Thread Number: 35600
Whirlpool Catalyst Refurbish
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Post# 531198   7/17/2011 at 16:14 (4,521 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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I'm somewhat experienced with direct-drive mechanisms ... but wondering if this discoloration on the clutch bell is indication of a problem.  There's no grease/residue spattered inside the cabinet and top of the tranny is clean.


Post# 531199 , Reply# 1   7/17/2011 at 16:17 (4,521 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Agitator shaft & seal.  The angle of the picture makes the spin tube ears look worse than they are.


Post# 531201 , Reply# 2   7/17/2011 at 16:21 (4,521 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Center post & spin tube seal.  I'll wire-brush the center post and coat it up to the seal with POR-15.  Should I do the same on the spin tube up to the agitator shaft seal?


Post# 531203 , Reply# 3   7/17/2011 at 16:25 (4,521 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Most of this is smutz that will largely clean off, but there's some rusting/pitting of the porcelain on the edge where the splash guard mounts.  What's a method to treat this?


Post# 531422 , Reply# 4   7/18/2011 at 16:21 (4,520 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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The machines (matching dryer included) were obtained via CraigsList.  The seller discarded/replaced the set due to the washer failing to drain.  I found the pump jammed with a sock or some such item.


I noticed when fetching them that the replacements are a Haier toploader and matching dryer.



Post# 531425 , Reply# 5   7/18/2011 at 16:31 (4,520 days old) by mrb627 (Buford, GA)        

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I anxiously await the completion of your restoration on these beauties.


Post# 531707 , Reply# 6   7/19/2011 at 20:27 (4,518 days old) by gr81nknox ()        

They replaced a Catalyst set with a Haier? You've got to be kidding! Catalysts were from the early 2000s weren't they? Not that old of a machine and high end. And replaced due to a jammed pump! That's like replacing a Caddy with a Kia just because the old car's battery died.

Post# 531738 , Reply# 7   7/20/2011 at 07:02 (4,518 days old) by surgilator_68 (Maryland)        

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I would replace the basket drive. Those ears are too worn to sustain spinning for any length of time. You'll also need a new drive block. You'll also have to sand down the pitting on the agi shaft to pull the trans out of the basket drive. If you pull it all apart you can check the clutch lining for wear. If it's down to the rivets then it needs a new clutch. That one is the 6 pad. Make sure you add some turbine oil to the main bearings when you reassemble it.

Post# 531763 , Reply# 8   7/20/2011 at 10:09 (4,518 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Thanks, Jason!  Upon closer exam of the drive block, the notches are worn more than I'd noticed.  I'm sure the basket had been slipping and there are also a couple mild scrapes where it had rubbed on bottom of the tub.  This project has turned much more expensive than I anticipated, but I suppose either do it properly or not at all.



Post# 531913 , Reply# 9   7/20/2011 at 21:47 (4,517 days old) by surgilator_68 (Maryland)        

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See if you can find a cheap DD at the thrift store or CL to get parts from.

Post# 535561 , Reply# 10   8/7/2011 at 18:30 (4,500 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Dirty tub.


Post# 535563 , Reply# 11   8/7/2011 at 18:31 (4,500 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Water valves.


Post# 535564 , Reply# 12   8/7/2011 at 18:32 (4,500 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Post# 535565 , Reply# 13   8/7/2011 at 18:32 (4,500 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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OOB and diverter.


Post# 535566 , Reply# 14   8/7/2011 at 18:33 (4,500 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Recirculation pressure dome.


Post# 535567 , Reply# 15   8/7/2011 at 18:34 (4,500 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Control board and recirculation pressure switch.


Post# 535568 , Reply# 16   8/7/2011 at 18:35 (4,500 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Operating pressure switch.


Post# 535569 , Reply# 17   8/7/2011 at 18:35 (4,500 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Post# 535571 , Reply# 18   8/7/2011 at 18:36 (4,500 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Tub, motor & pump.


Post# 535572 , Reply# 19   8/7/2011 at 18:37 (4,500 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Post# 535573 , Reply# 20   8/7/2011 at 18:37 (4,500 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Rear panel with doo-dads installed.


Post# 535575 , Reply# 21   8/7/2011 at 18:39 (4,500 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Naked diverter.  Interesting, neutral is recirculation mode.  It energizes for drain.


