Thread Number: 83523  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
1968 Kenmore 800 - Speed Shift
[Down to Last]'s exclusive eBay Watch:
scroll >>> for more items --- [As an eBay Partner, eBay may compensate if you make a purchase using any link to eBay on this page]
Post# 1078446   6/23/2020 at 23:50 (1,482 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

dadoes's profile picture
Ran across this video this evening ... it's not my machine.

One of my aunts had this model or one very similar.

Alphabet timer, 3-speed motor, etc.

This video is the Normal cycle, speed control set at Auto.

It shifts to low speed at 4:32, which is at the 6-min mark on the timer.

Bleach solenoid triggers at 6:32, 4-mins on the timer.

Shifts back to high speed at 8:32, 2 mins left on the wash period.

What's the reason for the speed shift?

Post# 1078449 , Reply# 1   6/24/2020 at 00:30 (1,482 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

yogitunes's profile picture
never knew why they did this in the Normal cycle...

but it sort of does this 'Gentle Wash' step down like Whirlpool had on their Direct Drive units...

odd as well, you would find this speed change as part of the Permanent Press cycle on Whirlpool's belt drive set up....

Post# 1078486 , Reply# 2   6/24/2020 at 10:08 (1,482 days old) by Mickeyd (Hamburg NY)        

mickeyd's profile picture
Let the bleach begin its work, then give another final hard pounding to bring it all home, perhaps.

Post# 1078488 , Reply# 3   6/24/2020 at 10:52 (1,482 days old) by Repairguy (Danbury, Texas)        

repairguy's profile picture
The feature was introduced in 1966 for models 6604800-5800 and 6604900-5900. No explanation was given but I believe it was because of the roto-flex agitator. It was for all cycles that started in normal operation and only did this on the auto selection on those with a speed selector. On the LKs the heavy duty button or special button would also override the shift if I remember correctly. The 68 800 was originally specified with the roto-flex although the one in the video has the super roto-swirl. I know the Super roto-swirl was a replacement for the roto-flex. The low water levels were also changed because of the roto-flex. The vari-flex was introduced in 1968.

Post# 1078581 , Reply# 4   6/25/2020 at 02:29 (1,481 days old) by toploadloyalist (San Luis Obispo, CA)        

How long did that feature last?

Post# 1078854 , Reply# 5   6/27/2020 at 06:56 (1,479 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

frigilux's profile picture
That speed shift is an odd one, isn’t it? You’d think they’d want to get the bleach distributed throughout the tub as quickly as possible, especially given it has only four minutes to do its job.

Our 1960 Model 80 (with push button cycle selection) performed an agitation speed shift only on the Wash & Wear Sturdy cycle. Four minutes of fast followed by four minutes of slow agitation.

It also time-released the bleach during the last four minutes of the wash, as does this ‘68 model, which I thought was a great feature. It gives the detergent time to do its work first. Don’t know that detergent contained enzymes back in 1960–or 1968 for that matter—but it would be perfect for today’s detergents.

Thanks for posting the video, Glenn. Always a treat to see and hear (woo-woo-woo-woo) an old belt-drive at work.

Post# 1080373 , Reply# 6   7/8/2020 at 18:56 (1,468 days old) by toploadloyalist (San Luis Obispo, CA)        

Did this model also downshift during the Permament Press agitation before the cool-down, without the upshift?

Post# 1080382 , Reply# 7   7/8/2020 at 21:25 (1,467 days old) by sears9000 (Pensacola, Florida.)        

Yes it shifted down during the permanent press cycle also. My family bought this model brand new in 68, in avocado. Ours had the rotoflex agitator until it was swapped out for a rotoswirl like this machine has now. It lasted until 93, when the timer gave up the ghost.

Post# 1080406 , Reply# 8   7/9/2020 at 08:49 (1,467 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
A few ideas

panthera's profile picture

This is conjecture.

1) To reduce sudsing before the pump out and first spin 'rinse'.

2) To reduce damage to clothing from the thrash-a-matic agitators.

3) To prevent the loosened dirt from resettling into the fibres.

4) 'Cause it is unique.


Even the very last of the DDs did this, by the way.

Post# 1080416 , Reply# 9   7/9/2020 at 11:21 (1,467 days old) by firedome (Binghamton NY & Lake Champlain VT)        

firedome's profile picture
made direct drive models during what years?
I think the new WTW5590VQ1 WP that we bought around 2009/2010 was one of the last direct drives.

Post# 1080427 , Reply# 10   7/9/2020 at 13:44 (1,467 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

dadoes's profile picture
V is 2008 model-year, production date is per serial.  Direct-drive introduced between 1981 and 1982 via a limited Kenmore line, IIRC.  VMW debuted 2010.  Direct-drive continued for ThinTwin stacked sets a couple/few years longer than for stand-alone washers.

Early direct-drive had the transmission rotated approx 120° such that the motor was at the right-rear corner, not at the front.

Post# 1080541 , Reply# 11   7/10/2020 at 21:27 (1,465 days old) by sears9000 (Pensacola, Florida.)        

My Kenmore direct drive which is 20 years old, does this. On the Normal cycle, it starts agitating fast, then it slows down for the rest of the cycle. The Permanent Press/Delicate cycle agitates slow, while the Heavy Duty cycle agitates fast.

Forum Index:       Other Forums:                      

Comes to the Rescue!

The Discuss-o-Mat has stopped, buzzer is sounding!!!
If you would like to reply to this thread please log-in...

Discuss-O-MAT Log-In

New Members
Click Here To Sign Up.

Discuss-o-Mat Forums
Vintage Brochures, Service and Owners Manuals
Fun Vintage Washer Ephemera
See It Wash!
Video Downloads
Audio Downloads
Picture of the Day
Patent of the Day
Photos of our Collections
The Old Aberdeen Farm
Vintage Service Manuals
Vintage washer/dryer/dishwasher to sell?
Technical/service questions?
Looking for Parts?
Website related questions?
Digital Millennium Copyright Act Policy
Our Privacy Policy