Thread Number: 52745
Broken Kenmore 1980 Series 80 washer almost free
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Post# 750522   4/16/2014 at 12:50 (2,138 days old) by sonicpurity ()        

The 14th. of April (2 days ago as i type) was the day the model 110.82081100 (white, non-suds) Kenmore Heavy Duty 80 washing machine purchased new by my grandparents in June 1980 ceased to function.

I’d been ignoring the belt squeal, figuring it was a loose belt which would soon break. Nope: transmission oil all over the floor, under the machine (see photo). As of today: ugly noises, cessation of agitator motion (some cycles at least; didn’t test) and intermittent transmission or pump seizures, which really get the belt cooking. I’ve repaired several washing machines in the past (including a total frame-up rebuild of a 1st. gen. Maytag Neptune washer), but with the transmission listed as NLA and various sources strongly recommending against a rebuild, i’m ready to call it done and experience owning my first front-loader.

Scrap value is somewhere in the $7.50 to $9 range around here. Anyone want to give this one a new home (maybe a new life) for $5? Looks like i can only post one photo here, so if you’re seriously interested and want to see them, ask me to email you the other photos i took (front view, agitator view, lid up).

I have all the original paperwork/literature from when it was purchased new (even the bullet-point sticker). The unit is complete: nothing missing. Worked great until this past Monday. The machine is located in Pasadena, California (where it has lived since new).

I’m listing it here on first, because i really appreciate the site and all you collectors out there keeping old machines (mostly much older than this) going. (This machine replaced a 1959 Lady Kenmore 80, which i still remember and which brought me to this site some number of months ago. *That* one i would have tried to fix.) If there’s no interest here within a few days, i’ll post it on my local Craigslist, and if still no interest there, i’ll take it to scrap (once i fix my van, almost as old as this washer).

I’d strongly prefer to have someone take the whole unit, but i’ll consider parting it out (i’ll want $ if there’s labor involved pulling the parts and/or shipping them) if there’s no interest and someone makes it worth my time vs. scrapping.

I’ll try to remember to check for messages here, but honestly, fastest response will be if you email me:
(yes, i just put my email address in a public forum. I’m a Spam KillahKillahKillahKillah!)


Post# 750529 , Reply# 1   4/16/2014 at 13:39 (2,138 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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More pics can be added by replying to your own post.  One pic per reply.

Post# 750552 , Reply# 2   4/16/2014 at 17:05 (2,138 days old) by sonicpurity ()        
Front view

Thanks, DADoES.

Post# 750553 , Reply# 3   4/16/2014 at 17:06 (2,138 days old) by sonicpurity ()        
Agitator view

Post# 750554 , Reply# 4   4/16/2014 at 17:07 (2,138 days old) by sonicpurity ()        
Lid up

Last picture.

Post# 750559 , Reply# 5   4/17/2014 at 03:11 (2,137 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

SAD- nice machine-hope you do get takers--it will need INTENSIVE care in the washer intensive care ward-blown transmission!Had this happen to me in a similar model I got from a swap shop-since the machine was under "their" warrantee-they replaced the WHOLE transmission with another one from a junked machine-worked for many years after that.Can't remember what happened to the machine later-think it had a blown pump.

Post# 750562 , Reply# 6   4/17/2014 at 03:21 (2,137 days old) by redcarpetdrew (Fairfield, CA)        
Ooohhhh, Gorrrdoonnn!

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Does it call to you? LOL!


Post# 750757 , Reply# 7   4/17/2014 at 18:53 (2,136 days old) by Kenmoreguy64 (Charlotte, NC)        
ohhhh Gordonnnn....

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Does it call to me, well, actually yes it does.

There were some very common models in the 1980 lineup, but this one was just a smidge higher than the bread and butter models, thus we don't see a huge number of these. Most common that year was the Penta-Swirl equipped 70-series models --- this is an 80. The automatic temp matching with override was a fairly uncommon innovation which started with the 1976 Lady K and only ventured into the more mid-range models in this year. It was in the 1983 models that this feature became commonplace. There was only one electromechanical timer model fancier than this machine in the 1980 line, plus of course the 1980 Electronic Lady.