Post# 535586 , Reply# 22   8/7/2011 at 19:06 (4,500 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Post# 535587 , Reply# 23   8/7/2011 at 19:06 (4,500 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Money shot.


Post# 535589 , Reply# 24   8/7/2011 at 19:11 (4,500 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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Very nice Glenn!!!!!

Post# 535590 , Reply# 25   8/7/2011 at 19:12 (4,500 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Post# 535591 , Reply# 26   8/7/2011 at 19:13 (4,500 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Post# 535596 , Reply# 27   8/7/2011 at 20:15 (4,499 days old) by mrb627 (Buford, GA)        
Very Nice Refurb!

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It sure looks minty fresh now! Awesome.

Out of curiosity, how much did you invest in this refurb project? Will there be any videos of this beauty in action?


Post# 535618 , Reply# 28   8/7/2011 at 21:42 (4,499 days old) by gansky1 (Omaha, The Home of the TV Dinner!)        

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Nice work, Glenn! I've had a few of these back in my Lowe's hunting time. I loved the soak & wash cycle on the KM version my sister has now.

Post# 535696 , Reply# 29   8/8/2011 at 10:36 (4,499 days old) by gr81nknox ()        

Very nice work! And a very nice machine. If I had known deep-fill agitator washers such as these were going to be on their way out just a few years later, I would have coughed up the extra $$ for one of these back in early '02 when I bought my KM Elite.

Post# 535952 , Reply# 30   8/9/2011 at 15:45 (4,498 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Investment is approx $425.  $25 for the machine ($50 pair, dryer refurb is pending).  Approx $400 in parts & materials -- new top, lid, basket, pump, a few other items, bunch of hose clamps, a few screws, paint supplies.  Yes, I am insane, LOL.


I shot a video early this afternoon, had technical difficulties.  Doing another now, smaller load.  Hopefully it'll be OK.

Post# 535982 , Reply# 31   8/9/2011 at 16:23 (4,498 days old) by mrb627 (Buford, GA)        
Insane 4 Sure!

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Yes, Glenn. You might be a little touched in the head. But they will be a collector's item someday. As valuable as a piano key Lady Kenmore, IMO.

Can't wait for a good video!


Post# 536032 , Reply# 32   8/9/2011 at 20:15 (4,497 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Part 1 of 3 -- catalyst treatment and wash period.

Four pairs jeans. Normal cycle with Catalyst option. Less soil (8 mins agitation). Medium water level (medium agitation).

Agitation speed (hi, med, low) varies per cycle and choice of 5 water levels. Normal cycle at Super and Med-High levels runs a high -> med shift on both wash and rinse. Hand Wash runs intermittent low agitation.

Post# 536071 , Reply# 33   8/9/2011 at 22:40 (4,497 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Part 2 of 3 -- rinse.

Softener dispenses after agitation begins. The dispenser flushes twice, which raises the water level a couple inches.

Post# 536121 , Reply# 34   8/10/2011 at 08:05 (4,497 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        

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Great job on your WP washer these were very cool machines and thanks for the great videos.


I have suggested for some time now that this is the time to get some of these TL full fill washers if you want to enjoy them in the years ahead. The later Dependable Care MTs and all of the DD WPs, KMs and KAs were some of the best and most durable automatic washers ever built. And considering that parts are still available now is the time. I would be leery of models with fully electronic controls however as these may be very hard to keep running in the future.

Post# 536125 , Reply# 35   8/10/2011 at 09:08 (4,497 days old) by gr81nknox ()        
kicking myself

For being a cheap a$$ and not buying one those machines back in the day! I love how it mixes the detergent and fabric softener. And the Catalyst action is neat. Having said that, the sounds it makes when washing, draining, and spinning are identical to my KM. I noticed this machine had insulation around the tub and also it looks like a seal at the top of the tub inside, I'm guessing this is for sound reduction. I'm not sure if my KM elite has the tub wrap, but it does not have the seal at the top of the basket inside.

Nice machine. I wonder how the former owners are enjoying their Haier.

Post# 536183 , Reply# 36   8/10/2011 at 13:18 (4,497 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Unfortunately I didn't take pictures of *everything* and removing the cabinet is a tad difficult with four dispenser hoses to disconnect so I'd rather not. The seal around the top opening is a splash guard. There's also a similar guard that snaps around front and sides at the outer edge of the tub ring to ward-off splashing from the softener & detergent dispensers release areas. Pic of the tub ring below is captured from the service supplement.

