Thread Number: 80000  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
Filter-flo transmission repair
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Post# 1039201   7/23/2019 at 18:50 (1,731 days old) by jons1077 (Vancouver, Washington, USA)        

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Ok, boys and girls, Iím diving into the ever-elusive FF tranny. Iím not aware of any instructions or manuals that exist for these anywhere within my existence. Having said that, Iím dying to learn how to repair and rebuild these since theyíre so hard to find now.

The subject is a 1970 GE two-speed model. Iíve already rebuilt the clutch as it was partially seized and kept knocking the shifter out of whack. The main issue now is the vast indexing the tub does as it has virtually no brake.

Iíve removed and open up the bottom of the tranny. No leaks ever and the oil inside was not bad at all. However, there was a small pile of rubber material collected on the baseplate. I have NO idea where this would have come from but can only assume it has something to do with the brake. Beyond the lower bearing, I donít even know how to take this thing apart.

Anyone who has any knowledge, literature and/or pictorials on this may have their way with me because Iím completely stumped and really want to figure this out. In the meantime, Iíll keep checking for replacement trannys.

Thanks again! I added some pics.

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Post# 1039212 , Reply# 1   7/23/2019 at 19:34 (1,731 days old) by jons1077 (Vancouver, Washington, USA)        
So thereís more...

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Knowing why the GE makes two loud ďpopsĒ when the spin stops is like knowing the meaning of life! Lol

Thanks to a couple of simple questions from Robert, it suddenly occurred to me where the actual brake is and it was right under my nose. Inside the baseplate under a rim is a large spring coil with a hook. Between this cool and the baseplate is a brake pad strip. I have an intact brake to compare to the bad one.

As you can see, the bad brake has virtually nothing left to grab onto. Itís just metal on metal. So I could place the better one on the machine or see if thereís a way to find a new coil or have new material adhered to the old one.

So interesting!!!

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Post# 1039214 , Reply# 2   7/23/2019 at 19:38 (1,731 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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Jon, has to be some luck for all this..  Thread #80,000!!!  :-)


Post# 1039223 , Reply# 3   7/23/2019 at 21:03 (1,731 days old) by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, IA)        

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Well that sure looks like a good time, Jon!

Under the GE section on, Robert has a generic automatic washer service manual that does a great job of breaking down the transmissions for these, in case you need some guidance beyond what you've already uncovered, as well as parts breakdowns with PNs.

Glad to hear you already have a spare brake on hand.


Post# 1039226 , Reply# 4   7/23/2019 at 21:24 (1,731 days old) by jons1077 (Vancouver, Washington, USA)        

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Why didnít I think to look there? Thanks for the link! Purchased it and surely will use it. Interesting seeing all the info on multi-speed and versatronic clutches too!

Post# 1039257 , Reply# 5   7/24/2019 at 04:19 (1,731 days old) by jons1077 (Vancouver, Washington, USA)        
Now for oil

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I was able to get the brake coil replaced thanks to a large spring compressor. Yes, I was nervous. That thing pops loose and lord knows whatíll get hit. That is one heavy spring!

I know the discussion of oil had come up a while back I was at the automotive store earlier and wasnít able to find a non-detergent 60W oil. I found what I think is about the closest but unsure between a 50W high-pressure/high-temp motorcycle oil or just plain gear oil.


Post# 1039297 , Reply# 6   7/24/2019 at 14:53 (1,730 days old) by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

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Hey Jon, I had to use Pure Guard ND30 oil in the 1958 GE transmission. It's getting much harder to find non-detergent oil. I'm worried how we are going to find non-detergent oil in the future now that California has banned it. I suspect other states may follow their lead.


Post# 1039300 , Reply# 7   7/24/2019 at 15:04 (1,730 days old) by turquoisedude (.)        

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Yikes! One of the few things I can actually find in Canada! C'mon up and visit the Ogden Laundry sometime, Y'all!!

Post# 1040036 , Reply# 8   7/30/2019 at 16:20 (1,724 days old) by jons1077 (Vancouver, Washington, USA)        
Parts arrived and back to work

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So I got new lower seal for the case, new cork seal for the pulley wheel and a new lower shaft seal. Washed down the outside components and installed the new outer casing seal. The original lower shaft seal still had a nice, snug fit and was pliable so I didnít feel I should screw up a good thing.

