Thread Number: 73318  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
Changing oil in Maytag counterbalanced trans
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Post# 968539   11/17/2017 at 13:12 by robbinsandmyers (Hamden CT)        

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How hard is it to replace the oil in the old style trans? can the spin basket and tub be taken out and the top of the trans removed in place and the old muck removed? MY A407 really slows down in my cold winter basement until that oil heats up a little.




Post# 968541 , Reply# 1   11/17/2017 at 13:34 by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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yeah, you can.....but your going have to figure a way to get that old oil out of there....and at that point, worth cleaning all the gears as well...

don't know that an oil change will correct that....pretty common if in a cold location for the oil to slow things until it heats up......

have you tried placing a small heater near the machine before use.....or maybe the first fill should be as hot as possible to warm up the inner cabinet somewhat...


Post# 968594 , Reply# 2   11/17/2017 at 18:27 by potatochips (Nova Scotia)        
Ditto, Martin

I just rebuilt an A712 about a month ago due to a leaky lower trans seal. If you're going to go that far you may as well replace dampers, motor glides, polish the pulleys, new belts, clean the transmission, new seals, etc... as a transmission service requires almost a complete tear down of the machine. You're so close to a complete tear down at that point you may as well just keep going.

New oil won't fix the problem unfortunately. If you're worried about it, add more time to the cycle? Or set it on spin with an empty tub to move the oil around? Or do as Martin suggests and use a space heater?


Post# 968701 , Reply# 3   11/18/2017 at 11:46 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Sluggish MT Washer

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Other than a complete rebuild you can try drilling a hole in the side of the transmission then tipping the washer over and draining out most of the old oil.

Then add a new lighter better oil tap the hole you drilled and screw in and seal a pipe plug and away you go, we have successfully done this a few times.

Other than this get a better washer, Maytag was the ONLY washer ever built that used a drive system that allowed so much slippage of the drive belt during agitation, no other brand ever had such a poor design. The first helical drive MTs used a pivot motor mount [ 1956-1959 ] and these never had this problem no matter how cold the machine was, and MT finally [ pretty much ] solved this problem on the last of the HD machines on the LAT series.

John L.


Post# 968746 , Reply# 4   11/18/2017 at 15:34 by bendixmark (Winchester Mass)        
Get a better washer

In my opinion there is no better washer.Those washers wash great and are indestructible. Those washers do not like cold basements.When maytag went to the orbital transmission which washes lousy thank you that didn't cure the cold basement problem even those were slow to get going.If you have a A407 surely by now the oil is thick and causes that.What I always did was add a slightly stretched 3rd spring to the motor base then that would improve things greatly.This also would sometimes require making the pump belt slightly tighter so the water does not rise up too fast in the tub.It may also be necessary to add a start capacitor to the motor if it does this clickclick thing when it tries to start in spin.

Post# 968784 , Reply# 5   11/18/2017 at 17:10 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Getting An Old Cold MT Washer To Agitate

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Tightening the pump belt slightly will only make the main drive belt slip MORE and will do nothing to improve the agitation in an old cold machine, Mark you are correct that tightening the pump slightly will help the motor start and get going into the spin cycle without going out on its overload and I have done this to help that problem.

But there is no getting around that this drive system was a poorly designed system. Maytag had it right in 1956-9 and then they ruined it with the sensitive problematic system with the four little plastic rollers.[ I have NEVER seen an orbital transmission washer { LAT model } that had trouble agitating when cold.

I worked at a Maytag Red Carpet dealer as a service tech and nobody liked this system, Just like you we were always tinkering with the springs pump belt tension trying to get the machine to work in a satisfactory manner, NO OTHER washer had problems like this getting their washers to agitate in cold basements, or with heavy loads.

I like a lot of things about these durable washers, but this is not one of them every great machine has its problems, I could go on for hours about problems with WP BD washers, GE FF washers and on and on.

John L.


Post# 968819 , Reply# 6   11/18/2017 at 20:28 by kenwashesmonday (Haledon, NJ)        

combo52 wrote:
"Maytag was the ONLY washer ever built that used a drive system that allowed so much slippage of the drive belt during agitation, no other brand ever had such a poor design."

That's a whole lot of hogwash. The belt only slips for two reasons during agitation, either the machine is overloaded, or it's really cold. "get a better washer" my foot!


Post# 968828 , Reply# 7   11/18/2017 at 20:41 by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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I have to disagree....

several times I have placed a 2x4 between the motor and front spring, using my foot to apply more tension, and seen the agitation strokes increase...

you can hear the spin pick up speed as well.....

and I have three springs on mine....


Post# 968836 , Reply# 8   11/18/2017 at 22:18 by Norgeway (mocksville n c )        
John is correct as always

John is right about a. May tag. Yes they are built well yes they last. But also they don't wash well unless very lightly loaded. They are the worst machine ever made to get out of balance unless they are on a cement floor. And then they are notorious for slinging geese out onto the working parts which only makes things worse. I have owned four of them. The first. Mother bought new to replace our frigidaire that had been heavily used for17 years. This was in 1984. My poor. Grandmother tried to load it like she had the. Frigidaire. Nothing moved a inch and nothing got clean. It never ran a full cycle without getting out of balance and kicking off. After a year. Mother gave me her checkbook and said get me a damn wager that works. I got a ge and had no more problems. May tags to me are like. Chevrolets. I don't get the allure of them

Post# 968840 , Reply# 9   11/18/2017 at 22:36 by Norgeway (mocksville n c )        
But then

I am very opinionated. L o l. So what I think is only my opinion

Post# 968855 , Reply# 10   11/19/2017 at 01:15 by kenwashesmonday (Haledon, NJ)        

My 1972 A606 must be magic. It has the only it's original motor spring, yet it always washes at 63 oscillations per minute, always spins at 618 RPM, and only rarely goes off balance when it's either under loaded or loaded very wrong.

It does sit next to a drafty door and will bog down when it's cold, but my simple remedy for that is to wash a gentle-speed load first to warm it up.


Post# 968858 , Reply# 11   11/19/2017 at 02:05 by Norgeway (mocksville n c )        
My. Aunt

Used a 67. 606 for 33 years with only 2 repairs a water valve and a spin bearing. The only reason. She got rid of it was the dryers electronic. Ontrol went bad and. They didn't want to spend money on something that old they bought new. Dependable cares in 2000 and they have never had a repair. But they have always sat on cement. She had good luck. We did not. I have tried to like them but I just get aggravated every time I fool with one

Post# 968892 , Reply# 12   11/19/2017 at 08:12 by potatochips (Nova Scotia)        

I have also pulled the motor carriage back during agitation and it will wash better. The third spring is an ace in the hole for any Maytag collector.

No word of a lie, try washing exclusively denim in the machine and see what happens.

Maytags aren't junk tho. They have their faults. So does every other brand. There are no "perfect machines" as you have to weigh the benefits to the losses. One brand fills in where the other doesnt.


Post# 968896 , Reply# 13   11/19/2017 at 08:39 by kenwashesmonday (Haledon, NJ)        

I agree there is no perfect washing machine, but perhaps I just happened to get a good one. With 5 pair of Wrangler jeans 36X34, it washes 63 OPM no sweat.

I try not to trash any particular brand here on the forum even if I don't care for them, simply because there are people here who like those machines. If someone is having trouble with their Chevy, I will not tell them to buy a Ford.





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