Thread Number: 71204  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
My 'Lady' has betrayed me!!
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Post# 942436   6/8/2017 at 08:24 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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Specifically, its my '65 Lady Kenmore washer that is the daily driver in St-Lib... 


Here's what happened at the end of a normal wash cycle today:  the machine had drained and then went into spin.  I heard the washer start to vibrate as it usually does, then suddenly it went quiet.  I opened the lid to observe the spin (remembering to hold down the lid switch) but nothing happened.  I removed the 'equivalent to a GE Combo spun' clothes and tried to rock the tub by hand.  Nothing.  


However, I could make the washer agitate by carefully positioning the timer at the Forbidden Suds Return position of the dial.  Nice hack when you need to test agitation on these older Whirlpool/Inglis/Kenmore washers.


And it looked OK.


Post# 942438 , Reply# 1   6/8/2017 at 08:26 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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However, on further attempts to spin, nothing happens.  I can't tell if the spin solenoid kicked in or not, but oddly enough, the machine is trying to agitate.... 


Post# 942441 , Reply# 2   6/8/2017 at 08:34 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        
Problem brainstorming....

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Now, as we all know I just LOVE to jump to conclusions about what the root cause of a problem is...  I am trying to step back on this one and take careful note of the symptoms:


- Not spinning (DUH...LOL)

- Tub cannot be easily turned by hand

- No odd smells or signs of burning belt that might point to a locked transmission


Further observation:

- After an attempted to spin, a gurgling sound can be heard in the tub and some water seems bubble up from the tub bottom.


So, I have a couple of potential causes, but I wanted to run them by the experts here...  

- Belt (I am pretty sure I replaced it when I overhauled the machine).  Can a WP drive belt slip?

- Bad spin solenoid on the wig-wag (Or perhaps just a bad connection)

- Spin shaft lock up or bearing problem (however, bearings were redone back in 2013

- A pump issue - I am not sure if a locked/stalled/clogged pump could impact on the machine kicking into spin but I'm not going to dismiss it


I'm not sure I'll be able to take the Lady apart today.  Any thoughts or suggestions are always welcome - I love this machine and I just HAVE to have a turquoise set in St-Lib (yes, I have the '59 Frigidaires, but I think I'd kill that washer PDQ under frequent use!)

Post# 942443 , Reply# 3   6/8/2017 at 08:50 by appnut (TX)        

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The wigwag?

Post# 942445 , Reply# 4   6/8/2017 at 08:59 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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Thanks Bob!  It could be a cam bar that has slipped, given that the machine was shaking.  


I am rearranging my errands today to get the groceries done now so that I can tinker with the Lady later today.  Retirement rocks... LOL


Post# 942468 , Reply# 5   6/8/2017 at 11:23 by RevvinKevin (Between Mickey Mouse & the Queen Mary (So. Cal.)        
Solenoid or plunger-thingy

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Paul, this issue happened on a friends WP belt drive a some years back.  Both wigwag solenoids worked fine, but the plunger-thingy for the spin solenoid (on the left) was bent/broken.  In his case it would engage the spin, but not disengage it.


I hope this helps.


Post# 942470 , Reply# 6   6/8/2017 at 11:31 by pierreandreply4 (St-Bruno de montarville (province of quebec) canada)        
maybe you should put as a temp replacement?

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hello turqoise dude maybe until you have time to fix repair your turquoise lady kenmore washer you should put as a temp replacement your inglis washer pictured here in an exemple or your whilrpool washer this way it would give you time to do a good maitnance tune up on your lady kenmore washer as well just a suggestion here

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Post# 942484 , Reply# 7   6/8/2017 at 13:30 by mickeyd (Hamburg NY)        

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Pop the hood and see if the lid switch has come undone. That was the issue with my 65 which I love more than my luggage as Launderess would say, and which I own all because of your inspiration. Dead without it, I feel your pain.

