Thread Number: 22169
Holy ramp action Batman, an 18lb. "jumbo" Roto-Swirl!
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Post# 347335   5/7/2009 at 20:36 (5,136 days old) by kenmoreguy64 (Charlotte, NC)        

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I seem to remember some discussion a while back about whether or not there was a large capacity version of the Super Roto-Swirl. Well, I was certain there was, I'd seen it a hundred times in my 1992 Whirlpool parts catalog. When I went to order one last spring though, it had become NLA.

Persistence has paid off as after searching online here and there, I found an NOS Gold large cap. Roto sitting on a shelf.

Here are some pics for comparison - now all I need is a a machine to put it into.

Post# 347337 , Reply# 1   5/7/2009 at 20:37 (5,136 days old) by kenmoreguy64 (Charlotte, NC)        

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Another pic

Post# 347338 , Reply# 2   5/7/2009 at 20:38 (5,136 days old) by kenmoreguy64 (Charlotte, NC)        

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A comparison to a NOS white standard cap. Roto. this pic really shows the differences. I was in a hurry when I took these shots....

Post# 347339 , Reply# 3   5/7/2009 at 20:40 (5,136 days old) by kenmoreguy64 (Charlotte, NC)        

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One final pic. I love who the incline of the ramp is taller on the big agitator, and how much taller the fins are. Even on high water level, the beginnings of the ramp curvature must protrude a bit out of the water.

Post# 347340 , Reply# 4   5/7/2009 at 20:41 (5,136 days old) by revvinkevin (Tinseltown - Shakey Town - La-La Land)        
Hey Gordon....

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You can bring it with you when you come out this way and we can put it in my '74 Lady K (or the 1980 - 70 series) to see how it works!!!


Post# 347346 , Reply# 5   5/7/2009 at 20:47 (5,136 days old) by lebron (Minnesota)        

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That agitator is badazz!

Post# 347351 , Reply# 6   5/7/2009 at 21:01 (5,136 days old) by kenmoreguy64 (Charlotte, NC)        

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Kevin -

Ok, first thing...I would explain that to airport security exactly how? :-)

I would try it out here if it was that easy though, but I / we need a machine with a "super" tall centerpost. I have only seen two in my life, and they were manufactured from 1968 into 1973 only. From what I have researched, a gargantuan straight-vane agitator graced the first 18lb. machines in 1968. This Roto on steroids replaced it a couple years later. The machines used an extra-tall centerpost and an agitator shaft that is appropriately that much taller in the machine's superstructure (as compared to a standard cap. model). The 1974 and later 18lb. washers had a shortened centerpost, which used the same length parts (spin tube and agitator shaft) as the standard machines, and the two Penta agitators debuted to go with them. These were less wear-prone for the transmissions. Some of the 1972/1973 large cap. models were re-designed internally to have the shorter posts and Pentas before the 1974 line came out.

The results of my research shows only five Kenmore large cap. models that would accomodate this agitator, the 1968-1972 Kenmore 518 (the infamous Frankenmore), a 1972 400 and 600 series machines, and 1973 500 and 700 series machines. I am unaware of the Whirpool models, however I sold a 1969 Whirlpool with ginormouos black Surgilator back in 1997, and an LAA7800 from 1973 a few years earlier. Those are the only two I've seen.

If we try to put this agitator in your Lady K or my 1977 Kenmore 70 for example, it will simply fall all the way to the bottom of the basket without installing onto anything unless I transplant a tall-shaft transmission.

Post# 347354 , Reply# 7   5/7/2009 at 21:13 (5,136 days old) by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, IA)        

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I have seen this agitator in a few machines behind Menards over the years. I'll admit that at the time I didn't know there even was a difference. I'll pay more attention now! :D


Post# 347361 , Reply# 8   5/7/2009 at 21:53 (5,136 days old) by yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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wow...those ramps really climb high on that one...thats the problem when most manufacturers increased their capacity the only thing they did was add a few inches to the agitator post but not increasing the vanes to come up higher in a maytag standard compared to a large capacity...the base is exactly the same just the post is taller...also the timer wash time settings should be increased because your washing a little larger load and may need a few minutes more...funny though that my digital machine with the standard tub allows me to have a 19 minute wash...just food for thought

Post# 347362 , Reply# 9   5/7/2009 at 21:53 (5,136 days old) by 70series ( Connecticut.)        

Congrats on finding the large cap RotoSwirl. Those vanes really are tall, and they look like they are in good condition. Hopefully you will get to watch in action pretty soon.

Have a good one,

Post# 347368 , Reply# 10   5/7/2009 at 22:01 (5,136 days old) by supremewhirlpol ()        

Would it work in the Whirlpool that you are saving for me?

