Thread Number: 76666  /  Tag: Vintage Dryers
It never ends... now it's the '59 Frigidaire dryer
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Post# 1005215   8/28/2018 at 14:15 (269 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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Ever since I got the 59 turquoise Frigidaire set from Greg back in 2015, the dryer has been in almost-continous service and quickly became my 'go-to' dryer in the Ogden Laundry. 

Unfortunately, about a week ago, I tried to dry a load of clothes in it and instead of tumbling normally, the dryer drum made a scraping or dragging sound while trying to turn.  The motor overload tripped fairly shortly thereafter...  

On the weekend, even with all the Filter-Flo excitement, I managed to pull the dryer out to investigate.  Belts and pulleys looked ok from the back and when I slipped the drum drive belt off, the motor and blower seemed run fine. 


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Post# 1005218 , Reply# 1   8/28/2018 at 14:17 (269 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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I managed to get the top off (I made sure to mark, photograph, and notarize all the wiring I had to disconnect to do that...) and pull the drum out.  


Now, where could all of that fine white lint at the rear of drum have come from? 

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Post# 1005221 , Reply# 2   8/28/2018 at 14:21 (269 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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I think this is culprit.... That drive plate was kinda 'wobbly' when I tried to spin it by hand, so I'm going to guess that the bearing has worn out.  Sheesh, it gave out after only 59 years of service.  I'm going to write those Frigidaire people in Dayton for sure... LOL

Now the search for a replacement begins.  I am pretty sure that Phil has one from a newer model, but I don't have the part numbers to be sure.  Would there be any issue with substituting a newer drive plate and bearing on the 1959 Imperial?   

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Post# 1005224 , Reply# 3   8/28/2018 at 14:52 (269 days old) by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, Iowa)        

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The bearing on the Filtrators is a common-sized bearing. If you pull the bearing and check the numbers online you might get lucky and can find a cross reference out there.


Post# 1005246 , Reply# 4   8/28/2018 at 16:11 (269 days old) by christfr (st louis mo)        

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hang in there I had one do that years ago same thing kind of a bitch I must say

Post# 1023750 , Reply# 5   2/6/2019 at 10:21 by sfh074 ( )        
Here is a pic ......

of the toasted bearing in question. Looks like it has seen better days. Dried out and galling set in.

Anyone have one of these in better condition?

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Post# 1023758 , Reply# 6   2/6/2019 at 11:24 by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
You have as bad a luck

with dryers as I do with stoves,,lol

Post# 1023760 , Reply# 7   2/6/2019 at 11:36 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
1959 FD Vented Dryer

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Hi paul, I don't think I have the parts you need for this one, a machinist could easily rebuild that shaft and rear bearing.


FD vented dryers in the 50s had lots of problems [ good thing they didn't try making a gas one, LOL ] even by the mid 70s I could count on one hand the number I ever saw still in use in customers homes.


They suffered from heater problems, bad wiring, loose blowers, bad motor bearings and front and rear drum bearing wear problems, when you get it rebuilt I would not use this one much.


John L.

Post# 1023767 , Reply# 8   2/6/2019 at 13:09 by Pierreandreply4 (St-Bruno de montarville (province of quebec) canada)        
did you check the in dryer fusebox

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Paul did you check the inside dryer fusebox to see if the dryer drum turns or do it light up but drum not turning and controls are on?

Post# 1029978 , Reply# 9   4/15/2019 at 19:13 by steved (Guilderland, New York)        
part number

Part number 5436520 "Drum Shaft Bearing" is used on all 1952-61 vented dryers and some early production 1962 vented models. Does that help the search?

Post# 1029994 , Reply# 10   4/15/2019 at 21:06 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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Yes, that's the part number I've been digging for. I found a later reference to a part number 530 5436250; it also shows up as NLA. But I keep on searchin'...

Post# 1031961 , Reply# 11   5/6/2019 at 15:33 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        
At last.... an update!

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I've been quietly stewing about the '59 Frigdaire dryer being out of service, alternately doing mad searches for a new bearing and alternately straining my poor addled brain trying to figure out what might be a viable substitute....

The notion of getting a machine shop to look at the bearing came up, but alas, I had been unable to find a local one or a machinist who didn't look at me as if I'd just stepped off a spaceship when I asked if they could remake a bearing. After the kind offer of a fellow member, Bud, in Atlanta, I decided I had nothing to lose by sending the bearing to him as he had found a potential machine shop who might be willing to help.

