Thread Number: 84784  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
My summer project - now complete - the 1957 Westinghouse L110 Laundromat
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Post# 1092414   10/8/2020 at 15:29 (894 days old) by turquoisedude (.)        

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Back in May, I got the call from a fellow collector near Trois-Rivières that if I wanted a 1957 Westinghouse L110 Laundromat and its matching D110 dryer, that I was first in line.  I rented a truck and got them! 


Full story on the machines - the Laundromat was found by none other than our own Jon Charles a number of years ago.  The machines came from a nearly-blind little old who had them from new and used them regularly.  He noted that the washer needed new bearings but never got around to replacing them.  Jon moved and the machines wound up here in Canada; I had a chance to get them twice before and passed both times; when my third chance came up, I jumped on them.  


So the Westy L110 got relocated to Ogden... 

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Post# 1092415 , Reply# 1   10/8/2020 at 15:33 (894 days old) by turquoisedude (.)        

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I was completely comfortable with the prospect of working on a Slant-Front Westinghouse washer - I rebuilt an L5 and the CLB6 that I still have.  


However, experience has taught me to always do a thorough evaluation of a machine before tearing into it.


A wise move.... 


The Westy seemed to be in pretty good shape

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Post# 1092417 , Reply# 2   10/8/2020 at 15:34 (894 days old) by turquoisedude (.)        

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But there had been a couple of boo-boos in transit....   Didn't seem like a big deal. 

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Post# 1092418 , Reply# 3   10/8/2020 at 15:37 (894 days old) by turquoisedude (.)        

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I knew I was going to have to take out the entire washing mechanism to replace the bearings, so away I went!

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Post# 1092419 , Reply# 4   10/8/2020 at 15:38 (894 days old) by turquoisedude (.)        

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That's when I found this 'surprise'....  I believe this was caused by the tub rubbing on the support arm (sans snubber).  I wasn't worried, though!  I've patched Laundromat tubs before.  

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Post# 1092420 , Reply# 5   10/8/2020 at 15:41 (894 days old) by turquoisedude (.)        

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Taking the tub apart was the next step.  And this is where the real fun began....  


First off, the tub seal gasket was shot to hell.  It had been patched over the years but showed signs of leakage and the inner tub lip was rusty.  I could deal with that.  

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Post# 1092423 , Reply# 6   10/8/2020 at 15:46 (894 days old) by turquoisedude (.)        

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Now all I had to do was slip the wash basket out of the outer tub.   Yeah, right... 


That tub was stuck but good.  I think it had fused to the old bearing.  


I kid you not, it too me three weeks to get that sucker out.  I used heat, penetrating oil, and finally, brute force...  I got the wash basket out at last, though!

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Post# 1092424 , Reply# 7   10/8/2020 at 15:48 (894 days old) by turquoisedude (.)        

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Pounding out the old bearings only took me two weeks....  Eesh!


Reinstalling them was a piece of cake, though.  Much faster than a Whirlpool... LOL 

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Post# 1092425 , Reply# 8   10/8/2020 at 15:55 (894 days old) by turquoisedude (.)        

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Once the bearing was done, I knew I'd need to devise a new seal for the inner and outer tubs.  I found a near-perfect material at McMaster-Carr - except they would not ship to Canada and due to the Canada-US border being closed to non-essential travel, I couldn't have it shipped to my PO Box in Vermont.  So, with the assistance of Mr. Jon Charles again, I had the order sent to him and he then forwarded to me in Ogden.  That slowed me down a couple of weeks...


While waiting for the gasket, I cleaned up and solidified the lip of the inner tub.  Everything got a coat of POR15 and some boosting from a coat of JB-Weld.  And yes, that tear in the tub was pretty easy to fix.  

After some creative gluing,  the improvised tub gasket looked great! 

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Post# 1092426 , Reply# 9   10/8/2020 at 16:01 (894 days old) by turquoisedude (.)        

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While waiting for the gasket, I knew I had to do something about the Laundromat door.  The gasket between the inner and outer doors was shot to hell and had leaked over the years.  It had rusted the bottom of the outer panel!


Fortunately, Jon had provided me with a spare dryer door and I was able to use the outer front door panel.  For the gasket, I had to do some improvisation.  A u-shaped gakset beefed up with blue RTV silicone was the 'solution' - not pretty but it seemed water tight!

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Post# 1092427 , Reply# 10   10/8/2020 at 16:05 (894 days old) by turquoisedude (.)        

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So, after the gasket arrived and got reinstalled, it was time to reassemble the tub and water-test it... Would it pass??   Oh yes!! 

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Post# 1092428 , Reply# 11   10/8/2020 at 16:23 (894 days old) by turquoisedude (.)        

