Thread Number: 81956  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
Setting up house: what would y'all suggest.
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Post# 1059784   2/6/2020 at 14:58 (1,141 days old) by N8dgr8 (FSM area, Arkansas)        

Hi folks.
I'm new here, so excuse me if I'm posting in the wrong place.
I have rented all through college, and now I'm about to find my first actual house. Y'all know what that means; I get to find my own appliances. So here's the question:
What should I get?
I don't have a great deal of laundry, or dishes, or food, so I know vintage appliances will serve my needs just fine. But looking at the entire history of appliances is somewhat daunting.
I'm asking for suggestions on a washer, refrigerator, and a dishwasher.
Not 100% sold on needing a machine to dry my clothes, but that's where the widom of others comes in.

Thank you so much in advance.
Go Pokes and God bless,

Post# 1059785 , Reply# 1   2/6/2020 at 15:22 (1,141 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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before you think vintage....

what is your mechanical knowledge?...

and depending on the age of appliances, can you get parts?

if you dont want to go brand new....consider sticking within parameters of 1995 to 2005 +/- for the most part...

Post# 1059788 , Reply# 2   2/6/2020 at 15:50 (1,141 days old) by N8dgr8 (FSM area, Arkansas)        

I am mechanically inclined, and pretty handy with a wrench. I'm a big gear head, and love the classics, so I'm no stranger to tinkering. Part of what I like about these old machines is that they are simple and completely mechanical.

From what I have seen, the old roatry compressors from GE, Frigidaire, and Westinghouse are very robust and durable. Same for the wringer washers.

As far as parts availability, I'm no stranger to looking for obscure parts online. So far my experience in researching these old appliances has been the same as old cars; just takes patience and passion.

Post# 1059829 , Reply# 3   2/6/2020 at 21:07 (1,141 days old) by LowEfficiency (Iowa)        

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>> As far as parts availability, I'm no stranger to looking for obscure parts online. So far my experience
>> in researching these old appliances has been the same as old cars; just takes patience and passion.

That's a good attitude, and one many here share.

... But being realistic, if you go too old with things, you have to be prepared for the worst. Sometimes parts have been NLA for decades... and having "patience" may mean waiting *years* for a single part to surface, and then paying dearly for it. Most people don't have that kind of patience when something major like a refrigerator, oven, or washing machine breaks down... so you have to plan accordingly if that's the path you want to go down.

Good luck!

Post# 1059842 , Reply# 4   2/6/2020 at 23:19 (1,141 days old) by aircub (Huntington, AR)        

hey man I live south of fort smith where are you located as we could be close.

All the best Darren

Post# 1059862 , Reply# 5   2/7/2020 at 10:00 (1,141 days old) by N8dgr8 (FSM area, Arkansas)        

That is part of the reason I ask the question here. I want to get people's opinions on what is reliable, parts are available, and still fit for daily use. What would you suggest a beginner start a collection with?

Post# 1059876 , Reply# 6   2/7/2020 at 13:14 (1,141 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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WP direct-drive machines ... also Kenmore, KitchenAid (harder to find), some Maytags (after 2006), Roper, Estate, Admiral.  The design dates to the early 1980s so can be considered somewhat vintage at this point.  They were produced until ~2010 so parts are still plentiful.  They're not especially exciting but are reliable, robust, easy for repairs.

Maytag dependable-care (two-belt) machines are also a good choice, more vintage than the direct-drive.  Some parts are getting scarce but pretty much anything is findable.

Post# 1060119 , Reply# 7   2/10/2020 at 00:26 (1,138 days old) by sarahperdue (Alabama)        

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Whirlpool/Kenmore washers are simple and great in my opinion. Parts are compatible across decades, and if you're inclined to overload your washer, they have four nylon "sacrificial" dogs that die first and are cheap to replace. We shared parts between my grandmother's late 70s Kenmore and our early 2000s Whirlpool. The Speed Queen enthusiasts encouraged me to buy a set of Speed Queens that I found at our local ReStore. They are good, solid machines, and the only real complaint I have is that the SQ washer doesn't agitate with the lid open. I loved being able to start a load with the lid open and know it would agitate then soak until I closed the lid.

