Thread Number: 84346  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
LA806 Maytag Washer replace transmission question
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Post# 1087403   8/31/2020 at 15:35 (943 days old) by wakman (Atlanta, )        

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I've got my original LA806 Maytag washer Series 02 from "1980"
My wife wont buy a new washer - these Maytags are work horses and now need some loving care

A few years ago I purchased a new transmission with new bearing and seals
Now i'm installing it all

In removing the old transmission - it looks completely different to the one I purchased - its seems the early A806 washers used my style of horizontal transmission
The new vertical transmission seems to be on later A806 washers - as most videos and instruction manuals all show this new type of transmission

See photos attached

Has anyone had this same experience
Will the new one fit and operate ok

The upper splined shaft on the old one has an extra black seal boot and a black thick o-ring - that appears to help keep the agitator in place

The new transmission -did not come with the black rubber boot or thick o=ring

I'm assuming I can pull them off the old splined shaft and insert onto the new transmission shaft

Has anyone experienced the same ???

Would also like to be able to chat with a person that has done the transmission change before - just to double check my work as I go along

Any help would be appreciated

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This post was last edited 08/31/2020 at 15:51

Post# 1087409 , Reply# 1   8/31/2020 at 16:33 (943 days old) by Repairguy (Danbury, Texas)        

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The orbital transmission is the new one you purchased and it is the replacement for all pitman style transmissions like your washer originally had. You will need a replacement agitator designed for the newer orbital transmission. Your original agitator will not work with the new one. The orbital transmission has a faster agitation stroke.

Post# 1087429 , Reply# 2   8/31/2020 at 18:49 (943 days old) by qsd-dan (West)        

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"My wife wont buy a new washer"

Your wife is keeper!

"In removing the old transmission - it looks completely different to the one I purchased - its seems the early A806 washers used my style of horizontal transmission."

The original transmission is a 5 gear pitman drive unit that oscillates 180 degrees at 63 OPM's (oscillations per minute) and 43 OPM's on the gentle cycle. The Orbital transmission debuted in Aug of 1989. This unit oscillates at 90 degrees and at a much faster 155 OPM rate. They are fitted with a agitator that has smaller fins designed for those faster agitation speeds. There are 2 different size transmissions for the smaller and larger tubs. They're interchangeable with previous models going back to 1966 as long as the proper size transmission is sourced.

"The new transmission -did not come with the black rubber boot or thick o-ring"

The thick rubber boot is part of the old style stem seal. Maytag updated to a triple seal design in the mid 1990's which eliminated that part. Overall, it's an inferior design to the previous version but unless you find a really old NOS style stem and seal kit on Ebay, this is what we're left with. You can purchase that 0A4298 seal and install it underneath the stem seal and use it as a backup when the triple seal fails. More on that in this thread

The black o-ring holds the agitator onto the shaft, called a stop ring. That same stop ring was used on their EJN wringer line going back the late 1930's. Maytag made a slight redesign in their agitators by the mid 1980's that debuted with the 12 series machines which incorporate a 1/4" screw on the side of the agitator to hold it on instead of the stop ring. On that agitator, you can use both the stop ring and side screw if you desire (not necessary though). That stop ring is still available on Ebay.

Here we go into opinion-ville....

I have obtained, fixed, and played around with several machines from the orbital era and don't like them. At all! Faster agitation is harder on the clothes and only the first generation has a lint filter already in place since they when to a cheesy and ineffective self cleaning filter located in the tub a couple of years later. Maytag did offer a lint filter for the later agitators, sold separately (unknown on my end if it fits the dual action agitator that was available on some of the later models). Also, the newer style agitator has thinner gauge fins that are sharp, which also contributes to additional wear/tear on items washed. To top that off, they added a "shark fin" higher up on the agitator, of that same thin sharp gauge material, that creates even more wear and tear. The dual action agitator does not have the shark fins but its larger size does take up more real estate in the tub, leaving less room for additional clothing. The dual action agitator is essentially a design for stupid people that overload their washers (I personally refer to them as the "stupid action agitator").