By the way, the brake coil is a mother of a job. I had to get an automotive spring coil compressor to bend it down just enough to fit it inside the hub. You do NOT want that thing to slip out and knock you in the face. Kind of scary. Once seated I just tapped it in with a mallet and placed the shroud back which keeps it in place.

I went ahead and filled the transmission with the specified amount (2.75 quarts) of gear oil (90w). It looked and smelled just like what was in it before. Canít be that harmful and, if it is, oh well.

I did some obligatory cleaning and rust proofing. The aluminum case collected years of residue under the boot so the Dremel did a nice job of removing most of it and getting it nice and smooth.

Transmission is back in place now. Giving the shaft a quick turn counterclockwise engages the brake so I think that issue is resolved. No oil leaking at all so far either.

Once the POR-15 has had a couple hours to dry, Iíll replace the boot, tub and agitator. Then itíll be time to reinstall the motor-clutch assembly, thread the belt and then run some tests to make sure the clutch functions properly along with everything else.

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Post# 1040042 , Reply# 9   7/30/2019 at 16:52 (1,724 days old) by goatfarmer (South Bend, home of Champions)        

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Great job!

Post# 1040051 , Reply# 10   7/30/2019 at 18:06 (1,724 days old) by jons1077 (Vancouver, Washington, USA)        
Machines is back

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All components are now installed and initial spin test complete. We have a brake again! Also have two spin speeds! A little more time to allow POR-15 to fully dry and then will do water testing and agitation. Long live the filter-flo!

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Post# 1040057 , Reply# 11   7/30/2019 at 18:53 (1,724 days old) by Repairguy (Danbury, Texas)        

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Congratulations on keeping this great old machine in operation!

Post# 1040091 , Reply# 12   7/31/2019 at 01:19 (1,724 days old) by jons1077 (Vancouver, Washington, USA)        
Thereís always something...

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So everything is back together. Hooked it up. Water seal test is a go. Oil leak test is a go. Problem now...bad water level switch. Fills and doesnít agitate. Ugh!!! I bypassed the switch and got very nice smooth agitation in low and high speeds. So now to find another standard capacity infinite water level switch. To be continued...

Post# 1040116 , Reply# 13   7/31/2019 at 07:56 (1,724 days old) by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, IA)        

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Jon - many of us feel your pain - you get through everything only to find something completely different died.

Great job though on the transmission rehab. Your post might be the first we've seen of someone tearing into a 61 and later GE trans and installing new seals! Enjoy that smooth and *somewhat* quiet agitation. :)


Post# 1040151 , Reply# 14   7/31/2019 at 12:24 (1,723 days old) by jons1077 (Vancouver, Washington, USA)        

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Youíre so kind. I know this is one of those ďwelcome to the clubĒ sort of things where probably everyone here has had this happen. I feel like GEs, or at least the ones Iíve acquired over the years, have require such extensive work especially due to rust. The scary thing for me now is metal scrapping has been very effective at removing old machines in my area and vintage machines are virtually gone now. I havenít seen a replacement transmission anywhere, EBay or otherwise, in at least a year so rehabbing these transmissions will be necessary for me to keep these machines going. Thank goodness the upper seals are good or Iíd be screwed!

Post# 1040366 , Reply# 15   8/2/2019 at 03:53 (1,722 days old) by mit634 (Sydney)        

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Jon - Fantastic work. I enjoyed reading this thread and your "journey of discovery". Regards, Tim

Post# 1040556 , Reply# 16   8/3/2019 at 18:48 (1,720 days old) by jons1077 (Vancouver, Washington, USA)        

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Weíre back in business. 1969 model (manufactured 1970) GE Filter-flo with NO indexing and two speeds. Fully restored and sounds just like I remember! Iíd post a video but I donít know how on here so enjoy a couple of pictures.

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Post# 1040557 , Reply# 17   8/3/2019 at 19:00 (1,720 days old) by jons1077 (Vancouver, Washington, USA)        
By the way...

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If anyone happens to have a V16 straight-vane agitator theyíre looking to part with Iíd be happy to make an offer. The original one for this machine was badly mangled. Iíve got a V14 ramp in it for now.

