Thread Number: 84058  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
Maytag N2LS Wringer mystery
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Post# 1084144   8/6/2020 at 17:26 (957 days old) by Kedsall147 (PA)        

Hi All!
Iím brand new here and although Iíve learned a ton by reading through similar threads, Iím still stuck. I just got this Maytag beauty ($45 - so exciting!) and the woman who sold it said that the wringer is stuck in the on position and runs continuously. No big deal I thought, Iíll just be careful. Well I got it home (on its side With the wringer part pulled out, yikes I see) and when I turned it on things worked. The rollers were going no problem. I didnít want to run it long until I added more oil in case that was bad. As Iím exploring it I turned it on again and no problem but then they suddenly stopped and no matter what I do I canít get them going again. If I take the wringer off I see the groves metal pipe spinning. Iíve tried seating it multiple ways as recommended in other posts, I released tension on the rollers and cleaned and reseated them. I can move the bottom roller with my hand slowly. It doesnít seem to be a safety issue as I see a threaded bolt under the washer leg that seems to be the safety workaround. It just doesnít seem to be catching. Is it possible something broke in the first 5 minutes? Any input welcome! Thanks in advance! -Kelly

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Post# 1084152 , Reply# 1   8/6/2020 at 18:54 (957 days old) by qsd-dan (West)        

qsd-dan's profile picture
I had a '54 E2LP that behaved the same when I first got it. The transmission was stuck in the forward wringing motion when plugged in. I fiddled with it and it completely ceased operation. I just kept fiddling away until it worked again, then worked in both directions, and finally functioned 100%. Be patient, it takes a few hours.

The earlier gray ghost wringer transmissions were so ridiculously simple and rugged it bordered on insanity. The EJN's wringer heads are a complete 180 from those old rugged monsters and digging into one of these is opening up a can of worms. They require special tools, information, and TONS of patience.

Post# 1084203 , Reply# 2   8/7/2020 at 08:42 (956 days old) by Kedsall147 (PA)        

Thanks for your reply! Can you define ďfiddlingĒ ? Am I taking the housing off to take a look inside? Thatís a bit of a scary prospect but I guess I can do any more same at this point!

Post# 1084219 , Reply# 3   8/7/2020 at 10:52 (956 days old) by e2l-arry (LAKEWOOD COLORADO)        
Safety pedal?

Later models had a foot pedal you have to step on to make the wringer run. It was a "safety" feature most people hated. Does yours have that? Look for a small hose coming out the bottom of the machine.

Post# 1084223 , Reply# 4   8/7/2020 at 11:48 (956 days old) by ea56 (Cotati, Calif.)        

ea56's profile picture

It would have been originally equipped with the safety pedal for the wringer operation based upon the model number ending in”S”.  


My family bought one of the first model E’s with this feature in 1969.  The salesman at the Maytag dealer told Mom that most customers hated this and he could bypass it if she wanted by removing the tube for the safety pedal and plugging the hole with a stove bolt the same size as the hole.  She had him do this before delivery.


 Look under the machine for either a remnant of this tube or a threaded hole.  This hole should be located very near the top of the leg that is right under the left side of the wringer where the control lever is located, actually I believe it may even be on he backside of this leg. Then get a stove bolt the same size as the hole, screw it in and perhaps this will be what you need to get your wringer working properly.


BTW, once you start using the machine make sure that every time you finish washing and have drained and rinsed the tub, remove the agitator, leave it on its side in the tub and put a light coating of vaseline on the agitator post so the agitator doesn’t get frozen onto the post.  This way it will slip on and off easily.  You don’t have to put the vaseline on every time, just make sure that the post retains a coating of this lubricant. 




Post# 1084232 , Reply# 5   8/7/2020 at 13:13 (956 days old) by Kedsall147 (PA)        

Thatís what I checked first based on reading. If Iím looking at it correctly the foot pedal has already been replaced by the screw. Let me know if this is correct based on the picture. And if it was a safety pedal issue I did t think it would have worked at all to begin with. Darn.

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Post# 1084236 , Reply# 6   8/7/2020 at 13:34 (956 days old) by ea56 (Cotati, Calif.)        

ea56's profile picture

Yep Kelly, you are looking at it right and the foot pedal has already ben replaced by a stove bolt, so this wouldn’t be the answer to why your wringer isn’t operating.  I’m at a loss for any other suggestions, sorry!  I sure hope you can get it working again so you can use it.  You will truly love the experience!  


If I had the proper set up for a Maytag wringer I’d have one in a hot second for a daily driver.  I live in a townhouse with a dedicated closet for the washer and dryer, no room for a laundry tub for rinsing and the bathroom is configured in such a way that  I couldn’t use a wringer washer in there either.


In my early 20’s I had a Model J Maytag Wringer that I rolled up to the bathtub for rinsing and that worked great.  It was my first washing machine baught used at the Salvation Army for $35.00, those were the days.  I really loved doing my laundry this way.  Its fas, cleans excellently and is a kind of zen like experience.  True its a hands on job for about an hour to complete a weeks worth of laundry, but then its done!


Good Luck getting your Model N up and running.



Post# 1084243 , Reply# 7   8/7/2020 at 14:38 (956 days old) by qsd-dan (West)        
Can you define ďfiddlingĒ ?

qsd-dan's profile picture
Keep playing with the wringer transmission operating lever. Forwards, backwards, back to the center again.

Post# 1084277 , Reply# 8   8/7/2020 at 19:10 (956 days old) by bradross (New Westminster, BC., Canada)        
Here's a thought Kelly ...

bradross's profile picture
When you initially mentioned that the shaft is turning, I realized it must not be a problem with the safety bypass. That shaft would not turn at all if the bolt was not securely in that hole.

A thought did occur to me, however. Check the operating handle itself. Is the groove pin present? That's the little 1/16" pin that holds the handle on. If not, the handle could possibly have shifted and is not in the appropriate position for operating, causing "On" to be "Off" and vice versa.

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