In experimenting, I actually found that the older powerfin agitator contributed to less wear and tear on clothing than the original orbital agitator. This is because lacks the sharp edges in the fins. Also, it lacks that stupid sharp edged shark fin (say that 10 times really fast, lol). Maytag recommended not using the older agitator in the orbital transmissions, probably because of the additional load the larger fins put on the transmission. However, I know one person who has been using an older powerfin agitator on an orbital transmission for over 15 years with no problems. That decision is completely up to you.

Post# 1087439 , Reply# 3   8/31/2020 at 20:59 (943 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

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This agitator will work with the new style transmission.  It is a vast improvement over previous agitators designed and made by Maytag. 

CLICK HERE TO GO TO eurekastar's LINK on eBay

Post# 1087489 , Reply# 4   9/1/2020 at 08:56 (942 days old) by wakman (Atlanta, )        
Thank y'all

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Thank you all - for the great info and links - great to have mentors to help me along

Post# 1087490 , Reply# 5   9/1/2020 at 08:58 (942 days old) by wakman (Atlanta, )        
Old pitman transmission - oil leak ??

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My old transmission seems to look ok and it was working fine before I tore it apart - other than a typical leak from the bottom (o-ring seal)
Is it possible to repair the bottom seal leak on the old transmission ??

I'm now thinking that I will keep the old transmission and just change the tub bearings and tub seals - My wife wants to keep the old agitator design

So -in the end - I will have a "spare" new transmission or possibly sell to someone
Are these transmission in demand ???? are they still available ???

Post# 1087511 , Reply# 6   9/1/2020 at 11:41 (942 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Maytag pitman Transmission

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Hi Bill, the question is how does the agitator shaft look in the seal area, if badly pitted and rusted it will not work long till water gets into the top bearing and even transmission oil.


I would just put in the new transmission with the new style top lip seal [ do not put an additional seal under the lip seal it might ruin the lip seal ] and get a load sensor agitator, your wife will love it, we have done this many times and this is the only I would ever use a Maytag washer like this as my everyday driver.


With the shorter stroke LS agitator the washer will turn over clothing much better with far less strain of having clothing dragged by the agitator.


John L.

Post# 1087512 , Reply# 7   9/1/2020 at 11:59 (942 days old) by tennblondie78 (Bowling Green, KY)        

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I just did this same thing to my 806. I have been thrilled with it so far. I didn't use the load sensor agitator, I used the other one with the lint filter and more "fins." The only thing I don't like is opening the washer and seeing a white agitator. It doesn't look right; it should be turquoise. I know that made the agitator I got in turquoise originally, but I haven't been able to locate one. Hopefully one day I will.

I'm just happy to have my buddy back working; I'm not worried about the stroke difference or the difference in sound enough to let the different transmission bother me. I'm getting great turnover and clean clothes! :)

Post# 1087576 , Reply# 8   9/1/2020 at 21:12 (942 days old) by wakman (Atlanta, )        
is this the white agitator you used

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Post# 1087578 , Reply# 9   9/1/2020 at 21:25 (942 days old) by qsd-dan (West)        

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Your link doesn't work, but the non dual action agitator looks like this:

Spring for the dual action agitator if an Orbital transmission is replacing the older pitman trans. Your attire will suffer less damage.

Post# 1087588 , Reply# 10   9/1/2020 at 23:54 (942 days old) by Good-Shepherd (New Jersey)        
but I haven't been able to locate one

You don't read posts.

I mentioned in two threads I had a turquoise agitator you were looking for, no reply.

Post# 1087642 , Reply# 11   9/2/2020 at 11:57 (941 days old) by tennblondie78 (Bowling Green, KY)        

tennblondie78's profile picture
Yes, the agitator I used is the one in Dan's post.

My apologies, Douglas, for not seeing your replies. I will send you an email for more info on your agitator. Thanks!

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