Thread Number: 69821  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
Direct drive and other quick short stroke agitation
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Post# 927570   3/18/2017 at 07:39 (215 days old) by brucelucenta (tulsa, oklahoma)        

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I am just curious as to what brought about the direct drive fast, short stroke agitation that became so popular with Whirlpool, Maytag and others as we went into the 80's. Was it just trying to make a washing machine that cost less to produce? I know that the DD Whirlpools did not weigh even close to what the belt drive units did, so I am guessing that might have been it. Seems like GE always had a faster, shorter stroke and Frigidaire(White Westinghouse) and Franklin did also along with the tub indexing quite a bit. I know that even the old Franklin made solid tub Wizard Citation machine I had would wash the heck out of clothes, but indexed like crazy. The machines Frigidaire made after the 90's were mostly plastic and fairly light weight too. Was it just a way of cutting costs?

Post# 927572 , Reply# 1   3/18/2017 at 08:33 (215 days old) by mayken4now (Panama City, Florida)        

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Bruce, I have always wondered that as well. The weight fact is for sure. One would assume, less parts,metal,plastic etc. would be to charge the same for a machine, but cost less to produce.

Post# 927578 , Reply# 2   3/18/2017 at 09:44 (215 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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cost is always a factor for business....but for the most part, reliability/quality control....for the most part, DirectDrives are durable...

light weight and quick to assemble had to be a major factor.....even for repairs...

this was a major change out for Whirlpool/Sears....and whole new machine, I mean for the most part, they could have dropped the direct drive chassis into a belt drive unit.....

but also the new suspension, and pull away body.....lighter metals.....

odd how the two part concept of agitation trans and spin drive still existed...but definitely a quicker way to install....

but considering the small compact transmissions like in a filter flo, the stroke could have been slowed down a bit and extended some to take out some of the choppy effect....

could also be part of agitator design, we have all seen where the ramped version of agitators seem to wash and rollover a load better than more straight vane versions in shorter stroke machines....

Post# 927966 , Reply# 3   3/20/2017 at 19:08 (213 days old) by wigwag (San Diego)        

My theory is as more women began working and not staying at home, and other members of the family started doing laundry the manufactures faced more warrantee failures in their units simply due to overloading. So they made the short quick which did less damage to the machine when overloaded and in whirlpools case blasted out a maintenance coupler which was far easier to replace than a transmission, and they could prove excessive overloading easier. But yeah production costs for sure...

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