Thread Number: 79885  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
Unimatic agitator rubber parts .....
[Down to Last]'s exclusive eBay Watch:
scroll >>> for more items
Post# 1037938   7/11/2019 at 21:06 (329 days old) by sfh074 ( )        

I finally finished the Unimatic agitator for Frigidaireguy (Bob). It's hard to believe from the "before" picture that the rubber parts were ever a light grey.

The black bakelite column was in rough shape and after buffing on a stationary wheel, it turned out looking nearly new. It was the first time I tried renewing bakelite and was pleasantly surprised. Use the red jewelers rouge and not the green rouge typically used for hard plastics. Just does a nicer job on bakelite for some reason.

I recycled Bob's old pulsator to scavenge the metal top flange from it and mold it into the new pulsator. A new 1/2 cup measure cap, and new upper and lower ring set.

Wishing Bob many Unimatic washes to come.

Bob, when you get it installed, upload a picture or two so we can see a money shot.

Bud - Atlanta

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 2         View Full Size

Post# 1037946 , Reply# 1   7/11/2019 at 21:50 (329 days old) by Washerlover (Lake County, California: Wines With Altitude)        

washerlover's profile picture
Absolutely beautiful! Am hoping once I start tackling my Ď54 machine I can get the same thing!

Post# 1037948 , Reply# 2   7/11/2019 at 22:04 (329 days old) by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, IA)        

swestoyz's profile picture
Looking good, Bud. Any updates on how the pulsators are holding up?

Post# 1037949 , Reply# 3   7/11/2019 at 23:00 (329 days old) by hippiedoll (tucson, arizona u.s.a.)        

hippiedoll's profile picture
(Short, sweet, and to the point)...

That looks amazing!


Post# 1037950 , Reply# 4   7/11/2019 at 23:01 (329 days old) by sfh074 ( )        
Hi Ben ....

Tommy - LosAngeles, my QA guy (big shout out to him) :) has logged nearly 100 washes with the new pulsator with no change. After 30 washes or so we take the agitator out and inspect and photograph. We plan on doing it again next week to keep inspecting the progress. So yeah, the rubber formula has been worked out. It is still like new. Thanks for asking.

One issue that I had to investigate because the first pulsator started to change color challenged me to figure out if the problem was with the rubber components I was using, .... or was it caused by some wash product added to the mix. Actually it turned out to be both!

One big issue I tinkered with was testing a detergent Tommy was using, Mexican Ariel. I ended up making a strong solution of the Ariel and putting pieces of original Frigidaire neoprene rubber parts .... along with pieces of new rubber parts I made. After a week in this solution, the original neoprene rubber had started to turn that ugly tan color that we are all familiar with on older frigidaire washers. The new rubber pieces that I had created started to expand and change into an ugly tan color. My recommendation to anyone using Ariel, or any phosphated detergent .... you might want to rethink using it. It appears this stuff accelerates rubber deterioration. Both neoprene and urethane I've tested and it causes both to change color, and if left in long enough, they both expand slightly.

Could it be this is why most original rings I've encountered have turned tan and have loosened on the column? The inner diameter of most old rings are bigger than the column they were removed from.

I also dropped new single edge razor blades in the strong Ariel solution and in a strong solution of Tide. After 3 weeks, the blade in the Ariel had rust with pits going below the surface. The blade in the Tide had a light coating of surface rust which could be mostly removed by wiping it off. If you love your vintage washers, rethink the wash products you are using.

Bud - Atlanta

This post was last edited 07/11/2019 at 23:28
Post# 1037952 , Reply# 5   7/11/2019 at 23:46 (329 days old) by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

That came out absolutely beautiful Bud, I'm shocked at how well the Bakelite buffed out. Super cool for sure!

Post# 1037958 , Reply# 6   7/12/2019 at 05:39 (328 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

Do you have as good a progress report on the pulsators for the WO65-2 machines (hope, hope)?

Post# 1037961 , Reply# 7   7/12/2019 at 06:36 (328 days old) by sfh074 ( )        
Yes Tom .....

hang in there. I'll be getting back to that mold soon. Saying this only if the 2nd half of 2019 doesn't blow up like the first half did. I also have a bunch of parts to make from existing molds for people. Trying to play catch up at the moment.

Post# 1037963 , Reply# 8   7/12/2019 at 07:31 (328 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

turquoisedude's profile picture
Wow, Bud, it looks amazing!! Great work!!

