Thread Number: 79805  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
Opinions Needed on Souping-Up a 1970s Helical Drive Maytag
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Post# 1037026   7/3/2019 at 11:14 by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

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Hi everyone, so I've been wanting to try "souping-up" a Maytag washer in a similar fashion to what I did to my 1958 GE. I'd like to do a deep-tub model too, but I thought I'd start with a standard capacity machine to see the feasibility of all this. I found a cheap Maytag A107 in decent shape that the only issue seemed to be a leaking fill-flume air-gap which was an easy fix. The leak caused some rusting issues over time, but nothing major.

I've taken out the original motor, motor carriage clutch assembly and drain pump. I've installed a 3-Phase VFD operated 1hp-3450rpm motor and separate electric pump. The 21st century motor doesn't need a clutch as the VFD will monitor how much amperage the motor is drawing and bring the tub up speed slowly depending on the water level left in the wash basket as the pump is draining away the water. I can select agitation speeds from 10 to 133 oscillations per minute, the 133opm super speed agitation is SUPER COOL to say the least (videos to come after I've completed the machine)! I have lots of cool ideas on how to modify the steps in the cycles of the original timer by simply using a relay or two combined with the VFD.

As for spin right now I have it set to spin at 775rpm, which is as smooth as silk. I'd like to go higher, however I have one major concern that I'd like to see if anyone has some opinons on how to do this safely. My concern is the transmission counter-weight. I've seen quite a few members on aw up their spin speed to 756rpm with the 50hz pulley mounted on a 60hz motor. I was wondering if anyone who has done this had any issues with the counter-weight? My concern at speeds higher than 800rpm is the counter-weight may give way and cause the weight to fly through the cabinet creating a possibly dangerous situation. For all I know the tranmission top and weight bolts are strong enough to handle 1140rpm spin, however I have no way of knowing this. So I've come up with four possible scenarios...

#1 Use the orbital transmission which has no counterweight but in doing that the machine will lose the long-strong agitation which I much perfer over the short-stroke agitation.

#2 Somehow reinforce the weight with extra brackets attached to the transmission and change the bolts to grade 8 reinforced steel bolts.

#3. Line the cabinet with some type of reinforcement metal or ballistic fabric like Kelvar to catch the weight safely if it gives way.

#4. Keep the spin at 775rpm and call it a day (hmmmmph, I ususally don't give up that easily lol).

So I'm curious to hear the combined knowledge of AW members if this is even possible to do safely.

Here are some pictures of the machine, new components and of course the counter-weight itself. Thanks everyone!

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 6         View Full Size

Post# 1037031 , Reply# 1   7/3/2019 at 13:09 by Maytag85 (Sean A806)        

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Increasing the spin and wash speed will definitely help it perform a little better, but thing thing I’d be afraid of is the higher probability of the transmission slinging oil do to the faster spin speed.

Members like QSD-DAN might be able to help since he has more knowledge about Maytags than I do, and yes I do have some knowledge about them, but I don’t have the knowledge like he does about them.

Post# 1037032 , Reply# 2   7/3/2019 at 13:53 by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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for safety of the higher spin speeds, I would replace the bolts/nuts with something more heavy duty....

and don't think I would take the spin speed higher than 900 to 1000 rpm's...

something your going to have to experiment when your set up, is how high a spin speed you can go, and keep everything still in balance, figuring on the whole transmission power unit is spinning as well....

as we know, some machines operate fine within a certain spin speed, some increase wont affect much, but increasing too much, and excessive vibration may start to show up....

looking forward to your finished product.....

Post# 1037039 , Reply# 3   7/3/2019 at 15:27 by LowEfficiency (Iowa)        

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If you're willing to do some math, you could probably ease your concerns by calculating the forces of a liberated counterweight. You can measure the mass of the counterweight, its distance from the rotation axis, and then calculate the energy it would contain at your desired spin speed. Then look up the properties for sheet steel at the thickness of the cabinet, using the smallest dimension of the counterweight stack as your contact surface area assuming the worst case. If it hit the front panel, the threads on those two cabinet screws at the bottom, or the clips up top, might yield before the sheet metal perforates. Either one might absorb enough force though to lessen the injury risk.

Or just buy a junk washer, take it to an empty field, attach your motor, and crank it up to "11" until it *does* go pop, and see what happens!