Post# 347376 , Reply# 11   5/7/2009 at 22:17 (5,136 days old) by scrubflex (bronx, new york)        

I've always tried to imagine and even draw what the Roto-Swirl agitator would look like with the 'swirl' extended higher on the column. This is the real 'SUPER' Roto-Swirl agitator and it's PERFECT. So cool to actually see it. I would LOVE to see it action. How tall is it?

Post# 347385 , Reply# 12   5/7/2009 at 22:36 (5,136 days old) by strongenough78 (California)        

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That looks like the agitator that was in my friends Lady Kenmore he sold in the early 2000's. To this day I still don't know why he sold the set since they both worked perfectly. I know someone on here would have killed to get them lol.

Post# 347404 , Reply# 13   5/8/2009 at 00:56 (5,136 days old) by alr2903 (TN)        

I remember in the big Sear's books in the late 60's early 70's the Large Capacity machine's usually had 2 models and were lumped in with the portables and special installation machines. i wonder if this big RS is from back in those days?

Post# 347441 , Reply# 14   5/8/2009 at 08:06 (5,135 days old) by everythingold (Grand Rapids, Michigan)        

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The agitator has been found, now a machine will present its self. It's fate. How tall is the agitator? matt

Post# 347447 , Reply# 15   5/8/2009 at 08:41 (5,135 days old) by kenmoreguy64 (Charlotte, NC)        
alr2903 and Matt:

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alr2903 -

You remember exactly right. The large cap. machines didn't become mainstream until 1974 or so. The most I ever saw in a catalog of the previous jumbo machine was three models. Of the four 1972/1973 models, three had Kenmore's pot-metal consoles of the time, and one had the plastic top with removable control insert.

Matt -

I may have a lead on one machine, but it needs a resto, and I'm not sure if it's a tall post model or the revision that came later in 1973 which had the Penta-Vane (this agaitator wouldn't fit if that's the case).

Time will tell, but I hope you're right Matt! That would be a real find for me.


Post# 347457 , Reply# 16   5/8/2009 at 09:31 (5,135 days old) by cornutt (Huntsville, AL USA)        

It's the Sears Tower!

Post# 347460 , Reply# 17   5/8/2009 at 09:56 (5,135 days old) by revvinkevin (Tinseltown - Shakey Town - La-La Land)        
It's the Sears Tower!

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But Dorothy, we are NOT in Chicago anymore! And where is Toto??


Post# 347487 , Reply# 18   5/8/2009 at 12:26 (5,135 days old) by lebron (Minnesota)        

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Maytag increased the agitation speed on their deep tub models to compensate.

Post# 347543 , Reply# 19   5/8/2009 at 18:11 (5,135 days old) by frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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The Roto-Swirl on steroids!

Post# 347550 , Reply# 20   5/8/2009 at 19:17 (5,135 days old) by redcarpetdrew (Fairfield, CA)        
Ok, first thing...I would explain that to airport security e

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Put both under your shirt and say you're Madonna... ;>)


Post# 347574 , Reply# 21   5/8/2009 at 22:07 (5,135 days old) by scrubflex (bronx, new york)        

Can your water level setting add more to the wash like a reset switch on the Maytag A9900?

Post# 347580 , Reply# 22   5/8/2009 at 22:20 (5,135 days old) by scrubflex (bronx, new york)        

Can your Maytag A9900 water level adjust(er) add more water to the wash like a reset switch?

Post# 347602 , Reply# 23   5/8/2009 at 23:19 (5,135 days old) by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, IA)        
Digital Maytag's -

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(sorry to drift)
I'm going to briefly chime in on this - Jed is correct that Maytag increased the OPM from 54 to 63 OPM's, originally for the Big Tub machines in '66, then later for all the automatics. Along with the change from the fixed fin to the Power Fin on the aqua agitators it helped move the load around down by the base in comparison to the earlier machines. One of the major problems that I've seen on the earlier machines is it would drag heavy loads against the tub and wear down the finish.

The original LSE1000 does have the standard capacity tub and helical transmission; the A9900/LAT9900/LAT9904AAE machines have the Big Tub along with the orbital transmission. Both machines, the stacked washer/dryer and the 9000 series washers, do have an adjustable wash time allowing the user to program the wash up to 19 minutes, and the rinse, IIRC, to 7 minutes.


Post# 347887 , Reply# 24   5/10/2009 at 21:03 (5,133 days old) by scrubflex (bronx, new york)        
as tall as these...

Isn't the large capacity SUPER Roto-Swirl agitator the same height as the bakelite 'Pregnant' Roto-Swirl, original Straight-Vane, Super Surgilator and the gold Roto-Flex agitator(s)?

Post# 347921 , Reply# 25   5/10/2009 at 23:21 (5,133 days old) by revvinkevin (Tinseltown - Shakey Town - La-La Land)        
I doubt it........

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I doubt it because those agitators are all for standard capacity machines. The large capacity Super Rotor Swirl this thread is about is for a LARGE capacity machine (read: deeper tub).

