Thread Number: 79404  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
Maytag A209 - Anyone missing a sock?
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Post# 1033132   5/19/2019 at 17:02 (1,472 days old) by LowEfficiency (Iowa)        

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While doing my usual Craigslist/Facebook searches, I came across this Maytag washer listed in the free section. The seller described its condition as having worked fine for years, but then it developed a terrible squealing sound. They had purchased a new washer, so it was time for this one to go.

The scrappers in my area are FAST to jump on free machines. I'm only really looking for center-dial machines, but I knew from the white buttons and knob that this machine, whatever model it was, was the right age to have the pitman-style transmission. So I figured I would pick it up, and see what I could make of it. Worst case I could use it for parts. Luckily the seller still had it, so I arranged to meet him that evening.

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Post# 1033134 , Reply# 1   5/19/2019 at 17:07 (1,472 days old) by LowEfficiency (Iowa)        

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Upon arrival, I could see that the washer, then identified as an A209, was in fact in quite good shape. Clearly better condition than my rusty A408, so at the very least it has that going for it.

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Post# 1033135 , Reply# 2   5/19/2019 at 17:09 (1,472 days old) by LowEfficiency (Iowa)        

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Back home, popped off the front, yep- this one is in good shape. A few overflow dribbles, but no streaks on the cabinet from water or oil leaks, and no rust at all to speak of.

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Post# 1033136 , Reply# 3   5/19/2019 at 17:12 (1,472 days old) by LowEfficiency (Iowa)        

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Small tub, no staining or rust. Wish it was a large tub, but I can live with it when it's this clean. I haven't wiped it down yet in this picture.

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Post# 1033137 , Reply# 4   5/19/2019 at 17:13 (1,472 days old) by LowEfficiency (Iowa)        

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A209 control panel. The serial number has an "LN" code, so I believe this was manufactured in July of 1983.

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Post# 1033138 , Reply# 5   5/19/2019 at 17:20 (1,472 days old) by LowEfficiency (Iowa)        

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I have to run - but I'll share some photos of the diagnosis and the start of this machine's repairs when I have time.
Needless to say, this one isn't going to be scrapped or parted out anytime soon!

Post# 1033140 , Reply# 6   5/19/2019 at 17:47 (1,472 days old) by stricklybojack (South Hams Devon UK)        

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Looks to be in fantastic shape!
Nice get.

Post# 1033159 , Reply# 7   5/19/2019 at 20:07 (1,472 days old) by robbinsandmyers (Conn)        

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These later Maytags with that style console have a pitman trans only if they have white buttons?

Post# 1033162 , Reply# 8   5/19/2019 at 20:16 (1,472 days old) by peteski50 (New York)        
Maytag A209!

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Best Of Luck with the A209

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Post# 1033163 , Reply# 9   5/19/2019 at 20:20 (1,472 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Squealing MT DC Washer

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I assume It Had a sock between the tubs, this was a common occurrence on MT washers of this age especially the small tub models, this was just another problem with spin drain machines.


John L.

Post# 1033165 , Reply# 10   5/19/2019 at 20:36 (1,472 days old) by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor, Maine)        

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My 511 looks very similar but with an extra large button and tub, one speed Fabric-Matic. I bought it and matching 410 dryer in mid 1984. Did an extra large load in it today and had to use the dryer again with all this rain. Both ran just like the day I took them out of the boxes nearly 35 years ago.

Post# 1033191 , Reply# 11   5/20/2019 at 08:35 (1,471 days old) by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, IA)        

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Nice find! Who was the dealer on the service sticker?


Post# 1033263 , Reply# 12   5/20/2019 at 21:52 (1,471 days old) by 79maytaga106 (Texas)        

Very nice find!

Post# 1033266 , Reply# 13   5/20/2019 at 22:28 (1,470 days old) by Repairguy (Danbury, Texas)        

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Reply to robbinsandmyers. I have a 1987 model Maytag washer with the dark push buttons and a pitman transmission. Sometime around late 1987 or 1988 Maytag went to the orbital transmission. I like the center dial Maytags but I also liked the wood grain push button style of the early to mid eighties. Great find by the way. This washer looks to be in pretty good shape for its age.

