Thread Number: 81205  /  Tag: Modern Automatic Washers
Seeking Whirlpool Direct Drive Advice
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Post# 1052270   11/25/2019 at 11:49 (1,558 days old) by maranoman (Des Moines, Iowa)        

maranoman's profile picture
I strayed outside of my Maytag comfort zone this weekend to help an elderly couple from my church with their Whirlpool WTW5500SQ0 direct drive washer. The machine dates to 2006. They are on a fixed income and want to keep this machine running for as long as possible.

The initial problem they reported to me was that the clothes were still very wet after the cycle was completed. I went over to their house and determined that the spin was slower than I would expect and determined that a new clutch would fix that issue. I also determined that their agitator dogs were toast and that the machine was not neutral draining as it should. So I spent $76 to buy them a new clutch, neutral drain kit, agitator cam/dogs and a new coupler. I figured if the machine was going to be taken apart after 13 years of use, I might as well replace the coupler.

All went well over the weekend. I opened up their transmission, drained the oil, replaced the neutral drain parts, filled it back up with new oil, made a new gasket and sealed it up. I also installed the new clutch, agitator parts and coupler. While I was at it, I thoroughly cleaned out the scum from the inner and outer tubs and underneath the agitator. This fixed the slow spin and neutral drain issues and the agitator is back to dual action mode again.

While running a test load of towels before I left, I noticed two more issues. One is that the brake doesn't seem to be working. The machine takes a good 40 seconds or more to come to a gradual stop. I priced out new brake shoes and they come to about $47. I can ask the elderly couple if they want to spend that much more (I am providing them free labor) but if they don't, is it more or less just a safety issue that the spin doesn't stop quickly after the spin cycle completes? If she is careful about waiting until the tub stops spinning before reaching in, will not replacing the brake shoes affect anything else?

The other issue is excessive vibration during the spin cycle. I didn't notice this before because the spin was slow, but now that it is spinning fast again, it vibrates enough to move the machine at least an inch on the floor during the spin cycle. I made sure that the machine is perfectly level and I also tightened down the locknuts on the front legs. I didn't notice that the longer motor counterbalance spring was disconnected or loose from the back of the base - I'm pretty sure I would have spotted that. So is the next step to replace the suspension/tub wear pads? If so, can I just replace the 3 curved base pads (285744)? Or should I also change out the 3 square plate pads (285219)? If the pads are not the next likely suspect, what would be - springs?

I have also seen two kinds of videos on replacing the 3 curved base pads. One way (probably the officially sanctioned method) involves tearing down the machine again and removing the outer tub to get easier access to the pads. The other way involved using a pry bar or other leveraging tool to raise up the plate supporting the tub away from the base support just enough to knock out the old pads and slide in the new ones. Any advice on which method to take?

The only other issue is that the timer knob is semi-broken. The outer portion of the knob (where you grip it) spins freely so she has to use the inner portion of the dial to set the cycle and then she pulls out the outer knob to to start it. I looked at the timer but couldn't see that it was easily serviceable. I found some used timers (8577356) on eBay for around $57, but if there is an easy fix for this, please let me know. Other than the knob issue, the timer seems to perform as it should.

Thanks for any advice you can provide! - Jeff

This post was last edited 11/25/2019 at 12:52

Post# 1053156 , Reply# 1   12/4/2019 at 14:34 (1,549 days old) by maranoman (Des Moines, Iowa)        
New wear pads did the trick...

maranoman's profile picture
I didn't get any advice from anyone so I just went ahead and ordered the lower wear pads (285744). I was able to install them without removing everything up above them. From below I just pushed up on the plate supporting the tub and put in a small piece of wood to hold it up and create a gap large enough for me to knock out the old pads and slide in the new ones. The rear wear pad had a significant flat spot while the two forward ones were only slightly worn. Once installed, the vibrations were greatly diminished during the spin cycle.

I added a link below to a video on Youtube which shows the method I copied to change out the wear pads.

They are still reluctant to spend the money to replace the brakes so I just told them to be careful about reaching into the tub until it came to a stop.


Post# 1053164 , Reply# 2   12/4/2019 at 15:58 (1,549 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Difficult to judge the condition of those pads without seeing them but of course they're always a possibility in situations of excess vibration.

There are three more pads on the skate plate which allow oscillation of the tub support.

Did anyone else notice the gunk on the inside of the outer tub on the machine in the video (yes, I know it's not the one you're dealing with) and the box of Arm & Hammer detergent on the dryer?

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Post# 1053659 , Reply# 3   12/9/2019 at 07:45 (1,544 days old) by maranoman (Des Moines, Iowa)        
Skate plate pads

maranoman's profile picture
The owner of the machine I worked on wanted to spend as little as possible to extend its life, so I started by changing the lower wear pads to see if that would fix the vibration issue - and it did. I was aware of the skate plate pads above them, but it seemed that most of the videos online (and eBay listings for Whirlpool wear pads) were the lower pads, so I started there thinking they were the ones that would wear out more quickly. Plus I was able to replace them with minimal machine tear down.

I just picked up a 2001 Whirlpool DD machine for free and plan to refurbish it for resale. It will be interesting to check out both sets of pads and see what kind of wear they suffered over 18 years of use.

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