Thread Number: 37460
New Belt Drive WP/Kenmore & GE top load washers
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Post# 556996   11/16/2011 at 09:35 (4,407 days old) by mtn1584 (USA)        

Why did Whirlpool abandon their tried and true direct drive washers? I am assuming that GE followed suit because WP is the industry leader? Why go back to belt drives? Are they cheaper to produce? I don't understand.

Post# 556998 , Reply# 1   11/16/2011 at 09:42 (4,407 days old) by DirectDriveDave ()        

To my knowledge, GE washers were always belt driven, but GE wet to that hydrowave (new) system long before WP made any changes.

Post# 557010 , Reply# 2   11/16/2011 at 11:03 (4,407 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

dadoes's profile picture
One consideration is that the new belt-drive mechanism can be used for both non-HE agitator machines and HE impeller machines, whereas the direct-drive mechanism doesn't work for HE impeller models.

Post# 557011 , Reply# 3   11/16/2011 at 11:04 (4,407 days old) by mrb627 (Buford, GA)        
Load Sensing

mrb627's profile picture
I suppose it is easier to have the load sensing circuit in line with the drive with the belt system. Other than that, I haven't a clue why they would abandon it. Unless the belt drives are cheaper to make...


Post# 557034 , Reply# 4   11/16/2011 at 12:52 (4,407 days old) by Jsneaker ()        
Direct Drive Impeller Washers

Post# 557010, Reply# 2 11/16/2011 at 11:03 by DADoES

With reference to this post, I believe all of the Whirlpool-made impeller washers("wash-plates" as they are called)have a direct-drive mechanism that is made under license from Fisher & Paykel. If I am incorrect, someone please let me know. I do know I certainly would never buy any impeller washer.

Post# 557043 , Reply# 5   11/16/2011 at 13:26 (4,407 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

dadoes's profile picture
The new belt-drive VMW (vertical modular washer) mechanism is being used for impeller models now.  There are units in both designs currently available.

Impeller models currently on Whirlpool's web site (assuming the parts documentation is correct):
- F&P mechanism: WTW7990XG (the uber-expensive Vantage), WTW8800YC, WTW8800YW, WTW8600YW, WTW8240YW, WTW8200YW,
- VMW mechanism: WTW5700XL, WTW5700XW, WTW5600XW, WTW5500XW, WTW4950XW

Agitator models:
- VMW mechanism: WTW4850XQ, WTW4800XQ, LCE4332PQ (WorldWasher compact model)

There are no direct-drive/transmissions models currently shown under Whirlpool's label.  I didn't check Maytag's lineup in detail but it's likely very similar.

Post# 557252 , Reply# 6   11/17/2011 at 12:43 (4,406 days old) by brummybear (Birmingham uk)        
Teach me please.

brummybear's profile picture
Hi guys could you exsplain your meening of direct drive or belt drive, I know it sounds obvious but do you meen direct drive through a moter to a gear box or moter via a belt to a gear box. OR as my LG Direct drive the motor is part of the drum and no gearbox or anything or my hot point where the motore is connected to the drum via a belt.

Thanks guys. :)

Post# 557268 , Reply# 7   11/17/2011 at 13:30 (4,406 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

dadoes's profile picture
The Fisher & Paykel design is like your LG, has the agitator or wash impeller bolted directly to the motor shaft, no transmission or mechanical basket brake/slip-clutch.

Whirlpool's "classic" agitator direct-drive machine has a transmission, basket brake and clutch.  The motor connects to the tranny via a plastic/nylon coupler with a rubber bushing between the halves.  Direct-drive by way of not using a belt.

The VMW redesign goes back to a belt/pulley arrangement.

Post# 557277 , Reply# 8   11/17/2011 at 13:58 (4,406 days old) by brummybear (Birmingham uk)        
A thort

brummybear's profile picture
Thank you I understand. As a thort on the subject DD dose seem to be quite efficient and very quiet. But a belt drive I can see serving two purposes. 1 it turns the drum or agitator, 2 if a drum jamms or an agitator jams then the belt will slip and possibly come off thus saving a burned out motor.

Post# 557309 , Reply# 9   11/17/2011 at 15:07 (4,406 days old) by runematic (southcentral pa)        

runematic's profile picture

The new VMW washers are cheaper to produce.  There are less parts to stamp vs the direct drive washer platform.  In one of our service schools, we were told the old DD tooling at the factories was wore out.  The tranny tooling was shot, etc.  Instead of just reinvesting in the DD lines, they went with the "world washer."  Time will tell if it was the right move or not.  The new washers do not clank & clunk like the old DD washers, but the electric pump is much louder.  I have not really had many complaints yet.

Post# 557706 , Reply# 10   11/18/2011 at 23:33 (4,404 days old) by cfz2882 (Belle Fourche,SD)        
VMW motor

so is the VMW's motor inverter driven?-if it is,the VMW doesn't have near as big
of motor pulley to drive pulley ratio as my GE hydrowave does-hydrowave's motor
runs at around 10,000 rpm at full spin speed

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