We bought my favorite WP washer sometime around 2006. It was all mechanical, one step down from the top of the line and had a water temperature sensor that would automatically warm cold water enough to dissolve detergent.

My current dishwasher is a modern top of the line Bosch, and it rocks! It cleans almost everything well even baked on lasagne.

My grandmother never had a dryer, and we did without one for years. It began to seem essential after children. As a single person, the reason I'd most want a dryer is to make sure I could get something clean, warm and dry to wear on a really humid day...

Good luck,

Post# 1060132 , Reply# 8   2/10/2020 at 07:35 (1,138 days old) by gregingotham (New York)        
go big or go home!

i saw if you're going to go vintage go all a 70s fridigaire jet action washer and kitchen appliances from that same era. Just my two cents...

Post# 1060149 , Reply# 9   2/10/2020 at 11:26 (1,138 days old) by dermacie (my forever home (Glenshaw, PA))        

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Well, the real question is what is available? I would look in the swamp and report back to what your choices are.

Post# 1060153 , Reply# 10   2/10/2020 at 11:59 (1,138 days old) by robbinsandmyers (Conn)        

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A dishwasher I cant help you on but from my own personal experience my 1974 Maytag washer I got several years ago and have put serious use on has been great. Its still mostly original so when I repair a water leak in a week or so Im going to replace some wear items that have 50 years on them so I dont have a failure and down time. Plus I just bought a mint pair of 806 washer and dryer for only $100.00 as back up. The Maytags from the 70's-mid 80's would be a great reliable daily driver for you. I prefer models with pitman trans and Mallory timer. As for a fridge my 1936 GE Monitor Top has been a faithful friend the last 20 years I've used it. When I first got it my friend sprayed it in his shop and I replaced the cords and door seal with a repro and also the rubber feet pads. The motor start relay I bought rebuilt and swapped it out as mine had been changed in the 50's-60's. Its been great and runs like new. However, they aren't for everyone. Freezer space is very limited but I live with it. You also want a 1935-38 model as by then they had perfected them and went back to sulpher dioxide. Methyl formate machines I would avoid. My 1937 GE Garcon kitchen clock still has been purring the last 20 years with an oiling every few years with synthetic clock oil. Old stuff is best but try to find things that have the best track record to prevent breakdowns and are build as simple and reliable as possible. I also drive a 2000 Golf diesel and 84 Mazda diesel as I want that same longevity in my vehicles.

Post# 1060852 , Reply# 11   2/18/2020 at 02:49 (1,130 days old) by chaskelljr2 (Washington, D. C.)        

To keep it basic, and to have good reliable appliances right now, and in the years to come, and I’m setting up a house right now, I would get....

Range/Stove — 1990’s to 2005
Refrigerator/Freezer — 1995 to 2005
Dishwasher — 1980’s to 1990’s

Washing Machine (Sears Kenmore or Whirlpool) — Top-Load Direct-Drive — 1990 to 2006

Clothes Dryer (Sears Kenmore or Whirlpool) — 1990 to 2006 if you want to match the washer, otherwise on the dryer, I would go back to 1966 if you can still find one.

Good Luck......


Post# 1060857 , Reply# 12   2/18/2020 at 07:22 (1,130 days old) by delturner (USA)        
Wow! A Fort Smith guy!

Not far away from me. My personal suggestion would be a Maytag washer and dryer while they were still being manufactured by Maytag, unless you just happen to find a really cool older set. The same goes for a dishwasher. The Maytag reverse rack DW's were hard to beat with their belt drive and even the ones after that were good too. They are diffidently the most reliable and last a lifetime with a little care. Refrigerators seem pretty generic to me these days, so I really have no opinion on them.

Post# 1061100 , Reply# 13   2/20/2020 at 13:20 (1,128 days old) by delturner (USA)        

In Fort Smith there should still be some older machines still around. That used to be Otasco territory and they had several cool brands of machine. Just look around at any older appliance junkyard. You might luck upon a Leonard or Philco. One never knows...

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