The spoiled transmission is unfortunate, but not a death knell for someone who can do a rebuild. I have a 1983 version of this machine which did exactly the same thing, probably worse, in only 7 years. Seriously... The transmission, pump, and basket drive were literally covered black with dried oil/water film, and everything was locked up tight as a drum. The machine was completely not worth my efforts, but it got a new pump, re-built basket drive, a used motor, and a totally cleaned gearcase with new springs and upper seals, and of course new oil. I named the machine "Robo-Washer" because of all that work and parts transplants. The effort was a test, to see if a machine in a coma like this could be brought back, especially the old gearcase. I've done more than 1,000 loads of laundry in that machine.

What has happened with this machine is that the center seals between the agitator shaft and spin tube, and likely the seal between the spin tube and bearings have both gone bad. These allow water to creep up the centerpost, then find its way down the center and into/onto the basket drive and further down into the gearcase. If the gearcase seal is worn, water flows right in. It eventually mixes with the gearcase oil, and begins to rust the drive components, which turns the oil and water sludge a nice rusty brown/black color, similarly to when a vehicle engine blows a head gasket. Then the gearcase fills up, and the schmootz begins to ooze out. The spinning agitator shaft will then fling this stuff all over the machine, and on the floor. It can be a real mess.

This is why for many years I despised Whirlpool's short centerpost revision, which came into production in January 1978. The short post allows water to flow into the center much sooner in many cases than would have been in the earlier taller posts where the seals need to be completely gone before water can get all the way up those posts, and only when the machines are very full. It was my view that this shortened post caused the premature failure of many machines. On the good / flip side, these short posts almost never need bearings vs. the older posts where machines almost always need bearings. Pick your poison I suppose in that arena.

To pay a servicer to correct this, even if he/she was fully aware of how to do it, would cost many hundreds of dollars. The easiest thing to do would be to replace the gearcase, and re-seal the centerpost and spin-tube, which really doesn't take long, just a major tear-down of parts. If the bearings in the centerpost have been wet long enough that they have lost their lubrication and have started to wear excessively, they should be replaced as well, though sometimes this is the easiest way to get all the fouled oil and grease out from under the bearings, even if they aren't badly worn.

I probably would not hear this machine speaking to me if it were a run-of-the-mill 1980 70-series, but since its a fairly fancy model, I would love to do this work.


This post was last edited 04/17/2014 at 21:38
Post# 750803 , Reply# 8   4/17/2014 at 21:56 (2,136 days old) by ovrphil (N.Atlanta / Georgia )        
Like this one?

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I'm learning - even though it says so in the ad, how do you identify a 1980 Kenmore, 80 series? Is it the location of the dial , centered in panel?

Whatever happened to this - maybe a trip through the galaxie and back - meteor kisses all over it.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO ovrphil's LINK on Memphis Craigslist

Post# 750811 , Reply# 9   4/17/2014 at 22:19 (2,136 days old) by Kenmoreguy64 (Charlotte, NC)        

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Phil -

The details in the consoles in the black panel machines, 1976-1986, are what set one year apart from another but it would be tough to put all the details in one short list. BUT, one easy detail is the wording "ENERGY SAVER" over the water level and temperature selectors, which separates the 1979 and 1980 models from the 1976 - 1978 models. 1981-1986 produced machines got highly revised graphics and relocated level and temp knobs on the same basic structure console.

The machine in your suggestion above is a 1983 direct drive. The panel graphics are somewhat reversed in those models, but would be easier to point out in an up-close picture. This machine has stain remover rash (from overspray), which makes the panel paint peel or bubble off. I have improved a couple of these using a black paint pen, but they're hard to do justice to when that far gone.


Post# 750830 , Reply# 10   4/18/2014 at 01:34 (2,136 days old) by redcarpetdrew (Fairfield, CA)        
Shot panels...

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Back in the day, there used to be a company that made repro panel appliqués that looked dead on with the only missing thing being the actual Kenmore name. Ordered by model number, you peeled a backing off and VERY CAREFULLY stuck it onto the clean, damaged face. Saved a few consoles that way. The name of the company escapes me but they were cool. Lord help you if you stuck it on wrong, tho. One shot at it or it was ruined!


