Thread Number: 84778  /  Tag: Vintage Dryers
POD 10/8/2020 Westinghouse Laundromat Dryer
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Post# 1092395   10/8/2020 at 11:01 (1,234 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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The RL-l is the basic model that was also the same machine that was used in washaterias. And there was a matching dryer L6/LB6. Does anyone know if Westinghouse made a matching dryer to the RL-1?

Post# 1092398 , Reply# 1   10/8/2020 at 11:25 (1,234 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        

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Hi Bob, No matching dryer for the bolt-down washers.



Post# 1092408 , Reply# 2   10/8/2020 at 13:28 (1,234 days old) by ea56 (Cotati, Calif.)        

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While I appreciate all vintage washing machines, the matched set of Westies in this POD are to me the Holy Grail of vintage automatic washers and dryers and really the only set that I would lust after.  It was an identical set that my favorite aunt owned that really began my lifelong fascination with washing machines. 


To me their simplicity is beautiful.  



Post# 1092410 , Reply# 3   10/8/2020 at 14:42 (1,233 days old) by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        

I'm guessing that is a 1954 model, or possibly 1953. My mom got a Westinghouse washer for Christmas, 1955, and while it had that style door, it had the Laundrofile and blue-gray control knobs rather than red.

Post# 1092476 , Reply# 4   10/8/2020 at 20:37 (1,233 days old) by arbilab (Ft Worth TX (Ridglea))        

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The ad says "transmission" which brings up a point of confusion (to me).  I bet y'all can straighten me up.


Was "transmission" an upscale feature? 


We had a late 40s Laundromat.  No pressure switch; it "weighed" the compression of the bottom leaf spring.  White-on-blue knob.  Double doors, no boot.  The earthquake solenoid banged a lever on the rear of the transmission case for spin.


It got replaced early-mid 50s with a chevron door, WITH boot, WITH pressure switch although no water level knob.  White on black timer knob.  NO transmission, YES 3-belt intermediate pulley.


But in models later than that, it seems the transmission reappeared, then later still, back to 3 belts. 


So, question one:  What is the timeline for transmission vs 3 belt?  Model specific?


Question two:  Besides an apparent planetary gearset, what was inside that transmission that accounted for spin startup without dogging the motor down?  Fluid coupling?  Do you know the failure mode when it quit (like ours did)?

Post# 1092478 , Reply# 5   10/8/2020 at 21:01 (1,233 days old) by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, IA)        

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Rick - that's a great question. I'm certainly not a Westinghouse expert so please correct me where needed.

From what I've researched it seems as though the lower price models were fitted with the three belt system early on (LS-7 and LS-8), starting with the 1954/1955 range, with the LB-6 and L-8 being the higher end models of the time.

When the TOL L-9 came out in '56 with the two belt transmission, the first 25" model ,the H-1, came out as the lower priced option with the three belt arrangement.

In '57 the TOL L-100 and MOL L-102 first were introduced with the two belt transmission, along with the three belt BOL L-104, and mid-year were changed to the three belt system under the model numbers L-100M and L-102K.

By 1958 the 2 belt transmission was dropped across all models and the three belt system was then used all the way up through the late 80's, with the '59 L-12X models having the revised tub/suspension from the earlier slant front models.


Post# 1092536 , Reply# 6   10/9/2020 at 06:08 (1,233 days old) by arbilab (Ft Worth TX (Ridglea))        

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Thanks Ben.  So it DID vary by model.


Even with the company discount dad always bought BOL.  Ironically, the 3-belt spin sheave could be rebuilt by a precocious 12yo (me) whereas the upscale gearbox became a whopping liability if you still had it beyond warranty.


It seems as though W marketing considered the gearbox a luxury upgrade, overlooking the engineering brilliance of the spin sheave which was an elementary CVT (continuously variable transm'n) with only one moving part, the shift sheave itself.


The startup load kept the belt in the smallest diameter of the motor pulley.  As the drum came to speed, the reduced load allowed the sheave to progressively engage the larger diameter.  Both designs still required the one-way spring clutch at the final drive, so no cost or reliability differential either way there.  But come to think of it, an overrun/sprag clutch could easily have been incorporated into the gearbox, obviating the need for the spring clutch at the drum. 


Question remains whether the gearbox had a fluid coupling to allow for initial load pickup.  Seems requisite, doesn't it? 

Eliminating that AND the gears themselves with the variable sheave would be a HUGE cost saving.


By the way, how did Bendix do it back in those days?

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