Thread Number: 65014  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
A Kenmore from Kenmore (Ohio)
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Post# 876431   4/10/2016 at 17:10 (948 days old) by akronman (Akron/Cleveland Ohio)        

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Anyone familiar with Akron OH knows we have a neighborhood named Kenmore, where I bought a 1972 Avocado Kenmore washer, heavy duty, dispenser for detergent, bleach, softener, etc, a lighted console. Plugged in and running at the estate sale! Pic#3, I've never seen a Kenmore with that HUGE dial.

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Post# 876432 , Reply# 1   4/10/2016 at 17:11 (948 days old) by moparwash (Pittsburgh,PA -Next Wash-In...June 2019!)        
Great Find!

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Nothing like one close to home!

Post# 876434 , Reply# 2   4/10/2016 at 17:14 (948 days old) by akronman (Akron/Cleveland Ohio)        

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In photo 3, what's the solenoid valve for? This is not a suds model. IT is a self cleaning filter model, other than that very routine Kenmore for the time, so I don't know what the solenoid is for.
And note the flourescent light starter. IT runs when the machine s on, but I''ll likely rewire it to a switch where I can choose.

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Post# 876436 , Reply# 3   4/10/2016 at 17:19 (948 days old) by mrb627 (Buford, GA)        
#3 Solenoid = soap dispenser

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Post# 876437 , Reply# 4   4/10/2016 at 17:20 (948 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Solenoid assembly is presumably for the detergent dispenser.

Post# 876447 , Reply# 5   4/10/2016 at 18:00 (948 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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Same color and model of washer & matching dryer on the set of Knotts Landing in the Fairgate laundry room.

Post# 876449 , Reply# 6   4/10/2016 at 18:08 (948 days old) by akronman (Akron/Cleveland Ohio)        
That makes sense

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I never had the "flow through" type before, cool, thanks.

This has the lighted console and all the dispensers and COLD option and Soak options, but it's no Lady. How high up the line is it for 1972?

And when did the larger size tub come out, this one isn't.

Seems like with that huge, easy to read dial, and all the switches, it's darn flexible.

IT'll be in the garage a week or two, then I think it's a plug-n-play excellent machine.

Also, I pushed in the drain hose plastic piece to make it the skinniest possible to get out the basement door, but why the hose out near the top? (Pic 6, hole upper right, next to the name plate) All my other Whirplool and Kenmores(and I'm getting plenty of them lately) have the drain hose (and suds) coming out near the bottom. Hmmm??

Pic 4 and 5, look at that HUGE DIAL!!!!

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Post# 876451 , Reply# 7   4/10/2016 at 18:10 (948 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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this was fairly high up in the line given Vari-Flex and an "alphabet" washer!!.  Although I'd personally prefer one with all the features but not alphabet washing. 

Post# 876458 , Reply# 8   4/10/2016 at 18:33 (948 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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because of the hose and check valve configuration for a self-clean filter set up, those hose ports exited the top, manual filter machines usually exited out the bottom.....

when they changed to the self clean filter mounted to the outter tub, then the hose exited out the bottom as well...

before that change, you knew at first glance if it was self cleaning or a manual filter...

Post# 876459 , Reply# 9   4/10/2016 at 18:36 (948 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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note.....the self clean filter on this model has been prone to breaking open and leaking.....nice unit, trapped lint well, but operated by flexing the bottom to trap, or clean itself.....hence the weak spot....

the replacement is a flexible rubber unit, definitely more durable....

Post# 876460 , Reply# 10   4/10/2016 at 18:37 (948 days old) by gansky1 (Omaha, The Home of the TV Dinner!)        

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Beautiful - one of my favorite KM panels.  This had the best of the alphabet and properly marked dial for at least a little more flexibility.  

Post# 876465 , Reply# 11   4/10/2016 at 19:06 (948 days old) by Revvinkevin (So. Cal.)        
Self clean the filter is prone to breaking open & leaking...

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Yes, this is very true.  However in my experience, it doesn't just leak, it dumps the entire contents of the tub, very quickly!  This happened on a Kenmore that I had, was washing a load of whites, full tub of hot soapy & bleachy water, when the bottom of the filter busted out and the entire contents of the tub dumped all over the garage floor.   Fortunately this happened in my garage as opposed to the house.  


Otherwise, very nice machine congratulations!  Never knew they made that (timer display window type) design with a fluorescent control panel light, that is awesome!


Post# 876466 , Reply# 12   4/10/2016 at 19:07 (948 days old) by Kenmoreguy64 (Charlotte, NC)        
Very low use unit!

