Thread Number: 77212  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
Slowly Replacing Bearings on a Kenmore 70 Series
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Post# 1011700   10/21/2018 at 18:45 (625 days old) by candi (Michigan)        

Hi all!

After reading through Potatochips's rebuild more times than I will own up to, I think I finally understand this process. I expect to go slowly and update this thread through the process.

To start, here's my Amazon order: bearing kit, belt, tub grommet, spanner wrench, tub seal, and air wedge set (my agitator is stuck). Anything I should add?

I do need the rubberized spray and rykon grease substitute, but I'm not sure which ones to choose. I was thinking the Rustoleum Leak Seal and a tube of the Lukas Oil White Lithium Grease. Are these good, long-lasting choices? Should I choose a different grease, since there are rubber parts involved?

Then there's the bearing puller and installer... does anyone have these elusive tools for loan?

Thanks again for all y'alls help!

Post# 1011707 , Reply# 1   10/21/2018 at 19:53 (625 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

eurekastar's profile picture

Have fun! laughing


Post# 1011866 , Reply# 2   10/22/2018 at 20:32 (624 days old) by candi (Michigan)        

Thanks! I'm kind of excited to have this tale to tell :)

Post# 1011876 , Reply# 3   10/22/2018 at 23:50 (624 days old) by 114jwh (Vancouver)        

Glad to hear you are giving your trusty machine a new lease on life! Kevin did a great job on his videos documenting his belt drive rebuild.

I have the following PN's for the bearing tools. There may have been other PN's too:

14857 Bearing installer tool (or 14542)
14510 Bearing puller tool

The tools were built by Robinair. As I understand, these have been NLA for at least a decade (probably 2) however they may show up from time to time on eBay. If you can find an appliance repair business locally that has been around forever they may still have these tools they could lend you, especially if you decided to buy the parts from them. I'd get out the trusty old yellow pages and start calling around.

The installation tool would be more of the priority as you can probably make do if necessary without the puller. I didn't have one for my rebuild but my bearings ended up coming out with the spin tube.

Keep us in the loop on your progress!

Post# 1011889 , Reply# 4   10/23/2018 at 07:37 (623 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Rebuilding A BD Whirlpool Built Washer

combo52's profile picture

Hi Having rebuilt 100s of these washers I will offer the following advice.


The grease is not hard to find, any good automotive wheel bearing grease is better than what WP used years ago.


I never bothered to use our bearing remover, it is easier to just pound them out, the installer is very useful.


Keep us posted I can answer any questions that you come up with.


John L.

Post# 1011940 , Reply# 5   10/23/2018 at 20:00 (623 days old) by candi (Michigan)        
Question about the grease

I'm trying to conceptualize this process while I wait for my parts to come. [Unfortunately, my water shut off valves are seized, and I'll have to turn off the water to the house when I do this work. So, I want to be quick and efficient once I start.]

First, a wire tube brush should be sufficient to clean out the centerpost, right?

Next, I've got a pouch of grease and bottle of turbine oil. But where exactly do they go? Once I have the upper bearing and it's lower seal and the lower bearing and its lower seal on, I'm supposed to put 1/2 oz of grease into "the lower centerpost bearing section" before reinstalling the gearcase. But I dunno what that means. Am i just smearing a tbsp of grease inside the lower brass tube and rubber seal? Won't it gush all around when I reinsert the spin tube?

Then, once I have the gearcase back on, I'm to fill the space between the upper bearing and the spin tube with turbine oil, right? After that, I put on the two domed upper seals. Do I grease one and oil the other? Which seal gets which lube? And where exactly do I put it?

Well, in spite of my (possibly silly) questions, I'm pretty stoked to get this done. My other task while I wait is to call around and find that installer tool!

Post# 1011952 , Reply# 6   10/23/2018 at 21:23 (623 days old) by candi (Michigan)        

Ps. Thanks guys for your help and continued interest in my project!

