Thread Number: 71484  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
From the ground up: a complete and total belt drive rebuild
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Post# 945925   6/30/2017 at 00:28 (296 days old) by potatochips (Nova Scotia)        

Before I get in to the actual rebuild, a MAJOR thank you to Paul (turqoisedude), Robert (Unimatic1140), and James (114jwwh) for their belt drive Inglis rebuild posts. I also want to thank Paul for trouble shooting with me about something we'll talk about in a few posts.

The story is, I found this belt drive set on Kijiji in my home province. This design is the same design my parents had when I was a child, except ours were white and had a manual filter. Naturally, like every aw member, if we can find our childhood machines, it's top excitement.

My newly acquired machine was built in the fall of 1985, is a six program washer, variable water level, five wash/rinse temps, and a narrow belt for the US marketed QuietPak (which I learned later is more common on Canadian machines than the wide belt). After a few flawless washes, I woke up one morning to a small puddle on the floor that was spawning from the left side of the machine. After posting on aw about this leak, a hint was it's coming from the drain seal on the baseplate. Sure enough, after investigating myself, it was coming from here. Crap.

This post was last edited 06/30/2017 at 01:06

Post# 945927 , Reply# 1   6/30/2017 at 00:34 (296 days old) by potatochips (Nova Scotia)        

Knowing that this would be an invasive repair, I decided to rebuild the machine as it is over thirty years old, and while I'm down there tearing it apart, I may as well replace common wear and tear components. It would sure suck to have to tear the machine apart two months after this rebuild. Now comes what do I buy? Everything. I also need to buy a new water valve. So, we've got a long list including water valve, tub grommet, tub screws and seals, drain seal, bearing kit, belt, spin tube and basket drive, snubber, and maybe some more I've forgotten. These new parts, needed or not, are preventative maintenance that will help extend the life.

Post# 945928 , Reply# 2   6/30/2017 at 00:39 (296 days old) by potatochips (Nova Scotia)        

So, the first thing we have to tear down is the top section of the baseplate, or as what Whirlpool refers to the "water area" or tub section. Two clips hold the top down, which can be opened up to reveal the top of the tub. I first removed the agitator after that to reveal the basket drive nut. These aren't reverse threads like Whirlpools competition Maytag.

Post# 945929 , Reply# 3   6/30/2017 at 00:43 (296 days old) by potatochips (Nova Scotia)        

The next thing to remove is the tub cover. There are a few clips that hold this cover on that need to be popped, and the water injector disconnected. The snubber is a nice stiff piece to remove, which is a lift and twist counter clockwise to free it from its holder. Pulling the tub cover off will give us the chance to pull the basket out.

Post# 945930 , Reply# 4   6/30/2017 at 00:51 (296 days old) by potatochips (Nova Scotia)        

With the basket removed, but the drive block STUCK on the basket drive, we had no choice but to start tearing out the bottom area. We can now tip the machine and start clearing out the "drive system" or "mechanical service area" according to the shop manuals. I've always found it easy to start by removing the pump as the way it's mounted allows you to tilt it towards the motor and free it from the belt. Ours has a self cleaning filter, so we will pull that too as well as the plumbing. Whirlpool made a few different types of self cleaning filters, including the baileine like bottom tub mounted joke filter. But this one by far is the most difficult as it incorporates the sediment trap.

Post# 945932 , Reply# 5   6/30/2017 at 00:54 (296 days old) by potatochips (Nova Scotia)        

Our next task is to remove the transmission so we can free the basket drive. The three braces were removed and set aside. I put the nuts back on their respective studs so I wouldn't lose them. I also disconnected the wig-wag (or control magnets in Whirlpool terms). One thing to watch out for before removing the transmission is to pull the spring on the basket drive clutch, and then the plastic retaining clip that holds the other end of the clutch yoke on to the transmission.

Post# 945934 , Reply# 6   6/30/2017 at 00:58 (296 days old) by chetlaham (United States)        

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One thing is for sure, Whirlpool made some respectable machines. With that said can't wait to see more pics. Much respect to you for restoring this beauty, with what looks like new old stock parts :)

Post# 945935 , Reply# 7   6/30/2017 at 01:01 (296 days old) by potatochips (Nova Scotia)        

I wanted to get to just having the basket drive in this position. Our basket dive is stuck as the drive block is fused on to its shaft. I didn't want to start pounding and cutting with the transmission still attached and opening it up to the potential of damaging the agitator drive shaft or anything else.

After a few tugs on the basket drive proved no success, it was time to bring out the big guns. I carefully dremeled a cut opposite of the slit, which I would shove a cold chisel between and twist. This freed the basket drive.