On a more practical note, you would probably see more benefit if you actually took the time to re-balance the transmission assembly after rebuilding it. Being asymmetrical as it is, the fluid being flung to one side is part of the balancing equation - most older transmissions are probably either out of balance one direction from transmission fluid loss, or out the other direction from taking on water. The assembly would have to be dynamically balanced, as static balancing would not be representative of the mass distribution it would see at speed. (You may get close by statically balancing it with the counterweight facing upwards vertically?)

Adding "safety straps" to retain/reinforce the counterweights would change the balance... so you probably wouldn't want to do that unless you added the equivalent mass on the opposite side of the transmission.

Post# 1037048 , Reply# 4   7/3/2019 at 17:30 by Vacbear58 (Sutton In Ashfield & London UK)        
Higher Spin Speed

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I will alert Mike, Mathew and Steve who might be able to give some advice and maybe pictures. Although the Maytag is a rare bird over here Hotpoint UK produced a top loader that spun at 1050 rpm for years!

Good luck

Post# 1037051 , Reply# 5   7/3/2019 at 17:39 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Making a MT spin at 1000-1200 RPMs

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I really doubt that the transmission counter weight would be a problem at this speed and if it did come loose the cabinet is strong enough to contain it.


I would be more concerned about the concrete ballast ring on the wash basket failing, I have seen a Unimatic where the balance ring failed and it destroyed the washer.


It would also help balance if you drill out the holes in the bottom of the wash basket for faster draining and let the electric drain pump pump all the water out before trying to spin so the clothing is better balanced in the wash basket.


John L.

Post# 1037059 , Reply# 6   7/3/2019 at 19:28 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Speeding Up a 1970s MT Washer

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The short stroke orbital transmission is also a much better choice to speed up, not so much because of possible balance issues but because a short stroke just makes more sense and works better a high speed.


Think about the other fast agitation designs like FD, Philco Apex etc.


Trying to drag a large agitator at a high speed is just crazy, speeding up your 59 GE worked better because GE had a smaller agitator and had fairly anemic agitation to begin with.


John L.

Post# 1037073 , Reply# 7   7/3/2019 at 22:44 by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

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Thanks everyone for your great responses. I thought of trying to figure out the math but there are so many variables involved and trying to get the measurements correct and verifying the results may prove problematic or inaccurate.

So far I haven't seen any vibration issues with 775rpm, but we will see as I slowly experiment with increasing the speed, the Maytag suspension system just may surprise us all.

John I too thought the other weak point may be the balance ring which I believe is full of concrete, however I figured with the tub spinning inside the metal outer tub and then the cabinet outside of that would provide two layers to stop any debris that may fly. I agree about with you about the faster-stroke smaller stroke agitation, however the super fast agitation speed I created in these machines is only used to pull the load down and get it turning over (just like I do in the GE), once it's turning over (15 to 20 seconds if that) I would lower the agitation speed to near normal. If the Maytag works anything like the GE, the load will keep turning over nicely once the speed is reduced. My tests so far has shown this is likely to be the case.

Tomorrow I'll work on getting the washer's timer to communicate with the VFD motor controller via a relay. This should be easier in the Maytag as its electrical schematic design is much less complicated than the GE design.

Post# 1037082 , Reply# 8   7/4/2019 at 00:34 by qsd-dan (West)        
Robert....playing with a MAYTAG???

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Is it snowing in Hell or did I just teleport through a wormhole that lacks all logic and reason? Seriously, man, find the nearest mental facility and get some treatment ASAP 😁

On a more serious note...

I think the bolts and weight should hold up fine at higher spin speeds without any issues. A severe out of balance at high spin speeds may pose some interesting effects though.

The main problem I found modifying my '72 A806 for higher spin speeds was getting the tub nut adjusted correctly. I tightened it up a bit tighter than normal and it still let loose during a dry test at full speed. Not a pretty sound. It's also a challenge to bang on that tub nut with high force at an awkward angle without throwing the tub off kilter. I believe this will be the weak area of higher spin speeds, especially in harsh out of balance situations.

That damper concerns me. There's a lot of corrosion at the north west end of the assembly and that can wash out the silicone lubricant and any corrosion on the damper itself will cause friction in the mating area if it's rough. That area needs to be clean and all lubed up for best results (enter Toggleswitch giggle) and the damper should have a mirror like finish without any imperfections. You'll most likely have to play around with spring tensions to achieve smooth and linear spins so it doesn't chase your Unimatics around the laundry room.