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Then the real fun began - getting the tub and mechanism back together.  It SHOULD have been easy enough, but no...


I had some fun trying to line up the counterweight plates that led to mucho cursing, but I got them into place. 


It was the drive pulleys and clutch that really drove me up the wall.  I soon realized that the original clutch spring was shot.  Amazingly enough, I found one on eBay thanks to the help of Ben in Iowa.  BUT it took a couple of weeks to get to me...   Once I did get it though, the washer ran and spun wonderfully.  Progress!

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Post# 1092429 , Reply# 12   10/8/2020 at 16:24 (894 days old) by turquoisedude (.)        

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While waiting for the clutch spring, I decided to do some cosmetic work on the control panel.  The grey trim paint was scratched up, so I decided to re-do it.  I did a pretty darn good job of blending a match to the original paint!

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Post# 1092431 , Reply# 13   10/8/2020 at 16:30 (894 days old) by turquoisedude (.)        

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So, the tub was in the machine, and it was running, technically, so why not try a water test??  


Bah hahahahaha....  


On the first try, I found the pump was binding and not draining properly.  No worries, I was sure I had at least 1 spare!  I popped that in and it just gushed water out of the pump shaft.  I was ticked; I was sure there was a new spare pump somewhere but I couldn't find it.  So I ordered another one from eBay (more on that later...)


Better still, I tried hooking the fill valves up to water..  It leaked badly; I took it apart and cleaned it which seemed to solve THAT problem.  

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This post was last edited 10/08/2020 at 19:06
Post# 1092432 , Reply# 14   10/8/2020 at 16:32 (894 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        
Congratulations and Thanks for Sharing.

Photo 8/7 looks like a piece of primitive Southwestern art.

Post# 1092433 , Reply# 15   10/8/2020 at 16:33 (894 days old) by turquoisedude (.)        

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After that episode with the water valve, I decided to tidy up some of the parts I had not used in this restoration.  That's when I found the NOS pump that I thought I had all along....  I swore some, but installed it and found the leaks from it were no longer an issue.


So... I decided to get brave and schlep the washer into the basement for testing.  

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Post# 1092435 , Reply# 16   10/8/2020 at 16:37 (894 days old) by turquoisedude (.)        

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The pump was fine, but water was literally gushing out of the fill flume...   I took the dome assembly apart, cleaned it hoping that scale was just causing splashback, but no... 


So I bypassed it... 

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Post# 1092436 , Reply# 17   10/8/2020 at 16:40 (894 days old) by turquoisedude (.)        

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That did it... I finally had the washer filling, draining and NOT leaking! 


I still have a couple of issues though... I have no door switch (original one was badly damaged, so I bypassed it) and the pump drive wheel is noisy as hell.  I guess this is because the drive wheel on the motor pulley is worn...


But the washer is running and I have done laundry in it!  Video proof of that coming soon! 

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Post# 1092449 , Reply# 18   10/8/2020 at 17:10 (894 days old) by repairguy (Danbury, Texas)        

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Congrats Paul! I feel your pain every time I work on a vintage machine. It is very rewarding when you get everything running like it should. Enjoy!

Post# 1092502 , Reply# 19   10/8/2020 at 23:51 (893 days old) by hoover28 (Oneida NY)        
You did a fantastic Job

I need to do tub bearings on my 1954 Westinghouse LB6M some day. lol


Post# 1092521 , Reply# 20   10/9/2020 at 03:00 (893 days old) by Slowspin66 (lincoln uk)        
Brilliant job

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Clearly a labour of love !!! Well done Iím amazed how spares still turn up for these old machines . Looking forward to the video .... thanks for all the detail on a wonderful restoration best wishes Darren

Post# 1092524 , Reply# 21   10/9/2020 at 03:43 (893 days old) by chestermikeuk (Rainhill *Home of the RailwayTrials* Merseyside,UK)        

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Congratulations Paul on your full restoration, 3rd time lucky for this with a story and history pair indeed. The tub shell is similar to the Hoover keymatic without extras.
Glad you stuck with it have enjoyed watching the progress on FB, all these old washers sometimes tax us to the repair limit.

Now to sit back and enjoy them !!
Cheers, Mike

Post# 1092538 , Reply# 22   10/9/2020 at 06:30 (893 days old) by keymatic3203 (Cardiff UK)        
Another wonderful restoration Paul

I've very much enjoyed reading of your hard and frustrating work and seeing the internal photos of this laundromat, I'm looking forward to the videos,

Well done


Post# 1092543 , Reply# 23   10/9/2020 at 07:16 (893 days old) by gansky1 (Omaha, The Home of the TV Dinner!)        