Post# 945936 , Reply# 8   6/30/2017 at 01:06 (296 days old) by potatochips (Nova Scotia)        

Second problem: Amre Supply sent me a long basket drive. New old stock excitement was overridden by the badness of this. Amre didn't have a short drive with a narrow pulley, and since a good restoration goes hand in hand with a new spin tube, they sent me a short tube with a wide pulley. Our long tube has a narrow pulley so we will swap it out.

The YouTube link below shows how I did this.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO potatochips's LINK

Post# 945937 , Reply# 9   6/30/2017 at 01:10 (296 days old) by potatochips (Nova Scotia)        

Enter donor machine. Surprisingly, this showed up when I needed it most. Our outter tub is rotten, and it would be really nice to have some spares as well. This machine is exactly the same as ours, but it has a dual action agitator!

Post# 945938 , Reply# 10   6/30/2017 at 01:13 (296 days old) by potatochips (Nova Scotia)        

Surprise, surprise. It leaked too, less mind you. This is a picture of the tub, and you can clearly see that with the amount of water that pools at the suction of the drain it's no wonder why leaks develop after thirty years. This machine was torn down and many parts sent over to our rebuild. The cool thing with this machine is it has a lot less rust, and was a victim of soft water as opposed to hard water which is much easier to clean.

Post# 945939 , Reply# 11   6/30/2017 at 01:16 (296 days old) by potatochips (Nova Scotia)        

Once the basket drive was rebuilt, we can lube up the agitator drive shaft and slip the basket drive over it and down on top of the transmission. I also replace the t-bearing which needs to be lubed with either white lithium grease or rykon grease. Be mindful of that ball that lives in the agitator shaft, it mates up with a slot in the t-bearing.

I spun the drive pulley and activated the spin wig wag to make sure the cam bar pulled the spin clutch down. Also, don't forget to move the clip over from the old yoke to the new yoke.

This post was last edited 06/30/2017 at 02:22
Post# 945940 , Reply# 12   6/30/2017 at 01:33 (296 days old) by potatochips (Nova Scotia)        

At the same time I was drafting up plans to machine and make my OWN bearing puller and installer, a repair man was selling his business in PEI. I asked him if he had the installer and puller, which I bought from him, along with the installer for DD machines, for a fair price.

The puller is simple to use as you wind out the drive but and shove it down the centre post. Make sure you get it as far down as you can get it as you need the barbs to not only grab on to the upper bearing, but the upper bearings lower seal. You will also need to pull the lower bearing too.

To install, the installer is equipped with three mandrels. One is for the lower bearing, and two for the upper. Whirlpool only used one upper seal on the centre post up until 1975 I believe, and after that they switched to two. Our machine had two, and any machine can also take two, so we will install two.

After pulling the old bearings, I polished the centre post inside and cleaned it out.

To install the bearings, load the lower mandrel with the smaller bearing and slide it on to the installers shaft. There are two thread patterns on this installer, and the finer threads are where the lower bearing needs to be, it also needs to float between the two nuts that secure it. Slide it in from the bottom of the baseplate, and load the top mandrel with the bigger bearing. Slide the mandrel on the shaft, and install the washer and thrust bearing before putting the drive but on. The final thing to do here is secure the lower nut as when the drive but starts tightening, it'll wind the lower mandrels jam nut. My installer didn't have a jam wrench, but a vice grip will work, regardless of whatever you use to jam that nut, it needs to fetch up against the transmission studs. Wind the beariings in.

To remove the installer, back off the drive nut for the top bearing and give the shaft a good slam with your fist. If that doesn't remove the lower mandrel (as we need to remove that first before we can get the upper mandrel), give it a tap with a hammer. To remove the upper mandrel, wind the drive but on to the shaft again but expose about one to two inches of thread as this will give you a leg up on securing the upper mandrel. Feed one of the jam nuts on to the fine threads and feed the shaft through the bottom of the baseplate into the upper mandrel. Give her a wrap with a hammer and pop! It's free. It is good practice to pre lube each mandrel and bearing to ease this whole process.

Post# 945941 , Reply# 13   6/30/2017 at 01:37 (296 days old) by potatochips (Nova Scotia)        

Because our donor machine also leaked, albeit less, we will need to seal the drain flange. I bought some rubberized spray and sealed the tub grommet, tub screws, drain flange, and air done.

We will also need to set the upper seals in to the centre post. I used the old upper seals to help set them, and before install the transmission, Whirlpool recommends one seal be filled with turbine oil, and the other with rykon grease.

Post# 945942 , Reply# 14   6/30/2017 at 01:41 (296 days old) by potatochips (Nova Scotia)        

I slid the transmission back in, as well as the pump and filter. To install the new belt, I loosened the motors mounting nuts just enough to slide it towards the pump. The belt must be fed properly around one of the transmission studs when it wraps around the basket drive pulley. The new belt will be tight compared to the old one, so the tension will need to be set properly, and loosening the motor will make it easy to feed the belt on to the motors shaft anyways.

