Thread Number: 84888  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
Maytag LA 506 agitator shaft repair
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Post# 1093562   10/17/2020 at 21:23 (1,145 days old) by dough77494 (TX)        

Seal area on the agitator shaft is severely corroded / damaged. Plan was to use two ea. Timken Redi-Sleeves or SKF Speedi-Sleeves. Material for both is stainless steel and wall thickness is approximately .011 in. Local distributor advised neither are stocked and price is ~$30. each.

The owner of the machine shop located in our shop is confident he can turn a sleeve out of SS - although the thin wall will be a challenge. My material preference is 316 SS. Any suggestions for another material?

Has anyone used a wear sleeve to repair the mounting stem seal area? This is the only viable alternative I can think of as replacement shafts are no longer available. Other suggestions are most welcome.


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Post# 1093584 , Reply# 1   10/18/2020 at 00:49 (1,145 days old) by LowEfficiency (Iowa)        

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There was another post a while back, where someone machined a shaft down, then used a special machinable shaft filler to build it back up before finishing on a lathe. It was an excellent repair, but I remember the filler being quite expensive...

$30 for a catalog-order sleeve sounds like a bargain. If that's all it takes to fix it, there's no way you could have anything done at a machine shop for less than that!

Most people use JB-Weld as a filler and then sand it down...

Post# 1093586 , Reply# 2   10/18/2020 at 01:01 (1,145 days old) by qsd-dan (West)        

qsd-dan's profile picture
I'd be more concerned about water intrusion into the transmission and the upper sleeve bearing damage rather than the shaft.

Post# 1093615 , Reply# 3   10/18/2020 at 12:37 (1,144 days old) by dough77494 (TX)        
upper sleeve bearing damage

By upper sleeve bearing to you mean the tub bearing sleeve? Both the mounting stem and tub bearing are being replaced.

Have not removed the trans top plate to see of there has been any water contamination. Probably should - although removing all build up from the outer tub in preparation for rust remediation and sealing is taking far too long. About ready to use the pressure washer to expedite removal.

Post# 1093616 , Reply# 4   10/18/2020 at 13:11 (1,144 days old) by dough77494 (TX)        
use JB-Weld as a filler and then sand it

Another post strongly recommended against removing the agitator drive shaft pinion gear - no explanation provided. Without removing the shaft and turning the repaired area, not clear the repaired surface would be concentric with the shaft.

As others have used JB Weld to repair this area, presume the material holds up and does not deteriorate and damage the seal.

Post# 1093639 , Reply# 5   10/18/2020 at 16:43 (1,144 days old) by qsd-dan (West)        

qsd-dan's profile picture
When the seal fails and allows water beyond the point of he sealing surface, it'll work its way down the agitator shaft, between the shaft and that bronze/brass bearing (sticking out the top a bit), and finally into the transmission. The transmission oil will be overfilled and look like a latte if water contamination is present.

If you have a post 1974 transmission, that agitator shaft pin isn't too bad to remove. The service manual shows hammering the pin out with a punch but this can crack the shaft and ruin the sleeve bearings. It's best to press it out. From that point, you can have a machine shop repair the shaft and possibly the upper sleeve bearing.

Post# 1093656 , Reply# 6   10/18/2020 at 19:46 (1,144 days old) by Good-Shepherd (New Jersey)        
Other suggestions are most welcome.

You can retrofit the washer to a short stroke orbital trans, add in the correct agitator and the machine can be back in business quickly.
Then decide what to do with the long stroke trans later on.


Post# 1093657 , Reply# 7   10/18/2020 at 19:49 (1,144 days old) by Good-Shepherd (New Jersey)        

Working link, I hope.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO Good-Shepherd's LINK on eBay

Post# 1093767 , Reply# 8   10/19/2020 at 19:24 (1,143 days old) by dough77494 (TX)        

My machine was purchased late 1986. Is there a way to check the trans oil for contamination short of pulling the top cover e.g., a drain plug? Suspect the answer is no.

Received my in-house shop made wear sleeve today - .011

Post# 1093780 , Reply# 9   10/19/2020 at 21:10 (1,143 days old) by dough77494 (TX)        
Last post cut-off

Received my in-house shop made wear sleeve today - .011 in. wall, SS, slightly loose sliding fit except the lower 1/4 in., which I will dress with sand paper. Considering using JB Weld or epoxy to attach to the shaft.

Still have hard water build-up to remove from both tubs - will try Lime-A-Way toilet bowl cleaner which contains HCL acid or muriatic acid, aka HCL.

Thanks to all for the benefit of your experience and recommendations!

Post# 1093860 , Reply# 10   10/20/2020 at 13:05 (1,142 days old) by robbinsandmyers (Conn)        
Loose fit......

robbinsandmyers's profile picture
Back in the 80's-90's when I was a Thermo-King tech I installed many speedi sleeves on the crankshafts of diesels for the rear main seal. The old seal would wear a groove in the crank. I used clear loctite on the crank and inside the sleeve before installing then wiping off excess but I dont think they make it anymore so I would say use red Loctite instead over JB Weld. Just my thoughts.

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