Post# 1033268 , Reply# 14   5/20/2019 at 22:45 (1,470 days old) by LowEfficiency (Iowa)        

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>> Nice find! Who was the dealer on the service sticker?

Ben, the dealer is "Bartunek's Maytag", out of Cedar Rapids IA.

I asked my folks, and Mom said she remembered getting parts for their dryer there many years ago. Not sure when they closed, but she thought they might have decided to call it after one of the huge floods? Those buildings would have been completely under water in several of the floods from the past decades. That specific address is a really neat craft store now.

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Post# 1033269 , Reply# 15   5/20/2019 at 23:08 (1,470 days old) by LowEfficiency (Iowa)        

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>> These later Maytags with that style console have a pitman trans only if they have white buttons?

John, I believe the conditions are slightly different...

My understanding is that the white (ivory?) button console machines all had the pitman transmission, and the standard turquoise power-fin agitator.
But the black-button machines were produced during the transition, and could have either the pitman or orbital transmission, depending on their production date. If sold with the orbital transmission, it would also have the slightly smaller diameter turquoise agitator with the "shark fins" on the upper column.

I could be wrong - Can any of the Maytag gurus confirm this?

Post# 1033270 , Reply# 16   5/20/2019 at 23:09 (1,470 days old) by good-shepherd (New Jersey)        
scrappers in my area are FAST

Damn vultures! What are they getting for a washer at todays scrap prices. a lousy $10 bucks or so?

Glad you saved it, nothing like finding a 36 year old machine in excellent condition.

Post# 1033272 , Reply# 17   5/21/2019 at 00:07 (1,470 days old) by LowEfficiency (Iowa)        

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... and thanks for the brochure images, Peter!
I hadn't seen that one - let alone much A209 info at all - on the forum here, so that scan is much appreciated!

Post# 1033273 , Reply# 18   5/21/2019 at 00:15 (1,470 days old) by LowEfficiency (Iowa)        

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OK, and on to the repair!
First step was to open up the control panel - from the FRONT this time - not used to that. I still prefer the earlier styling, but I bet those servicing these loved this change and how much easier the access was.

Inside was the schematic...

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Post# 1033274 , Reply# 19   5/21/2019 at 00:16 (1,470 days old) by LowEfficiency (Iowa)        

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... and the timing diagram:

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Post# 1033275 , Reply# 20   5/21/2019 at 00:20 (1,470 days old) by LowEfficiency (Iowa)        

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I didn't have water or a drain handy out in the garage, so I made this jumper wire to bypass the fill switch, so it acted like the tub was always full of water. That way I could test the mechanicals without too much of a mess if it had to all come back apart. These connections got a good wrap of electrical tape before the panel was closed back up, to keep them from shorting on anything.

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Post# 1033276 , Reply# 21   5/21/2019 at 00:27 (1,470 days old) by LowEfficiency (Iowa)        

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With the fill switch bypassed, I plugged the washer in and set it to wash. It started right away, and seemed to operate just fine?....
Set it to Spin- Clunk.. buzzzzzz...... some groans, and sounds of friction as the tub rotated slowly. Nope, that's not happy.

The tub was difficult to turn by hand, but the sounds sounded like they came from above, not below. I grabbed a flashlight, and what do I find jammed up in the lip between the inner and outer tubs?
Yep, a sock! :D

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Post# 1033277 , Reply# 22   5/21/2019 at 00:37 (1,470 days old) by LowEfficiency (Iowa)        

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With the sock removed, I again tried the spin. It started more quickly and began to build speed, but I quickly shut it down again. The sound this time was more like... hard to describe... like a fender or shoe rubbing on the tire of a bicycle? And the tub stopped unusually quickly when I turned it off.

So NOW what is the problem?