I cleaned out the filter as best as I could through multiple forward and backward flushes. We can now put the new plumbing in.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO potatochips's LINK

Post# 945943 , Reply# 15   6/30/2017 at 01:46 (296 days old) by potatochips (Nova Scotia)        

This is now Paul, or turquoisedudes time to shine. Before I hooked up the plumbing and installing the basket,I tested the machine to make sure it would spin, which it did. I then left the machine for about two months and never touched it. During this long sit, the bearings seized up, so when I went to install and test the basket, the machine kept tripping the breaker. Paul and I talked and he suggested re-lubing the spin tube which proved successful!

The basket drive nut was installed and pounded a quarter turn passed tight.

Post# 945944 , Reply# 16   6/30/2017 at 01:50 (296 days old) by potatochips (Nova Scotia)        

Of course every good restoration also means a solid cleaning job. The tub cover was reinstalled with a new snubber (and rough up the snubber pad a bit). The agitator was also installed. I used the original super roto swirl, not the dual action (which will be installed on Friday nights).

Post# 945945 , Reply# 17   6/30/2017 at 01:52 (296 days old) by potatochips (Nova Scotia)        

I also installed a new water valve once the tub was out due to the ease. You can see on the old valve the threads on the hot side were so gauled the water would leak out. It's only a matter of time before the threads would no longer be able to hold the thirty pound pressure of domestic water in the hose to the machine.

Post# 945946 , Reply# 18   6/30/2017 at 02:09 (296 days old) by potatochips (Nova Scotia)        

After a quick vacuum in the matching dryer, a good scrub and polish with ArmorAll tops off the aim to make this machine function as if it was brand new from Sears. Imagine for the last thirty years before this rebuild how many times that tub spun, agitator arced, and clothes it washed. Now, from the ground up we've rebuilt most of the drive line, cleaned up lots of parts, and polished the outside, this machine could very well do double what it's done.

Being a Maytag man, working on Whirlpool stuff is very foreign. This was definitely the most frustrating machine I've ever worked on, and many a times I scratched my head wondering why the engineers did what they did when designing it. I also swore a lot. Although on face value this machine with its wig wags, fast brakes, baseplates, and snubber seems VERY intimidating, it actually isn't. Much harder to work on than a Maytag, but don't forget that this design was born in the late 40s. So even though Maytag, GE, and Frigidaire had newer less complicated designs, this still, STILL, held its own and still ranked and washed well. It was still valid. Take your time, and your rebuild will go well.

I would rebuild one again for sure.

The video link below is a video version of the rebuild which also shows a detailed tutorial on bearing pulling and installing.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO potatochips's LINK

Post# 945951 , Reply# 19   6/30/2017 at 04:56 (296 days old) by goatfarmer (South Bend, home of Champions)        

goatfarmer's profile picture

Nice job!

Post# 946064 , Reply# 20   6/30/2017 at 16:24 (295 days old) by potatochips (Nova Scotia)        

Thanks Kenny and chetlaham! These are fun machines to use as well

Post# 946113 , Reply# 21   6/30/2017 at 20:32 (295 days old) by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

toploader55's profile picture
Great Job.

Post# 946148 , Reply# 22   6/30/2017 at 23:38 (295 days old) by 114jwh (Vancouver)        
Awesome job Kevin!

Rebuild posts are hands down my favorite to read so thank you for sharing. You also did a great job detailing all the steps and I'm sure others are really going to appreciate the extra effort down the road.

When I rebuilt the Inglis I really had nothing to compare it to so interesting to hear your perspective on the difficulty vs other makes. I too remember a few roadblocks along the way that made me re-evaluate what possessed me to do it in the first place. In particular, getting that old spintube out, sliding the agitate cam bar back in and installing the top centerpost seal were hands down the worst for me. Thanks for the tip on the top centerpost seal, if I do it again I'll definitely give that method a shot. And I'm with you on the colorful vocabulary!

Once again, congrats on a successful rebuild and awesome job getting it done!

Post# 946168 , Reply# 23   7/1/2017 at 04:52 (295 days old) by potatochips (Nova Scotia)        

Thanks Eddie and James! I hope your Inglis issue gets sorted out in short order. Canadian machines I think are the most unique.

I'll have another rebuild thread come shortly involving a Maytag.

Post# 946173 , Reply# 24   7/1/2017 at 06:11 (295 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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Congratulations! Those belt-drive machines are workhorses. Thanks for sharing the process and photos with us.

Post# 946179 , Reply# 25   7/1/2017 at 06:42 (295 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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Great job!!  It is a pain to do but so rewarding when it's all done and the machines come back to life.  Congratulations!!!

Post# 946212 , Reply# 26   7/1/2017 at 11:51 (294 days old) by mayken4now (Panama City, Florida)        

mayken4now's profile picture
Very cool. Enjoy your new machine after all that hard work.

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