Thread Number: 84272  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
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Post# 1086463   8/25/2020 at 08:11 (938 days old) by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, IA)        

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I thought I'd take a moment to share a recent mercy save... eh, er, um, an acquisition!

Earlier this summer a Westinghouse Laundromat was posted by Kenny in Shoppers Square, for sale by an industrial recycler out in the mountains of Montana. What immediately piqued my interest was that it was the rarely seen 1956 L-9 Laundromat, rather than say a more common and earlier 50's L-5 or LB-6. After pondering it for a few days and reading up on the service manual (thanks, Robert!) I let the idea of the Westy go and was excited to see that bendixmark was going to jump at it.

Fast forward to a week or so ago, Mark posted that he was going to pass on the washer. I reached out to him and in turn reached out to the seller. While the machine had a bad boot and both dials were cracked, everything else seemed present. Sadly, after receiving additional photos the washer had taken a tumble after the original photos were taken and was now wearing some beauty dents in the bottom kick panel and cabinet.

Original listing photos:


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This post was last edited 08/25/2020 at 08:37

Post# 1086465 , Reply# 1   8/25/2020 at 08:17 (938 days old) by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, IA)        

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Even with the cabinet damage, lack of a good boot, and cracked dials, I told the seller I'd see if I could find a shipper to pick it up last Wednesday. Miraculously I stumbled upon a shipper that was coming back from Washington state to Missouri and had just enough space in a sprinter van for the Westinghouse. It was picked up Friday and was dropped off on Sunday. This was the easiest, most efficient shipping experience I've had. It never goes that smoothly.

With it now in the driveway it was time to inspect the damage. While it was still in Montana I had the seller pop the top and send a photo of the tub. He attempted to get the leaf spring to reset on the perches but was unable to. So, he threw a ton of padding in the machine, and thankfully in front of the tub itself.

One of the reasons why I was interested in this machine can be seen in these photos - take a look at that wiring diagram. Three bulbs!

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This post was last edited 08/25/2020 at 11:26
Post# 1086466 , Reply# 2   8/25/2020 at 08:23 (938 days old) by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, IA)        

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After a few minutes wiping it down, it was starting to look better. Knowing that Bud has had good luck with molding new plastics I thought this would be a great project to recreate the sun/UV soaked dial lenses, and possibly the longer Westinghouse Laundromat center badge. The "paint" (robins egg blue and copper) behind the lens appears to be on a foil like material, which I suspect can be emulated. The print for the timer markers are embossed within the dial lens.

I was able to reset the tub back on the suspension perches and leafs. Everything was accounted for except one snubber shoe. It even had the two front shipping bolts hiding down by the front leveling legs!

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This post was last edited 08/25/2020 at 08:48
Post# 1086467 , Reply# 3   8/25/2020 at 08:28 (938 days old) by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, IA)        

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So, last thing I checked to see was if the tub could move at all before powering it up. While the wash tub itself is in great shape, a giant mouse nest is wedged between the tub and outer tub. It's bad enough that it will require a full disassembly to remove, and at that point it would be best to wait for a full restoration to occur.

There are also a few machines that are in queue well before this Westy, so for now it will safely rest in the basement, away from the elements it saw for who knows how long. It's a miracle this thing isn't rusted out at all, and was in really nice shape before it was moved to the recycler.

While in the basement I did pull the back panel off to find it does have a thermostatic nylon water valve (yay!), and the boot for the speed changer feels soft and pliable.

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Post# 1086468 , Reply# 4   8/25/2020 at 08:33 (938 days old) by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, IA)        

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"So Ben, what are you going to do about the boot?" you ask?

Well, one of the reasons I went for this machine was that I had found three mystery boots last summer (that experience is for another thread).

One of the three boots is the later version that fits the flat front machines, but two of the boots looked a lot like the Q4688 and Q4712.