Post# 750894 , Reply# 11   4/18/2014 at 09:29 (2,136 days old) by ovrphil (N.Atlanta / Georgia )        

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Gordon - it gets alot more complicated than I imagined. Stain remover rash - what an appropriate and funny name....too bad the owners of this machine weren't more careful or cared(probably). Impressive that you can read anything from this panel. Energy Saver above the H2O/Temp F level indicator after 1978. The '81 '- '86 models shifted the main selector knob to the left (or right, I forget which), is what you were referring to, I think. ? I'm picking some of this up...and

I appreciate the's becoming a little more interesting for me, as I look at photos in magazines, or note the Ozzie and Harriet appliances(they still play these series here, on two different over-the-air stations).
I'm not a huge fan of the Kenmore panels, but your comments helps me when I look through Craigslist and the Greek writing is becoming a little more clearer. Just don't quiz me yet, LOL!

Thank you!

Drew - somewhere in a warehouse, I bet there are boxes of these appliqué panels that someone hoarded or saved. I say that because I once had the opporunity to help a buddy help his friend, who had a few floors of collectibles in a big warehouse in downtown Detroit, and buy whatever was being liquidated. There were alot of old car materials, accessories(mustang symbols from 1964 that attach to the side panels) and other production materials. Maybe...the same exists with washers and dryers - someone acquired and hoarded away panel appliqué 's and other goodies. Possible, but maybe not likely to ever find out where the stash is located.
But that was something that a serviceman, like you, would probably offer to keep the machine looking spiffy new, right?

Post# 750925 , Reply# 12   4/18/2014 at 11:23 (2,136 days old) by Kenmoreguy64 (Charlotte, NC)        
Hoarding panel appliques...

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Oh wow, that's much too funny, perhaps because I have some of these and was just about to share my pics when I read this.

The company that made this was called A-Line. Somehow they managed to make an overlay for every black panel model there was, which is about 70-some different models. I bought a few of these for my rebuilds back in the day, and Andy is right, you stuck it on once, and once only. I would always remove the end caps, thoroughly wash the facia, then cut only tiny amounts of the waxy backing out around the center knob area, lay that down, get it positioned, then pull off the rest of the backing.

I found these from an eBay seller whom I've gotten to know. When I last checked he had a couple more, but they were for uncommon models. These retailed for about $15 each I think? I thought I had a few more, but five isn't bad!

In the pics you can see what I meant earlier about relocating the knobs - not the center timer but the pheripherals --- in the later models the level and temp are further toward the end caps. Also, the later graphics style is basically a reversal of the first. From 1976-1980 the live cycles had gold bands in the timer sweep area. From 1981-1986 the gold bands highlighted the OFF areas and the timer sweep area was black. Font style on the lettering was different as well.


Post# 750926 , Reply# 13   4/18/2014 at 11:25 (2,136 days old) by Kenmoreguy64 (Charlotte, NC)        

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I have one black panel machine that is completely illegible on the front, naturally I don't have the proper applique for that model.

Sorry for the rushed pics, I am running off the gym before they close at 2pm today.

Post# 750948 , Reply# 14   4/18/2014 at 13:04 (2,136 days old) by ovrphil (N.Atlanta / Georgia )        

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That's too funny....and a kick to see. Thanks.

Post# 750971 , Reply# 15   4/18/2014 at 15:46 (2,136 days old) by redcarpetdrew (Fairfield, CA)        

redcarpetdrew's profile picture
That's awesome! There they are. I should have figured that the G Man would not only know what I was trying to remember but actually HAVE some. Aren't they great? A relatively inexpensive way to save a black face Kenmore and actually a bit more durable by nature than the original paint.

Thanks for helping me remember, Brother!


Post# 751024 , Reply# 16   4/18/2014 at 18:33 (2,135 days old) by mrb627 (Buford, GA)        
Maybe someday...

mrb627's profile picture
We'll be able to 3D print an entire replacement console...


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