It took me a few minutes to find it...

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Post# 1033278 , Reply# 23   5/21/2019 at 00:42 (1,470 days old) by LowEfficiency (Iowa)        

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Yep, that's right, it took TWO socks to take down the mighty Maytag! :D

This one really worked its way down... so I had to pull the top half of the outer tub off to get to it. Yep, it's a sock down there. Blue-grey too, just the right color to hide behind the blue porcelain inner tub.

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Post# 1033279 , Reply# 24   5/21/2019 at 00:48 (1,470 days old) by LowEfficiency (Iowa)        

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So I fashioned a hook from some stiff wire... fence wire I think... and was able to surgically extract the wayward sock. It was wedged in there surprisingly firmly.

If this tool doesn't have a Maytag part number, I might have to give it an honorary number. :D

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Post# 1033280 , Reply# 25   5/21/2019 at 01:02 (1,470 days old) by LowEfficiency (Iowa)        

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I re-assembled the outer tub using the soap ring as a height guide, secured the upper part of the cabinet, crossed my fingers, and pulled the knob on spin.

To my relief, it spun up quickly and quietly. So quietly in fact, I did a double-take to check if it was actually spinning - I wasn't prepared for it to be THAT quiet.

So that's that! Two separate socks, that's all it was. Two socks in the wrong place and this washer was rolled out to the curb. I wonder how many others have met a similar fate?

Now a question for the experts:

I'm going to pick up some calibrated wood blocks from my father to set the correct spacing on the upper tub cover, so I wasn't too worried about reassembly when I put it back together, as I knew it would come back apart again. When I do it for real, is there any advice on how to manage that 36-year-old rubber seal under the stainless band? Are they typically OK for re-use, or do you just replace them as a matter of routine? Any special tricks to ensure a good seal once they have been removed?

Post# 1033299 , Reply# 26   5/21/2019 at 08:09 (1,470 days old) by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, IA)        

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Wow - this washer was so close to meeting its maker! Way to go on quickly snagging it from the scrappers and finding the two pesky socks that tried to jump ship.

You may receive some varied opinion on the SS band and rubber seal, but IMO if the rubber seal is clean and isn't completely dry-rotted you can re-use. If you are seeing large cracks then it would be good to replace. It is still available - PN 2-11232 / 211232 / WP211232. Clean the SS band and re-use. Sometimes the screws may rust and bust but seeing the condition of your A209 I'm doubting that is an issue.

Bartunek's Maytag - sounds like a nice Czech dealer. Too bad they along with the many businesses and homes were permanently closed and destroyed after June, 2008.


Post# 1033338 , Reply# 27   5/21/2019 at 17:20 (1,470 days old) by goatfarmer (South Bend, home of Champions)        

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Nice save!

Post# 1033346 , Reply# 28   5/21/2019 at 20:25 (1,470 days old) by 79maytaga106 (Texas)        

I went ahead and replaced the 211232 seal when I redid my A106, though my original appeared to still be in good condition.

Post# 1033351 , Reply# 29   5/21/2019 at 22:35 (1,469 days old) by good-shepherd (New Jersey)        
Are they typically OK for re-use

The tub seals are fine for re-use if in good condition, I typically clean and soften them up with some WD-40 or similar.

More often the problem is rust on the tub lip.

Post# 1033352 , Reply# 30   5/21/2019 at 23:47 (1,469 days old) by Washerlover (The Big Island, Hawai’i)        

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Sock it to me!! Nice detective work and nice machine!

Post# 1153353 , Reply# 31   7/4/2022 at 18:32 (330 days old) by LowEfficiency (Iowa)        

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Small update:

This machine ultimately did leak a bit from the large tub seal. The rubber of the original seal was in good shape, so the rust pitting (small amount) was likely the cause.

We used the machine for a short while for smaller loads with a lower water level that wouldn't aggravate the condition, then I unhooked it to paint that mating surface. Life got busy, and that never happened, so this is back on the plate to finish this up soon.

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