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Excellent work, Paul.  Enjoyed seeing the pics and saga of restoration on FB as well.  You did a really nice job on that panel painting, looks terrific!   You had some real challenges with this one, but it lives again - and the washing looks clean, success! 

Post# 1092546 , Reply# 24   10/9/2020 at 07:41 (893 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

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Well done!  I look forward to seeing the video! 

Post# 1092550 , Reply# 25   10/9/2020 at 07:55 (893 days old) by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, IA)        
1958 L-110 lives again!

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This news is most welcome here on AW! Great job sticking through with this restoration, walking away when needed to regroup, and persevering when the time was right. This is a treasure of a washer, but more so because of the sweat equity you've put into it.



Post# 1092563 , Reply# 26   10/9/2020 at 09:46 (893 days old) by mrsalvo (New Braunfels Texas)        

I'm stunned. First rate, fabulous job. Feel so proud, for you and all. It was a worthy machine to restore. Agree with Ben, walking away from it to regroup and keeping a calm, cool head. I'm so looking forward to seeing a working video.

Congratulations on a job well done.


Post# 1092771 , Reply# 27   10/10/2020 at 18:56 (892 days old) by GELaundry4ever (Killeen tx USA)        

I can't wait to see this restored laundromat in action on youtube along with the matching dryer!

Post# 1092774 , Reply# 28   10/10/2020 at 19:08 (892 days old) by kokomo1114 (Stillwater, MN)        
Paul's Laundromat

congratulations on your patience and perserverance. Are you going to paint it turqoise? maybe for a little fun? In Northfield Minnesota here awaiting my first project, that remains to be seen.

Post# 1092782 , Reply# 29   10/10/2020 at 19:47 (892 days old) by RP2813 (Sannazay)        
Two Tons of Fun!

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Great job Paul!  This shows what can be accomplished when a person is really determined and has a good strong back.

Post# 1092858 , Reply# 30   10/11/2020 at 15:45 (891 days old) by Golittlesport (California)        
Brilliant job!

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Both inside and out! I've always thought that model was one of the most gorgeous of the Westy slat-front machines.

Post# 1092864 , Reply# 31   10/11/2020 at 16:32 (891 days old) by firedome (Binghamton NY & Lake Champlain VT)        
I think you missed your calling Paul...

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you could have been an ace vintage car restorer! then again, now that you have a candidate in that Caddy you can always start by painting that roof a proper color LOL.

Can't wait to see that Westy at your place on our next visit, if they ever re-open the blasted border that is!

Post# 1092905 , Reply# 32   10/12/2020 at 01:35 (890 days old) by stricklybojack (South Hams Devon UK)        

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Post# 1097303 , Reply# 33   11/16/2020 at 17:17 (855 days old) by turquoisedude (.)        

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I promised videos of the machine in operation.... sadly, during the filming I encountered a few issues with my 'new' Westinghouse Laundromat and the past few weeks have been hectic as I have moved my father from an independent apartment to one in the Intermediate-Care unit of the residence where he lives.  So, I've not really given this latest machine much attention.  


I had noticed the pump drive wheel was extremely noisy when I was testing the machine and you will hear it grinding in this video.  I knew the wheel (the one mounted on the motor shaft under the pulley) that engages to the pump drive was worn.  I tried applying a coat of Flex-Seal rubber paint to the wheel to try and smooth it out, but it didn't really do much. 


You'll also see this in the video, but as the tub is draining, it stalls... The test-load was not huge either!   However when the spin kicks in, the Laundromat still managed to extract the wash water from the clothes. 


The icing on the cake was that after this unsucessful demo, I noticed the wash tub was full of water within a couple of hours.... that nifty three-solenoid water valve is no doubt at fault. 


I noticed that the tub drops significantly when the clothes load got well-soaked;  I have a feeling that I may be able to correct that by adjusting the tub height and angle.  I will admit that I neglected to do so when I reinstalled the tub mechanism on this machine - I remembered after the fact that I did several adjustments on the L5 I used to have and the CLB6 that is still working nicely.  


The pump noise is really ticking me off, though.  Short of replacing the drive wheel on the motor, is there anything else that I may be able to do to silence the grinding noise?   Knowing that the drive wheel is likely unobtainium, I may just throw my hands up in the air and install an electric drain pump.


I'll be pulling the machine out of service soon... Maybe it's time to swap the '59 Frigidaire Multi-Matic back into active duty (I want to show off the lovely new agitator rings that I got from our fellow member Bud!!)   


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Post# 1097330 , Reply# 34   11/16/2020 at 21:16 (855 days old) by eddy1210 (Burnaby BC Canada)        

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Paul I admire your tenacity at bringing this beauty back to life! I may have missed it, but where did you source your bearings? Did you just bring the old one and have them match it or did you know a part #?
Awesome job!

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