Thread Number: 83851  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
Whirlpool Belt drive wig wag-tranny issues.
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Post# 1082067   7/23/2020 at 05:41 (978 days old) by Kenmoreguy89 (Valenza Piemonte, Italy- Soon to be US immigrant.)        

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Hi everyone.
So after fixing center post seal leak and kind of refurbishing my 1984 whirlpool it ran smooth for I'd say 30-40 loads.
I was washing a load of darks the other day and as far as I noticed it went on without any problems, I was in the kitchen and I didn't hear any weird noises or anything.
I forgot the softener so I ran another rinse cycle.
It fills with water and when it's time to start agitating I hear a clunky noise and it started agitating slower.
Immediately put it on drain and have it doing a very brief spin just not to take stuff out dripping wet.

I then try it empty and while agitating the tub spins and agitate at the same time.
I stop it put it on drain and wash out again and go slow now so I select gentle cycle it goes even slower but it's only two speed machine so it means it's going under effort.
I immediately realised there must be something wrong with the the cycle wash-spin and brake mode shifting in the wig wag system.
It kept having this clicking noise all the time.

I think I figured out what the problem is with it but I need help from experts and I have some questions.

The problem apparently is with the wash-spin mode cam bar and cam shaft.
I tried to play with it trying to move it back and forth and it was very very hard to be moved, I lubed it and I also lubed the cam shaft.
By spraying cam shaft with WD40 black stuff came out as I played with the cam bar back and forth causing cam shaft to go up and down.
Very odd black grime.
My guess was it may have gotten hardened to shift kinda stuck by belt rubber dust?
May it be?
And it seemed it got somehow free after wd40 but still a bit too hard to budge.
First question is, is it normal to be so hard or must be easy to engage and disengage and go up and down as the cam bar moves?

The other problem is with the cam bar plunger, it got somehow distorted and pin keeps clicking to the cam bar slot and gearcase also. That is the clicking noise I kept hearing.
Now, the cam bar seems to never be completely pushed or pulled all the way...
I'm not sure if it is because the plunger isn't doing its job as it got distorted (somehow) or because it got to hard and that is also what caused the plunger and pin to get bad.
Do they get hard and for which reasons?
Another peculiar thing is that when I manually push cam bar to be on spin mode and I stop the machine and the solenoid release the plunger it does not pull the cam bar completely back hence not engaging the tub brake...
It also happened that during spin even though being powered the plunger and pin would catch the cam bar pull it back on wash mode and then push it back again in spin mode intermittently.
The times I tried it and it was going slower I think was because cam bar was halfway so it was going with the brake on.
But solenoid seem always powered so I don't think it's a problem with the solenoid that seems to be powered as supposed.
That is all due to the distorted plunger and pin I guess.
Anyways main questions are:
Why is it so hard to be moved?

Why plunger may have gotten distorted.
Could there be some other issues like problems inside the tranny?

Is it easy to remove the plunger or I need to disassemble all the machine again?
As I said i just fixed the tub center post seal by sealing everything...I would hate to remove all the sealant and remove everything again. And basically repeat the same job as well as removing all the transmission assembly.

Post# 1082123 , Reply# 1   7/23/2020 at 19:32 (977 days old) by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
Ask combo 52,

John L. He's very good at repairing all brands. It may be the clutch, which the wig wag engages to spin, not only brake. My dad was a Kenmore service tech. He passed in 2018, or he'd know. The wires on the wig wag solenoids used to get tugged back and forth also, and can tear inside the insulation. You need a multi meter to test them, and the solenoids if they aren't operating.

Post# 1082124 , Reply# 2   7/23/2020 at 19:42 (977 days old) by Repairguy (Danbury, Texas)        

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I just had one do that to me and the problem was in the gearcase. I rebuilt it but havenít put it back together yet.

Post# 1082125 , Reply# 3   7/23/2020 at 19:57 (977 days old) by Kenmoreguy89 (Valenza Piemonte, Italy- Soon to be US immigrant.)        

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Mike, as I said solenoid seem to be operating.
It keeps the plungar lifted the whole time during spin and I see it being released when it stops
I know that wires of the wig wag because of the back and forth get torn and breaks but it does not seem to be the problem as I see it actually gets lifted and released the problem is it is distorted.
I still have to understand how the clutch works in these.
But if I manually push the cam bar all the way to be on spin mode it spins as supposed.
It happened a few times that the plunger catched it pulling it back and pushing it again intermittently but as I said I guess that's because it is distorted.
It is not horizontal anymore and plunger front keeps clicking on to the gear case too.