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I was going to answer a bunch of your questions, but Martin/Yogi beat me to the answer about the drain. It was only about a year or two later that the tub mount filters came out and the cabinet mounted ones were gone.

Your machine looks to be a very low use example. The pump is likely original (made of black plastic) and mixing valve looks to be as well, with the blue valve body. Higher use machines by now usually have the newer yellow valve, the replacement filter that Martin mentioned, and a newer tan bodied pump, or at least one or two of those things. Congrats on a cool find. Since you seem to be enjoying belt drives, I am glad this one has some different features that are new to you.

As to this machine's placement in the model line, for 1972 it was just below the Lady. There could have been a model or two leftover from 1970 or 1971 still in production, but there was no better model than this one in the new for 1972 other the LK .

The large capacity models wee already out when this was made, however they did not become mainstream until 1974 when most of the upper line was changed over.

Good luck with your machine!!!


Post# 876481 , Reply# 13   4/10/2016 at 21:08 (948 days old) by Kenmoreman ( Southern NH)        
Cone filter

Yogitumes is 100% correct when he states that the filter was prone to leakage. When they failed they flooded the cellar or kitchen. They were also prone to clogging so you would have a no pump situation. As a retired Sears Technician I can't tell you how much money Sears made replacing these on non warranty calls. Obviously there was a problem. The replacement filter didn't look at all like the old one. It was a major design change. This machine was a great featured washer that was pretty dependable in it's day.

Post# 876482 , Reply# 14   4/10/2016 at 21:15 (948 days old) by bajaespuma (Connecticut)        
Detergent dispenser flow

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Is that big solenoid in picture #3 that you guys are discussing, is that the "Side-Check Valve" that you all were talking about in my 1966 Lady?

Post# 876487 , Reply# 15   4/10/2016 at 23:08 (948 days old) by Kenmoreguy64 (Charlotte, NC)        

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No, the side check valve is mounted on the left side of the outer tub. The solenoid/valve in pic 3 is the valve that controls flow to the detergent dispenser.

The side check valve is easiest to access from the top of the machine. The inner basket must be removed.

Post# 876509 , Reply# 16   4/11/2016 at 05:23 (948 days old) by delaneymeegan (Mary Richards lived here)        

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If you're concerned about the filter, you could remove it and the side check valve, and replace that valve with a tub mounted filter, then replumb accordingly.

I used to do that, back in 'the day'.  Take a sudsaver model, remove the valve, the old filter, and the tub valve, then replace with just the tub filter.


convert a washer with a manual clean recirculating lint catcher to a self clean filter by changing to a 2 port pump, ditching the (usually filthy) lint filter, check valve, and replace with the tub filter and replumb. 


One of the benefits of the drain line being up high on a machine is it acts as a anti-siphon device. 

Post# 876524 , Reply# 17   4/11/2016 at 08:09 (948 days old) by bajaespuma (Connecticut)        

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Then what does the side check valve do and if my problem is that water is going through the detergent dispenser when it shouldn't be, why would I bother with the side check valve?

Post# 876570 , Reply# 18   4/11/2016 at 13:39 (947 days old) by Kenmoreman ( Southern NH)        
Detergent dispenser not completely shutting off

You should take the solenoid valve assembly down and inspect and lube it. Any small piece of debris holding it open can also cause it to keep water circulating thru the detergent dispenser. You can easily inspect it if you remove the whole assembly. It's worth looking at.

Post# 876931 , Reply# 19   4/13/2016 at 17:46 (945 days old) by bendixmark (Winchester Mass)        

I have that same washer in gold it is one of my favorite Kenmores.

Post# 876938 , Reply# 20   4/13/2016 at 18:15 (945 days old) by Streakers (Columbus OHIO!)        

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Mate, super nice find! Congrats!

Post# 967194 , Reply# 21   11/10/2017 at 17:46 (369 days old) by akronman (Akron/Cleveland Ohio)        
Wow that took a while

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5 machines waited up to 18 months in my garage, I finally finished some basement work and my godson helped me get 5 machines from out in the garage into the basement before the snow flies: 1970 Maytag A108S which should just plug right in, early 50's Kenmore Frogeye washer in entirely unknown condition, 1950 Westinghouse D-3 dryer in unknown condition, and an early 70's Kenmore gas dryer "SoftHeat" in good working order but used non-stop. WINTER PROJECTS GALORE!

