Thread Number: 81757  /  Tag: Modern Automatic Washers
My Kenmore HE top load ate the bearings AGAIN
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Post# 1057679   1/15/2020 at 16:22 by dartman (Portland Oregon)        

Well that Kenmore I Replaced the shaft and bearings in 233 days ago is already starting to make noise again. I used a OEM whirlpool shaft and bearing kit and the sealer and gease that came with it this time. It's been nice and quiet till just recently so obviously the upper seal and sealant wasn't much good as it seemed to go in nicely and I was careful to goop it up good and let it set 24 hours. Of course I now own all the tools to do it again but this is ridiculous. I was hoping to get at least 3 years out of the parts. At least it isn't leaking yet and it took a while to finally leak from when I noticed the noise the first time, I think a few years.
Any suggestions as what to do to make it last or a better machine that is top load, he, and easy to repair and more reliable. I can't afford a speed queen or the amount of water it uses.
I think I'll wait it out again till it's warm again unless it starts leaking.

Post# 1057696 , Reply# 1   1/15/2020 at 17:07 by murando531 (Huntsville, AL)        

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Is your machine an Oasis platform (floating wash basket) or a VMW belt drive?

Post# 1057699 , Reply# 2   1/15/2020 at 17:52 by dartman (Portland Oregon)        

It's a direct drive with a floating basket. I had all the model numbers eventually in my original thread when I redid the bearings and shaft twice. The first time the seal never went flush and it was making noise and leaking almost immediately so I bought original whirlpool parts and swapped them out again. The model is a 28102 and its a common design they have used quite a few years in many impeller top load machines. The seal and bearings it uses are known to fail early, start making noise, and eventually leak. It's common enough the Chinese sell the bearings and shaft kit with the installation tool very cheap but the bearings usually aren't as good as the original ones and my first kit was one of those. Pretty frustrating for me.

Post# 1057719 , Reply# 3   1/15/2020 at 20:03 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Bearing getting noisy again

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Good News is WP will give you free parts for 1 year.


We have replaced bearings in at least 100+ of these machines and I am unaware of any repeat failures., careful seal installation is critical to be sure.


Most machines we have seen with bad bearings had seals that were ruined from mineral build-up and gunk left behind by poor washing practices.


John L.



Post# 1057725 , Reply# 4   1/15/2020 at 20:26 by dartman (Portland Oregon)        

Well it was a Whirlpool box but it wasn't from Whirlpool and it shouldn't fail after 233 days. The first seal looked damaged when I took it back apart. The machine went into service in 2014 and leaked in 2019 so it made warranty but the older direct drive machine I had never ate the bearings from about 90 to 2012. It had other, cheap and easy to fix issues, but never had bearing issues. I used the glue smelling sealer, the grease that came with the kit so I figured it should last at least 3 years and I did the best I could to make sure everything critical to the seal was clean, seated right, and the bearings were seated and spun smoothly and quietly. I got the parts from a clearance warehouse that buys up stock from businesses clearing out old stuff and they sell it at a good discount.
It was a big job to tear it down and replace everything and I don't want to have to redo it every 6 months. A couple of bearings and a seal isn't that expensive but doing it repeatedly is wasting my time.

Post# 1057728 , Reply# 5   1/15/2020 at 20:45 by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Interesting that my F&P GWL08 is 20 yrs 6 mos, IWL12 15 yrs 3 mos, GWL11 14 yrs+, and AquaSmart 10 yrs 7 mos per serial, all with original bearings (AFAIK for the two not bought new) ... so what did WP do to the design to result in so much bearing failure?