Upon delivery, she wowld not spin, and then when I popped the hood and saw that lid switch was loose and laying the wrong way, I made it so that the machine would spin with the lid open, as I am a lid free guy.

Hope that is the case with your baby--all that regular shaking on spin you mentioned gave me the idea. Good luck, good friend--and SOON!

Post# 942506 , Reply# 8   6/8/2017 at 16:18 by appnut (TX)        

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Paul, better not let hubby catch you molesting a Lady up her skirt!!

Post# 942507 , Reply# 9   6/8/2017 at 16:28 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        
Thank you for the input, everyone!

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I started with the lid switch, but also checked timer connections, then observed the solenoids as the machine was in agitate and spin modes.  It turns out the cam bar is not engaging to spin, possibly because the cam bar lever is no longer firmly attached to the solenoid plunger.   However, I'm not going to be doing any further work on this until Monday.  I'd like to pull the washer out of the darned bathroom to have a wee bit more room to work with it, too. 


And Pierre André has proved the point I've been trying to make with Hubby.... We NEED a spare washer and dryer set in St-Lib!  The Inglis set would be good candidates, as would the '56 Whirlpool Imperials, for sure!!


Darn, I'll have to haul some laundry to Ogden to do on the weekend... The '51 GE has been getting lonely since the Speed Queen arrived, so... LOL 


Post# 942572 , Reply# 10   6/8/2017 at 22:28 by barcoboy (Canada)        

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There might be multiple problems here. If the spin cam bar is not moving at all, it could be a problem with the solenoid itself or it is not getting power due to a broken wire or something other reason. But the machine shouldn't be trying to agitate at this point... it should be in neutral... so either the agitate cam bar is not fully moving to the neutral position, or there might be a transmission problem. Unless that is normal behavior for a '65 transmission when in neutral with no resistance on the agitator.

If you're able, shoot a video of the wig-wag when the machine is trying to shift into both agitate and spin.

And if you want, you can always bring the machine down the road to me in Waterville! :-)

Post# 942596 , Reply# 11   6/9/2017 at 01:48 by Combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Tub hard to turn, agitator trying to spin

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It sounds like you either got something stuck between the tubs or the tub bearings are locking up.

Call me after you really get a look at it if you can't figure it out, I'm hiding out in London at the moment.

Post# 942627 , Reply# 12   6/9/2017 at 08:46 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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barcoboy:  the machine, unfortunately, is at the other house in St-Liboire...  A total pain because it's in the bathroom, too


I'll be pulling the Lady out of the bathroom next week (possibly into the guest bedroom, temporarily) so I'll have more room to work.  I'm also going to examine the Whirlpool and Inglis machines down in Ogden to see how the cam bars behave on working machines.  And I'll go digging in the parts store there - I have at least 1 complete Whirlpool belt drive transmission plus a couple of wig wags.  I'm going to try some more tests on the solenoids on the Lady K next week - still hoping it's not a bearing issue...


John, I'll definitely post about what I find - I'll wait until you are back from London to bug you.... (Say hi to Al for me, if you see him!!).  I happen to have a spare bearing kit but I don't have the extractor/installation tool.  I should be able to borrow one from a fellow in Stanstead, though. 


What is throwing me at the moment is that the washer sounds like it is kicking into spin normally and then there is no other noise (no shrieks, groans, squeaks, wails, or other 'complaints').    My thought for the day is 'could the spin shaft have snapped or separated'....


Oh and guess who is NOT impressed with the current situation and whose first pronouncement on the matter was "We're getting a new washer"....  No points if you guessed Canyon.   


Now I am wondering if perhaps I shouldn't be hauling another washer back from Ogden next week...  The Blackstone got exiled into the garage, so.... LOL 


Post# 942710 , Reply# 13   6/9/2017 at 18:35 by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

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Oh you poor Dear... So many choices... LOL

Love you sweetie. What about the ABC ???

Post# 942725 , Reply# 14   6/9/2017 at 19:23 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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Yes! That ABC needs to be shown off,Eddie!