Sure enough, the one that looked like a Q4688 fits like a glove! At that same store I found a box of knobs and dials, and two dials appear to have come from a '56 dryer. I can use these knobs (sans missing the cool yellow arrows on the timer dial), or use them to possibly make new dials. Time will tell.

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Post# 1086469 , Reply# 5   8/25/2020 at 08:36 (938 days old) by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, IA)        

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So, for now it will be a pretty paper weight in the basement as there are Bendii to restore, first.

If anyone happens to have a timer dial for a '56 L-9 they'd be willing to sell, I'd be interested.

Also, if anyone is looking to part out a 1955 or 1956 Westinghouse washer or dryer with the "Deluxe" script, or any 1955-1958 bottom kick panel that isn't rusted through, I'd be interested as well. It will all but impossible to pop the dent out along the gradual curve of the panel.

Until then, enjoy the photos of the rarely seen, lighted dial 1956 L-9 Westinghouse Laundromat washer!


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This post was last edited 08/25/2020 at 12:00
Post# 1086475 , Reply# 6   8/25/2020 at 09:34 (938 days old) by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

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Hey Ben, wow super cool, that was my very first vintage washer ever!

I have the dials and escutcheon parts which you are welcome to have, they are in nice shape...

I also have the push button wash rotating wash chart assembly in good shape too if you need that as well.

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Post# 1086476 , Reply# 7   8/25/2020 at 09:41 (938 days old) by turquoisedude (.)        

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It's going to be a beauty Ben!  Can't wait to see those dials glowing again.  Congratulations!!


Post# 1086477 , Reply# 8   8/25/2020 at 09:48 (938 days old) by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

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Oh look what else I just found, which you can also have...

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Post# 1086480 , Reply# 9   8/25/2020 at 10:01 (938 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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Robert, so thankful you still have these components. Until the original post revealing this washer needed to be saved, I'd never laid eyes n one like this. There's something very special about this model. And Ben, I'm over the moon you saved this beauty. I look forward to the day when it's back to its original glory,

Post# 1086483 , Reply# 10   8/25/2020 at 10:55 (938 days old) by jons1077 (Vancouver, Washington, USA)        

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I have one of the older slant front models. Not sure what is compatible as far as parts but itís a mechanically solid machine. It lacks a door boot and latch so if you need any parts let me know. Obviously without a sealing and closing door it is of no use to me.

Post# 1086492 , Reply# 11   8/25/2020 at 12:25 (938 days old) by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

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I found pictures of my old L-9 from nearly 20 years ago! It was still in use by the original owner when I found it in 1995. She said it was noisy but still washed well. Turned out the reason it was noisy was the drive pulley nut was loose, a simple tighten of the nut solved that in 2 minutes.

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Post# 1086498 , Reply# 12   8/25/2020 at 12:52 (938 days old) by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, IA)        

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Oh my gosh, look at that! Robert, I was hoping you might dig up some photos of the one you had. Thank you for sharing - those lighted dials look great!

And YES! I'd be happy to use those parts on the MT Westy, including the fabric selector mechanism. Thank you so much for the offer. The coloring on the inlays look great, and the lenses have almost no fogging!


Post# 1086520 , Reply# 13   8/25/2020 at 15:21 (938 days old) by goatfarmer (South Bend, home of Champions)        

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Great save, Ben!

Post# 1086556 , Reply# 14   8/25/2020 at 19:08 (938 days old) by Northwesty (Renton, WA)        

have a bottom panel - Northwesty

Post# 1086569 , Reply# 15   8/25/2020 at 20:53 (938 days old) by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, IA)        

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Brian - I'll shoot you an email and Jon a PM.


Post# 1087034 , Reply# 16   8/28/2020 at 21:29 (935 days old) by bendixmark (Winchester Mass)        
Reply 11

Robert,What became of this machine in the picture you posted?

Post# 1087090 , Reply# 17   8/29/2020 at 10:26 (934 days old) by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

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Robert,What became of this machine in the picture you posted?

Parts I used from that machine to make a really good working L-8 washer. At that time I only had one good boot.

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