Well, here's where it gets interesting: as I was crossing the Vermont/Quebec border on Saturday morning to send the bearing, one of the border security agents said to me, and I quote: "Atlanta? Hell, go see Pat Boisvert in Beebe Line. He's been doing metalwork for years; this'll be a piece of cake for him!"

So, I went to see M. Boisvert (just an aside - his shop is on a street that literally runs along the Canada/US border. His address was on the Beebe Line, VT side. It was interesting...) Anyway, he cleaned up the bearing and shaft and came to the conclusion that the bearing was made of a porous material and could be re-oiled. His recommended procedure was to heat up a quantity of 20-weight motor to the 'ouch' point (his instructions were to heat the oil up until when you tried to put a finger in it, you'd go 'Ouch'). He said to then drop in the bearing; if it bubbled, it meant it was dry. Well lookee what happened...

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Post# 1031962 , Reply# 12   5/6/2019 at 15:35 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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M. Boisvert said to keep the bearing 'cooking' until no more air bubbles were present. I did. This took about an hour and fifteen minutes on LO on the GE Wonder Kitchen cooktop. The house reeked but it was worth it! The bearing turned smoothly again!

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Post# 1031963 , Reply# 13   5/6/2019 at 15:39 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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I was very pleased and naturally, I reassembled the dryer drum. I could turn it smoothly again!!


Yeah, turquoisedude strikes again. I managed to lose a woodruff key that went into the dryer drum shaft to hold the pulley in place, so I couldn't fully reassemble the dryer and test it. My first challenge for this week will be to find a replacement woodruff key.

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Post# 1031964 , Reply# 14   5/6/2019 at 15:49 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        
HOWEVER... part II

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As I had the back of the dryer off and bright daylight was streaming into the garage, I noticed something not so good on the motor switch connector block.

Look at that spade terminal and wire, as well as the board around the terminal itself. That looks like evidence of an overheating connection to me... Knowing how well I've done with vintage dryer work in the past year, I'm proud of myself for spotting this!

The terminal itself is loose, I can wiggle it around, unlike the other terminals on the connector block. Natch, this wire goes right to the heater so I am figuring that there is some kind of a centrifugal switch that activates the heater only if the motor is running. How to fix the problem is now intriguing me...

My first thought was pull the motor (I wasn't sure if I could just remove that switch block) and figure out how to tighten the connector post. But then I had another thought... Maybe this is a good opportunity to use a relay to control the heater instead of a motor switch.

One way or another, I want to correct this to avoid any unpleasant surprises (do feel free to remind me of the lousy connections I did on the '53 Westinghouse dryer and how well THAT worked out...LOL).

If I do go with a relay, what should I be looking for in terms of the relay itself? Should I be thinking of wiring it in such a way that the relay was powered when the motor was running, as the centrifugal switch does? All advice and opinions are welcome!

While I mull this over, I think I may still begin disassembly of the '57 GE dryer which I also believe is suffering from a motor switch issue. It's gonna be a fun summer!!

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Post# 1031965 , Reply# 15   5/6/2019 at 15:50 by LowEfficiency (Iowa)        

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>> when you get it rebuilt I would not use this one much.

What's the fun in that?

Post# 1031966 , Reply# 16   5/6/2019 at 15:51 by sfh074 ( )        
Ace Hardware ......

always has a nice assortment of woodruff keys in the hardware section.

Post# 1032001 , Reply# 17   5/7/2019 at 07:22 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        
May have found a suitable relay

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Yes, I am fishing for suggestions and recommendations here...

I did a little bit of head-scratching and searching and I think (you all know that process is flawed, too.. LOL) I may have found a relay that would work for the heater on the Frigidaire dryer.

My thoughts were that I'd need a 240v DPDT relay that could handle 40 amps. This is a damn good match that I found at Acklands-Grainger Canada.

Will this work or I am setting myself up for yet another failure??

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Post# 1032031 , Reply# 18   5/7/2019 at 15:20 by pulltostart (Mobile, AL)        

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Why don't you run this one past the border security guard?  You never know.....