Post# 1037107 , Reply# 9   7/4/2019 at 09:10 by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

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Hi Dan, how did you increase the spin speed with a 50 cycle pulley to 756rpm (or there about) or did you use some other means and go higher?

Post# 1037137 , Reply# 10   7/4/2019 at 13:55 by qsd-dan (West)        

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Hi Robert,

I used a 50hz pulley on the motor but swapped out the original 63 OPM gear set with 54 OPM gears from an older transmission. This brought regular agitation speed from 77 OPM's down to 67.5 while retaining higher spin speeds.

Post# 1037410 , Reply# 11   7/7/2019 at 11:10 by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        
An update...

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So I have the VFD/Motor Controller now installed in the machine. I'm up to 840rpm without any issues so far. I'll keep slowly experimenting with increasing the spin speed until I detect anything unusual.

While I'm using the original machines timer to control the cycle, by using two relays I'm able to improve on the cycle a bit. By using one standard relay I'm able to control the motor and pump from the original motor's yellow wire. When the timer energies the yellow wire it's calling for agitation, I'll give further explanation on how I'm doing this with a single relay in a later post. I'm also incorporating one "off-delay" relay to split the pause time on the timer into 30 seconds each, the first half for agitation and the second half for spin/drain. There is no need for a pause to reverse the motor with a modern motor, so now the Maytag goes switches from Agitation right into Spin just like a old solenoid Speed Queen or a Frigidaire Unimatic washer.

Here is the update cycle. I've increased wash and rinse agitation by 30 seconds. A 2 1/2 rinse agitation period is an improvement for sure. I've increased the first spin from 4 minutes to 5.5 minutes and the final spin from 5 minutes to 6.5 minutes. Here a comparison cycle chart between the original and update Regular/Normal cycle...

Post# 1037414 , Reply# 12   7/7/2019 at 12:30 by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
If its like every single Maytag

I ever had,,,5 all together You better bolt it down, they always walk around and cut off normally I cant imagine one of the miserable things speeded up..I think the agitation could be drastically speeded up , they agitate about half as fast as a Norge or GE anyway.

Post# 1037483 , Reply# 13   7/8/2019 at 08:21 by LowEfficiency (Iowa)        

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>> You better bolt it down, they always walk around and cut off

The unbalance switch should trip before they get enough momentum to walk around...
Did you have the machines leveled and all four feet tightened down?

Post# 1037486 , Reply# 14   7/8/2019 at 09:02 by LowEfficiency (Iowa)        

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>> I'm also incorporating one "off-delay" relay to split the pause time on the timer into 30 seconds
>> each, the first half for agitation and the second half for spin/drain.

Clever approach! So being a single-speed Fabric-Matic machine, and spin/drain now partially linked to agitation stop with your relays, I would assume that things could get interesting if you ran your upgraded machine on a Delicates cycle, with the intermittent wash agitation?

>> There is no need for a pause to reverse the motor with a modern motor, so now the Maytag goes switches
>> from Agitation right into Spin just like a old solenoid Speed Queen or a Frigidaire Unimatic washer.

I've been studying the Maytag timers, specifically the Kingston timers, and I believe the system is more nuanced than that. Maytag (and/or Kingston) engineers were masters at using various components of the machine as digital logic elements, to create operational sequences much more complicated than the timer diagrams indicate at first glance. In particular, they leveraged every trick they could to squeeze multiple actions into the same minute of the timer sequence, expanding the functionality of the machine despite the precious limited number of steps allowed by the timing wheel assembly. (A good example of this is the A408, which has three "OFF" positions on the dial, but only one time segment in the diagram where the timer actually explicitly cuts the timer motor power.)

Long story short- If you look deeper at that wash-to-spin changeover, I think you will find that that minute of pause, while necessary for a reversing motor, was also a point where many other events were occurring, some of which utilize that pause for "break-before-make" switching to avoid shorts or faulty logic within the timer. This also provided some safety margin for manufacturing tolerances and material wear/fatigue over the lifespan of the timer, where the timings of some contacts could drift slightly in relation to the others.

Post# 1037514 , Reply# 15   7/8/2019 at 14:49 by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

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Hi Dave, very cool observations! You are very much correct about the Kingston timers, they turn much slower than the older Mallory timers and do things in-between increments during the rotation of the dial. The timer is all original, I haven't modified it in anyway so the pauses still do everything internally they are suppose to do. I just changed how the machines handles the timer's signals.