First is this pretty darn good 1972 Kenmore washer, avocado with a Vari-Flex agitator. Quite a bit of features, flourescent light, softener and bleach and detergent dispensers, optional second rinse, soak and soak-to-wash buttons, all darn nice. It was installed and running when I got it in early 2016, so I did the same, ran maybe 3 loads, the belt looks brand new, it operated perfectly mechanically, but:

Boy did Kenmore have a hard-to-maintain softener and bleach dispenser set up, look at these pics! The solenoids both work, it will take days of soaking and scraping to get the crap out! I have two other similar dispensers in a 60 and 74 model, one works well, second one is pretty crappy, all have taken plenty of repairs and routine cleaning. And if the water level is a single drop high, the water gets right up into the cavities, poor design but fun.
The tub pic shows some of the ugly slop that dripped out of the darn thing.

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Post# 967195 , Reply# 22   11/10/2017 at 17:56 (369 days old) by akronman (Akron/Cleveland Ohio)        

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Hot damn the Vari-Flex REALLY DOES WHAT IT SAYS!!!!!! So instead of just 2 speeds, you can really vary the turbulence with 4 setting on those fins! Entirely cool for sure, I had to stop each load maybe 6 times to play and reset it and watch and then play some more(kid in a candy store). This is a year or two before extra-sized tubs, I imagine they also carried it over into them for some incredible performance. As much as I pick on Whirlpool for the dispensers above, the VariFlex is totally cool and worthwhile.

It turns out the tub has a SLIGHT leak near the softener dispenser hose, but it's too early to tell if it's the hose or the tub underneath that has the leak, Darn!

and the detergent dispenser gets a weak weak stream of water, I know other posts here say to check the solenoid/valve assembly, it's soon on the list. As much as I save suds and watch 3 machines running at once, it would be nice to have one of these old girls where every bell and whistle works perfectly. Once in a great while, it would be nice to put everything in and just walk away.

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Post# 967196 , Reply# 23   11/10/2017 at 18:02 (369 days old) by akronman (Akron/Cleveland Ohio)        
for the record

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For other repair guys interested:
Kenmore washer # 110.7204803
Serial C31804972.

The PDF's attached are directly from Sears Parts Direct, they still know this machine in their database.

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Post# 967197 , Reply# 24   11/10/2017 at 18:04 (369 days old) by akronman (Akron/Cleveland Ohio)        
more for the database

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electric schematics

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Post# 967332 , Reply# 25   11/11/2017 at 13:14 (368 days old) by akronman (Akron/Cleveland Ohio)        
Questions and ideas for the Kenmore/WP Pros

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Detergent dispenser---solenoid works perfectly, valve is pretty clean, stream of water is WEAK as hell. This is the ONLY flow coming out of the bottom chamber of the standard 4 port pump. After 40 years of barely letting water thru expect for 2 miunutes per load, could the bottom port be filled with crap and that's my issue? Also, if I just remove the solenoid and valve assembly, won't the detergent dispenser just get a flow at all times the machines agitates, the same way Kenmore did a variety of filters thru the years? I ain't seeing a down-side to that, the detergent dispenser will simply work all the time instead of only 2 minutes at the start. Today's pics have the solenoid valve assy removed.

And am I right, whether water flows to a lid mounted filter or thru a solenoid to a dispenser, this 4 port pump is exactly the same as 50's to 80's Kenmore 4 ports, all very interchangeable?
Also, no leaks from the conical filter, and drain flow is fast and sure, so I won't touch what doesn't leak, whether it's really still filtering or not.

Thanks for any help or advice, the huge majority of this machine works wonderfully, I just gotta cure a few bleeps.

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Post# 967344 , Reply# 26   11/11/2017 at 14:46 (368 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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Mark, I'm not sure what I'm about to relay will be of any help or type of condolence/commiserate.  Our next door neighbor who had the 33" LK gas Combo and was replaced with a 1964/early 1965 LK gas Combo--the latter had some difficulty getting the tubrobash filter stream properly working after about 2 years before they moved to San Antonio.  I remember being over there once or twice where the maid would stop the  washer after it had finished filling with water and start it up again.  I asked her why she was ding it and she said sometimes it had difficulty getting the water to flow fast enough for the filter stream to wash the clothes as well as dispense the detergent.  I'm not sure if it was the valve involved or crud and gotten in through the system.  But remember, this stream flowed through all wash and rinse periods.  I kihnd of remember this after we got our Kenmore 800 and the opening and flushing of the detergent dispenser reminded me of that LK Combo. 