Post# 1040587 , Reply# 18   8/3/2019 at 22:23 (1,720 days old) by Repairguy (Danbury, Texas)        

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Hi Jon. There as a brand new in box Ge straight vane agitator on eBay at the moment. If you want to take a look search WH43X93. It should be the one for the large capacity machine according to my research.

Post# 1040589 , Reply# 19   8/3/2019 at 22:37 (1,720 days old) by qsd-dan (West)        

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Great job! Very little GE transmission tear downs have made it through this site, for whatever reason(s). It's intriguing to see what's under the hood of a GE mechanism.

Record a clip on Youtube and link us here. We'd love to hear a restored GE washer running in tip top shape.

Post# 1040696 , Reply# 20   8/4/2019 at 18:00 (1,719 days old) by jons1077 (Vancouver, Washington, USA)        

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Hopefully these links work!


Post# 1040697 , Reply# 21   8/4/2019 at 18:02 (1,719 days old) by jons1077 (Vancouver, Washington, USA)        
Spin drain

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Post# 1040698 , Reply# 22   8/4/2019 at 18:02 (1,719 days old) by jons1077 (Vancouver, Washington, USA)        
Spin brake works!

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Spin brake. VERY quiet spin these models had.


Post# 1040699 , Reply# 23   8/4/2019 at 18:04 (1,719 days old) by jons1077 (Vancouver, Washington, USA)        
Some rinse action

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No indexing, speeds working and nice, brisk agitation.


Post# 1040714 , Reply# 24   8/4/2019 at 20:12 (1,719 days old) by qsd-dan (West)        

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Looks and sounds great! Agitation is quiet yet spry and it quickly gets up to top spin speed smoothly and quietly. Job well done.

Post# 1040717 , Reply# 25   8/4/2019 at 20:43 (1,719 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
GE Filter-Flow Running Like New Again

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Great job Jon, It is always fun to see a vintage machine that was once so popular running like new.


GEs always got the job done, although I prefer the straight vaned V-16 agitator that you are looking for over ramp vaned agitators for best turnover.


John L.

Post# 1040720 , Reply# 26   8/4/2019 at 20:54 (1,719 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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Great work on a beautiful machine! Congratulations!

Post# 1040721 , Reply# 27   8/4/2019 at 20:57 (1,719 days old) by Washerlover (The Big Island, Hawaiíi)        

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Jon, awesome job!! And thank you for the videos ó nice looking machine.


Post# 1040766 , Reply# 28   8/5/2019 at 10:22 (1,719 days old) by pulltostart (Mobile, AL)        
Sounds Great!

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Those sounded so smooth when new.  Over time, the smoothness diminished.  I had a 1976, which I kept until 1984 when it was replaced by a new FF.  I had forgotten how quiet they were when new.  I love the Filter-flos!


Good job.



Post# 1040772 , Reply# 29   8/5/2019 at 11:19 (1,718 days old) by jons1077 (Vancouver, Washington, USA)        

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Appreciate the kind responses! Never thought Iíd have three fully-functional filter-flo sets and I love them all. This set was such a particular surprise to me because of the lighted dials. I had only seen a photo of a machine that had one of these but never thought Iíd find one under my nose. Thatís why I couldnít part these machines out. They needed to be preserved and Iím so excited to have them up and running.

This site makes restorations like this possible and everyone here has so much knowledge theyíre willing to share. Iím so grateful!

Post# 1040821 , Reply# 30   8/5/2019 at 23:07 (1,718 days old) by gansky1 (Omaha, The Home of the TV Dinner!)        

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Great work, Jon.  It looks and sounds great.  The straight vane was a very good Activator in the large capacity tub, hope you've found one.  

Post# 1040849 , Reply# 31   8/6/2019 at 07:16 (1,718 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
GE V-16 Washer

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Hi Jon, this is the smaller standard capacity machine ? correct,


I probably have a spare V16 straight vane agitator if you want me to send one.


John L.

Post# 1040871 , Reply# 32   8/6/2019 at 11:33 (1,717 days old) by jons1077 (Vancouver, Washington, USA)        

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Yes, standard V-16 tub. The agitator for this particular machine was modified in an unfortunate way so doubt Iíll ever use it. If youíre willing to spare one then Iíd appreciate it. Just let me know what I owe you for it.