Post# 1082129 , Reply# 4   7/23/2020 at 20:15 (977 days old) by Kenmoreguy89 (Valenza Piemonte, Italy- Soon to be US immigrant.)        

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Melvin, I wish I didn't have to.
Paul from Canada is kindly sending me a copy of a tranny rebuild manual just in case.
If I remember right I have seen these transmissions getting bad because of oil getting gunky because it got contaminated?
May It Be what happened?

Post# 1082135 , Reply# 5   7/23/2020 at 20:50 (977 days old) by Repairguy (Danbury, Texas)        

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When I got into mine I found that water had been in there and it caused a rusty sludge that kept the gear fork from shifting correctly due to lack of oil in the gear fork area. The gear fork had to be replaced but everything else seemed ok when I cleaned everything up.

Post# 1082153 , Reply# 6   7/24/2020 at 01:19 (977 days old) by Kenmoreguy89 (Valenza Piemonte, Italy- Soon to be US immigrant.)        

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My transmission may have been contaminated with water.
It leaked for awhile from centerpost seal and a bad outer tub bolt as the person who had it before seem that kept using carelessly, they just mounted casters so that they could move the machine just to clean underneath when it leaked🤦, baseplate was pretty rusty, water may have seeped into through the vent...
Very rare to happen but at this point I just don't know if that's the case... I'm worried, because if so the machine sat unused for a long time and had all the time to rust bad meaning that I will have to replace a lot of things inside and I will actually have to consider getting a new transmission.
At this point I am undecided if I can-should change even drive shaft seals and bearings.
I'm ignorant about Whirlpool trannies and shafts and what's inside, that's why I need a manual.

Post# 1082181 , Reply# 7   7/24/2020 at 08:35 (977 days old) by Repairguy (Danbury, Texas)        

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Iíve learned that on ANY old belt drive whirlpool or kenmore, if you intend to use it, they need to be completely rebuilt as far as all of the seals, possibly the center post bearings, and the gearcase. If the bearings are bad then the spin tube or complete basket drive needs to be replaced as well. The gearcase can be rebuilt but parts are almost non existent these days. You would probably be better off finding a good used gearcase. The seal definitely will need to be replaced on top of the spin tube.

Post# 1082191 , Reply# 8   7/24/2020 at 10:17 (977 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Check The Oil In The Gear-Case

combo52's profile picture
This is the first thing you do before doing major repairs on a wP BD washer.

To check oil take a 4" piece of coat hanger and insert into the breather hole in the cover of the transmission, the wire must go in 2 1/2", if it hits the connecting rod rotate the transmission pulley till the CR moves out of the way and allows the wire to go to the bottom of the gear case.

Then you pull the wire out it should have 1/4 to 1/2" of oil on it, the oil should not be rusty or milky in color, if it is contaminated with water the transmission needs major service, I usually just trash them because good used ones without contamination are so plentiful.

John L.

Post# 1082202 , Reply# 9   7/24/2020 at 11:32 (977 days old) by Mickeyd (Hamburg NY)        
The stuff you learn hear.

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WOW! With a coat hanger dipstick, you can check the oil in your washer just like in your car. I shake my head in wonder, John.

Best of luck, Freddy; I'm rootin' for ya.

Post# 1082773 , Reply# 10   7/28/2020 at 02:11 (973 days old) by Kenmoreguy89 (Valenza Piemonte, Italy- Soon to be US immigrant.)        

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Thanks Melvin and John.
I just hope there is nothing very wrong with the transmission and that I can find the parts for.
I will attempt to fix it, if I were in the United States I would have just tried to find another tranny but since I am in Italy the shipping for a whole transmission is going to be very expensive.
So granted that is not beyond trashed and that I can find the parts for and getting them is cost effective I will try to replace what need to be replaced.
Whirlpool belt drive transmissions are pretty rare themselves to be least I never seen one on eBay and such and that is pretty much my only source...
I could try in Brazil and Latin America...though they have a different spline.
I would hate to dump this washer though if it's going to be too expensive to fix I will probably just forget about it... plus I cannot have a opened up machine sitting in my bathroom for this long and bringing it downstairs would mean never using it again.
I'm very disappointed 😞
I will check the oil ASAP

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