OK, so I checked the 66 Inglis, the 56 Whirlpool and even the 51 Kenmore and with all three, I can turn the tub quite easily by hand.  Something very bad seems to have happened to m'Lady...  


Think I should bring my tub wrench back to St-Lib??

Post# 942852 , Reply# 15   6/10/2017 at 11:08 by bendixmark (Winchester Mass)        

Hey Paul,i love that washer ,one of my favorites.Check for voltage to the solenoid by reversing the red and yellow wires on the wigwag.if you place the machine in spin and it now agitates instead you know you have voltage to solenoid.Next put the wires back and check to see if the red wire has a break in it by pulling on it.Next check to see if the rivet in the spin cambar follower is broken.Next check to see if the solenoid is engaging into spin and should pull out forward toward the back of the machine.When this happens the brake drum with the springs on it should drop down one eighteenth of an inch from the baseplate bottom and the basket should turn freely by hand.Dont know which lidswitch you have but if it is the mercury one lift the hood up and try it then.If the solenoid engages and the cambar is pulling out something is binding.hope this helps,Mark

Post# 943066 , Reply# 16   6/11/2017 at 18:46 by potatochips (Nova Scotia)        

In a weird way I'm glad this happened to you as the SAME thing has happened to me too. I finally have time to fix it now! I'll text you Paul and hopefully we can find a fix in short order.

Post# 943193 , Reply# 17   6/12/2017 at 15:27 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        
Trial by Kenmore - Day 4

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So on the weekend, I probably should have pulled out one of my other Whirlpool-type machines to observe exactly what happens when spin kicks in, but I contented myself with messing around with the transmission from the '67 Whirlpool that was the parts donor for much of the Inglis restoration.   I observed what should happen during a spin by simply holding the spin solenoid plunger up so that the cam bar guide would 'hook' onto the spin cam bar.  I observed the cam bar would pull back and hook into the basket shaft and the drive disc started to turn.  


Today when I got back to St-Lib, I redid tests on the lid switch and the solenoids for both agitate and spin - all tested OK.  I tried to manually lift the spin cam bar guide up to see if I could engage a simulated spin as I rotated the drive pulley, I got the spin cam bar to move forward however I noticed that it was very difficult to turn the pulley (and I do admit I am a wealking; a 7-year old could probably turn it, but I couldn't) I tried to keep the cam bar guide up until I got the cam bar to move back.  Once this happened, I noticed the drive pulley was much easier to turn.  


I can only think that there is something binding or sticking with the basket drive or perhaps the tub is stuck or jammed somehow.   


John L, please let me know when you get back from London.  I don't want to bother you while you are getting over jet lag!!   My gut feeling is telling me to try taking the tub out.  I'll likely have to do that if the transmission needs work anyway...  


In the meantime, ssshh, don't tell Hubby but I think I will be getting a 'newer' washer as a backup. I have 1, perhaps 18 opportunities and I think I should act on them... LOL 

Post# 943206 , Reply# 18   6/12/2017 at 16:19 by pierreandreply4 (St-Bruno de montarville (province of quebec) canada)        
wonder whitch washer you will be sneeking in lol

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i wonder what washers you will be sneeking in lol

Post# 943452 , Reply# 19   6/14/2017 at 15:49 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        
So much for plan 'B'....

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More like 'Plan 9 From Outer Space'  LOL 

So, not to deviate too much from topic, I had the chance to nab this Frigidaire 1-18 from Phil so I grabbed it.  It will need some work too...  but this will be a whole new adventure with corresponding thread...

In the meantime, I am thinking that I should probably try releasing the Lady K tub nut and perhaps drop out the transmission. I am still dithering a bit however...


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Post# 943494 , Reply# 20   6/14/2017 at 20:19 by PhilR (Quebec Canada)        

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Did you remove the front panel from the 1-18?

Now that we know the 1-18 is a leaker...

Let me know how your new Liberator dishwasher performs (with a name like that name, it should feel at home in St-Lib!).