Post# 967381 , Reply# 27   11/11/2017 at 17:39 (368 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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yes, that is a standard 4 port pump used for years.....

now, in answer to your question, of removing the solenoid, NO you cannot, as water will continue to flow through that dispenser, especially during spin, water will trickle over the load it is trying to extract....

what you can do for continuous flow, is to connect the detergent solenoid with a wire to the agitate wig-wag, then during all phases of agitation, the water will flow...

I would also pull the "J" tube off the bottom of the pump, and check all areas for lint build up, or something blocking one of the hoses......

most times the slow trickle comes from lint lodged in the dispenser itself, and most times you have to take a piece of wire, like from a wire clothes hanger, and slide it inside with a scooping action trying to clear it out.....

check the little hose for the fabric softener section as well.....that has a unique swirl action when operating.....

if you remove that whole dispenser assembly, be careful with that bleach hose...the port can snap off easily...never use a worm drive clamp as that will crush it....

this is a plugged up one.......

and one that is operating properly....

Post# 967447 , Reply# 28   11/12/2017 at 06:48 (368 days old) by Classiccaprice (Hampton, Virginia)        

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Post# 967462 , Reply# 29   11/12/2017 at 09:35 (368 days old) by kenmoreguy64 (Charlotte, NC)        

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This is really strangely ironic... The machine in the the video that Martin posted of the properly working detergent valve is mine, and it was just Friday evening that I was looking at misc Lady Kenmore posts and came across my thread about that machine and realized that I had never finished/updated it.

My machine had much the same weak flow through the dispenser. The problem turned out to be a weak solenoid, which was unable to hold the spring loaded valve fully open. Flow would be normal for a few moments, enough for me to know that there wasn't a blockage anywhere. The solenoid would open the valve properly, but then would quickly allow the valve to creep closed, to about halfway or 2/3 closed.

There is an extra hose in the triple dispenser used 1972 and later that can get very clogged with minerals, and this too can interfere with the operation of the dispenser, but in pre-72 machines with just the detergent reservoir, this should not be a problem.

I replaced the solenoid in mine and it has worked fine since, but if you can find one, you can replace the entire detergent valve assembly, which is quick and easy, though pricey. Part is 366672 from WP. Sadly it is NLA and hard to find currently, as I see none online and none on eBay.

Good luck Mark!!


Post# 967464 , Reply# 30   11/12/2017 at 09:44 (367 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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Will, avocado is about the only thing that is a match.  Otherwise it's a completely different series. 

Post# 967468 , Reply# 31   11/12/2017 at 10:18 (367 days old) by akronman (Akron/Cleveland Ohio)        
New pump

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Martin and Gordon-------Thank you both, but I found the problem!
I removed the pump and looked into the lower chamber port while turning the spindle. The impeller did not move, and rattles around when you shake the pump. The screw had completely rusted through, so no pumping action at all. I opened it up, nothing to lose if I can't reseal it, and sure enough the impeller fell right out.
Now to Ebay for a new 4 port WP pump, that will solve that issue entirely and I will re-install the clean and neat solenoid valve, but I probably will wire it per Martin's good idea anyhows, always flowing when the washer is in agitate mode.

As for the bleach/softener dispenser, everything about it works and is now finally clean after days of soaking/scraping 47 years of softener, YECCHH. I will "red or blue gasket/epoxy" all around the hose/tub port and cautiously re-install the hose on this thin plastic assembly. And from my 1960 WP that I entirely rebuilt the dospenser, I know that 3/4 cup of warm water poured down each port when you don't use softener or bleach helps keep them clean and (kinda) maintenance free.

I wish this machine was with an extra-capacity tub, but with all these dispensers fixed soon, and that amazing VariFlex agitator, I think I'll have plenty of fun anyhows. And I have to wire in a on/off light switch, I like my various lit consoles on all the time as night lights, etc.

Gordon and Martin-----It's good to hear from both of you, most appreciated.

Post# 967480 , Reply# 32   11/12/2017 at 12:15 (367 days old) by kenmoreguy64 (Charlotte, NC)        
Interesting Mark

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I noticed in your pictures that the pump is colored black. They were black in the early seventies, so most likely original. I guess it is entitled to fail after 44+ years.

In the more recent machines, the detergent valve is open or activated from the 14 until 8 or 6 minute mark of agitation. It is open full time during rinse for the softener side of the triple dispenser. I always liked it when the valve closed as it quiets down the machine.

I think your machine has the quiet pack belt? If so be sure to save the pulley from the old pump, you will need to reuse it. Pump part number 350367. Lots of them on eBay for under $20 w/ free shipping. Get the genuine FSP and not the LP114 (Gemline/Supco).