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Post# 1041038 , Reply# 33   8/8/2019 at 11:18 (1,715 days old) by touchtronic (Omaha, NE)        

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Nice work Jon - a transmission rebuild is definitely intimidating, but not as bad as a car transmission - forget that LOL.

My Aunt and Uncle had a filter flow of some relation but I remember it had a lid that opened to the left.


Post# 1041047 , Reply# 34   8/8/2019 at 13:32 (1,715 days old) by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
I second that;

Having studied several automobile transmissions both manual and automatic.
A conventional manual shift not so much, but a dual clutch manumatic or the newer 6, 7, 8, 9, or 10 speed automatics for sure. None have more than 5 to 7 forward planetary gear sets, but more valve body passages, clutch packs, and electronics than a 4 or 5 speed.
Aside from those, there are mega amounts of belville and thrust washers, bearings, spacers, fluid check balls, actuator bands, solenoids, plungers, diaphrams, pin valves, rotational sensors, etc. Many early ones had a both front and rear pump, which allowed a vehicle to be push started.
Various torque converter stall speeds, or the r.p.m.s at which the fluid coupling slips the least. A few later ones do still allow the vehicle to be towed with 4 wheels on the ground for infinite miles in neuteral. The Chevy Cavalier was one such through the 2006 model year. Computers and electronics have replaced the early and simpler cabled, electric and or vacuum modulated detent and shifting points.
Still with all this technology, some still feel much to busy up and down shifting to smoothly power the vehicle in order to maximize fuel efficiency.

Post# 1042659 , Reply# 35   8/24/2019 at 18:26 (1,699 days old) by Doug (West Virgina)        
Nice job

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Iím just now seeing ur thread, great job on the restoration! Wish I knew how to repair the clutchís an transmissions as u said they r getting harder to find! Maybe one day Iíll learn! Iíll keep an eye out for the agitator u need as well! I had a question though about the por 15 that u used to do the rust hole patching, what exactly is it called? I saw u had used a fiber glass cloth or something an put the putty on it? I also saw u used the preventing paint for the mild rust spots? Hope u can help, great job again! -Doug

Post# 1042803 , Reply# 36   8/26/2019 at 21:14 (1,697 days old) by jons1077 (Vancouver, Washington, USA)        

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Thanks! Iíve repaired a couple of horribly rusted outer tubs on GEs with both POR-15 and Bondo. Bondo is a resin that is mixed with an activating solution and brushed onto fiberglass cloth. If youíve ever been on a brand new fiberglass boat before, it has that same distinct smell. Once the resin hardens it is extremely durable and waterproof so itís perfect for washers. You can sand it, shape, and cut holes in it. Even paint it.

POR-15 is the name of the rust-proofing paint you can use to stop rust in its tracks. Inside these machines are common rust-prone areas such as the out rim of the outer tub, areas prone to trauma from an out-of-balance inner tub and anywhere there are hose connections or standing water. Simply paint this stuff on and itíll bond with the rust and seal it.

Both of these can be found at both hardware stores as well as automotive supply stores where automotive paint and body repair items are sold.

I have two machines that literally were saved because of both of these items!

Let me know when youíre ready to work on clutches and Iíll do my best to support you. Theyíre not that bad really.

Post# 1042872 , Reply# 37   8/27/2019 at 14:55 (1,696 days old) by Doug (West Virgina)        

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Thanks a lot for all the knowledge and advice! I believe I may be able to do a rust repair/prevention now ! Again thanks a lot an I will keep u updated!

Post# 1042970 , Reply# 38   8/28/2019 at 15:13 (1,695 days old) by Stuftrock1 (Kentucky)        

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This is definitely a very informative thread. I just got my Filter Flo a couple days ago and itíll probably need some work. But how many different Activator agitators were there? I thought the 3 vein ramped was the only one.

Post# 1042983 , Reply# 39   8/28/2019 at 19:44 (1,695 days old) by Stuftrock1 (Kentucky)        

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And what does V-16 or V-## mean?

Post# 1042987 , Reply# 40   8/28/2019 at 21:30 (1,695 days old) by jons1077 (Vancouver, Washington, USA)        

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I would say, like most creators of appliances back then, there were always interesting variations made to machines to keep them fresh and ďimproved.Ē Agitators were certainly no exception. This also plays a part in the ďVĒ model designations of these machines. John L. Has a lot more knowledge on this subject but hereís what I understand.

