Thread Number: 83037  /  Tag: Vintage Dishwashers
first road trip in over 8 years bags a kenmore 500 top loader!
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Post# 1073196   5/18/2020 at 19:04 (1,493 days old) by rollermatic (cincinnati)        

saw this on craigslist in Detroit suberb area and decided to go get it, especially since it was only 40 bucks! what did it for me was it is a Kenmore d&m top loading dishwasher with a roto rack! this is my 4th D&M machine, have a modern maid front loader, a lady Kenmore top loader and a sears Kenmore front loader. I know they weren't the best made dishwashers but I just love those dishwashers and parts are so cheap and still available, especially pump seals!
and I can never get enough of roto racks!

picked it up and brought it home and removed the back panel to see what was going on. here are some pics!

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Post# 1073199 , Reply# 1   5/18/2020 at 19:11 (1,493 days old) by bradfordwhite (central U.S.)        

bradfordwhite's profile picture

See now that's a meaningful vacation.  


I've never seen a TL KM dw and it def. had all the indicators of a D&M.  The wash arm, the pump sump, the roto rack, the heater.


Awesome find. 


I really believe that only certain areas of the country are blessed with retro appliances and I don't live in one of those areas.

Post# 1073204 , Reply# 2   5/18/2020 at 19:32 (1,493 days old) by rollermatic (cincinnati)        
the lid will not stay up at this point

thought it was a unhooked spring but later found it doesn't use springs, uses a set of 2 rods that twist back and forth, one is not secured properly. so for now a stick will do!

has an interesting water float shut off. the water level would have to rise in the tub about 8 inches up at least to float this buoy up enough to flip the water control switch!

took off the fill hose and put in a new washer and cleaned screen on solenoid.

the only switch on the control panel is a "normal vs 145 degree" heat switch, but their is a pilot lite. as you can see the motor start relay is mounted up here also on the right.

I cleaned off the 3 hoses with wd 40, I always do that, it seems to condition them well. the hose to the upper spray is much larger than the drain or fill hose, it really moves some water through that upper roto rack jet that would shame any dishwasher made today!

has a unique open and start button on the front also. both work flawlessly!

cleaned dust and dirt off motor, wiring, and anywhere else I found it.

you can't see it but it has an early style cast iron lower pump housing that these D&M machines used.

in pic 5 you can see it uses a relay to trip the detergent cup release instead of a bimetal strip that was so popular in those 60's dishwashers and I guess still is.

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Post# 1073206 , Reply# 3   5/18/2020 at 19:39 (1,493 days old) by rollermatic (cincinnati)        
here's a pic

of that lid spring rod thing that broke off. I circled the damaged area, think I can fix it. it uses 2 of these rods, each one hooked to the lid itself on opposite sides, the other end of the rods hook into the main frame. but it's gonna take removing the entire top control panel to get to it and for now I'm gonna get into that.

I think!

you can see how that metal is bent where to rod originally hook to the lid.

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Post# 1073211 , Reply# 4   5/18/2020 at 19:46 (1,493 days old) by rollermatic (cincinnati)        
so i brought it in and after making sure the motor

turned freely and smoothly I put some hot water in the sump to soften the seal a few minutes and cranked it up!

it ran beautifully!

has an 8 minute wash, 2 3 minute rises, and 8 1/2 main wash, a 3 minute rinse and 5 minute final rinse and 15 minute dry.

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Post# 1073221 , Reply# 5   5/18/2020 at 20:12 (1,493 days old) by bradfordwhite (central U.S.)        

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cool that it works and everything.  


So the hose was fine?  Not cracked? 


Back in the 80s I found several 10-15 year old KM dws with hoses that were so bad.....  They must have used the 180 degree rinse all the time.


The 1968 km portable dw we had inherited in 1972 has a metal pump housing as well.  I've found they can rust and corrode unlike the plastic/bakelite.