Post# 1057745 , Reply# 6   1/16/2020 at 00:01 by dartman (Portland Oregon)        

I think the seal just isn't up to keeping the moisture from seeping down the shaft and into the bearings eventually. They sell supposedly improved seals from many manufacturers and I read about people's issues getting decent quality parts to replace everything with. Most of the non OEM ones don't offer any real warranty. Even the one I found that does says the bearings didn't last a month but one user said his was still quiet 6 months later. John is right you have to get everything right and not damage anything or it will fail early but after seeing the damage in my first install I was very careful to use better parts and get the important areas clean, seated, and sealed, and it was Whirlpool parts. I still have the tool, a extra fairly new shaft,so I think I'll order just the bearings and improved seal for 24 bucks with a supposed 5 year warranty. You can buy everything for 25 to 60 bucks, shaft and all but most are Chinese stuff that may or may not be just fine. The first kit I had troubles getting the shaft seated then the seal wouldn't go flush so something wasn't right. Second OEM kit the shaft and bearings dropped in place easily and so did the seal so I figured everything was good and it worked great till now. I don't know if something got damaged somehow or what but it's frustrating to spend all that time and only get a bit over 6 months out of it. At least it isn't leaking so I probably have some time to deal with it.

Post# 1057836 , Reply# 7   1/16/2020 at 20:35 by dartman (Portland Oregon)        
Now constant ul error on spin

Well it continues to frustrate me. Now it thumps and refills forever and eventually stops with the code and unlocks the door. We have to keep restarting it and after 5 or so restarts when we switch it to spin only mode it makes it it to fast spin and stops. I can see all the support/shock/balancing rods are attached at the top and my level is spot on. Maybe something broke around the basket or the rods are shot but I'm tired of it. I guess I can pull it out and pull the back off and see if anything broke or is out of place.
Now I have two problems to deal with but not spinning out the water is a big issue.

Post# 1057840 , Reply# 8   1/16/2020 at 21:19 by dartman (Portland Oregon)        

Tried just the spin cycle in high with nothing loaded and still throws the code but took about 3 restarts to get through it. Something is making a occasional scraping noise so maybe something is out of place or broke now. Guess I'm at least pulling it out and looking around behind and underneath.

Post# 1057849 , Reply# 9   1/16/2020 at 22:58 by Spinmon (st. charles mo )        

You indicate some monetary distress (I'm familiar) in getting a different machine. Too bad. This ungrateful KM needs a concrete block drop at max spin...

Post# 1057852 , Reply# 10   1/16/2020 at 23:26 by dartman (Portland Oregon)        

Thanks, it's so frustrating recently every time I do something it doesn't last like it should on this thing. When it's right it's quiet, uses little water, and cleans well enough but everything is ganging up on me at once. The parts are cheap enough but it's always a big job to tear it down to redo the bearings and if they refuse to last a year that's pretty frustrating. I'm trying to decide if I'm better to like you said drop a wall on it or fix it again. I can get everything to fix it again provided I figure out what is causing the ul error. It can be the bearings again, something in the control board, the suspension rods that holds the basket etc.
It sounded like a jet on take off run when it started leaking in early 2019 but still didn't ul unless it actually was way out of balance and most times it balanced itself quickly. I like top loaders so want to stick with one whether I fix this again or not but thinking if there's something efficient, more reliable, and easy to service out there now. This was a 2013 machine I got at Sears outlet store as demo for a good price with the full warranty but it only had a year and it made that fine. We bought the next year electric dryer and it's been perfect, huge, and very good on power use since, no real issues except complaining about the duct air flow occasionally but never refusing to work. Sometimes I just have to step back from wanting to destroy it and think about how cheap the parts are and taking a quick look at it again.

Post# 1057879 , Reply# 11   1/17/2020 at 07:25 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Going Out-Of-Balance Often

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Replace all four suspension rods, they come in a kit of four. We see a lot of these washers GOB even with nothing in them when the strut rods get worn.


John L.

Post# 1057898 , Reply# 12   1/17/2020 at 11:58 by dartman (Portland Oregon)        

It's not throwing a f51 code for the rps sensor and the basket isn't wobbling around excessively when it spins so I guess the rods could be bad now. I wonder if I should get a rps sensor, bearing kit, and rods just to be safe. If I tear into it again I don't want to do it again right away.
I did find the service pamphlet inside so I can do any test including electrical as I have a nice fluke multi meter. It gets to 13 minutes on the spin cycle, thumps to rebalance and stops and unlocks with the ul code in spin only empty and after 3 or so restarts it completed a high speed spin.