You're also very much correct about the delicate cycle, it won't work properly with my new design. The two one minute delicate "SOAK" periods in between the normal speed agitation would end up agitating for 30 seconds and spin/draining for 30 seconds. Of course that would make for some great rinsing lol! But since I now have the ability to turn the agitation speed all the way down to a very mild hand-wash, I wouldn't use the delicate cycle anyway. I could probably figure out a way around this, but it isn't worth the time and expense. I'd much rather have one cycle and variable speeds. As for the spin speed, I rarely if ever use anything but top speed for everything so for this experimental project I'm simply going to have one set spin speed and a single knob for setting the variable/infinite agitation speed.

Sometime when I reproduced this into a deep-tub machine, I'll probably spend more time configuring more relays to make it work with all cycles. A Mallory timer machine would be my preference to do this to as it will be easier to work with.

I did have one issue with this timer and that was the pause before the rinse fill. For what ever reason during that pause they designed the circuit to energize the yellow agitation wire (keeping neutral out of the circuit) and also energizing both the EMPTY and FULL wires on the water level control. I have no clue why they did that, but I'm sure it was for as you said "so they could squeeze multiple actions into the same minute of the timer sequence". The problem I had was during the pause before the rinse fill (I wanted spin to continue in that increment) the machine would stop and dry agitate as the yellow wire was energized calling for agitation on my main control relay). So what I did was to install a second relay before the main control relay to prevent voltage from the yellow wire from reaching the main control relay if there was voltage on the EMPTY wire of water level switch. It worked and spin continues as I want during the pause before the rinse fill. I love playing with relays like this and reading wiring diagrams, I know I'm a big nerd :-).

Post# 1037518 , Reply# 16   7/8/2019 at 15:12 by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, Iowa)        

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Ok, Robert. This is all real cool and great - but we are DYING for some video!

Post# 1037566 , Reply# 17   7/8/2019 at 23:28 by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        
but we are DYING for some video!

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Lol, I'll get to that as soon as I can Ben! There are a few adjustments I want to make first.

Post# 1037858 , Reply# 18   7/11/2019 at 11:23 by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

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As promised, here is the video. I recorded it in 1080p resolution and uploaded it to YouTube that way, however YouTube is not showing 1080p as choice, only 480p, so I'll have to research how to show the higher resolution. But for now here is my first video of the Maytag unlike no other...

Post# 1037875 , Reply# 19   7/11/2019 at 13:36 by qsd-dan (West)        

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Very impressive results!

You picked a great machine for testing purposes. That transmission sounds whisper quiet so the upper shaft is in great shape and the oil must still be in good condition.

Spins are butter smooth, much better than I would have expected.

Take that baby for a spin to 1000 RPM's, I bet she can handle it with no sweat!

Post# 1037877 , Reply# 20   7/11/2019 at 13:55 by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
Now it washes

About like a NORGE!

Post# 1037878 , Reply# 21   7/11/2019 at 13:57 by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
Thats amazing

Every Maytag I ever had framed and beat every time it spun so bad it either cut off or shook so bad once it got up to speed it walked around.

Post# 1037886 , Reply# 22   7/11/2019 at 14:23 by gansky1 (Omaha, The Home of the TV Dinner!)        

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That is really spectacular.   Love the power-burst to start the turnover rolling, then back down to normal speed for the duration of the wash time.  


Now do a dog bed!  sealed

Post# 1037916 , Reply# 23   7/11/2019 at 18:18 by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

Spectacular. The mouse that roared!

Post# 1037931 , Reply# 24   7/11/2019 at 20:14 by peteski50 (New York)        

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Robert thanks for the video you did a great job increasing the power of the machine!

Post# 1037932 , Reply# 25   7/11/2019 at 20:29 by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, Iowa)        
Better than expected!

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Well wasn't that just amazing. The transmission is taking the speed changes with ease, and the power-burst is a wonderful feature! The second wash to spin was so AMP, without the clank of a solenoid. Once the water was removed from the tub the ramp up on the speed almost sounded like a Unimatic for few seconds.

Thanks for the work so far and sharing with us! Can't wait to see what's next.

I'm with Dan - turn this thing up to 1000 RPM!