Post# 1073224 , Reply# 6   5/18/2020 at 20:28 (1,493 days old) by Repairguy (Danbury, Texas)        

repairguy's profile picture
Congrats on your new addition. It looks like it was hardly used by the appearance inside. Iíve been enjoying some road trips to pick up some machines as well. I think it adds to the excitement of the find. Enjoy!

Post# 1073225 , Reply# 7   5/18/2020 at 20:28 (1,493 days old) by rollermatic (cincinnati)        
i love the schematic

for this machine, located on the inside back panel. it used drawings of the components that the wiring connects to!

I'm guessing this machine is from the early to mid 60's.

think I uploaded a couple of the same pics, sorry but they begin to all look the same! but I just think it's such a unique and interesting primitive yet functional wiring schematic!

all in all this dishwasher did a great job. ran smoothly, motor stayed cool, not a drip anywhere! there is a small riust spot in the bottom of the tub I have to fix, but it's only about 3/8 inch diameter and not exactly total rust yet. the rest of the tub and lid is in great shape for it's age! it looks like it had an easy life!

the sink hookup works well, will probably take a few more pics when I get back to milford and include a couple of it, it's kinda unique looking also! I'm in Columbus away from home as I post this now.

I do have one thing to fix, the detergent cup! it's upside down! when you set it the main wash cup with the lid should be pointed up yet this one is in the upside down position when set. it is pinned to the shaft with a tension pin and that's all intact so I can't figure out why this is? was it made this way by mistake, upside down?

it was definitely worth a drive to lake st claire to pick it up! as said I just love those old roto racks!

hope you enjoyed!

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Post# 1073230 , Reply# 8   5/18/2020 at 20:45 (1,493 days old) by rollermatic (cincinnati)        
thanks for comments!

hoses are all in very good shape, nice and shiny black now after a wd 40 rub down!

i've found great machines around the ohio area! michigan, indiana, kentucky, but i've also gone to new york, maryland, chicago (the spin tube turquoise dude now has) and tennessee to name a few. i've had them shipped from as far away as new orleans and a cute little 1960's hotpoint from los angelos!

the road trips have always been fun, especially after an 8 year absence! but I guess I needed time to back away from it a bit. I was getting burnt out. i sold some of my collection, gave some away and even parted out (hate to say it) a couple of machines. not gonna go crazy this time but if something comes along that i really like (another 1-18 or rollermatic for sure) i will probably attempt to get it if the price is reasonable!

Post# 1073231 , Reply# 9   5/18/2020 at 20:46 (1,493 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Top Loading KM -D&M DW

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These were always fun machines, D&M and Sears packed in a lot of features and style in these DWs, it was just too bad that D&M was not connected with a major appliance manufacturer and had to cut corners everywhere on materials.


This one must be about a 1966 model, it should wash fairly well.


The lid uses two torsion bar springs as counter balance to keep it open, these might be hard to find but if you can weld you might be able to weld a new end on the old one.


John L.



Post# 1073254 , Reply# 10   5/18/2020 at 23:19 (1,493 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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Peter, I cannot tell you how happy I am to have you coming around again!!!  I'm assuming the 145 degree cycle button applied only for the final rinse and not a heated boost for the main wash and final rinse.  

Post# 1073286 , Reply# 11   5/19/2020 at 07:33 (1,493 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
145 Degree Boosted Water Temperature

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Both the 2nd wash and final rinse do a 145F boost, you can see the break in the timer motor power line on the cycle chart Pete posted in the 2nd wash and final rinse.


And of corse the water was heated while the wash motor was running, on this cycle setting these were one of the best cleaning DWs built in the US at the time, Whirlpool had not come out with their Potscrubber cycle yet.


John L.

Post# 1073301 , Reply# 12   5/19/2020 at 08:24 (1,493 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
There are never too many pictures

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Thanks for sharing!

