Thread Number: 83228  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
Another day, another spin issue.... The '55 Frigidaire Pulsamatic...again
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Post# 1075406   6/2/2020 at 07:48 (1,479 days old) by turquoisedude (.)        

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You'd think with the lockdown, I'd be spending TONS of time working on machines, but the downside is that I can't get into Vermont for the various parts I inevitably wind up needing.  I decided to finally tackle a couple of those "pain in the neck" repairs.  Number one on that hit list was the motor on the '55 Frigidaire Pulsamatic.  


When I got it, I knew darn well that there was likely a problem with the motor - from the word go, I had issues with the washer going into spin.  The motor would just buzz and if I clicked the timer on and off a couple of times, the spin would finally engage. 


So, Mr.Know-It-All here figured maybe the problem may have been the starting capacitor.  Nope. It had been replaced, but I nonetheless popped in a beefier one.  Nice try.... 


I finally worked up the will to dismantle the motor and clean the starting switch (and FYI there is a truly excellent picture tutorial on how to remove a 55 Frigidaire washer motor and service the starting switch on one of Robert's threads here in the archives).    I took it nice and slow and managed to get the pump, then the motor out with only a moderate amount of swearing.  


I got the motor apart, cleaned the switch and tested it.  The motor seemed to work fine (yes I tested running it both directions...LOL) outside of the washer.  


(apologies for the orientation of the pictures - they were taken on my phone) 



  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 3         View Full Size

Post# 1075407 , Reply# 1   6/2/2020 at 07:49 (1,479 days old) by turquoisedude (.)        

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I felt confident enough to re-install the motor.  


This first in-washer test looked good! 

CLICK HERE TO GO TO turquoisedude's LINK

Post# 1075409 , Reply# 2   6/2/2020 at 07:55 (1,479 days old) by turquoisedude (.)        
wait for it.....

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The test was filmed as the washer kicked into spin following the wash cycle.   On subsequent testing, I only observed the machine kick into spin following the rinse cycle once.   As the final spin clicked in, I once again heard just a motor buzz.  If I clicked the timer on and off again a couple of times, I managed to get the spin to engage.  This was pretty much the same issue as I had prior to cleaning the motor start switch.   I've done several cycle tests and the washer seems to consistently spin after wash but not after rinse.


I can now only think that there is a timer problem - specifically that the contacts to engage the motor start winding are weak or failing.  Per the machine schematics, it doesn't make sense - the same contacts and circuitry are used whether the spin is engaged after wash or rinse.  But when do my washer woes ever make 'sense'??  LOL


Seriously,  could I have a timer issue?  I am lucky in that my favourite timer repair place is A: In Canada and B: open for business again.... 

This post was last edited 06/02/2020 at 08:17
Post# 1075427 , Reply# 3   6/2/2020 at 10:11 (1,479 days old) by Mickeyd (Hamburg NY)        
Healthy envy

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That was my adored grandmother Margaret's machine. Would so love to have one. Isn't it weird
that the schematics say it's all the same, but in your machine seems NOT. Wonder why only the rinse spin fails? You'll figure it out. They better open these bridges soon, Paul; I've got to get to Canada. Only essential workers may cross the Peace Bridge, right now. Of course, I could wear my full-on vintage nun's habit , and trick them,
I suppose ;'D

Post# 1075433 , Reply# 4   6/2/2020 at 10:55 (1,479 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        

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Hi Paul, Bad Timer

John L.

Post# 1075434 , Reply# 5   6/2/2020 at 10:57 (1,479 days old) by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        
I agree with it's a Timer Issue

unimatic1140's profile picture
I'd start Paul with taking the two side plates off the timer box and cleaning all the contacts.

Post# 1075436 , Reply# 6   6/2/2020 at 11:19 (1,479 days old) by turquoisedude (.)        

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Gentlemen, thank you!   I have learned the hard way that my instincts are not always right ("Oh, I can fix that 1960 GE washer transmission" or "That spin shaft looks fine; I can re-use it" ...) so I appreciate the second opinions.


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