Post# 967487 , Reply# 33   11/12/2017 at 13:30 (367 days old) by classiccaprice (Hampton, Virginia)        

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I didn't see the full control panel, just the bits and pieces in the original thread. I was just looking at the basic styling. My mistake. Sorry!


Post# 967494 , Reply# 34   11/12/2017 at 15:12 (367 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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Will, please don't feel bad.  I knew you looking at the styling and for a stretch it could match.  When I saw your thread title, my heart skipped a beat, thinking, oh wow. 

Post# 967603 , Reply# 35   11/12/2017 at 21:39 (367 days old) by akronman (Akron/Cleveland Ohio)        
Hey Classic and Appnut

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I thought it was a match too. VEry far away, but believe me, if I had it, I would just decide in my head that it was the match.

And Gordon, I never throw away busted parts until the new one is installed. The belt looks very new, and looks skinny, which I believe denotes QuietPak like my 74. Most assuredly skinnier belts on the 72 and 74 compared to the 1959 and 1960 models I have.

I think I accidentally am getting the Supco/Gemline LP114. Hmm, well it's gonna go on the machine when it gets here. What's the disadvantage?
I think each WP/KM washer I have is on its second pump, I've always just bought whatever new, "lowest price+ shipping" that popped up on Ebay, and not yet a problem. Hmm....

Post# 969301 , Reply# 36   11/21/2017 at 19:45 (358 days old) by akronman (Akron/Cleveland Ohio)        
fixed, mostly

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I installed the new pump, but it took maybe 3 times thru the "solenoid open" part of the wash cycle before finally water flowed through the detergent dispenser, with tons of moldy gook coming out first, now it flows perfectly. Next time I'm under the machine, I'm taking Yogitunes idea of wiring it to the agitator wigwag, smarter than just those few minutes on 2 cycles.

I haven't re-installed the bleach/softener dispenser yet, the hose is so totally clogged with 40 yrs of crud, I gotta clean that out soon. So clogged that it won't leak without the assembly in place! Ugly.

A few observations: Just like my 1974 extra capacity Kenmore, the bottom of the softener/bleach dispenser is BELOW the tub water line, poor design.
I HATE how the flourescent light turns on and off maybe 3 or 4 times as you spin the dial to set the timer, exactly when you need light the most! I will rewire soon, and put an on/off switch on the back of the console.
The VariFlex is fun as hell, but also takes up lots more tub space than a regular agitator. But with numerous other machines to choose from, it's fun as hell. And 2 eyeballs for 1/2 minute tells you it really works, strong action when pushed to HI.

Gordon---maybe this regular tub VariFlex would also go on my 1974 extra-capacity tub? I think it would perform better there, while taking less space due to deeper tub. Or did the Variflex come in 2 sizes?

This machine is strong, the transmission and suspension are well built, it's got the beefed up tranny and the 3 braces that don't exist on my 1959 and 1960 WP/Kenmore's,. it's a beast. I enjoy the second rinse option. I use it very rarely, but I like that 2 machines have it.
The belt seems newer, the spin gets right up to speed fast, this is a darn fine 1972 example of a high-end Kenmore, still running strong.

I know the trick of pouring 3/4 cup of hot water into the bleach/softener dispenser when you aren't adding liquids, to keep it clean, I know it works decently even though the bottom is below the water level. The previous owner must not have practiced that trick.

So this is Kenmore #4 that's up and running-----1959 WP suds model 2 speed, 1960 WP pushbuttons galore, 1974 Kenmore extra capacity suds model, and this. Maybe enough Kenmore's for a while.

But I also have a 1950 or so Kenmore with no motor or timer, and a 1956 or so Frogeye with all parts, between the two I should be able to get one running this winter. That'll be 5 Kenmores.

Post# 969703 , Reply# 37   11/24/2017 at 18:02 (355 days old) by chetlaham (United States)        

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Nice! :)

Post# 980507 , Reply# 38   1/29/2018 at 20:40 (289 days old) by cuffs054 (MONTICELLO, GA)        

Interesting that turnover begins in less than one minute on both machines. My new 'save the planet' MT can't turn anything over not matter how long it pretends to wash.

Post# 980546 , Reply# 39   1/30/2018 at 05:25 (289 days old) by chetlaham (United States)        

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Second if not first best washer ever made in terms of clean ability, same for longevity.

FWIW I love the sound BDs. Its one of those sounds you could fall asleep to. No bangs or screeches. Woo-Woo is calming and I love the sound of these going into spin. Gentle yet powerful.

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