In addition to the tub wrap, there are thick insulation pads glued to the left & right sides of the cabinet at motor/tranny level, along with the usual three small thin cabinet pads. The parts list indicates another layer of sound padding in the base under the motor/tranny, which for some reason is missing from this specimen. The base pad shows to be available but it's expensive for what it is (LOL) so I didn't get one. My KA toploader has a base pad (which must be of a different design as it's NLA).

Another interesting observation -- parts listing shows an under-basket comb filter, which this unit did not have. Instructions for the replacement basket advise to order a set of the "new-style" filter discs, which I did, but the basket that was sent does NOT have mounting holes for them ... so there's no lint filter on the machine.

The basket balance ring is dual-chambered. The upper section contains the usual water ballast. The lower chamber contains 320cc of (mineral?) oil and 18? ball bearings.

Post# 536184 , Reply# 37   8/10/2011 at 13:25 (4,497 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Part 3 of 3 - final spin. Typical Whirly DD. :-)

The rattling noise is the splash guard rubbing on the tub ring. The guard is slightly puckered at the front. Drain periods are variable-time per the water level. Notice the "snap" at start of drain when the diverter valve activates.

Post# 536203 , Reply# 38   8/10/2011 at 15:16 (4,497 days old) by whirlpolf ()        
Typical Whirly DD. :-)

A nice one! And yes, very typical. Same sounds, same movements like the one I got here (a single speed, 3 temp options 70s series with a woodgrain plastered black backsplash). (The only DD Whirlpool/Kenmore I have ever had the pleasure to meet. Love it like my teddy bear.)

Not really new to me, but still amazing: Yours has this beep, yours has two dispensers on each side. The left one reminds me of the regular softener dispensers you put on top of the agitator.
Does it spin too? How does it work? What about this "put-in-coin" slot right next to it? And why is the other one (right side) so different from this one?
I have seen these pics often before, but I could never make out how it all works.
Mine seems to be an older and simpler model as it seems. (And still going strong).

Post# 536213 , Reply# 39   8/10/2011 at 16:09 (4,497 days old) by ozzie908 (Lincoln UK)        
Please tell me why

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Does the machine do a spray rinse after the fabric softener cycle, Surely that washes out the softener you just put in???



Post# 536240 , Reply# 40   8/10/2011 at 17:24 (4,497 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Don't know, can't say. If Extra Rinse is selected, softener release is shifted to the 2nd, but I don't recall from the one time I used Extra Rinse thus far if the sprays are also shifted. It does not spray in the first spin, seems typical of machines of the time period (2002). I have a Kenmore 90 that does the same (1999).

Post# 536246 , Reply# 41   8/10/2011 at 17:31 (4,497 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        
Softener Dispenser

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The softener cup does not spin. :-)

It holds the softener dose until release, at which point water flows up into the cup through the slots in the centerpost, overflowing the dose through openings in the dispenser base beneath the cup, down through the tub ring and into the tub. When the water flow stops, majority of the remaining water siphons out through the centerpost slots. The cup is flushed twice in succession.

Post# 536248 , Reply# 42   8/10/2011 at 17:42 (4,497 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        
Dispenser Hoses

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Water flow is directed to the dispensers via the multi-solenoid inlet valve assembly.

Detergent is flushed by water flowing from around the rim of the dispenser body.

Calypsos have the same dispensers. I believe the design was first used on them, then on the Catalyst models.

Post# 536249 , Reply# 43   8/10/2011 at 17:56 (4,497 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        
Bleach Dispenser

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The bleach tray holds 1 cup of liquid. Reference the pic above, the bleach dispenser hose leads to a T-union (bleach venturi). The bleach water valve inlet hose attaches to the right side of the venturi (left side when the machine's top is flipped right-side up), another hose leads from the venturi to a connector atop the tub ring. A short burst of water through the venturi creates a vacuum/siphon effect on the dispenser hose, which pulls the bleach from the tray. The bleach dispenser is "siphoned" three times in succession during the last few mins of the wash period.

The Calypso's bleach dispenser has some water pushed into it via the venturi as part of the siphon effect (flushed several times), I suppose for purpose of rinsing the tray and hose to avoid bleach spotting on a successive load. I have not observed that happen on the Catalyst, the bleach simply drains out.

Post# 536267 , Reply# 44   8/10/2011 at 19:08 (4,497 days old) by foo123 ()        
Well Done.

