Thread Number: 71689  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
One from the Ogden 'project list' - 1947 Bendix coming back to life
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Post# 948599   7/17/2017 at 12:08 (365 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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I had really wanted to clear up some of my 'project backlog' of machines waiting to be restored this summer and I just happened to start messing around with this Bendix J47 automatic washer that I had not done much with since I got it.  It turned out it suffered from 'black timer motor' death and I've been trying to find a suitable replacement motor for this timer (and a few other machines).  Well, I decided to take a chance and try replacing the old Ingraham motor with the motor from the timer of the '67 Whirlpool washer that donated it's body to save my '66 Inglis.  Initially, the timer motor seemed to work but I kept hearing a 'ticking' noise from the timer.  So I took off the escapement to see how the gears were turning and found that I could manually advance the timer to a certain point then it would stick before triggering an increment of the drive gear that meshes with the timer switch shaft.


So, I did something I swore I'd never try again... I took the escapement apart!   I'll sum up by saying it was a lot of fiddling around and having to do things several times THEN having to carefully line everything up when closing the case.  But by golly, I did it.   Behold the working timer!


Post# 948601 , Reply# 1   7/17/2017 at 12:15 (365 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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And I'll be honest - I had not given myself much slack on this one:  I was prepared to part the machine out if I had not been able to get that timer issue resolved.   Of course, when one starts other tests, other "fun" ensues... 


So first discovery... after I got the timer back together, I ran a dry test however the washer did not want to spin (the 57 Hotpoint, also in the garage awaiting its turn in the OR, was giggling uncontrollably...).   


But it was Canyon who figured it out... He was 100% right that the float switch has to be down to go into spin.  I'll guess that was a "safety feature"... Or it was to prevent the machine from ripping up a square of concrete or floorboards when it started bucking with a full tub-load of water on a spin... LOL 


Bottom line - the washer seemed to perform all functions - water valves powered up, drain valve solenoid opened and closed, spin solenoid opened and closed. 

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Post# 948602 , Reply# 2   7/17/2017 at 12:21 (365 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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There was a rodent invasion in the garage a couple of years ago (remember what the poor '62 Mobile Maid looked like?) and the furry little fiends got into the Bendix, making a nice cozy nest in the tub out of the fibreglas insulation that we were storing pending the renovations of the loft above the garage.  Little devils...    I was not all that surprised at what I pulled out of the coin trap.  Yuck.    


Feeling adventurous, I thought I'd try hooking up a new drain hose to try a water test.   It doesn't show well on the picture, but the drain hose is attached with a 3/4 garden hose type fitting.  Guess that was the trend in '47 (the Launderall has the same connection).  

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This post was last edited 07/17/2017 at 13:38
Post# 948604 , Reply# 3   7/17/2017 at 12:24 (365 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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Even though Hubby was not around yesterday, I wisely decided to do this first water test outside.   


Having the washer on the pallet gave me an idea - I could, perhaps, build a platform for the machine to be bolted to.  The platform could then be weighted down with cinderblocks (making it possible to move the machine... muscial appliances - WHEEEE!).   I'll file that for later reference. 


I hooked up the water and..... 

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Post# 948605 , Reply# 4   7/17/2017 at 12:28 (365 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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Ffffffff......fudge.    That water valve is leaking really, really badly... 


Now I was sure that when we picked up that washer, Phil and I had to turn off the water supply before breaking our heads over how to unbolt the machine from a basement floor without the right tools.   It was in January, so the washer got frozen in transit and then stayed frozen in my former top-secret off-site storage location (the one off Dufferin Road in Stanstead) for about a year.   So cue up the sound of a gun, 'cause I seem to have shot myself in the foot again!!


I have placated myself by repeating that the thermostatic element in the valve was probably shot anyway.  

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Post# 948606 , Reply# 5   7/17/2017 at 12:32 (365 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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Did that stop me?  Nope.... 


I filled the tub manually and set 'er a-sloshin'!  


I was expecting leaks and I wasn't disappointed... LOL   The gasket around the coin trap dribbled a wee bit.  I was most surprised by the leak that seemed to be coming from the door glass.   I'll guess that's due to the door gasket (I'll further guess that I have a better chance of getting struck by lightening on my way back from the dépanneur with the winning lottery ticket than finding a replacement).  I'll have to have dig around for more service literature on this one!  

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Post# 948608 , Reply# 6   7/17/2017 at 12:38 (365 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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After the wash, the drain phase of the cycle produced a very weak water flow.   


I was worried that the pump was somehow damaged, so I took it apart.  Well, I should've seen this coming - the input opening was clogged up with chewed fibreglas.  On a positive note the pump impeller and the outflow port seemed just fine! 


While I had the pump apart, I had a fiddle with the valve that is opened and closed by the drain solenoid.  That 'baby bellows' is in incredible shape for a 70 year old machine!  However, I am concerned about the plate that prevents water flow from the tub into the pump.  Does anyone know if that disc or plate had a gasket to make a more positive seal?  

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Post# 948610 , Reply# 7   7/17/2017 at 12:41 (365 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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So, I feel I am making progress at last.  I had to remove the cabinet panels and I figure that while they are off, they will be treated a new coat of paint.  I had intended to do the same for the Launderall cabinet, so I guess it's time for a painting party in Ogden.  


Of course, as the Bendix and the Launderall move from the To-Do list to the Done list, the question arises, where the heck am I going to put them?  That's me asking, not Hubby... LOL  

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Post# 948611 , Reply# 8   7/17/2017 at 12:58 (365 days old) by ken (Ulster Hgts, NY)        

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Looking good Paul. Always like seeing the progress on your machines.

