Thread Number: 71796  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
POD 7/24/2017
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Post# 949764   7/24/2017 at 03:08 (307 days old) by brucelucenta ()        

A very nice looking machine made after Maytag had achieved one of the best operating and durable designs for an automatic washer ever created. For those old enough to remember, there was one on "The Beverly Hillbillies." That particular model was less flexible than most, but certainly had eye appeal with the all push button lighted controls. I have actually only seen a couple of them up close and personal. They were the standard capacity, which was still larger than most of that time and about the same as a Whirlpool/Kenmore washer of the same vintage. They washed, rinsed and spun out better than most machines and used less water than most also. They were excellent machines when not grossly overloaded. When grossly overloaded, the soap would simply still be on top of the clothes when it finished the cycle. LOL These machines were real work horses, much like the Speed Queen of the same vintage and were in many laundromats, schools and commercial applications. I found it interesting that Maytag had timed fill machines in their BOL series back then. I know the grade school I went to had one like that and you actually set the load size on the timer dial. It had only a timer and water temp switches to select. I remember nearly every school I ever went to had a set of Maytags back in the 60's. The Highlander series was very popular.

Post# 949770 , Reply# 1   7/24/2017 at 05:17 (306 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

A nice, well-lit, sleek looking console. Great font on the cycle buttons. Don't get me wrong; if a 902 appeared on my doorstep in mint shape I'd gladly provide it a loving home. However, as Bruce noted, Maytag's flagship is not big on cycle and option flexibility.

1) No partial fill option for the Delicate cycle? Think of how often that type of load consists of only a few items.

2) There's a paltry 10-minute maximum wash time in the Whites cycle on a machine with a leisurely agitation speed of 54 oscillations per minute. Question: If one wanted a longer wash time with our Kenmore Model 80, you could press the cycle button again prior to the end of the wash period and the cycle would start from the top (minus fill, of course), adding additional agitation time. Could the same be done with the 902?

3) Is the bleach dispenser truly timed or did it use the process of gradual infusion of bleach into the wash water?

4) No regular agitation/slow spin speed combination for the Wash 'n' Wear cycle.

5) No suds-saver option mentioned for this model.

Although the top-line Kenmores of the period weren't as refined and quiet as Maytags, they ran circles 'round the 'Tags in features and cycle flexibility.

Post# 949782 , Reply# 2   7/24/2017 at 07:23 (306 days old) by gansky1 (Omaha, The Home of the TV Dinner!)        

gansky1's profile picture
You can start the cycle over at any time so if you want a longer wash, just press the cycle button and it will start over at the beginning.

Maytag recommended using a full water level for delicate cycles, this was just programmed for you. Press one button and washday is over!

The bleach dispenser was the slow infusion type that mixed the bleach with the wash water through the pump circulation.

IIRC, there was a 902s (suds saver) version available but it would have had it's own cut sheet brochure. They added a knob on the top of the panel like in the 700/702 but with suds save options instead of rinse temp options.

I have this washer, earlier model 160, but the cycles are the same. There are certainly limitations but the market they were going for was all about the styling. They offered this in the '06 series until 1975 so it must have sold relatively well.

Post# 949791 , Reply# 3   7/24/2017 at 08:56 (306 days old) by brucelucenta ()        

I could have lived with the limitations just to have the styling. Especially with the matching dryer!

Post# 949795 , Reply# 4   7/24/2017 at 09:42 (306 days old) by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        

Looks like the ad is for the 1965 model. Last of the regular-sized tub. I used a set of these many times when visiting relatives. They lasted a loooong time. I can't think of a thing I didn't like.

Post# 949799 , Reply# 5   7/24/2017 at 10:08 (306 days old) by appnut (TX)        

appnut's profile picture
$409 is worth $3165 today.

Post# 949842 , Reply# 6   7/24/2017 at 15:24 (306 days old) by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        

Yeah, except today, for no amount of money, can you get this level of quality.

Post# 949910 , Reply# 7   7/24/2017 at 22:24 (306 days old) by seedub (South Texas Hill Country)        

This special cool-down procedure in Wash and Wear: was this the same partial drain and fill that the New Generation models did after 1967?

Post# 949911 , Reply# 8   7/24/2017 at 23:09 (306 days old) by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

wayupnorth's profile picture
Although my 1983 LA511 has Permanent Press, not Wash and Wear, it does a half drain and refill with cold and no agitation, Where my Kenmore did partial drain and slow agitation while refilling with cold.

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