Post# 1013154 , Reply# 7   11/3/2018 at 19:03 (612 days old) by candi (Michigan)        
Tools and parts have arrived!

It's been a couple of weeks, and all my parts and tools have arrived!

I'm not sure if I got new old stock, but I found the bearing installer at a place in Quebec! I felt like I had won some type of lottery. (Ps. It didn't come with a thrust washer. Is it supposed to?)

I've yet to find some type of pipe or dowel to use to pound out the old bearings, but after that I'll be good to go. I'll probably work on this next week, when my sister will be available for moral support.

I'm still not sure of where to put all the grease and oil. I'm thinking the process is: grease the insides of the lower bearing, install the centerpost, fill the space inside the upper bearing with turbine oil, then put on the two seals. But they're supposed to have grease and oil too! And I can't figure out how that will go.

Well, that's all for today's update. More to come soon!

Post# 1013249 , Reply# 8   11/4/2018 at 14:06 (611 days old) by 114jwh (Vancouver)        

That's great news you found the bearing installer - the belt drive design was around longer in Canada than the US so some parts may be easier to find up this way.

Hopefully you got a new Spin Tube? That will definitely be a must if you are going as far as replacing the bearings. I believe I've read in John or Gordon's posts that the old spin tube can be used to pound the old bearings out. A new agitator shaft should also be considered for a rebuild.

Post# 1013262 , Reply# 9   11/4/2018 at 15:46 (611 days old) by candi (Michigan)        

Sadly, I don't feel comfortable getting too deep. Dropping the transmission to change the bearings is at the far end of my current comfort level :)

But, once done, I might continue to learn until I can change those things. Maybe.... :)

Post# 1013287 , Reply# 10   11/4/2018 at 19:00 (611 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

turquoisedude's profile picture

Get a new spin tube. I made that mistake with my 65 Lady Kenmore  - I did the bearings then used the original spin tube and after 4 years of regular but not excessive use, the washer wouldn't spin anymore!  I am amazed that you found a bearing tool in Québec! I needed one desperately 2 years ago and I couldn't find one!  A friend in Nova Scotia graciously sent me his spare!

Post# 1013303 , Reply# 11   11/4/2018 at 20:19 (611 days old) by 114jwh (Vancouver)        

I would think about reconsidering the spin tube. Replacing it will be the easy part of the job. You will need to take out the transmission anyway to replace the bearings and I expect that you'll find out that there will be corrosion on the tube. Imperfections on the spin tube will damage your brand new bearings.

Depending on the age of the machine you will need one of these two:

383921 - Long Spin Tube used on older machines

383928 - Short Spin Tube used on later machines

If you want to go a step further you could just buy a new basket drive and a new spin tube will already be installed on it. Then its just a matter of swapping it with the old one when you get the transmission out.

There were many different configurations of basket drives depending on the age of the machine and whether it uses a standard belt or the narrow one. Someone on here will be able to direct you on the right one if you decide to go this route.

Post# 1013311 , Reply# 12   11/4/2018 at 20:47 (611 days old) by candi (Michigan)        
Oh dear...

It wasn't the plan, but looking back at Potatochips's video, I think I can do this too :)

Since I don't see the parts listed on the diagram that I've been using, I did a little googling and found a place in the area that can hopefully help me determine what size tube I need. I'll probably get the tube and the basket drive.

Thanks for your warning!

Ps. It was a place called Midbec. They sell tools and appliance parts. I had googled the part number so many times, but eventually they came up in the search. Super helpful staff.

Post# 1013316 , Reply# 13   11/4/2018 at 21:08 (611 days old) by DADoES (TX,†U.S. of A.)        

dadoes's profile picture

The *only* correct way IMO to do a bearing replacement on a belt-drive (or direct-drive) WP is by replacing both the bearings and the spin tube, and possibly the agitator shaft, so that both the bearings and drive shaft surfaces that mate to them are fresh.† The spin tube includes agitator shaft bearings already in place for direct-drives, so I assume also for belt-drives.