Post# 1037965 , Reply# 9   7/12/2019 at 08:09 (328 days old) by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, IA)        

swestoyz's profile picture
Bud, I'm so glad to hear that the testing of the pulsators has gone well!

The results you got by buffing the bakelite are quite amazing. This opens up opportunities to buff bakelite agitators and the like for future restorations.


Post# 1037968 , Reply# 10   7/12/2019 at 09:38 (328 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

I read someplace years ago that Brasso polishes Bakelite beautifully.  It was in an article about Bakelite jewelry and decorative accessories.

Post# 1037969 , Reply# 11   7/12/2019 at 09:43 (328 days old) by golittlesport (California)        

Wow! What an astonishing transformation! And interesting information about detergent effects. Thanks for sharing.

Post# 1037970 , Reply# 12   7/12/2019 at 09:45 (328 days old) by sfh074 ( )        
I tried Brasso ....

and it took the oxidation off. But the Brasso leaves a waxy residue and it turned white after a few days, especially if there are pits or rough areas that can catch the Brasso. If the item is in good condition to begin with, the Brasso would give a nice polish I presume and take out light scuff marks.

I found that the red jewelers rouge worked very nicely. If there are areas that are scratched, use 400 sandpaper to get past the scratches and then buff. Not a lot of work with a buffing wheel.

Post# 1038003 , Reply# 13   7/12/2019 at 18:03 (328 days old) by lotsosudz (Sacramento, CA)        
absolutely Incredible

lotsosudz's profile picture
You did a amazing job on that pulsator. I can tell you are the kind that like to agitate things in certain situations. Just say'in.

Post# 1038006 , Reply# 14   7/12/2019 at 18:15 (328 days old) by qsd-dan (West)        

qsd-dan's profile picture
Those results are so amazing! It's like you took a DeLorean to the 50's and brought back an agitator.

Post# 1038192 , Reply# 15   7/14/2019 at 11:10 (326 days old) by 300C (Jonesboro, GA)        


Post# 1038200 , Reply# 16   7/14/2019 at 12:42 (326 days old) by bajaespuma (Connecticut)        

bajaespuma's profile picture

You deserve every penny that you can get for your brilliant services. And this is from someone who has every intention of finding and acquiring a Unimatic Custom Imperial 1958 (for the second time in his life) and needing parts.


Is there any possibility that you will be able to work with the plastics that GE used for filter-pans in the future? Or can you make these:

  View Full Size
Post# 1038227 , Reply# 17   7/14/2019 at 15:40 (326 days old) by sfh074 ( )        
Well ......

anything is possible if the mold is small enough to put into a 5 gallon pressure chamber. It is a little bit bigger than a 5 gallon paint bucket. For me that is the limiting factor.

Bud - Hot-lanta, GA

Is everyone staying cool?

This post was last edited 07/14/2019 at 16:14
Post# 1040223 , Reply# 18   7/31/2019 at 21:03 (309 days old) by Marks (Tucker, GA)        

marks's profile picture
Wow thatís awesome! Bob I may consider having you do mine too!

Post# 1040228 , Reply# 19   7/31/2019 at 23:39 (309 days old) by scrubflex (bronx, new york)        

Wow...AMAZING...looks like it's designed from the manufacturer...EXCELLENT work

Post# 1040260 , Reply# 20   8/1/2019 at 09:13 (308 days old) by sfh074 ( )        
That was the point Scrubflex .....

I have to have factory restoration perfection. The reason I went down this agitator repro road to begin with .... for my '61 and '62 and '63 machines.

Marks, did you mean Bud, not Bob?

Forum Index:       Other Forums:                      

Comes to the Rescue!

The Discuss-o-Mat has stopped, buzzer is sounding!!!
If you would like to reply to this thread please log-in...

Discuss-O-MAT Log-In

New Members
Click Here To Sign Up.

Discuss-o-Mat Forums
Vintage Brochures, Service and Owners Manuals
Fun Vintage Washer Ephemera
See It Wash!
Video Downloads
Audio Downloads
Picture of the Day
Patent of the Day
Photos of our Collections
The Old Aberdeen Farm
Vintage Service Manuals
Vintage washer/dryer/dishwasher to sell?
Technical/service questions?
Looking for Parts?
Website related questions?
Digital Millennium Copyright Act Policy
Our Privacy Policy