Post# 1037951 , Reply# 26   7/11/2019 at 23:45 by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

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Take that baby for a spin to 1000 RPM's, I bet she can handle it with no sweat!
Well tonight I washed a big load of rags with a few towels mixed in and ramped up both wash spin and final spin to 944rpm. It couldn't believe how smooth it was, it almost seems like the faster I go the quieter and more smooth it gets. There was very little vibration at all on the cabinet. Obviously there will be a limit to that stellar performance, but I don't know what that is. I'll stick with 944rpm through the weekend wash and see how it does before I go any higher. I'm only 196rpm away from the "mother lode" speed lol.

Once the water was removed from the tub the ramp up on the speed almost sounded like a Unimatic for few seconds.
It sounds even more like a Unimatic in person during that ramp up.

I have one other idea for another feature that would be cool if the motor can handle the low rpm. It would take another relay possibly two, but it would be really cool to have tub rotate slowly during the wash fill to really saturate the entire load before wash begins.

Post# 1038026 , Reply# 27   7/13/2019 at 00:49 by tolivac (greenville nc)        

NICE-Much better than the Maytags of that era I used to know.Both my Mom and Stepmom had these.The one my Stepmom had went thru the Rapid City flood of 72.It was rebuilt by the Maytag dealer there.The machine was beat up-but worked.Was replaced by a later Maytag when the flood one died.

Post# 1038375 , Reply# 28   7/15/2019 at 21:23 by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        
Breaking the 1000rpm Barrier in a Maytag!

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So this weekend I did 6 washloads in the Maytag, all spun at 944rpm. That made for 12 spins in total yesterday. 11 of the spins were just beautiful, smooth as silk, in one of the spins washing a large load of mixed colors once it reached near full speed there seems to have been a loud rapid knocking, which I believe was closer to the top of the cabinet. I stopped the machine and re-distrbuted the load to be better balanced and everything was back to normal. So after all the wash was done, I figured I would try to re-create the same semi-unbalanced load with wet towels to help determine where the rapid knock was coming from, however no matter what I tried I couldn't reproduce the sound. So for now I'll move on, I'm sure it will show up again and I can investigate where it's coming from and secure what ever is causing it.

So tonight with a full load of towels I increased spin to 1010rpm! Again no obvious issues with suspension or bearings. 1010rpm was the same spin speed as a 1965-1970 Frigidaire Rapidry Roller-matic or a 1964-1968 Frigidaire coin-op Super Duty Multi-matic. The entire load of towels all dried in 30 minutes.

The only issue I have noticed is faint hot rubber smell right after tub braking. I suspect I need to add a small amount of lubricant to the brake assembly to help with heat dissipation. I'll have to see if I can add the lubricant without much if any disassembly. However, as an experiment I tried spinning the load at 618rpm and braking again and the smell still happened, so who knows.

I have to say I am extremely impressed at how well the design of the Maytag suspension system is at high speeds. There is very little vibration on the cabinet even at 1010rpm, certainly less vibration than the 2007 LG Front Loader I have, by far at the same speed. I suspect having the ballast ring at the top of the tub as well as the weight of the spinning transmission underneath makes for a lot of ballast across the spinning axis.

More to come.

Post# 1038384 , Reply# 29   7/16/2019 at 00:42 by LowEfficiency (Iowa)        

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Robert, a few random thoughts:

When testing different spin speeds, keep in mind that the amount of vibration may not have a completely linear correlation with the spin speed. If you've ever driven a car with an unbalanced front wheel, you might be familiar with the situation... something to the effect of "car shimmies at 40mph but smoothes out again above 50." I don't know that anyone knows the resonant frequency of a 70's Maytag's spinning mass, or how it changes with different wash loads. But one day you might find the right load and spin speed where, counter to expectation, going SLOWER actually increases the vibration. If you wanted to get fancy, you could put an accelerometer in line with your speed controller, and let it automatically dial down the speed if things get out of hand. But if you have a computer in the mix, you might as well ditch the timer too and start from scratch. It's a slippery slope.

Perhaps related to balance, from your video, it looks like your water level control might be out of adjustment.
Maytag's literature states:
>> "The water level on the Extra-Large setting should register
>> between the bottom of the second row of holes to slightly
>> above the top row of holes in the tub."
In the video, it seems that yours keeps on filling right past that, up until somewhere mid-way up the balance ring? At 1:11 in your video, the water level was so high that it even floated out the fabric softener dispenser cup!

For the loud rapid knocking on the 12th run... Have you verified that an unbalanced tub actually does actuate your lid/unbalance switch?

