Thread Number: 83629  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
1984 Whirlpool LA5580XMW1
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Post# 1079617   7/2/2020 at 21:20 (1,331 days old) by Repairguy (Danbury, Texas)        

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I brought this washer home several days ago as part of a quick road trip. It is a barn find and was being used as a dirt dauber motel. I was told that it had sat there for two years and in that time it amassed quite a bit of dirt from these flying insects.

Had a few moments today to give it a quick spit shine and Iím hoping to test it this weekend but Iíll probably end up working quite a bit so weíll see. Other than the dirt the machine is in pretty good shape unless I find that the tub has a hole in it or something. For some reason one of the wires was off of the lid switch but I was told it was working when put there.

Original road trip thread number 83594.

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Post# 1079648 , Reply# 1   7/3/2020 at 05:22 (1,331 days old) by goatfarmer (South Bend, home of Champions)        

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Looks good!

Post# 1079661 , Reply# 2   7/3/2020 at 09:09 (1,331 days old) by electronicontrl (Grand Rapids, MI)        

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Cleaned up well.

Post# 1079701 , Reply# 3   7/3/2020 at 17:27 (1,330 days old) by Repairguy (Danbury, Texas)        

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Thanks! I know itís nothing special but I always liked this control panel font and design for some reason. I also like the manual filter and the double duty super sugilator.

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Post# 1079702 , Reply# 4   7/3/2020 at 17:36 (1,330 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

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Congratulations!  I'd love to have a Whirlpool belt drive some day.  It's looking great!  Can't wait to hear a report on how it runs.


Post# 1079752 , Reply# 5   7/4/2020 at 07:27 (1,330 days old) by imperial70 (MA USA)        
angle wing surgilator

The best!

Post# 1079800 , Reply# 6   7/4/2020 at 15:25 (1,329 days old) by Gyrafoam (Wytheville, VA)        

That looks really good.
Belt-Drive machines are such good machines.

Post# 1079965 , Reply# 7   7/5/2020 at 19:20 (1,328 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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I purchased a 1984 large capacity Whirlpool to replace the long-serving 1960 Kenmore Model 80 I grew up with. Mine must have been a model or two up the line because it had a self-cleaning filter and, if I recall correctly, a white tub.

The Kenmoreís preggers Roto-Swirl did a fine job of turning over large loads, but the Whirlpoolís double-duty super Surgilator blew it out of the water. What a great agitator!

Congratulations on your new acquisition. Have fun with it!

Post# 1081604 , Reply# 8   7/19/2020 at 11:37 (1,315 days old) by Repairguy (Danbury, Texas)        

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I didnít think I was going to have to rebuild this one but it turned out that way. On the test run it leaked through the center seal and the gearcase had shifting issues so now Iím in the middle of the rebuild.

The good news is that this must be a low use machine because the important parts are in decent shape. I pulled the basket and tub and treated a few spots on the outer tub and rim but nothing major. The center post is probably one of the best Iíve ever seen in a vintage whirlpool belt drive.

These pictures were without any cleaning.

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Post# 1081606 , Reply# 9   7/19/2020 at 11:47 (1,315 days old) by Repairguy (Danbury, Texas)        

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I pulled the gearcase to look at the shifting issue and when I turned it over water came out. Great! So yesterday I spent the day rebuilding the gearcase. It had a water oil mix with rust chips inside.

I cleaned it all out and found the shift fork was toast due to lack of oil. The rust and sludge had settled in the lower area of the gearcase and kept the fork from being properly oiled while in operation.

I didnít take as many pictures as I would have liked but I wanted to get this done in one day and if youíve ever done one itís a messy job.

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Post# 1081608 , Reply# 10   7/19/2020 at 11:51 (1,315 days old) by Repairguy (Danbury, Texas)        

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On the initial pictures I forgot to show that it also came with the original Bac-Pak although not in the greatest shape.

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Post# 1081613 , Reply# 11   7/19/2020 at 12:47 (1,315 days old) by Maytag85 (Sean A806)        

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I always thought the Whirlpool belt drive transmission was complicated but looking at photos of one apart they are not all that complicated after all. The wig wag goes on top of the end of the agitate gear and thatís what engages and disengages everything and as much as I like Maytag the belt drive washers are starting to become my favorite now. Hopefully one of these days I can own a full size belt drive washer.

Post# 1081619 , Reply# 12   7/19/2020 at 13:17 (1,315 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
1984 WP BD Washer Rebuild-Save

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Hi Melvin, great save, How did the water get into the transmission ?


It usually goes down the agitator shaft, or if the outer tub leaks enough it can get into the air vent.


Too bad you are not closer, we have at least 20 good transmissions for these machines, I never brother trying to save them once water has gotten in, there is just too much bearing wear in the bottom and in the cover bearings and even in the gears themselves once they have had water in them for a few years.


If the water went down the agitator shaft you usually need a new basket drive and maybe a new agitator shaft to allow a good seal.


It is great that the outer tub was in great condition, some one either had a water softener or knew to use plenty of detergent to avoid mineral build-up and bad rust.


John L.

Post# 1082477 , Reply# 13   7/26/2020 at 13:09 (1,308 days old) by Repairguy (Danbury, Texas)        

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I had a little time yesterday to put the washer back together since it pretty much rained all day. I removed the upper center post seals. Luckily all center post, gearcase shaft, and spin tube shaft were all in good condition. Oiled the gearcase shaft bearing and installed new seal in top of spin tube. Oiled center post bearings and installed new upper seals.

Replaced center tub seal, tub mounting seals, wig wag, plungers, cam bars, and installed new old stock water pump.

Iíve got a little gear noise during agitation so I may have missed something with a little too much play when rebuilding the gearcase but everything looked good to me. Iíll replace the gearcase if it starts giving me trouble. Iíve run 2 loads through it and it works great!

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Post# 1082514 , Reply# 14   7/26/2020 at 17:02 (1,307 days old) by Jetcone (Schenectady-Home of Calrods,Monitor Tops,Toroid Transformers)        
Nice job on that

jetcone's profile picture

tranny ! Fresh oil Hola !

I have always wondered how those Surgilators with "Baseballcap  Brims worked".  Seemed like overkill to me and no room for clothes to turn over. Always thought clothes would get stuck at the turn and the Brims would just slice away back and forth! We had the regular Surgilator with powered through a ton of dirt. 

Post# 1082522 , Reply# 15   7/26/2020 at 17:26 (1,307 days old) by Repairguy (Danbury, Texas)        

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I can tell you that even with a large load the double duty super surgilator is quite impressive. If you have a small load it will definitely whip the heck out of it!

Post# 1082524 , Reply# 16   7/26/2020 at 17:30 (1,307 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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Great going Melvin!!!

Post# 1082528 , Reply# 17   7/26/2020 at 17:57 (1,307 days old) by Jetcone (Schenectady-Home of Calrods,Monitor Tops,Toroid Transformers)        

jetcone's profile picture

Excellent report ! I'll have to witness that !


Post# 1082531 , Reply# 18   7/26/2020 at 18:51 (1,307 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Double Duty Super Surgilator

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These are one of the most impressive non-dual-action agitators I have ever seen, they turn over a big load and wash well, I have never seen a more effective one piece agitator.


Hi Melvin, hope the transmission makes it, but most times that they have had water in them pretty much everything is worn, maybe if you put really heavy oil in with some sawdust, LOL


John L.

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