Post# 1032032 , Reply# 19   5/7/2019 at 15:26 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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Lawrence, I think I will. He may be a vintage appliance fan now, after all the crossings I've done with vintage machines and parts... LOL

Post# 1032035 , Reply# 20   5/7/2019 at 15:59 by LowEfficiency (Iowa)        

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I very well could be wrong, and someone please correct me if I am.
But without seeing a schematic, Paul, I think you might be envisioning an elaborate band-aid that wouldn't actually solve your root problem.

So we have a motor, with a centrifugal switch, which enables the heating element only when the motor is running.
We have evidence of that switch being mechanically faulty - the terminal is loose.
The scorch marks and overheating also show that that switch is not in good health electrically.

Now, a secondary relay would offload the bulk of the heating element current... but you still need a way to trigger that relay to close. As we know, for safety, it must only close when the motor is actually running. (Not energized by the timer with *intent* to run, but ACTUALLY physically turning.). The source for this signal, of course, is a centrifugal switch on the motor.

See the problem? The very switch which would tell your new relay to turn on, is the switch you have shown is suspect.

You don't want to energize the relay from the timer's motor output, as a fault such as a seized motor would allow the dangerous condition of the heating element running without the motor turning. Likewise, you don't want to trust the relay control to the failing centrifugal switch, as who knows how it is failing mechanically, or what fault condition could cause it to close (or stay closed) when not expected.

I think you have no choice but to repair that original switch on your motor!

Post# 1032046 , Reply# 21   5/7/2019 at 17:43 by Combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Using a relay to bypass bad motor switch contacts

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The main purpose of having the heater current go through the centrifugal switch of the motor is to turn the heating elements off when you open the door of the dryer. The door switch of the dryer opens the circuit to the motor and the motor quickly turns off the heating elements.


It would be acceptible  to just have 120 V relay wired in parallel with the motor and having the heater current go through the relay contacts to bypass the motor switch.


In the event that the motor fails to run the heating element gets turned on the safety Thermostat, It should will keep the heater from overheating in a disastrous manner. Bear in mind that older dryers like this are not terribly safe anyway, and if you want to add an additional safety thermostat or thermal fuse even that’s not a ridiculous idea but if you don’t tend to leave your dryer running when you leave the house and I certainly wouldn’t leave a 57 Frigidaire dryer running when I’m not around you should be OK with the relay as you planned.



This post was last edited 05/07/2019 at 18:31
Post# 1032059 , Reply# 22   5/7/2019 at 19:41 by marty (Central Point, Oregon)        
New bearing

Paul, I have an NOS bearing for the dryer if the oil soaking doesnít work.

Let me know


Post# 1032474 , Reply# 23   5/12/2019 at 15:15 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        
This week's progress...

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And I use the term loosely... LOL 


I managed to extract the motor from the dryer easily enough. However, when I inspected the switch assembly, I saw nothing glaringly obvious as to the source of the bad connection. 

Conclusion: the contacts inside the switch must be bad.  That being the case, it looks like I will either need to find a replacement switch or a new motor.

I am going to try my luck with the local motor shop in Magog later this week.


BTW, it's a Delco motor - I don't believe it's the original one, though.

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Post# 1032475 , Reply# 24   5/12/2019 at 17:50 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        

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It is a 1970 replacement motor, The white jumpers on the switch are there so the motor can be wired to run either direction.


I would just use a relay and not use the heater contacts on the motor switch.



Post# 1032492 , Reply# 25   5/12/2019 at 22:47 by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
Off subject BUT

I liked the setup Kenmore dryers from the 50s had They had a fly weight governor that controlled the heaters if the motor didn't get up to speed the heater didn't heat.

Post# 1032499 , Reply# 26   5/13/2019 at 00:26 by Maytag85 (Sean A806)        

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Norgeway, you are correct about how the WP/KM dryers of the 50ís had some sort of air flow switch, and it wouldnít allow the heating element or burner to come on until the drum and blower/fan were up to speed, or if the belts broke or some how came off the pulleys. I am surprised Maytag didnít have a air flow switch on their HOH dryers, and someone created a thread awhile back called Iím a royal idiot, and they apparently dried shoes in their 1959 Maytag Gas HOH dryer. What happened was the belts came off of the pulleys, and they noticed a burning lint smell since the burner was going with no air being pulled through it, and they quickly stopped to see what happened, and they discovered what happened. I canít seem to find the thread anywhere, but itís somewhere in the archives.