Bearings fail less often on direct-drives.† The tub support, which incorporates the centerpost and includes bearings already in place (but the top seal has to be installed, and turbine oil added) is still available ... unlike belt-drive baseplates which are NLA unless one finds NOS or a donor.

Post# 1013332 , Reply# 14   11/4/2018 at 22:49 (611 days old) by 114jwh (Vancouver)        
Basket Drive

I just looked at your original thread - the model number you indicated is 11082372110? If this is correct, looking this up on Sears parts site shows the basket drive as PN 359699. Using this PN it subs to 285897 and 383929. Looks like this is a short spin tube, standard belt pulley and large capacity. One of the others here can hopefully confirm but if so, there are a few on eBay listed under the 383929 PN such as the one in the link below.

BTW, if you buy a the complete basket drive assembly, such as the one below, you don't need to buy a new spin tube. The basket drive assembly will come with a brand new spin tube already installed on it. When you take out the transmission you will just swap the old basket drive assembly with the new one.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO 114jwh's LINK on eBay

Post# 1013351 , Reply# 15   11/5/2018 at 04:52 (610 days old) by potatochips (Nova Scotia)        



Amre Supply is also another resource for good parts, and I believe they have lots of basket drives of short and long tubes in stock. Midbec has also been very good to me as well.


If you get all the right parts, but the spin tube length is wrong, you can swap out a long tube for a short tube. This is what I had to do as most Canadian Kenmore machines are quiet pak drives with short tubes. The short tube I ordered had a wide, normal pulley and I had to reassemble it with the quiet pak pulley.


As everyone has said, it is imperative you get new bearings and a new spin tube. They need to run in together and mate properly, if not you can wear out one or the other faster and have to redo this job. The old spin tube I had was gouged and worn down, so I turned it in to a lamp.

Post# 1013383 , Reply# 16   11/5/2018 at 11:44 (610 days old) by candi (Michigan)        
Choosing a basket drive

Thanks for the help on the part number substitution. When I looked at the diagram, I thought that the arrow was only for the small piece it was pointing to, instead of the whole assembly :)

To be sure of the tube length, I went downstairs to measure, and the agitator is more stuck than I thought! Grumble. So, I have my air wedges wedging and some WD-40 soaking (it's all I have on hand).

I see two, short-tube basket drives on eBay. One is a genuine factory part and the other (at half of that price) is by Gemline.

Is the genuine part genuinely (heh...) better, or are they equivalent? I'm not trying to cheap out so much as I don't want to waste money.

Thanks again, guys!

Post# 1013446 , Reply# 17   11/5/2018 at 21:17 (610 days old) by 114jwh (Vancouver)        
Aftermarket Gemline Basket Drive

I used a aftermarket spin tube on a rebuild I did and although the quality seemed to be on par, the fit was ever so slightly off that I did need to sand it a bit to get it to work. It was no big deal and it worked perfectly fine after that so all was good. Others with more experience can probably chime in on their experiences with Gemline/Supco and offer some insight, specifically on the basket drives.

This is a dumb question but did you take the cap off the agitator first? With the ones I've had experience with, some have a cap that screws off, some have a very short cap that you pry off to access a screw or nut underneath.

What year is your machine? I think I've read that Whirlpool changed from the long post to short post machines in 1978 in the USA. Inglis used the long post design for a few more years in Canada before switching over.

Post# 1013449 , Reply# 18   11/5/2018 at 21:50 (610 days old) by candi (Michigan)        

That's definitely a vote in favor of the genuine part. I want my new spin tube to be fresh and pristine as long as it can :) I'll see if anyone chimes in before I order tomorrow.

No dumb questions!

I have a pry-off cap that wasn't on as well as it could be. (Probably a contributor to the rust...) I took it off, removed the screw, the cam, the dogs that make it only turn in one direction, and the upper portion of the agitator with the spiral on the outside. (Boy, that was a ham-fisted description, even after I looked up some of the terms.) I hoped there was something else I was forgetting to remove, because this thing is stuck fast.

