Thread Number: 77934  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
Maytag Model 90
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Post# 1019584   12/31/2018 at 10:29 by TexasSuds (Fort Worth, Texas)        


Howdy from Texas, y'all. I want to start off by saying I didn't want this project. But it's kind of chosen me, I'm afraid.

This was initially intended for a different kind of suds altogether. I bought this Maytag Model 90 this weekend with the idea I'd stick my beer in the tub in the summertime with some Sonic ice when I had company over, and it would be a cool old beer cooler. On wheels, too. I mean, hot damn, right? You can just push the party anywhere you want to go.

It might still serve that purpose. It would certainly be easy to drain when the ice melts. But the more I looked at it, and the more I researched what this was, found out how old it was and inspected what I had, the more I figured maybe instead of keeping this as/is for its "patina," maybe I should look into seeing about a full restoration.

Then I found the deal on Brad Ross, and his work...and I mean, I am not the kind of guy who necessarily digs appliances. But when I saw the before and after on his Model 30 and Model 90, I thought, well hell. That's pretty amazing. And it does the job. You know, I could put the rags and stuff in my garage in this, or the really dirty stuff that my wife yells at me for putting in her washing machine and do it in this, and it would do the job nicely, according to his videos.

And, I mean, how many Model 90s are left in this world, right?

The guy I bought this from for $40 said it was his grandfather's. It came from their place in Colorado, but his granddad brought it with him down to Houston (hence the pitting on the aluminum. I'm a little worried how close they were to the shore and how deep that pitting goes). Anyhow, he wanted to restore it, never did, then his dad was going to and never did. So he kept it on his back porch until he decided to move. Well, that's a cool story in itself, I guess. And then you've got that homemade leg out of scrap lumber and bailing wire. Pirate peg leg.

The more I looked it over, the more complete it appeared to me. I don't think I'm missing anything too major. I'm a little concerned about that rusted-through leg, but I thought, that might just be a matter of finding the right gauge steel pipe, popping that wheel out of the tetanus ranch it's currently residing in, cleaning it up and sticking it into a new pipe leg.

The handle on the mangle doesn't turn, and the on/off switch doesn't turn. I'm hoping a little Kroil will knock them loose. I'll be gentle, for sure.

Anyhow. I figured I'd reach out here, because obviously there are experts who are alive today who might could guide/encourage/assist with doing this right. I guess the first place to start would be replacing the power cord, lubing the electric motor and seeing if there's any life down below, right? I see that Mr. Ross changed it out with a three-prong plug for safety. Any hints on where I should put the ground wire?

I didn't need yet another thing to polish and paint. But...I pet the three-legged stray dogs in this life, and they always seem to follow me home. Maybe y'all can help me out as I try to get this thing to do something.

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Post# 1019602 , Reply# 1   12/31/2018 at 14:16 by TexasSuds (Fort Worth, Texas)        

One more shot. Still has the original plug and cord. I wouldn't dare plug it in unless I had a deathwish, but cool it still has it's original plug.

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Post# 1019627 , Reply# 2   12/31/2018 at 17:22 by jeb (Mansfield Ohiio)        
Maytag 90

New legs are available on line all the time. You have to push down on the handle to make the wringer turn to different positions. How does it look under the agitator?

Post# 1019631 , Reply# 3   12/31/2018 at 18:49 by TexasSuds (Fort Worth, Texas)        

Good question. Iíll have to check. How does one take the agitator off? Thereís some sort of cat litter or something in there now, that better come out soon. That probably draws moisture. Here is the serial number though.

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Post# 1019753 , Reply# 4   1/1/2019 at 18:22 by jeb (Mansfield Ohiio)        

The agitator should just put up and out

Post# 1019872 , Reply# 5   1/2/2019 at 20:06 by bradross (New Westminster, BC., Canada)        
The serial number...

bradross's profile picture
dates to October 1929. Total production of the Model 90 was 400,088 units, between Sept.1927 through Jan. 1930.

If the aluminum tub is not pitted too drastically, I would consider going ahead with the restoration! As mentioned, legs, hose, wringer rolls, and other parts appear on ebay periodically. Additionally, I have sources in Iowa and Nebraska, should you need something that you cannot find online. Don't hesitate to contact me by email -

Have fun with it!

Post# 1020611 , Reply# 6   1/8/2019 at 22:02 by TexasSuds (Fort Worth, Texas)        

Oh good! You replied, Mr Ross! Yes I will be in touch. Life has happened since I last posted, so sorry for the late reply. So oct. 1929, huh? Nearing end of production. Iím trying to figure out the agitator removal. It seems stuck. Any advice? Ports where I should spot a little Kroil?

Post# 1020743 , Reply# 7   1/10/2019 at 16:16 by bradross (New Westminster, BC., Canada)        
replied to your email...

bradross's profile picture
but in the interest of others following this thread --- there is a small hole about 1-1/2 inches from the top of the agitator. It's a breather hole, just below the drive block, to allow air to escape when filling the tub with water. Injecting some penetrating oil while the machine is upside down will allow the oil to seep around the drive block (listed as the "torque" in Maytag parts manual), allowing it to loosen up - hopefully! Some carefully applied heat from a torch can help also - but be careful not to over-heat and scorch the agitator.

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