You wouldn't know it was the same washer.

Is the splashguard spin rattle fixable? Sounds like somebody's Mother-in-Law eating corn on the cob with loose dentures.

Judging by the amount of rust everywhere, it looks like the splashguard was unsuccessful in controlling water excursions inside the cabinet. So did you replace those rusty spring clamps with any sort of stainless upgrade?

What were they thinking? Covering electrical components with baggies seems kind of a Mickey Mouse method of waterproofing, although it appears to have worked better than the splashguard.

What prompted you to replace the washer top? It looks to be in relatively good condition in your photo.

What is your assessment of the machine's wash/rinse performance? Does the catalyst feature make any difference or not?

Could you please post some before photos of the dryer?

Post# 536272 , Reply# 45   8/10/2011 at 19:29 (4,497 days old) by foo123 ()        
Sock in the pump!

Looking at your photos of the splashguard, you have to wonder what on earth those Haier Heads who sold you the machine were doing with it to get a sock into the outer tub.

Post# 536280 , Reply# 46   8/10/2011 at 20:24 (4,496 days old) by mrb627 (Buford, GA)        
Kitchenaid Series

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I know that there was a model or two in the Kitchenaid line that had the triple dispenser system. Did any of them include the Catalyst System?


Post# 536305 , Reply# 47   8/10/2011 at 23:28 (4,496 days old) by MaytagA710 ()        

DADoES thanks for posting all the detailed pictures and videos, I have been dying to see a Catalyst machine in action on YouTube! Thanks again.

Post# 536350 , Reply# 48   8/11/2011 at 08:17 (4,496 days old) by brastemp (Brazil)        

How long is the washer soaks when you select this function?

Post# 536482 , Reply# 49   8/11/2011 at 22:21 (4,495 days old) by A440 ()        

Great Job Glen!

I thought I would never see another in action!

I always thought this was a very cool and effective design!

Thanks for the videos.


Post# 536485 , Reply# 50   8/11/2011 at 22:39 (4,495 days old) by washoholic (San Antonio, TX)        
You’re AWESOME dude!

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Thanks for the videos, Glenn.

Post# 536666 , Reply# 51   8/12/2011 at 20:40 (4,494 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Noises vary from load-to-load depending on oscillation intensity.

Regards to the rusting ... the machine came from a bay-side area within miles of the coast, Gulf of Mexico ... so both moisture and salt-air exposure. All hose clamps are replaced. A few had permeated into the rubber. The old top doesn't look so bad, but I wanted the machine to look nice. The edges of the lid had rusted and the lid gasket was gone ... so the top had some rust staining from contact with the lid.

Can't say about the catalyst treatment, as I've not subjected it to extensive stain/soil testing. It should have some effect based on observation. There's not much water involved, so the detergent solution should be very concentrated. I did notice in a couple instances that the detergent didn't dissolve very well, lot of powder on the items ... which of course it did dissolve during agitation. Perhaps liquid detergent by nature would work better. Since so little water is used, it's unlikely to be at warm or hot temperature unless the water heater is very close. Catalyst is quite similar to F&P's EcoActive process, which uses more water and rotates the basket at 25 RPM instead of a full-out 420 RPM spin. Calypso does the same sort of process as a pretreatment while fill progresses, rotating at 60 RPM.

Soak can be used as an add-on option to any cycle, or as a stand-alone cycle of 10, 20, or 30 mins soak time. When used as an option, soak time is not directly selectable, I assume it varies per the selected agitation time / soil level.

The first washer I bought was a KitchenAid, with the massive SureScrub™ version of the dual-action agitator. I'd not otherwise had exposure to the smaller Whirly version. Interesting to note that the KA version does provide improved rollover. I ran a LARGE load of casuals/shirts in the Catalyst which had quite lethargic rollover at medium agitation speed (didn't seem to be much chance for shredding, LOL). I recall running similar loads in the KA to noticeably better rollover (also at medium speed, KA does not use high motor for agitation). I have not run a Heavy cycle / high agitation yet in the Catalyst, but I have done so in my Kenmore 90 ... it's brutal!

Post# 536688 , Reply# 52   8/12/2011 at 23:22 (4,494 days old) by foo123 ()        
Go on, then...

Slap the KA agitator in for a fun run.

As an aside, How would you rate Whirlpool's efforts at noise reduction?