The switch itself has an adjustment procedure, and yours could be out of calibration. Likewise, having the upper tub cover installed crooked (or perhaps too high or low?) could negatively impact the switch actuation. Even on a non-supercharged Maytag, it should only make unbalance noises briefly before the switch is triggered and shuts the whole machine down. If yours continued knocking until you intervened, I would suspect you have a mechanical or alignment issue that is preventing the unbalance switch from doing it's job... and at 1,000 RPM, I think you would want that switch to be functional!

On the hot rubber smell... Are you sure it's coming from the brake, and not from the belt?

Looks like this will be a great performing machine once the bugs are worked out!

Post# 1038397 , Reply# 30   7/16/2019 at 07:13 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
The 1010 Maytag A207

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Wow, Fun progress


The noise you got on one of your spins was the top of the basket hitting the tub cover, it has always been difficult to get the basket lined up and centered on the basket mounting stem and the tub covered properly spaced and centered as well.


A major part of the problem is production tolerances weren't that good on the stamping and welding on the outer tub and wash baskets and they never intended these washers to spin this fast. I put a new center seal in a 1991 MT washer a few weeks ago and had a terrible time getting everything lined up to keep the basket from hitting the tub cover occasionally.


The problem is the basket flexes enough to hit the tub cover and if the heavy part of the load ends up on the side of the basket that is too close you may get some contact with the tub cover, but you might put the same unbalanced load in 10 times and never get the interference again however.


There is no effective adjustment to the crude out-of-balance-cutout  on this washer, the OOBC is just intended to stop the machine as the spin starts if it is badly unbalanced, it will not stop a spin that is reaching full speed.


I dough the hot rubber smell is the brake, more likely the main drive belt, hopefully not the center seal.


John L.

Post# 1038409 , Reply# 31   7/16/2019 at 08:28 by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

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Hi Dave and John, thanks for the observations guys, this sure is interesting!

First the water level, I purposely set it higher as it seems to improve rollover with extra large loads. This may effect the load balancing slightly, however I suspect any negative effect will be minimal. I did that with the 1967 806 I had for several years and like slightly higher water level.

I have confirmed that unbalance switch kicks out properly, I even adjusted it to be a little more sensitive for this soup-ed up machine. During that one spin that was rattling the lid was opened so it wouldn't have kicked out during spin. The rattling may very well been the tub cover properly hitting the kick-out lever but if it was indeed the trip-lever I would think it would have been easily reproduced, but that's just a guess. It could be what John suggested, however there is plenty of space between the top of the tub and the tub cover but I'm not sure. I'll have to wait and see if the sound shows up again and then use that load exactly as is to investigate this.

I don't think the burning smell is coming from the belt. After the spin the belt and motor pulley are only slightly warm, but certainly not hot to the touch. The motor itself is barely even warm since I have the VFD set to limit the motor to 2.4amps maximum during spin acceleration. I did this to allow the tub to spin slowly during pump-out. The belt is adjusted to be firm but not too tight, but snug enough that it never slips. If the belt ever slips at all the VFD would report that to me via an error code and it has never done that. I would also think that if the belt was the cause I would smell it during spin which I don't, that scent only appears once the tub comes to a full stop. It's an unsolved mystery so far. I sure hope it's not the rubber tub seal, but the smell only comes from under the machine, you cannot smell it at within the tub itself. If it does turn out to be the the tub seal as John mentioned, that would be bad news for long-term high-speed spinning in a Maytag, we will see.

I did inject turbine oil via a syringe into the spin bearing's rubber jacket. Hopefully that will penetrate into the bearing, although so far so good.

I'll have to make a video of the 1010rpm spin, it sure is cool.

Post# 1038427 , Reply# 32   7/16/2019 at 12:15 by qsd-dan (West)        

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My modified 806 washer has produced that knocking sound but it was only when I washed a thick/heavy comforter. I never could reproduce it with other loads, even purposely distributed to create an aggressive unbalanced situation. My only guess is that the heavier load spun at faster RPM's causes the outer tub to flex just enough for the inner tub to make contact. Maytag used rather tight gap clearances between the inner/outer tubs compared to other washer designs (GE, GM Frigidaire, ect) and I think this may be the culprit. Next time it occurs, abruptly rock tub left/right just a bit and you'll notice the quick change in direction causes the knock to momentarily increase in amplitude. At least it did for me.

