Thread Number: 70998  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
Is This Maytag a Pitman or Orbital Drive?
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Post# 939921   5/23/2017 at 18:42 (336 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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I've attached the only picture available to post.   I received two more on my cell phone, but I have no way of posting them here, or anywhere for that matter.  The seller's agents, aka, daughter and SIL don't know the model number.


Here's what I know from what I've seen:  It's a TOL model with four speed combinations.  The agitator is aqua and does not appear to have the upper small fins or the small finlets on the base in between the main powerfins as found on orbital machines.   I do know that some early orbital Maytags did have an aqua agitator, but those had the later fin design intended for orbitals.   Was there ever an orbital machine produced that still used the same agitator as with a pitman drive?  I'm thinking not, unless the agitators were modified for the set screw system.


I'll be looking at this machine tomorrow morning, and may take it away with me if it's a pitman drive model.  That's exactly what I've been wanting for a patio machine.  I'd like to be more sure about which type of machine this is before I meet with the seller.  From the information I've provided, can anyone say with confidence whether it's one type or the other?











This post was last edited 05/23/2017 at 21:01

Post# 939922 , Reply# 1   5/23/2017 at 18:46 (336 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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it is helical drive.....

now whether its a pitman(long stroke) or orbital(short stroke) tranny, you wont know until you see the agitator, mainly the base....

unless you open the front panel.....

Post# 939927 , Reply# 2   5/23/2017 at 19:11 (336 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Assuming DD means direct-drive, there were no direct-drive Maytags until after 2006 when they became Whirlpools in different clothing.

Pitman (long-stroke) and orbital (short-stroke) transmissions, referenced by Yogi, are different designs of the agitation gears inside the transmission.  Both are the same helical/belt drive.

Post# 939928 , Reply# 3   5/23/2017 at 19:16 (336 days old) by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

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Looks just like my set that has worked perfectly for nearly 35 years. Control panel is a giveaway. A Heavy Duty badge with the gold box around is when the switchover began. From what I can tell they are the same vintage as mine. Maytag never used to need to toot Heavy Duty. Mine are lower models but still work the same. The Maytag 906 Extravaganza already posted here and on U-Tube shows how all this era Maytags worked, start to finish.

Post# 939935 , Reply# 4   5/23/2017 at 19:56 (336 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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Yeah, I know pitman and helical tend to be used interchangeably when they shouldn't be.  I've edited my original post.


I'm hoping for the pitman tranny.   Martin, what should I look for with the agitator base?  Anything besides the upper fins and the set screw?


Tim, thanks for the info.  I'm feeling confident that this is the machine for me.

This post was last edited 05/23/2017 at 21:04
Post# 939959 , Reply# 5   5/23/2017 at 21:21 (336 days old) by gansky1 (Omaha, The Home of the TV Dinner!)        
Looks like a 712

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It sounds like you're describing the agitator in the pitman geared model. This is mine in the 806, only pic at hand but maybe what you saw? Fantastic find, you'll love this washer. Five water temp combinations warm rinse options for those chilly Monday mornings, four speed combos (with the slow agitate, fast spin that is revered by many.

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 2         View Full Size
Post# 939961 , Reply# 6   5/23/2017 at 21:23 (336 days old) by potatochips (Nova Scotia)        

These are an A712, and DE712. LA712 and LDE712 to be precise. I have the same machines! Buy them. They're amazing.

Anyways, the classic power-fin agitator that you see in centre dial machines are a dead giveaway that it's a pitman transmission.

In 86 the x12 machines went orbital. The agitator in that, like you said, is green. The base is smaller in diameter compared to the Power-Fin, and has four large flex fins, and then four small, very small, find that are on the outer edges of the base. Also, like you said, on the stack there are more fins. The photo below is what it will look like, only difference is it's white.

Post# 939973 , Reply# 7   5/23/2017 at 22:42 (336 days old) by kenmore71 (Minneapolis, MN)        

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Could be either pitman or orbital, but from you describe about the agitator it is likely pitman.

The 712 was made with both. Machines manufactured between July 1984 and June 1989 had pitman transmissions and machines made between July 1989 and June of 1990 had orbital transmissions.

Post# 939977 , Reply# 8   5/24/2017 at 00:01 (336 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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Thanks for the additional info.  The agitator photo had poor lighting, so I zoomed in on it as best my old-school flip phone could, and I couldn't see any additional fins, but I did see one continuous smooth line from just below the lint filter going down and curving out to the fin.  I don't think the same view of an orbital agitator would look like that.


Greg, you're so right -- the slow/fast combo is one of the primary reasons I'm after a machine in the 806 to 712 range, but I kind of feel bad about relegating a beautiful lighted 806 to the patio, so the brown panel is perfect for this particular application.


This machine would also come in handy when I'm in a hurry.  It'll do a full wash/spray-spin/rinse/spin in less than half the time my Affinity can.   Water use is a concern, but I can capture rinse water if I want to.  I'd be using this machine mainly for line dry items and stuff the Affinity has trouble balancing for spin.


My mind reels when imagining the countless detergent options this machine would afford me! 

Post# 940106 , Reply# 9   5/24/2017 at 21:25 (335 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        
I Got the Machine --

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And launched a new thread.


Post# 940254 , Reply# 10   5/25/2017 at 19:39 (334 days old) by bajaespuma (Connecticut)        
I do like it slow and then FAST!

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Greg, what material is that Maytag fabric softener cup made out of?

Post# 940270 , Reply# 11   5/25/2017 at 21:27 (334 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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Agreed.  I'm all about looong strokes.

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