Thread Number: 74272  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
Another GE find
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Post# 980634   1/30/2018 at 19:00 (259 days old) by jons1077 (Portland, OR)        

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Random find on Craigslist Portland the other day. Apparently the home was a bit of a time capsule from 1968 so these machines stayed inside the same laundry room since purchased new. They are quite clean and functional. Unfortunately no mini basket or fabrics softener dispenser. Looks like someone decided to be creative with the agitator as well. Iím particularly excited about a specific feature to these machines having to do with the panels. I love Versatronic dryers too. I will get the model numbers of these and post in a couple days. I assume these to be a step down from the three speed set. Original
tranny. Rust free and no apparent leaks. I look forward to your comments!

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Post# 980635 , Reply# 1   1/30/2018 at 19:05 (259 days old) by Stricklybojack (San Diego, CA)        

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I think GE washer & dryer styling was best during this era.
Those are smart looking machines! Congrats.

Post# 980636 , Reply# 2   1/30/2018 at 19:08 (259 days old) by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

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Same Washer as my Grams.

Love that set and great memories.

Post# 980642 , Reply# 3   1/30/2018 at 19:52 (259 days old) by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        

Great catch! Give me a call when you get a chance.

Post# 980646 , Reply# 4   1/30/2018 at 20:15 (259 days old) by Washerlover (Lake County, California: Wines With Altitude)        

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Excellent find! And love the avocado green!

Post# 980648 , Reply# 5   1/30/2018 at 20:53 (259 days old) by bajaespuma (Connecticut)        

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1969 was a good year.


Is it the photo or are those dials really backlit?


This was the last year for the V-12 style bent-rod lid hinges. BTW, what happened to that Activator? No loss, replace it with the spiral ramped version for better rollover.

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Post# 980649 , Reply# 6   1/30/2018 at 20:56 (259 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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Wow!  Nice to see there are still some goodies out there... LOL   Can't wait to see more!


Post# 980650 , Reply# 7   1/30/2018 at 21:04 (259 days old) by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

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Super cool Jon! Love the avocado, I was going to guess 1970 at first glance, but '69 sounds right. Something looks odd with the activator or is it me?

Post# 980658 , Reply# 8   1/30/2018 at 22:32 (259 days old) by whirlykenmore78 (Prior Lake MN (GMT-0700 CDT.))        
I think you're right Robert

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The vertical fins on the Activator appear to be broke off about 1/2 way up at an angle. I can only think of a severely overloaded Mini-Basket that would put that kind of strain on the agitator to break the fins.

Post# 980661 , Reply# 9   1/30/2018 at 22:49 (259 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

Great find, Jon! Classic GE styling and cycle dial. Excellent flexibility with the temp and speed controls.

Would hate to have the sharp edges on those broken or altered agitator fins tearing through a load at full speed.

Post# 980667 , Reply# 10   1/30/2018 at 23:23 (259 days old) by Washlogic (virginia)        
The pointy tips on the agitator

Wont that snag knitted garments???

Post# 980668 , Reply# 11   1/30/2018 at 23:25 (259 days old) by Washlogic (virginia)        
Looks like it would would snag

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Post# 980670 , Reply# 12   1/31/2018 at 00:25 (259 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

The tops of the agitator vanes shown look kinda sharp-I would take my file and sandpaper and round,smooth them down!

Post# 980695 , Reply# 13   1/31/2018 at 08:01 (258 days old) by gansky1 (Omaha, The Home of the TV Dinner!)        

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Great find, Jon.   Very handsome panel, the backlit dial is so cool.   Please do a video of that pruned Activator, I'll bet it's interesting to see.

Post# 980697 , Reply# 14   1/31/2018 at 08:20 (258 days old) by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, Iowa)        

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The back-lit dials are a nice treat! Congrats on the find!

Post# 980704 , Reply# 15   1/31/2018 at 08:49 (258 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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what a beautiful set.....great save

I would have thought somewhere in the 70's, until I seen the lid hinges and the capacity....

fantastic that you can match any wash/spin speed and water temp combinations to a cycle for customization...

Post# 980707 , Reply# 16   1/31/2018 at 09:02 (258 days old) by chetlaham (United States)        

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I don't blame them on the agi- those things are rough. I prefer a ramp- gentlest in my experience.

Post# 980709 , Reply# 17   1/31/2018 at 09:48 (258 days old) by jons1077 (Portland, OR)        

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Thanks for the feedback! I have a Bakelite ramp activator that will replace theĒcustomĒ agitator that was included. The dials indeed do light up which is something I had completely forgotten about. Versatility and durability are some of my favorite traits with these GEs. Hard to believe I picked up my 68í pair 10 years ago and theyíre still going strong. Feels good to find another good set after years of nothing.