I did test this one and it didn't leak! But it didn't do much to clean my dishes and I had a hard time loading the lower rack properly.

Maybe I just couldn't figure how to load it correctly... I am not too experienced with impeller dishwashers!

Post# 943614 , Reply# 21   6/15/2017 at 15:15 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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So, back to Dr. Frankenstein's bathroom in St-Lib....


I had a good whine to John Lefever today and he suggested I should remove the tub cover at least to see if anything had gotten jammed in there.  I was convinced I'd wind up removing the tub too... 

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Post# 943615 , Reply# 22   6/15/2017 at 15:23 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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I'll be jiggered.... I got the Lady to spin again!!



So while this is wonderful news, I can't help but ask myself "Why?".  It seems odd that a machine would just stop spinning in the midst of the final rinse spin, then I thought of something...  John had said it was pretty unlikely that an article of clothing could get between the tubs (actually that must be near impossible with a Whirlpool-designed washer from what I could see); I can't help but wonder if the culprit might be dog hair...  That overgrowed pup of ours sheds like the Abominbal Snowman in Fort Lauderdale and our clothes are always well-coated.  Never mind what Canyon's blankets are like when I toss them into the Lady for a refresh.  

Is it possible that there was a dog hair clog??  I've seen dishwasher pump impellers get clogged with human hair (don't want to imagine the "How?"...)   Could the dog hair residue from the wash/rinse water have caused this problem?? 


In the meantime, I'm reassembling the Lady and will try a full tub drain and spin.  


Post# 943623 , Reply# 23   6/15/2017 at 16:18 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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I was anxious to try a water test...  It's all good!   Hmmm, I may be getting good at this repair stuff...  One week and I didn't start any fires OR cause any power outages... LOL 


Post# 943641 , Reply# 24   6/15/2017 at 19:39 by wiskybill (Canton, Ohio)        
No worries Paul...

the lights only flickered a little here.

I knew you must be OK!


Post# 943647 , Reply# 25   6/15/2017 at 21:01 by chaskelljr2 (Washington, D. C.)        
And She Spins Again....

Looks like someone's got their 1965 Lady back.
Congratulations on the repair.
What was causing it not to spin if you don't mind me asking?


Post# 943673 , Reply# 26   6/15/2017 at 22:46 by barcoboy (Canada)        

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...but why is it still trying to agitate in neutral? Even at full speed spin, if you look at the blur of the bottom fins of the agitator in the last video, you can see them "moving" back and forth slightly, which means the spin speed of the agitator is not staying constant, but varying slightly.

Is this normal for this vintage of machine? I've never seen other videos where this happens, except for one video where the tub was spinning while the machine was agitating half full of water, right after the guy had changed the drive belt (assuming it was due to incorrectly re-installing/re-aligning the transmission).

Post# 943704 , Reply# 27   6/16/2017 at 05:25 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Slight Agitation During Neutral Drain And Spin

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This can be considered completely normal, remember the agitator gear is always turning back and forth on the agitator shaft when ever the motor is running.


Some machines do it more than others, but I have seen brand new washers do this and ones that are nearly worn out.


John L.

Post# 943709 , Reply# 28   6/16/2017 at 06:32 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        
Simultaneous agitate & spin

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barcoboy - the Lady Kenmore has always seemed to have some agitator movement while spinning - come to think of it the Inglis and the '51 Kenmore agitators 'twitch' a little while draining.  I'll now have to hook the '56 Whirlpool up again to see what it does... LOL 


Charles - I still am not sure why the tub froze up on me.  My gut feeling is telling me that I may need to redo the bearings...  I'll keep an eye on it for sure. 


John, could the grease in the bearings have dried up on me?? 

Post# 943727 , Reply# 29   6/16/2017 at 08:27 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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Small-load wash test this morning was a success.  What exactly happened last week is still a mystery; not sure if I am happy or not about no longer needing to haul laundry down to Ogden. Life is tough...

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