Post# 1013451 , Reply# 19   11/5/2018 at 22:31 (610 days old) by candi (Michigan)        
Post Script

Ps. The machine is a Kenmore 70 Series from '82 (82372110).

Post# 1015689 , Reply# 20   11/24/2018 at 22:01 (591 days old) by candi (Michigan)        
Basket drive arrived!

After a month of waiting, my genuine-Whirlpool basket drive has finally arrived!

And then I realized that I should have ordered a tub grommet. So I'm ordering that now.

Oh, and should I get replacement bolts for the outer tub? Should I expect the ones I have to be unserviceable?

Post# 1015690 , Reply# 21   11/24/2018 at 22:28 (591 days old) by 114jwh (Vancouver)        
Yes and yes

I would get both the tub grommet and a set of tub bolts/washers. I would probably start opening the machine up if you haven't done that yet and see what condition everything else is in. Take some pictures along the way, post them on this thread and we can probably give you some pointers.

Good luck!

Post# 1015691 , Reply# 22   11/24/2018 at 22:56 (591 days old) by candi (Michigan)        
Starting the work

I've been trying to finesse my agitator while waiting for the basket drive. WD-40 has been soaking and air wedges wedging. Some amount of oil has made it between the parts, but not enough to free the agitator.

I know I'll have to go in with a heat tool or boiling water, and I'm dragging my feet. Well, now that I feel ashamed of my trepidation, I might just get in there tomorrow :)

Post# 1015697 , Reply# 23   11/25/2018 at 00:17 (591 days old) by 114jwh (Vancouver)        

It'll come! I'm really not familiar with the various types of agitators Sears used on the Kenmore machines so I can't offer much advice. Hopefully others can chime in with different ideas. Use the heat gun with caution if you are going that route. I'd try the boiling water first. Those air bags are supposed to work really well.

Keep us in the loop!

Post# 1015706 , Reply# 24   11/25/2018 at 07:09 (590 days old) by Lorainfurniture (Cleveland )        

If you are using 3 air wedges just pump them up until your hand hurts. Those fully inflated will push over 600# of force on the agitator. Just leave them inflated and hit the top of the agitator with a rubber mallet. There is no possible way it wonít come off under those conditions.

Boiling water would help, but keep the bags inflated. Eventually it will pop off. Put a blanket over it as sometimes it shoots off like a rocket.

Post# 1015708 , Reply# 25   11/25/2018 at 07:13 (590 days old) by Lorainfurniture (Cleveland )        

These are a must have

CLICK HERE TO GO TO Lorainfurniture's LINK

Post# 1015784 , Reply# 26   11/25/2018 at 21:47 (590 days old) by candi (Michigan)        
Oh snaps!

Lorain Furniture!

I watched your YouTube videos and that's where I got the air wedges and red sealant from. So cool!

Alright, guys, I have bad news. I started with the heat gun and quickly realized it's a thin line between brilliant and terrible idea. So, I moved on to the boiling water. I pumped up my wedges, poured several gallons of boiling water over the towel turban and.... nothing. Not a bit of movement.

I also had the rubber mallet idea and tapped along the sides and top to jostle it, while my hot turban was in place. I might have bent one of the prongs on top, but still no movement. The wedges are still in place, as they have been for the past several weeks.

I'm all out of ideas.

Post# 1015804 , Reply# 27   11/25/2018 at 22:19 (590 days old) by 114jwh (Vancouver)        

Did you tuck the air bags under the agitator and keep pumping them up? If it's that stuck then I think that is the only way to go short of busting the agitator off. I've never used them but from what I've seen they should work. You likely need to flatten them good and get them as far underneath as possible.

I agree on the heat gun vs plastic dilemma - things can go south in short order. A hair dryer may be a compromise but I'm just thinking out loud, haven't had to go this far with one of these before.

Can you post some pictures of where you are at? It might inspire some creative ideas.