Pity Sears killed of D&M

Post# 1073310 , Reply# 13   5/19/2020 at 09:59 (1,493 days old) by rollermatic (cincinnati)        
thanks for lookin

as john said the delay is also on the main wash, I thought it would just be the final rinse too! but when I ran it the main wash and final rinse was extended about 12 minutes longer to heat the water. the other 2 kenmores I have with rotoracks only heat the final rinse.

I saw that break in the timer power on the schematic too and began to get excited. I've always felt that the main wash needs to be heated on these sears D&M machines, it gives a longer wash if nothing else!

1966, thanks john, i figured it had to be mid sixties. it's got that look to it! no i don't weld however, the 2 rods are ok but the hook on the lid that the rod attaches to is bent at least 45 degrees, i was hoping i could remove the lid and just bend it back. it's probably weakened though and won't stay. if i have to i'll just use it the way it is as this one is gonna be fun to operate and i plan on using it on a semi regular basis!

Post# 1073312 , Reply# 14   5/19/2020 at 10:04 (1,493 days old) by rollermatic (cincinnati)        
panthera i agree

i luv looking at pics on this site, no matter how many or what of, as long as an old washer or dishwasher is in them I'm captivated! i know i post a lot and it probably gets boring to some people but when i post i do it anyway.

Post# 1073318 , Reply# 15   5/19/2020 at 12:18 (1,493 days old) by turquoisedude (.)        
Nice find!

turquoisedude's profile picture

Congrats on the Kenmore Roto-Rack, Pete!  Like you, I'd have a hard time resisting a top-loader with a Roto-Rack!  


It looks to be in really great shape overall - the racks are excellent.   You have now made me want to play with one of my ol' Roto-Racks with the impeller...  LOL 


I still have the Spin-Tube, but I have never installed it!  That may change 'cause my 80s Maytag in the house in St-Lib decided to start leaking... 

Post# 1073352 , Reply# 16   5/19/2020 at 16:17 (1,493 days old) by rollermatic (cincinnati)        
paul, good to hear that you

still have that spin tube frigidaire in sunny yellow i believe they called it! i know it's stupid of me but whenever i either sell or give one away i actually fret over it a little bit! i know i'm not a balanced person, i admit it! but that one is a very unique design and i'm so glad it went to you who will take care of it and appreciate it for what it is! might not have cleaned that great but frigidaire was unique in placing that wash tube between the upper and lower racks!

i had a roto rack impeller machine too, front loader, modern maid. can't remember who took that one from me, think maybe it was mike (dishwasher crazy). been a few years since i have had it. it came from grand rapids mich when i went on that first road trip to everythingold's appliance shop 10 years ago.

the spin tube i drove to chicago for, it was on a top floor of an apartment building that was being renovated. right in downtown chicago. i remember they brought it down for me on the service elevator and i put it in the back of my jeep. i had a heck of a time parking to pick it up! i got there right in the middle of rush hour evening traffic! drove over, picked it up, drove right back! one of those one day road trips! but it was worth it! i was on a mission back then! the money i spent would put a new roof on this little house and i need one! but i guess it was all worth it, as carzy as i got hunting down machines that fascinated me!

now it's time to just enjoy what i have left but only keep an open eye for something really special. i may part with a couple kitchenaids later this year and i still have that maytag washer i was trying to find a home for but not even sure i want to get rid of it now.

Post# 1073433 , Reply# 17   5/20/2020 at 06:49 (1,492 days old) by Muntjac (Miami, Florida, US)        

Nice, I also plan to buy a second D&M machine and still thinking of what to buy.

Post# 1073708 , Reply# 18   5/21/2020 at 21:14 (1,490 days old) by rollermatic (cincinnati)        
hey muntjac

there are a bunch out there i am sure, craigslist is always my best hunting ground. and the nice thing is you can find the seal kits on ebay for about 10 bucks as well as other parts including motors.

i'm gonna let this thread drop off so i won't be posting anything else here, if you comment and i don't respond i'm not being rude, just want to make room for new posts by other members here and myself in the near future. so again thanks to all for looking, hopefully enjoying, and commenting!


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