The burning smell is probably the brake if it only occurs during deceleration. You're braking at almost twice the speed it's originally engineered for and the brake lining is probably dry after 40 years, anyway. Use 80/90 gear lube if you don't have Maytag transmission oil on hand. It doesn't take much effort at all to remove/install the pulley to gain access to the brake cavity for lubrication, just a bit of time to properly re-adjust the stop lug clearance. I use an old eye dropper from a herbal tincture bottle I have have laying around to oil the brake package. 2-3 tablespoons of oil should get the job done.

Post# 1038437 , Reply# 33   7/16/2019 at 14:42 by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

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Thanks Dan, I think the brake may be the culprit of the smell, as soon as I can I'm going to add a bit of oil to the brake.

Okay guys, check this out here is a video of the latest spin speed. I upped the spin speed one more increment from 75hz to 76hz, which produced 1019rpm in this rinse spin and 1020rpm in the final spin!

I also figured out how to get it to YouTube in 1080p for best resolution...

Post# 1038602 , Reply# 34   7/18/2019 at 07:03 by scrubflex (bronx, new york)        

PHENOMENAL work...AWESOME videos...just GENIUS

Post# 1038609 , Reply# 35   7/18/2019 at 07:45 by ozzie908 (Lincoln UK)        
So quiet

ozzie908's profile picture
It sounds better than some new machines ..
Well done its genius what you can do .

Post# 1038612 , Reply# 36   7/18/2019 at 08:47 by Ultramatic (New York City)        

ultramatic's profile picture



Robert has the first "Warp Drive" Maytag.

Post# 1038628 , Reply# 37   7/18/2019 at 12:23 by scrubflex (bronx, new york)        

Hey Unimatic1140, as I said your work is simply genius. I have a Maytag A712 washer with the deep tub, could your upgrades work for my machine. Will it be able to handle the super high spinning forces created from the BIG TUB? BTW, I started searching the internet for the motor, motor controller, potentiometer with control knob and electric pump but, I'd like to know specific choices for the parts. Would you mind telling me? I'll be able to find them online. I was wondering when you find time could you post more pics to get a clearer view of the motor, pump, VFD motor controller, wiring diagram...etc
You know what else would be SPECTACULAR for those who are interested in follow your lead, a 'How To' pic/tutorial---21st Century A107 Maytag washer redesign


Post# 1038632 , Reply# 38   7/18/2019 at 13:20 by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

unimatic1140's profile picture
Hi Harry, of course. Let me start by saying I have no idea of the Big-Tub will handle any the high speed any better or worse than the standard tub in my machine. That will have be tested.

Next the major parts are here...

Drain Pump:




A few things I'd like to point out, I had an older version of the drain pump in my box-o-pumps so I didn't order that one, but it's the same one as in the link but mine is an older version. I bought the VFD and Potentiometer on Amazon at those links, however the first picture of the VFD on the Amazon page seems to be incorrect, it's the third picture that is correct one (must be a mistake on Amazon). As for the motor I was going to buy that on Amazon at that link but I found the exact same motor for $50 cheaper at Grainger. The relays at I bought at a surplus store over in St. Paul called Axman for cheap, but you can find those online as well. If you need more information on the relays let me know.

I'll get pictures posted shortly.

Post# 1038633 , Reply# 39   7/18/2019 at 13:22 by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

unimatic1140's profile picture
Some initial pictures. The foil like substance you see on the side of the cabinet is called KnoNoise. It's meant to stop vibration noise which i really didn't need, but I used it as an extra layer of protection (since it's a very dense material) in case the transmission counter weight gave way during testing.

Under the machine:

The motor:

The VFD and Pump:

And my wiring diagram so far:

Post# 1038652 , Reply# 40   7/18/2019 at 17:07 by scrubflex (bronx, new york)        

You're AWESOME Robert, thanks so much for the additional pics and diagram drawing...continue to lead with more 21st Century 'REDESIGNS'. How about a test video of a full load of jeans? And, maybe a comforter, if it can fit.

Post# 1038691 , Reply# 41   7/19/2019 at 04:55 by akronman (Akron/Cleveland Ohio)        
Hi Robert!

akronman's profile picture
It's all entirely cool and beyond my electronic abilities for sure! One weird thought though: I see there's an added clamp alonf the front edge of the cabinet to hold the motor plastic guard in place, and a small hole drilled on the other side of the cabinet's front edge for a wire. gCan you put the cabit front back on? I always found Maytag's need the front back on once you're done with repairs, to stabilize and square up the entire machine, reduce vibrations, etc. Hmmmm....

Fantastic inspiring work there!