Post# 1015812 , Reply# 28   11/25/2018 at 23:06 (590 days old) by candi (Michigan)        
Pics or it didnít happen :)

Ya donít realize how challenging it is to light and photograph in a washer till you have to :) Hereís my set up. The first two show my air wedges. The bottom of the agitator would be a circle, but the inflated wedges have deformed it. Last is one of the top of the post. You can kinda see water in the bolt hole, but mainly rust and the prong I broke.

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Post# 1015831 , Reply# 29   11/26/2018 at 06:50 (589 days old) by Lorainfurniture (Cleveland )        

Get those wedges tucked in a bit more. You seriously have to pump them until your hand hurts, rest, then pump more with both hands.

I havenít done a million agitators with it but I have done several dozen with a 100% success rate.

You seriously have to pump until you think the agitator is going to break, or the bags are going to explode. If that doesnít work then you are chiseling it off.

Post# 1015833 , Reply# 30   11/26/2018 at 07:24 (589 days old) by Combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Stuck agitator

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I hope you can get it loose, but most times when theyíre that stuck we just break the agitator off and replace it itís not that hard to find a replacement agitator for this machine.

John L

Post# 1019606 , Reply# 31   12/31/2018 at 14:55 (554 days old) by Candi (Michigan)        
Silly rabbit

Howdy all!

My plan to ring in the New Year with a wonderful post full of developments has been foiled! I just knew the holiday break would be plenty of time to get this machine up and running.


I dremelled the main part of the agitator off and took a hacksaw to the top of it. Once I exposed the edges of the splines (?), I loosened it with a screwdriver and hammer. It was straightforward. When I inspected the stem, though, the rust damage was worse than I imagined. I think Iíll need a new one. Question: is it the entire transmission (part 362901) that I will have to swap out? I see some whirlpool transmissions, but donít know if theyíre the replacement.

So, with a small victory I grabbed my spinner wrench to remove the tub nut. Frozen. Not even the big sledgehammer could persuade it. The rust runs deep.

So, now I need to split this nut. I hear a hammer and chisel are the move, but I donít have a sharp one. Wd40 is soaking, as always :)

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 3         View Full Size
Post# 1019638 , Reply# 32   12/31/2018 at 20:04 (554 days old) by Lorainfurniture (Cleveland )        

Iíve had 100% success with a handheld sledgehammer and the spanner wrench. Try dumping some boiling water on the joint. Otherwise hit it with the dremmel and attack it from the side. The bolt and drive block are easily replaced, spin tube not so much.

Post# 1019645 , Reply# 33   12/31/2018 at 20:50 (554 days old) by 114jwh (Vancouver)        

Good news Candi! Glad to hear you are making progress :)

Not so great news that you had to cut the agitator off but you should be able to find a replacement without too much trouble.

I'd maybe get the spanner nut off first and check the condition of the outer tub so you can see what you are dealing with before deciding what other parts you might need. You can replace just that agitator shaft but if you do that you should buy the spring kit as well. Its not terribly difficult.

But my vote would be to get that spanner nut off first and tear into the machine a bit more so you can get a better idea of what you are dealing with.

Keep soaking with WD40 or I've heard others use something called PB Blaster. When you have the spanner wrench on you have to really give it several good whacks to get it going (counter clockwise). You could try giving it a couple whacks in the other direction too - I've had luck with that on rusty bolts as it gets it out of the spot its stuck in. Or try your heat gun and heat it a bit first.

If all else fails a Dremel with the right bit will be the best way to cut it off if you have one. Otherwise a sharp hacksaw may work.

Good luck and happy new years!

Post# 1019655 , Reply# 34   12/31/2018 at 23:24 (554 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Removing Stuck Basket Lock Ring

combo52's profile picture

Hi, yours is not that corroded, keep using penetrating oil, and if necessary use a propane torch, boiling water and a heat gun are very unlikely to help.


If you have to cut the ring off don't worry about the agitator shaft and the spin tube as these already need replacement.


John L.

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