Post# 980711 , Reply# 18   1/31/2018 at 09:59 (258 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

I believe that agitator is supposed to look more like this:

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Post# 980712 , Reply# 19   1/31/2018 at 10:04 (258 days old) by jons1077 (Portland, OR)        

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Should look like this

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Post# 980729 , Reply# 20   1/31/2018 at 11:41 (258 days old) by bajaespuma (Connecticut)        

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So it looks like back-lit dials were a feature of 1968 and the 1969 model lines. TTBOMK, they discontinued them in 1970.


Don't throw away that maimed Activator.  I once sawed off the vertical fins on the Straight-4 Activator (and then sanded the cuts, of course) and ended up with my own home-made accessory "delicates" activator. And it still held a mini-basket. As long as the damage is already done, have some fun. I used a coping saw to do it. That plastic is very strong.

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Post# 980736 , Reply# 21   1/31/2018 at 12:34 (258 days old) by Jetcone (Schenectady-Home of Calrods,Monitor Tops,Toroid Transformers)        
Those are a nice find Jon

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Lots of options with lighted dials!! I hate struggling in the dark with cycle selection

Boy has my tub cleaned up in the last several years take a comparasion between Frigiluxís post and today.

PS jon Iím glad to see your workshop organization resembles mine !!!


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This post was last edited 01/31/2018 at 18:58
Post# 980799 , Reply# 22   1/31/2018 at 22:20 (258 days old) by hippiedoll (tucson, arizona u.s.a.)        

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CONGRATULATIONS on a very cool looking set!

I love the;
Lit cycle selector knobs
The color
The versatile speed selections
The variable temperature selections
And the year!

Doing the HAPPY DANCE for you on this side of the computer

Post# 980911 , Reply# 23   2/1/2018 at 21:36 (257 days old) by jons1077 (Portland, OR)        

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Hooked up the washer and it fires right up as any old GE would. This of course was after popping the top and disabling the lid switch...a must! Outer tub is rusted in the typical places around the gasket. Gasket is original and petrified so will be working on replacing that and sealing/treating rusted areas. Basket looks great with no rusty holes in the balance ring. Inlet valve is sluggish and leaking so will replace. Original transmission is so quiet and smooth. Tub indexes a bit but not enough for me to care as Iíd like to keep the old tranny. Slow speed did not engage initially and then after a few runs it would only briefly so may need to replace the solenoid. Controls all seem to be functional.

I get the impression these machines sat unused for a long time so they may need a little usage to bring them back to life. The lighted dials are pretty cool. Btw, noticed the ďlowĒ water level on this machine is way lower than my Ď68. All water levels are spot on though. Something must have changed in their manufacturing to allow more water level flexibility?

So lots to do but I enjoy working on these so itíll be fun having it all fixed up! Tomorrow I will check out the dryer.

Model and serial:
1WA 750 L2 A Ser. RD140201
1DE 720 E2 A Ser. SD208956

Post# 980915 , Reply# 24   2/1/2018 at 21:56 (257 days old) by bajaespuma (Connecticut)        

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A couple of suggestions:


  1. I've fixed a lot of inlet solenoids by taking them apart and cleaning the cylinders and pistons with a detergent, then some descaler and then a little WD-40 or Teflon Bike spray. Not hard if you are patient and good at keeping track of small parts.
  2. GE washbaskets do index a tiny bit during agitation.
  3. I've used BONDO on GE outer tubs with success. The tub gaskets do show up periodically on eBay.

Your washer is, according to the rating plate, a 1970 model. There were a few 1969 models that made it into the 1970 line, but they were oddballs. Yours is and exceptionally full-featured oddball. The model pictured below is another 1969 holdover very similar to yours.

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Post# 980945 , Reply# 25   2/2/2018 at 07:41 (256 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Great Find Jon

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These are differently about the best era of GE laundry appliances [ and my favorite as well ] I just wish that I could find a GE Versatronic washer from this time period, I would love to try getting the variable speed clutch to operate properly [ I have a spare clutch assembly that I took out of one about 30 years ago ]


It would be interesting to know what happened to or was done  deliberately to that agitator, in any event I would keep it as Ken suggested and maybe modify it further.  I have always observed that the straight vane agitator like this turns over a big load better than the swirly vane agitators, the swirly vane are more fun to watch with smaller loads.


If you are going to try to rebuild the old inlet valve don't waste your time unless you have new rubber valve diaphragms, but overall unless you like to play with floods and machines that don't work properly put in a NEW valve while we can still get them.


John L.

Post# 980947 , Reply# 26   2/2/2018 at 07:56 (256 days old) by jons1077 (Portland, OR)        

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Interesting information. 1970 must have been one of those transitional years for the GE line-up. I always assumed that appliance manufacturing was similar to that of automobiles in that they would release the next yearís models during the previous year by several months or so. Throw in a few styling changes and use up remaining stock from older model years.

And thanks for the heads up on Bondo. I canít remember what I used to repair the horrific outer tub of the Dispensall but I patched it up and had to cut new holes for recirculating and drain hoses using the fiberglass sheets and bonding. POR-15 was coated over the rest of the areas to seal. Worked like a charm and doesnít leak a drop.

