have a BIG project on your hands, parts can be found on the internet however if you are inclined to try fixing it.

Post# 915114 , Reply# 9   1/11/2017 at 11:37 (191 days old) by alcove (Oneida, NY)        

Thanks to everyone who posted here. Your kind input helped me to make an informed decision. Regrettably, I'm not up to repairing and maintaining the old Imperial 70, so we purchased a new Speed Queen.

Kudos to you all who are saving these great devices from the land fill.


Post# 915116 , Reply# 10   1/11/2017 at 12:02 (191 days old) by imperial70 (******)        

Don't toss it. Someone here may want to salvage it.

Post# 915486 , Reply# 11   1/13/2017 at 11:12 (189 days old) by wigwag (San Diego)        
good call john

I didn't even know that happened.

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