ďVĒ models were what designated a machines capacity of dry clothing it could handle safely without overloading the motor. Therefore a V-16 model was considered capable of washing up to 16 lbs of dry clothing. John was explaining that these capacities would increase (V-12, V-14, and V-16) based on the motor capacity (increasing the horsepower) rather than increasing actual tub capacity. 18 lb models had deeper tubs, however.

There were a a few main designs for agitators for both standard and tall tub models. Original standard machines had Bakelite ramps for the 12 and 14 lb models in the early and mid 1960ís. 16 lb models began featuring the triple straight-cane agitator in Bakelite and over the next few years (1967-1973ish) these straight vane standard tub agitators had a few variations to the fins. I think they were in turquoise and white.

Initial 18 lb tall tub models in about 1967 featured 4-vane straight vane agitators and I believe it was until the late 1970ís that tall tub machines began featuring ramp activators like their standard tub siblings. There were a couple of variations on the tall straight vane activators as well and, ultimately everything went back to ramps until the end of the filterflo line.

Post# 1042988 , Reply# 41   8/28/2019 at 21:35 (1,695 days old) by jons1077 (Vancouver, Washington, USA)        
Agitator photos

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Post# 1043011 , Reply# 42   8/29/2019 at 06:38 (1,695 days old) by Stuftrock1 (Kentucky)        

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Thanks for the info! Is there any way to tell what V-## mine is? Iím not home at the moment and I donít know the model number.

Post# 1043019 , Reply# 43   8/29/2019 at 08:11 (1,695 days old) by jons1077 (Vancouver, Washington, USA)        

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Yours has the ďextra largeĒ water level setting so itís the taller tub 18 lb machine and it will have the white ramp activator that is in photo #3 posted above. The softener dispenser I posted to you from eBay is correct for this machine and will fit.

Post# 1043020 , Reply# 44   8/29/2019 at 08:49 (1,695 days old) by Stuftrock1 (Kentucky)        

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The part you listed was part # WH47X43. From what Iíve read, this model is for the Rimflo, so it wonít fit on the filter pan. WH47X39 is what I need.

Post# 1043025 , Reply# 45   8/29/2019 at 09:22 (1,695 days old) by jons1077 (Vancouver, Washington, USA)        

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The item in the picture is what youíre looking for. Perhaps they posted the wrong part number on the eBay ad. Hope you find what you need.

Post# 1043039 , Reply# 46   8/29/2019 at 11:45 (1,694 days old) by 48bencix (Sacramento CA)        
Mine never worked on slow speed

I had two GE Filter Flos one a 1961 and a 1991. Both ended up one speed units after the slow speed failed. Perhaps due to me changing the speed during operation. Some say that will do it. My question is how hard was it to make a two speed motor? Then no need for the complicated transmission. I always loved the Filter Flos for their ability to filter out so much stuff, especially dog hair!

Post# 1043044 , Reply# 47   8/29/2019 at 12:05 (1,694 days old) by DADoES (TX,†U.S. of A.)        

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GE's reason for using the complicated clutch mechanism instead of a multi-speed motor is to maintain full-rate pump flow for filtering.

Post# 1043059 , Reply# 48   8/29/2019 at 14:54 (1,694 days old) by Stuftrock1 (Kentucky)        

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That is actually very smart. Itís amazing and quite sad how much people these days completely take washers for granted, especially since they were designed by someone much smarter than all of us. And not to mention how impressive the engineering was that went into them. Maytagís nylon ball hinges, so simple yet such a brilliant ďwhy didnít I think of thatĒ idea. Maytagís orbital transmission, a reliable, simple, and compact transmission design that was genius. The resulting agitation may only have a short 90 degree stroke, but it was fast and it got the job done. Whirlpoolís direct drive, honestly probably the best drivetrain systems that eliminated the problems from having a belt and was extremely easy to work on if something actually broke. And finally, the agitator itself. You donít just put fins on a stick and call it a done deal. You use fluid dynamics and general physics to design an agitator that has strong rollover, good scrubbing ability on all water levels, creates strong water currents, is gentle on clothes, and is still capable of performing well when overloaded. Sure, a lot of this is also dependent of the stroke size and speed determined by the transmission and motor, but the best agitators take full advantage of whatever drivetrain they are paired with.

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