Thread Number: 52852
1977 Kenmore 70 series washer problems...HELP!
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Post# 751760   4/21/2014 at 22:10 (2,579 days old) by hearron65 ()        

Hello all,
I'm a newbie to this site. I have a 1977 Kenmore 70 series
set in unshaded coffee. Bought the set last year off Craigs List for
$100.00. Dryer is electric and still going strong. The washer
has been very dependable. I however let my friend
wash a load one day; and she overloaded it.
After that, the washers function went downhill from there.
The spin cycle slowed down,
then it stopped pumping out the water.
I unhooked it, pulled it out, tilted the machine to
Check underneath. The belt seemed to be real loose
So I tightened it up slightly; leaving some play on it.
Unfortunately that did not fix it.

Can someone please tell me whats wrong?
I'd hate to have to replace the set, but I cant go
Much longer without a washing machine.
Also, is the Coffee Brown color machine sets hard to come by?
I have never seen this color; just shaded copper ones.


Post# 751765 , Reply# 1   4/21/2014 at 22:32 (2,579 days old) by stan (Napa CA)        
Hi Scotty

stan's profile picture
Hang in there someone will be along that knows that machine, it may be something simple. That model was relatively simple and reliable. Don't give up on it!
A I pic of it may help I.D it for someone to to tell you more.

Post# 751902 , Reply# 2   4/22/2014 at 11:10 (2,579 days old) by hearron65 ()        

Thanks for the nice encouraging words. I hope
It really is something simple.


Post# 751905 , Reply# 3   4/22/2014 at 11:47 (2,579 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        
start trouble shooting..............

yogitunes's profile picture
I would probably start by taking the belt off the pulleys to see if anything is binding, especially the pump.....

are there certain times its seems to drag and be slow?.....

how about during neutral?......

first of all, for a vintage treasured set, I wouldn't let anyone touch it!...lesson learned we one will appreciate or take care of it the way you would...

Post# 751917 , Reply# 4   4/22/2014 at 12:32 (2,579 days old) by RevvinKevin (Tinseltown - Shakey Town - La-La Land)        
Tighten the belt more

revvinkevin's profile picture



Hi Scotty,


You mentioned you tightened the belt some, try tightening it more.   As I remember it should be fairly tight, but not super tight.  


With the rear access panel removed, press the belt between the two pulleys with light - medium pressure(??).   The belt should deflect only about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch at the most.


I hope this helps!


Post# 751970 , Reply# 5   4/22/2014 at 17:28 (2,578 days old) by hearron65 ()        

Thanks for the nice encouraging words. I hope
It really is something simple.


Post# 751971 , Reply# 6   4/22/2014 at 17:35 (2,578 days old) by goatfarmer (South Bend, home of Champions)        

goatfarmer's profile picture

Coffee is an unusual color.

Post# 752028 , Reply# 7   4/22/2014 at 21:14 (2,578 days old) by kenmoreguy64 (Charlotte, NC)        

kenmoreguy64's profile picture
Are you or especially your friend missing some laundry, such as a sock or a pair of undies?

You say your friend overloaded the washer and its performance deteriorated from that point on, is that right? I can't think of anything than one or a few overloads would cause, unless the machine was VERY borderline anyway.

HOWEVER, a small item could get in between the basket and outer tub, especially during an overload. It would soon cause spin issues because there is not a lot of room between the wash basket and outer tub. As this item works its way gradually down to the tub outlet, it would interfere with drainage. Not all that long ago one of my Craigslist finds revealed a sock in the pump, which had been there for over 30 years. The machine sat in a garage unused because this sock had completely disabled the then very young machine.

Definitely the belt should be snug, NOT guitar-string tight however. What is the model number of your machine? I would like to look-up the filter configuration, etc.

Finally, Coffee is VERY RARE from this era. I have seen perhaps one coffee washer for sale since we've been posting Craigslist ads here. I rebuilt and sold a 1977 Kenmore 80 in Coffee back in the early 1990s. It was a beautiful machine. I have a 1976 Coffee dryer, but no matches have come up to get for it. I think once Almond arrived, most who would have purchased a color opted for that vs the Avocado and Coffee. A few buyers got the Gold color, but nothing like they did Almond.

Think about the missing laundry question, I have a hunch that's your best lead right now until we can learn more details.


Post# 752036 , Reply# 8   4/22/2014 at 21:58 (2,578 days old) by danemodsandy (The Bramford, Apt. 7-E)        

danemodsandy's profile picture
Gordon really knows what he's talking about when it comes to Kenmores. He knows stuff about vintage Kenmores that no one at Sears remembers any more.

So, I would really check the machine out for stray socks, undies, etc. And if that's not what's wrong, Gordon can probably help you with other possibilities.

Post# 752111 , Reply# 9   4/23/2014 at 10:26 (2,578 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Non Draining BD KM washer

combo52's profile picture
A sized water pump or one where the internal reversing flapper is somehow broken or a clogged Self-Cleaning lint filter are the most likely culprits when these washers don't drain properly. Also be sure the drain hose has not gotten kinked, also if the drain hose comes out of your machine near the top rear of the cabinet that it has not gotten kinked just inside the cabinet because the hose was twisted from one side to the other at the rear. To check if it got twisted or kinked inside raise the washer top and physically check if it is twisted or kinked in this area, the washer top is hinged at the rear and can be raised at the front with a sharp tug and upward lift.

While it is possible that a small item of clothing got out of the wash basket and is blocking the drain, this is very unlikely on these washers, in my 40 years as a service man I have only seen this a few times, but nothing would surprise me, LOL.

Post# 752126 , Reply# 10   4/23/2014 at 12:52 (2,578 days old) by hearron65 ()        

Thank you all for your suggestions and input. Just discovered
that with washer off, if you spin the tub manually
By hand it makes a gawdaweful squeeking sound.
The washing cycle works great.
Its the pumping out water that wont work.
It humms. When a spin cycle starts the
Tub does not move, and you can hear the machine
Whiring as if it were spinning.

I'll try to attach a pic of the set. Having some
Issues with picture taking lately.

Post# 752130 , Reply# 11   4/23/2014 at 13:22 (2,578 days old) by akronman (Akron/Cleveland Ohio)        

akronman's profile picture
I'd be checking the wig-wag and cam bars for proper operation. Use the "Searchilator" here, look up wig-wag

Post# 752131 , Reply# 12   4/23/2014 at 13:27 (2,578 days old) by akronman (Akron/Cleveland Ohio)        

akronman's profile picture
in the film in this linked thread, the wig-wag kicks into drain at about 2 minutes, 25 seconds


Post# 752751 , Reply# 13   4/25/2014 at 21:16 (2,575 days old) by 76speedqueen (Orleans County Ny)        
These are beautiful !

76speedqueen's profile picture
I really hope you find a way to save this washer and keep the set together ! Don't give up, I was recently in the same boat with my vintage avocado Frigidaire set when the dryer stopped heating. I put it aside and got something else used and inexpensive til I got it fixed. So glad I did that and did not dispose of my dryer. Sometimes it takes a while to get a vintage appliance repaired but it is sooo worth it if you love them. If anyone can help you figure it out, it will be someone from this website. There are some very knowledgeable folks on here.....

Post# 752764 , Reply# 14   4/25/2014 at 21:30 (2,575 days old) by ovrphil (N.Atlanta / Georgia )        

ovrphil's profile picture
I've never seen this color, either - at first, I thought someone painted them.

You sound like you have the patience, this site has the encouragement and knowledge....good luck !

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