Post# 536996 , Reply# 53   8/14/2011 at 15:53 (4,493 days old) by geoff (Cape Coral, FL)        

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I have the KitchenAid version with triple dispenser and they never did have a Catalyst model. I remember looking because that was a feature I wanted. When it came down to a WP with Catalyst or the KA. The KA won..


Post# 543568 , Reply# 54   9/14/2011 at 12:11 (4,462 days old) by foo123 ()        
Catalyst evaluation

Any further information regarding the catalyst wash/rinse performance?

Any interest in a test run with a KA agitator?

Post# 544381 , Reply# 55   9/18/2011 at 20:40 (4,457 days old) by AutowasherFreak ()        

I was just watching the video 3 final spin, and noticed that the end of cycle signal is the same as my Cabrio.

Post# 544416 , Reply# 56   9/18/2011 at 23:07 (4,457 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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I didn't get to do an extensive amount of playing with it.  It's not mine.  A friend bought the pair to use in a rental property, which seriously pains me being as the tenants will undoubtedly destroy them.  The washer has been moved there now although there are as yet no renters.

Anyway ... I've moved the Kenmore 90 into the house in place of the Catalyst (Calypso, IWL12, Kenmore 90, Neppy TL).

- The Catalyst is quieter so the extra cabinet and tub insulation has some effect.  I wish now I'd gotten the padding to go under the base, just to see how much more it helps.

- The Kenmore has better rollover.  Not sure why.  Both have the same 3-speed profiles.  The agitators seemingly are identical other than the Kenmore having a Triple Action auger, but it seems to have better rollover even on smaller loads when the auger doesn't come into play.  I did not swap-in the KA agitator for a test.  I could do that with the Kenmore 90 but considering how aggressive is the highest agitation speed, the KA agitator would be outright dangerous!

- I like the Catalyst's softener dispense, which raises the rinse level by an inch or so.  Rinse levels are typically a little low due to trapped air so the extra fill compensates.

- I used the soak option once, it works nicely, adding a soak period with some brief agitation before the main wash.

- As stated previously, I didn't do enough testing to determine how much effective is the Catalyst treatment.  It uses so little water as to always be cold unless the water heater is VERY nearby and the machine is even purged/prepped first ... but perhaps cold is the intent to avoid setting stains.

- Variable drain-time saves time.

- Automatically restarts when the lid is closed after opening during spin.

- On the whole a very nice DD Whirly with interesting features.

Post# 544449 , Reply# 57   9/19/2011 at 03:36 (4,457 days old) by foo123 ()        
You started with this:

Center Post Before

Post# 544450 , Reply# 58   9/19/2011 at 03:38 (4,457 days old) by foo123 ()        
Finished With This


Post# 544452 , Reply# 59   9/19/2011 at 03:48 (4,457 days old) by foo123 ()        
Am I right in assuming

That you installed a new tub base and spin tube - and a cleaned up agitator shaft?

If you refurbed the old parts could you go over the restoration techniques you used, and how you dealt eith the old seals and bearings? Thanks.

Tub Base:

Post# 544576 , Reply# 60   9/19/2011 at 16:16 (4,457 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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I decided not to replace the spin tube, or the tub support, simply cleaned it all up.  New drive block, of course, which fit VERY tightly on the spin tube.  Wire-brushed the centerpost, then treated it with a coat of POR-15 all the way up/onto the seal, but not past the seal onto the spin tube, and a few areas of minor rusting on rest of the support and pedestal base.  DD bearings seem to last longer than BD, and (as I understand) a replacement tub support includes bearings preinstalled so replacing the support (if it comes to that) is more reasonable than dealing with pulling/setting bearings.

I did the same treatment to the Kenmore 90 about a year ago.  Its centerpost had slightly more rusting than the Catalyst, and even some pitting.  Did two coats of POR-15 on its centerpost and one coat on rest of the tub support and pedestal base.

Some here have reported that POR-15 doesn't last as long as one may expect ... which it is considered a primer that should be top-coated.  Be interesting to see what's the condition of the Catalyst when it gets done with the first set of tenants ... or the condition of the Kenmore 90 after some use.

I have two more DDs to refurb (or three if my KA is included).  One is a FreeCycle freebie Kenmore 400 circa 2006 that has a bad tranny.  The other is a Roper RAX4232 circa 2002 that came from a deceased relative and was not used more than approx 1.5 years so should be in very good mechanical condition.

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