Post# 1057942 , Reply# 13   1/17/2020 at 17:10 by dartman (Portland Oregon)        
OK, found the UL issue

Like it says I went ahead and eventually decided staring at it wasn't going to trouble shoot and fix it so I cleared out enough space to pull it out as far as the fill hoses would allow.
I noticed last night when I was looking under it to see where the scraping noise was coming from that the bolt that holds the cover, stater, and all the motor pieces seemed to be not seated against it.
So I pulled the back off, looked at the shock mounts and they looked perfect, then I reached under the motor and I could turn that bolt by hand and it was out probably 1/8 of an inch. I found a quarter bit and tightened it back flush. Then I pushed it most of the way in and did a test spin and no errors twice. I'm sure I snugged up that bolt but who knows. At least one of the issues was easy and we can use it again for now. I guess maybe I better put some lock tight on it when I fix the bearings.
Only bad part was I forgot about the drain hose and it spilled water on the floor but it wasn't much because test spin with no water already in the tub and it just puts enough in to balance and spin luckily.

Post# 1058089 , Reply# 14   1/18/2020 at 23:45 by dartman (Portland Oregon)        
We did a fairly large load last night.

OK, did a large load of work jackets and hoodies last night, didn't throw any codes, spun up to high speed with a couple of balance stops, seems fine again 👍
It makes noise still but everything works and it doesn't leak.
I ordered the bearings and seal only kit that has a 5 year warranty on Amazon for 15 bucks and it'll be here tomorrow. The shaft should still be good seeing how it just started making noise and isn't leaking, plus I have the other one that only has a month on it provided it works better than it did with the first bearing set.
SO, another thing to look for on these oasis based machines is to make sure the hex bolt in the center of the hub basket thing underneath hasn't backed out over time as it throws the stater and magnet setup out which messes up the rps sensor so it throws ul codes and eventually shuts off till you tighten it back up, quick easy fix.

Post# 1058103 , Reply# 15   1/19/2020 at 06:37 by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Put a little blue loctite on the rotor bolt.

Post# 1058106 , Reply# 16   1/19/2020 at 08:18 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Bearing getting noisy again

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I have seen several of these washers where the rotor bolt gets loose, it is as Glenn suggested to use some blue Loctite on them.


Be careful of reusing a used shaft on these washers as the shaft is the other half of the critical water seal, unless the seal area and area where the basket slides on the shaft is perfect you may not get a lasting repair.


Out of the well over 100 of these we have put bearings in I do not know of more than one that we have had to redo, we have always used the complete WP supplied kit.


John L.

Post# 1058161 , Reply# 17   1/19/2020 at 22:12 by dartman (Portland Oregon)        

Well, unless the shaft from the OEM kit is completely pitted and rusty already it should be fine with a clean up. The bearings arrived today and APPEAR to be high quality. They even put grease round blobs on the seal where it runs against the shaft so it should be ready to go once I seal it to the tub. Bearings actually say U.S. on them and look well sealed and spin nicely. I already used a OEM Whirlpool shaft bearings kit but didn't last super long, but at least the shaft actually slid in place properly and didn't have to be hammered in like the Chinese one, probably helping to destroy the seal. We'll see what I find when I tear it down again. I have a bottle of red lock tight if that's acceptable, otherwise I can get some blue.

Post# 1058162 , Reply# 18   1/19/2020 at 22:41 by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Red is considered permanent, or requires heat to break.  Blue is the proper choice, not so permanent.

Post# 1058167 , Reply# 19   1/19/2020 at 23:06 by dartman (Portland Oregon)        

OK, the bottle probably says that somewhere. I have a Ace and a O Rielies right down the street from my house. Not sure I have any blue Lock Tight around anymore and that stuff tends to dry up eventually anyway. I used the red to lock down the lens frames to my cheap Chinese prescription glasses. The frames and lenses were fine for the money but the screws holding the lens frames together kept loosening up, falling out, and then I'd almost loose the lens too. Once I put a tiny bit on both and tightened them up it never happened again. I usually use it or anti seize on my cars but works fine on glasses too.

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