Post# 948620 , Reply# 9   7/17/2017 at 15:53 (365 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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Great work Paul! Can't wait to see them put together and washing!

Post# 948627 , Reply# 10   7/17/2017 at 16:14 (365 days old) by RevvinKevin (Southern California)        

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Looking Good Paul!  


Congrats on getting the timer working!  Woo Hoo!


I'm looking forward to watching the video of clothes tumbling/sloshing around inside!



Post# 948629 , Reply# 11   7/17/2017 at 16:17 (365 days old) by realvanman (Southern California)        

That is just SO cool!!

Post# 948630 , Reply# 12   7/17/2017 at 16:18 (365 days old) by foraloysius (Leeuwarden, the Netherlands)        

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The first automatic washer in the Netherlands was a 1947 Bendix. Perhaps this model. Great job Paul!

Post# 951096 , Reply# 13   8/1/2017 at 13:05 (350 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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I had about 20 minutes last weekend to mess around with the Bendix, so I thought I'd attack the water valve.  


As I suspected, I managed to ruin it by letting the dang thing freeze....  The sad thing is that if I'd have opened that hex nut, it probably would have drained the valve.  Hopefully now someone else won't do the same dumb thing I did!! 

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Post# 951097 , Reply# 14   8/1/2017 at 13:07 (350 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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However, metal can be repaired.  At least I hope so....  I gave the cracks a good coat of JB Weld and they'll be drying this week.  


In the meantime, I treated the valve body to a de-scaling soak.   AND, it does not seem to be a thermostatic valve after all (Or that just what I am hoping).   We'll know for sure this weekend, I guess!

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Post# 951102 , Reply# 15   8/1/2017 at 13:37 (350 days old) by pulltostart (Mobile, AL)        

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One day you'll learn to ask for Canyon's opinion sooner.....


Good work!



Post# 951112 , Reply# 16   8/1/2017 at 14:24 (350 days old) by realvanman (Southern California)        

I was going to suggest that the cracked valve could be brazed, making it almost as good as new.


Post# 951692 , Reply# 17   8/5/2017 at 14:37 (346 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        
OK, I'm stumped...

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Of course I didn't think to take a photo of it while still installed but I am stumped about what to do with a fairly narrow copper pipe that went from the original water valve into the water level container... the only partial picture I have is in reply #1, picture 3 of this thread.

My question is what does this do? My guess was to ensure the float valve got triggered when a load of heavier fabrics was being washed (which would soak up the water streaming into the tub and reduce the flow from the tub bottom into the float valve container).  The original water valve had a 'Y' connection to direct flow to both the water inlet at the top of the tub and through this narrow pipe.  The new generic water valve I am hoping to use has only one outlet port...

Is that second pipe to the float valve container even necessary?

Inquiring minds want to know.... LOL 

Post# 951757 , Reply# 18   8/5/2017 at 22:01 (346 days old) by Maytag85 (Sean 1986 YouTube. )        
Vintage front loaders rule!!

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These old school front loaders clean better than today's HE front loaders. Don't like HE washing machines!!

Post# 951921 , Reply# 19   8/7/2017 at 06:36 (345 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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Somehow, I just never seem to have enough time on a weekend to get very far with my washer work. OK, it doesn't help that I was out on both Friday and Saturday running around to garage sales, but that was worth it... LOL 


However I still needed to do some work on the '47 Bendix.  I started by reassembling the water valve and testing it.  

The 'Valve Reconditioning Centre' in the basement is looking more like Dr. Frankenstien's experiments mixing water and electricity.     Fortunately, I didn't fry myself.  Unfortunately, the original brass Bendix valve does not work correctly (my theory about this being a non-thermostatic valve has thus been disproved...)  

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Post# 951922 , Reply# 20   8/7/2017 at 06:41 (345 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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Now I had a replacement generic valve at the ready (OK, I do keep a spare one in stock... LOL) so my progress wasn't supposed to be halted.  However, as I posted on Saturday, I was stumped about what to do about that second water flow pipe that directed water into the float valve chamber.   


I should have thought to search the archives here;  I found a post from 2005 that explains all (see link below)!


Who knew that the idea behind this tube had originally been to flush out soap residue.  This also shows that if you're trying to fix something on a vintage washer and hit a snag, chances are that someone else ran into the same issue.  Better still, they found a workaround!!  So the progress was not impeded too badly.  

CLICK HERE TO GO TO turquoisedude's LINK

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Post# 951924 , Reply# 21   8/7/2017 at 06:46 (345 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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The challenge now was how to connect the valve and attach it to the Bendix tub.  


I think I solved that puzzle reasonably well.  My wiring is a little creative - I got a bee in my bonnet about keeping the original bullet connectors, so I wired up some bullet to spade patch cords.  


If anyone would like to start a pool to take bets as to how long those connections last once I get the machine into a first spin with laundry in it....  LOL  

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Post# 951925 , Reply# 22   8/7/2017 at 06:49 (345 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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For my last task of the weekend,  I decided to paint the body panels of the Bendix.   The cabinet panels were slightly rusty and once I gave them a wash, they did not look THAT bad, but I went ahead with a fresh coat of paint anyway.  


Resassembly should be later this week, with any luck.   I do have to figure out what do about that porthole door leak - I'll be searching the archives again!!  

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Post# 951966 , Reply# 23   8/7/2017 at 12:23 (344 days old) by realvanman (Southern California)        
Keeping to originality

I for one appreciate your dedication down to the detail of saving the original electrical connectors.

Save that old valve, and somehow, someone in the future may be able to get it going again.

And it'll plug right into the original connectors. :)

In the meantime, it'll be great to have it operational once again.


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