Thread Number: 72553  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
POD 9/22/2017
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Post# 958575   9/22/2017 at 09:49 by brucelucenta (tulsa, oklahoma)        

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Frigidiare's last ditch effort at advertising. This machine actually washed pretty well, depending on the load you had it it. An almost overly stuffed tub seemed to wash better than a smaller load did. The actual mechanism could have been very good with a few changes. The tub seal was a weak point on the washer, somewhat like the tub seals on speed queen washers from the 80's thru the 90's. It would fail and drench the bearings with soapy water and ruin them. The repair costs were more than it was usually worth to someone. There were other problems with the washers too, but not everyone can be as dependable as Maytag. Frigidiare's quality really went downhill with these models. They were not heavy duty at all and there were machines competing with them that were. The balancing system was quite good though and WCI continued using that same system with many of their machines after that. The dryers were very problematic as well. The drum rollers were constantly having to be replaced and there were air movement problems that resulted in lint build up and warping of the lint filter housing. They were a nice idea, just not a very good design for either washer or dryer. In only a year or two after this GM sold off Frigidaire to WCI anyway and the day of Frigidaire Jet Action washers was over. The WCI models were basically a cheap version of Westinghouse washers and the dryers were Franklin design, which were total pieces of crap!!! A few years later, WCI started making the dryers a cheap version of Westinghouse dryers too.

This post was last edited 09/22/2017 at 11:09

Post# 958577 , Reply# 1   9/22/2017 at 09:57 by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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I rescued a gold 1-18 from behind the appliance store across the street when I lived in a warehouse apartment. It was missing the front right 'foot', but a block of wood fixed the problem in a very low-tech way. The machine worked perfectly! Turns out it came from my doctor's house; cast out in an extensive home remodel. It was impressive, overall. The wide tub made for decent G-force and very good extraction.

I agree with Bruce that it liked a very full load. Rollover was better when there wasn't an excessive amount of water in the tub. I was surprised that the Maxi water level didn't reach the top of the tub, but that actually seemed to work to the machine's advantage.

Although it was with me for less than a year, it did much to alleviate a lifelong case of Frigidaire envy!

Post# 958590 , Reply# 2   9/22/2017 at 12:00 by brucelucenta (tulsa, oklahoma)        

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Leading up to the end of GM Frigidaire was the great boom of people buying first refrigerators, automatic washers and dryers and dishwashers. After the boom was over in the 60's, just about everyone that was going to get one had one. All that was left was replacement when someone needed another. It just all dried up and there were too many manufacturers and not enough demand. I think much like automobiles, appliances became kind of generic looking and operated much the same from the 80's on.

Post# 958598 , Reply# 3   9/22/2017 at 14:11 by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        

IMO, the 1-18's (Washers) were very good machines. A LOT of them are still in service including mine. I can go past nearly every appliance dump and find at least one, finally cast-off after all these years. Frigidaire had worked out nearly all of the negative items from years gone by except for the noisy pulsation from 1965 on.

The dryers did have the warping plastic issue. However, when they were working they handled bulky loads very well.

I recall reading an article from General Motors about the sale of Frigidaire. They needed the assembly line to build some POS mini-trucks. I'd imagine a whole hell of a lot more Frigidaire appliances have survived than those trucks.

Post# 958600 , Reply# 4   9/22/2017 at 14:34 by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

The appliances were always propped up by GM's auto sales. When that hit the skids in the 70s, there was no money to subsidize the appliances and GM threw overboard anything that was causing the ship to ride low in the stormy waters. See the story of Jonah.

Post# 958612 , Reply# 5   9/22/2017 at 16:27 by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

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What was there on the top of the agitator lid that you "Remove" or "Lock"?

I think without making a good-sized grip on that agitator in old Friigidaire washing machines I've attempted to do either with, I only easily turned the tub instead (I even noticed how easily my tub in my "best selling brand" (though I don't know about it being "best"--it has everything but dispensers for detergent and fabric softener) easily turns...

-- Dave

Post# 958617 , Reply# 6   9/22/2017 at 16:54 by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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Remove/Lock: That's just the locking cap of the agitator. You could toss powdered detergent into the agitator for even distribution when pulsation began. There was also a bleach dispenser in there.

Post# 958621 , Reply# 7   9/22/2017 at 17:14 by hippiedoll (tucson, arizona u.s.a.)        
I have...

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A FRIGIDAIRE 1-18, WINDOWED-LID washer waiting to come home, thanks to 4 members here in the group.

I'm looking forward to making a post about it when I get it home and get to use it. And of course, I will be posting pictures of it when it's here!

I am so excited to get it & use it!

Post# 958644 , Reply# 8   9/22/2017 at 20:16 by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        

I'm sure you will really enjoy it. The window-lid looks cool,however, you can't see much action through it. By-pass the lid-switch right off the bat and enjoy all the action. You won't need a pair of goggles and a wet-suit like you would with a solid-tub Rollermatic.
With that wonderful spray system the Spray-Rinsing is excellent--------which is good because they can suds-lock easily depending on the detergent, of course.
I'm excited for you!

Post# 958655 , Reply# 9   9/22/2017 at 22:05 by brucelucenta (tulsa, oklahoma)        

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Don't get me wrong, I really liked the 1-18 washers and even the sets. There were just many problems with them and a lot of them never made it past the 2nd or 3rd year without the tub seal going out. I always thought a 1-18 washer and a super capacity Kenmore dryer an unbeatable combination! I wish that Frigidaire had designed them a little differently than what they did. There was definitely room for improvement. I would have stuck with the all roller operation of the previous models for one thing and not had a belt drive. As far as any still being around, how many do you suppose are still being used as a daily driver by the original owner? None probably. They are fun to use and see working though and many collectors have them.

Post# 958680 , Reply# 10   9/23/2017 at 03:03 by washdaddy (Baltimore)        

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Congratulations on getting your new toy. I'm sure you're excited about what fun you are going to have with it. Will be great to see some pics of a 1-18 becoming someones new toy. Have a blast with your new toy when you get it!!!

Have a Great Day!

Rick (Washdaddy)

Post# 958689 , Reply# 11   9/23/2017 at 06:47 by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        

A lot of the Frigidaire machines we find today have outlived their original owners.
My 1-18 came from an estate sale.

Bruce, I am surprised about the tub seal issues. I never heard of it before. Not doubting what you are saying. To my mind the most common reason to take these out of service is rust or someone did not properly attach the lint-filter or the agitator cap, and the agitator got a huge chunk broken off on the down-stroke.
That leaves a jagged edge. Of course, a file will get rid of the problem and leave a little rounded-out area. And, there is that problem of the bellows.

Post# 958706 , Reply# 12   9/23/2017 at 12:04 by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        

A classic too. A great avatar, or to attach to that special e-mail when life or the world seems too crazy.
Like Robin Williams said, don't be afraid to act a bit crazy so you don't go crazy. Seal sings we're never gonna survive unless we get a little crazy.

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