Post# 1038695 , Reply# 42   7/19/2019 at 07:24 by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

unimatic1140's profile picture
I see there's an added clamp alonf the front edge of the cabinet to hold the motor plastic guard in place, and a small hole drilled on the other side of the cabinet's front edge for a wire. Can you put the cabinet front back on?

Hi Mark, oh yes I definitely want the front panel to be on when I'm running the machine at 1000rpm + speed. It's hard to see but if you look closely the custom bracket I made to hold the water/spray guard over the motor doesn't come out as far as the support bracket to hold the front panel does. So the guard bracket doesn't come out far enough to reach the front panel. Not to mention it wouldn't be too pretty of a machine without it's a front panel!

Btw, yesterday I oiled the Brake Assembly and this stopped the slight burning smell at the end of spin. The dried out brake pads was for sure the culprit.

Post# 1038794 , Reply# 43   7/20/2019 at 05:34 by akronman (Akron/Cleveland Ohio)        
Thank you Robert

akronman's profile picture
For the explanation, you do fine work!

Post# 1038845 , Reply# 44   7/20/2019 at 14:40 by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        
I know, I know, total blasphemy!

unimatic1140's profile picture
And now my new controls and indicator are installed, wired up and working. I will print out decals with text indicating what the do soon. I'll see if I can match the super cute Maytag font that are on the buttons.

Care to guess what even one does from left to right?

Post# 1038847 , Reply# 45   7/20/2019 at 14:43 by Repairguy (Danbury, Texas)        


Post# 1038889 , Reply# 46   7/20/2019 at 23:16 by qsd-dan (West)        
Care to guess what even one does from left to right?

qsd-dan's profile picture
My WAG is:

Timer bypass switch

Electric pump bypass switch

Agitation/Spin speed control potentiometer

Indicator light for electric pump operation or just indicating the machine is running.

Post# 1038893 , Reply# 47   7/21/2019 at 00:21 by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

unimatic1140's profile picture
Those are cool ideas for manual control Dan, but that's not what I did...

Post# 1038896 , Reply# 48   7/21/2019 at 01:14 by scrubflex (bronx, new york)        

WOW...WOW...just wow, so AMAZING Robert. It's unbelievable that we're in the day and age of being able to "design our own" washing machines.

Post# 1038900 , Reply# 49   7/21/2019 at 07:07 by chestermikeuk (Rainhill *Home of the RailwayTrials* Merseyside,UK)        
Maytag Souped Up By the Wand of Unimatic..!!

chestermikeuk's profile picture
Another great project Robert, really enjoyed following it and glad your back on the VFD projects...The Maytag sounds like its coping well with the extra speed, very often its the slightly faster speeds that smoothe the revs and reverbs out...

We only had the Hotpoint with SpiraClean agitator that spun a super fast , my partner in crime has just mentioned.."Oh, could the Hotpoint souped up outdo the Unimatic1140 ? have just done the maths and only 95 rpm needed to challenge the Unimatic 1140
Hhmmm….lol , but we all know it takes more than scribbles on paper !! Carry on the great work !!

  View Full Size
Post# 1038901 , Reply# 50   7/21/2019 at 07:27 by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

unimatic1140's profile picture
have just done the maths and only 95 rpm needed to challenge the Unimatic 1140

95 rpm is nearly nothing Mike, that machine surely should be able to take that speed increase easily and even higher if you wish I would assume. Of course "famous last words" but it would be interesting to see what you guys come up with.

The only issue I see so far with spinning the Maytag over 1000rpm is when the tub is completely empty the perforations in the tub cause a loud whistle. This really is a non-issue because I won't run the machine empty normally. Time to increase the speed another 20rpm this morning!

Post# 1038983 , Reply# 51   7/21/2019 at 17:40 by scrubflex (bronx, new york)        

So the half-point of the VAS will be 66.5 oscillations per min...the new regular speed

Post# 1038987 , Reply# 52   7/21/2019 at 17:54 by chetlaham (United States)        

chetlaham's profile picture
Thank you for doing this! Please do more! I want to see more VFD machines.

Post# 1038994 , Reply# 53   7/21/2019 at 19:34 by sfh074 ( )        
Next time .....

instead of "total blasphemy" ..... please make a separate control panel for the auxiliary controls and mount said control panel to the top or side ..... using 2-sided tape.

I'm still not over the blasphemy committed on the last machine you modified. Don't
get me wrong, I love your mods under the hood! IMHO the original control panel should stay pristine.

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