Post# 347924 , Reply# 26   5/10/2009 at 23:33 (5,133 days old) by scrubflex (bronx, new york)        

Well, I seen a photo of a pregnant roto-swirl next to a roto-flex and the size difference was the same as the standard size roto-swirl next to the SUPER roto-swirl.

Post# 347936 , Reply# 27   5/11/2009 at 00:34 (5,133 days old) by kenmoreguy64 (Charlotte, NC)        

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Harry -

All four of those agitators in the pic utilize the same transmission & agitator shaft length. Given the proper splines and drive blocks, they are all interchangable in a standard capacity machine. If you feel the pregnant Roto-Swirl is the same height as the large capacity Super Roto-Swirl, you are looking at an optical illusion.

A standard Whirlpool Super Surgilator is 2.5 inches shorter than it's tall-shaft large capacity counterpart (15 3/8" vs. 18 1/8").

Check out my pictures below. In the standard capacity 1976 Green Kenmore, which normally houses a straight vane agitator, you'll see the white standard super Roto has installed perfectly.

The stud protruding through the agitator is ready for the cap to be installed.

Post# 347938 , Reply# 28   5/11/2009 at 00:36 (5,133 days old) by kenmoreguy64 (Charlotte, NC)        

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In this pic you'll see the bakelight super Roto-Swirl is in the machine and would match-up perfectly as well, had the machine had a drive-block installed.

Post# 347940 , Reply# 29   5/11/2009 at 00:39 (5,133 days old) by kenmoreguy64 (Charlotte, NC)        

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Now for comparison, placed in the machine is a pregnant Roto-Swirl, courtesy of my 1961 Kenmore 70. It does not sit any higher than the bakelight super, or the white super. It would install perfectly given a drive block.

The pregnant Roto-Swirl from automatics (not from wringers) and the Super Roto-Swirl (standard) are always interchangeable.

Post# 347941 , Reply# 30   5/11/2009 at 00:41 (5,133 days old) by kenmoreguy64 (Charlotte, NC)        

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Finally, here is a pic with the large cap. super in it. The agitator falls all the way to the bottom of the machine without contacting the shaft splines at all.

Post# 347942 , Reply# 31   5/11/2009 at 00:42 (5,133 days old) by kenmoreguy64 (Charlotte, NC)        

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Here's how it looks with the proper cap layed on top.

Post# 347944 , Reply# 32   5/11/2009 at 00:43 (5,133 days old) by kenmoreguy64 (Charlotte, NC)        

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In case that view isn't illustrative enough, here's one with the lid down - the lid will not close as it's resting on the cap.

Post# 347947 , Reply# 33   5/11/2009 at 00:54 (5,133 days old) by kenmoreguy64 (Charlotte, NC)        

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All the standard capacity Whirlpool / Kenmore belt-drive agitators are interchangeable. The bakelite Straight Vane, the two bakelite Rotos, the plastic straight vane and Super roto, the Roto-Flex, the Vari-Flex, the Dual-Action, and the Surgilator all use the same agitator shaft length, and are fully interchangeable, given the use of a drive block for some.

Even the Penta Vane and Swirl, the large cap. Dual-Action, and the Double Duty Surgilator (with the wings) are the same height, and would install properly green machine, because washers using these agitators use the same transmission shaft length. The top of the agitator shaft simply does not rise as far out of the basket on these models.

It is ONLY the 1968-1973 Kenmore 18lb. machines and their Whirlpool counterparts (may have started as early as 1966) which used the tall shaft transmissions which can utilize the large Super Roto-Swirl and the tall Surgilators.


Post# 348078 , Reply# 34   5/11/2009 at 13:36 (5,132 days old) by jons1077 (Vancouver, Washington, USA)        
Love the roto-swirls...

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really need to find me one for my standard capacity Kenmore. I love the Vari-flex but would love other agitators to play with. :-)

Post# 348250 , Reply# 35   5/11/2009 at 22:40 (5,132 days old) by scrubflex (bronx, new york)        

Thanks Gordon, you're awesome!!! I love ALL the extra details you share with us. Please continue to do it. BTW, is the large capacity SUPER Roto-Swirl agitator 18 1/8" as well? And, here is the picture I was referring to...Pregnant Roto-Swirl and Roto-Flex

Post# 348307 , Reply# 36   5/12/2009 at 09:18 (5,131 days old) by kenmoreguy64 (Charlotte, NC)        

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Yes, the large Roto is 18 & 1/8" in height also. The pic above is misleading due the angle of the shot and the placement of the two agitators. The Roto-Flex also looks to be leaning forward a bit. They are both designed to fit in the same wash baskets.

There were a couple Roto-Swirls for wringer machines of different dimensions, however that one looks like an automatic's agitator.

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