Post# 1032510 , Reply# 27   5/13/2019 at 07:53 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        
Back to the relay...

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John, I do like the idea of using a relay to control the heater. You had previously mentioned using a 120-volt relay wired so that it would be activated when the motor was running (this would mean that when the dryer door was opened, motor and heater would shut off).

As I am not well-versed in the care and feeding of relays, can you recommended a brand/type of relay to use and the specs? We don't necessarily have access to the same products up here, but I can always buy something from a US supplier by mail and have it shipped to my Vermont address.

Post# 1032514 , Reply# 28   5/13/2019 at 08:27 by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, Iowa)        

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Paul - if you're planning on having a relay switch on with the 120v motor, you could use something like this Omron relay. Not trying to plug Grainger, but you know where I work ;)

Also, those Delco start switches are designed to be easily replaced without taking the whole motor apart. The replacement start switch for the C-2415 motor is 4943927. No hits on the 'bay, and the Parts Master shows that this is a pretty specific start switch for the early style flowing heat dryer motors. Not sure if swapping in a switch from anther Delco dryer motor would work to have it switch both the windings as well as the heater.

Your saga is a good reminder for the rest of us that a simple relay will help protect these difficult-to-replace dryer motors that switch on the dryer heater.


Post# 1032548 , Reply# 29   5/13/2019 at 11:47 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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Thanks Ben! For whatever reason, this product wasn't showing up on the Acklands-Grainger site here in Canada. However, I was able to use my US address and order a couple (one for the Frigidaire and one perhaps for the GE OR the as-yet-unrestored '51 Kenmore dryer).

I'll be picking this up later this week when I am back down in Ogden.

Hopefully I won't mess up the wiring... LOL

Post# 1032551 , Reply# 30   5/13/2019 at 12:03 by sfh074 ( )        
Have we ....

Taken out the switch yet to take a peek at it?

I once used 51% silver brazing rod to renew the silver contacts of a start switch. Simply take the brass conductors out of the board, braze new silver on the contacts and reinstall. Same thing on the lever portion of the switch as well. 4 contacts in all to renew. To take the lever out you have to remove the bearing cover, which isn't difficult.

But I am assuming the start switch is similar to this '60 washer motor pictured.

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Post# 1032563 , Reply# 31   5/13/2019 at 13:27 by LowEfficiency (Iowa)        

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I too am wondering - Why not open up the switch and see what the problem is?

Post# 1032564 , Reply# 32   5/13/2019 at 13:30 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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The switch appeared to be 1-piece and even if it was like on the '60 motor Bud included a photo of, with my shaky hands, opening it up would not be a good move. I don't have the 'fine tuning' to be able to braze a new contact properly. It would end badly... I feel much more comfortable using the relay.

Post# 1032572 , Reply# 33   5/13/2019 at 15:53 by sfh074 ( )        
Hey Paul ....

I bet that machinist guy you just met can fix that switch if renewing the contacts is all that is required. I'd rather see you try and fix the switch .... then have the output of the switch toggle the new relay. A couple of hundred miliamps for the relay coil vs 30+ amps to power the heating element. The switch wouldn't ever burn out again. And if the motor ever fails to run, no power to heater .... vs letting the safety pop due to overtemping, and no changes to the door switch circuit either.

The silver brazing rod is quite common and is in every machinists arsenal of tools. Used to braze most metals. Just tell him it needs to be a silver content greater than 45%. Most are at least 50%.

Post# 1032647 , Reply# 34   5/14/2019 at 18:34 by sel8207 (naples, florida 34117)        
amazing hack

This is what I visit this site for! Amazing machinist hack for restoring a bearing. I wonder if thats taught in books or is it something thats just passed on from the older generation. I have a 59 filtrator dryer also and will probably be doing that same thing to it. BTW does it really matter what type of oil is used in that process? Thanks much. Les.

Post# 1032660 , Reply# 35   5/14/2019 at 20:03 by sfh074 ( )        
Sintered bronze ....

How is oil impregnated bronze made?
Oilite is formed using powder metallurgy so that tiny pores are present in the metal. The pores are then vacuum impregnated with an oil to improve the material's bearing ability. The material holds approximately 20% oil by volume. The most common lubricant is SAE 30 oil.

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