Post# 980948 , Reply# 27   2/2/2018 at 08:05 (256 days old) by jons1077 (Portland, OR)        

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Thank you! I picked up a late 80ís FF over the summer to break down for parts so Iím just going to change out the inlet valves with the newer one. I had to do that on the 68í as well as that one had developed a hairline crack. Probably swap the speed solenoid as well. My biggest fear is not breaking the tub bolts. Iíll probably apply heat first and hope that breaks any bonding. Iíd hate to have to search for yet another impossible to find transmission.

Next time Iím in Maryland I want to see that variable speed clutch. These clutches are so interesting to me. They even sound different. The three speed is a bit noisier than this 2-speed and has a very characteristic sound to it. This oddball washer is incredibly quiet. I mean really quiet.

Post# 981420 , Reply# 28   2/5/2018 at 18:52 (253 days old) by jons1077 (Portland, OR)        
I found an agitamer!

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Not really but I did find the perfect alternative. I can finally say thereís a benefit my job provided me that enhanced my appliance collection...pressure bags! Septic and need a fluid bolus or simply canít get that pesky agitater out of your old washer? Pressure bags to the rescue! Easily fits under the agitator skirt. A few pumps of air and ďpop!Ē It was that easy!

Also happened to find this beautiful Bakelite ramp agitater so we will be set!

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Post# 981424 , Reply# 29   2/5/2018 at 19:34 (253 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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Jon!! I thought I'd already posted a reply that first night you posted.  I apologize.  An amazing set.  I'm so happy you found another great set worthy of you.  Now very special sets you possess.  I look forward to your progress with these. 

Post# 981430 , Reply# 30   2/5/2018 at 20:09 (253 days old) by jons1077 (Portland, OR)        

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Good to hear from you! I was just thinking about how I hadnít seen any truly vintage washer/dryer sets in years but I admittedly havenít been looking lately. Itís not like I needed another avocado green set of GEs but Iím excited about the quirky little differences in these. Iíll be sure to post some
ďBob loadsĒ in your honor once theyíre all ready to go!

Post# 982065 , Reply# 31   2/9/2018 at 17:55 (249 days old) by jons1077 (Portland, OR)        

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Finally got to dive in to this machine a little today. Wash tub looks great and rust free but as for the outer tub...yikes! The rim has completed corroded through in a few places and will need to be reconstructed. Transmission boot was well sealed and appears to be ok with no major corrosion. Iíll get to work on this tub rust issue and POR-15 most of it so I donít have this issue again. Then Iíll be checking out the speed solenoid. Unfortunately, the speed solenoid on my parts machine was broken. Apparently someone was switching speeds while the machine was running at some point. Oh well!

More to come!

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Post# 982070 , Reply# 32   2/9/2018 at 18:20 (249 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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You definitely have your work cut out for you!!  I know you'll make it outstanding!!!

Post# 982139 , Reply# 33   2/10/2018 at 08:47 (248 days old) by wft2800 (Leatherhead, Surrey)        

I wonder whether it wouldn't be easier/cheaper to get a replacement tub, either a NOS part (if available) or a better one from a donor parts machine...

Post# 982145 , Reply# 34   2/10/2018 at 10:19 (248 days old) by jons1077 (Portland, OR)        
Outer tub swap

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I am considering swapping outer tubs with the one donor machine I have. Problem is one really isnít much better than the other. I also want to keep the original fill flume instead of switching it to be more downward flumes in be newer models. Iíve patched horrible outer tubs with good success before so Iím going to try in this one. The tricky part will be getting a good clean edge on the rim so the gasket seats correctly. I should be able to accomplish that with sand paper. Fiberglass material worked great before.

Post# 982227 , Reply# 35   2/10/2018 at 23:32 (248 days old) by jons1077 (Portland, OR)        

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Two patches are setting and one more to go. Outer tub and top got a good scrubbing and brushing. Besides the outer rim things donít look too bad. Finish patching tonight, sand and smooth the areas and then on to POR-15 treatment.

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Post# 982245 , Reply# 36   2/11/2018 at 02:01 (248 days old) by jons1077 (Portland, OR)        
Cleaning up

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Lid, gasket and parts all scrubbed and clean.

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Post# 982248 , Reply# 37   2/11/2018 at 02:46 (247 days old) by toploadloyalist (San Luis Obispo, CA)        
"LID UP PREVENTS SPIN ACTION", but not agitation act

I had neighbors who had a GE washer from that c.1969 era. I remember that it continued agitating with the lid open, as told in the upper left part of the lid instructions. What year did GE washers first stop agitating with the lid open?

Post# 982389 , Reply# 38   2/11/2018 at 20:12 (247 days old) by jons1077 (Portland, OR)        

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Iím certainly no expert but I assume around 1970 when the lid hinges switched from recessed to rear mount and the lid switch was no longer hidden but rather made a punch hole in the lid is when they must have made it completely disable the machine.

Btw bondo ainít working. Apparently itís too cold and that is entirely frustrating.

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