Thread Number: 85212  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
Help me decide between a Maytag A885 or 2017 Speed Queen AWN as a daily driver.
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Post# 1097327   11/16/2020 at 20:53 (857 days old) by wa9aLqTh (Bay Area Northern California)        

I only have room for one. I like that the Maytag has a lint filter since we primarily line dry. I also like how gently the long stroke is. The Speed Queen is a beast that will outlive me.

Maytag is at the rental and the SQ is at home. The rental house is vacant at the moment but Iíll eventually have to move the Maytag out of there when when I find tenants since thereís already a washer.

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Post# 1097334 , Reply# 1   11/16/2020 at 21:56 (857 days old) by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

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I'm a long stroke guy too, and while I don't feel the SQ is as good at rinsing, the tub is bigger, which could make the difference between washing a comforter at home or having to take it to a laundromat.   It's a tough decision, though, since Maytags were built like tanks and the orbital transmission is certainly reliable.


What dryer will the washer be paired with?  The Maytag?  If so, its capacity is geared for Maytag's somewhat smaller washer tub and full loads from the SQ could take longer to dry on those days when line drying isn't an option.

Post# 1097335 , Reply# 2   11/16/2020 at 22:06 (857 days old) by wa9aLqTh (Bay Area Northern California)        
What dryer will the washer be paired with?

Paired with the GE DDE7108PMLAD I already have at home. Original owner. This dryer wonít quit. The heating element and drum belt were replace once before. Sadly the matching washer was let go several years ago because I thought it was time for an upgrade.


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Post# 1097346 , Reply# 3   11/16/2020 at 23:09 (857 days old) by LowEfficiency (Iowa)        

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Another vote for the Maytag. The Maytag has features and characteristics you like, and the only point you listed in favor of the SQ is longevity, which the Maytag also has, soooo... easy choice! :D

Doesn't hurt that your Maytag looks pristine.

Post# 1097349 , Reply# 4   11/17/2020 at 00:07 (857 days old) by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

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I can't speak to the GE dryer's capacity, as I'm not familiar with just how large the larger GE washer tubs were back then, but will hazard a guess that they weren't as big as your SQ's tub. 


For that reason, your Maytag seems to me like a safer bet for load sizes that are compatible with the GE dryer.  Additionally, there is no contest when comparing the Maytag's console and cabinet materials and finishes -- porcelain enameled top in particular -- to those of the SQ, so it will hold up and look good for a lot longer.  Actually, it already has, considering the age difference between the two machines.  Dave's daughter put a dent in our '97 "Commercial Quality" Amana washer's console in short order, and I doubt SQ consoles have become any more durable over the subsequent 23 years.


You can get used to the Maytag's short stroke.  It's still far more pleasant to listen to than a WP-based direct drive machine IMO, and you won't be changing belts every couple of years like you would with the SQ.  Ironic that the machine that rarely needs its belt changed has a much easier way to do it than the one that chews them up as a routine aspect of its operation.


Post# 1097350 , Reply# 5   11/17/2020 at 00:11 (857 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
Maytag, hands down is right

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I admit my feelings are a bit coloured by having worked on both and the Speed Queen just seemed determined to hurt me.

Post# 1097355 , Reply# 6   11/17/2020 at 06:26 (857 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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just so you are clear on your information....

Lint Filters....

Maytag, manual lint filter that you have to clean...

Speed Queen, Self Cleaning lint filter....

Lint Filters are, and have always been a gimmick, just to show you that there IS lint in your wash water, they wont filter out ALL of the lint from the load...

with proper temps and washing techniques, lint filters are not required..... of my collection that has them, I never leave any of mine in place when using machines...

if I was to line dry, I usually toss the load in the dryer for about 15 minutes, it removes any particles of lint, and warms the clothing like a warm rinse, making line dry clothing softer

Post# 1097380 , Reply# 7   11/17/2020 at 10:43 (857 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Best Choise Of Two Convental TL Washers

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The SQ Hands down, it is newer and has a much longer life expediency.


It is larger in capacty


It rinses MUCH better than the MT, the 100 RPM faster spin wrings out more soapy wash water and leaves clothes drier for the dryer.


The SQ does not have a silly out-Of -Balance switch, the SQ will always finish the load without the possibility of TWO additional trips back to the washer to rearrange a load and restart it.


The SQ has self-leveling legs you will never have problems with it walking like the MT [ one of the most frequent service calls we still do on DC MTs is a complete re-leveling because they are driving their owners crazy walking all over the place ]


Post# 1097465 , Reply# 8   11/17/2020 at 21:25 (856 days old) by Good-Shepherd (New Jersey)        
SQ it is newer and has a much longer life expediency

Performance issues aside I bet that Maytag outlives the Speed Queen by many years.

Post# 1097468 , Reply# 9   11/17/2020 at 22:02 (856 days old) by Maytag85 (Sean A806)        

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The Speed Queen washers (built before 2015) are some of the best newer washers you can buy. Reason I say before 2015 is they put those crappy normal eco cycles on after 2015 that donít really rinse thoroughly and the first spin on the last of the true Speed Queen washers built in 2017 with the transmission only had a slow first spin which doesnít spin out enough of the soapy water from the clothes.

Post# 1097484 , Reply# 10   11/18/2020 at 07:10 (856 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Replay #8

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Hi Douglas, I will take up your bet any day, even an 80s WP DD washer will not outlast a 80s MT DC machine.


[ by the mid 1980s WP DD washers were having fewer problems than MT DC washers ]


The SQ washer in question will easily last another 20 years with probably no more than a new belt and maybe an inlet valve, There is no likely hood that a 25 YO MT DC will go to age 45 Years without an inlet valve, transmission, center seal kit, damper pads, internal hoses, possible rust-out of the outer-tub, yes the MT could make it to 45 years but with a lot of work and money.


As far as the best of these washers regarding linting there is not much difference, neither is considered a great choice if low listing is important, all spin drain top load washers can leave lint streaks if clothing is not sorted properly.


The lint filter in the MT washer does not catch 10% of the lint generated when you wash a load of clothing so the advantage of having it will not be discernible.


[ You can prove this by putting a nylon stocking over the drain hose and comparing the amount of lint particles trapped compared to what you find in the lint filter ]


 Please Have A Safe Thanksgiving Everyone


John L.

Post# 1097495 , Reply# 11   11/18/2020 at 08:01 (856 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
I wonder if two things are playing a role, here

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First - Speed Queens may be easy to work on for somebody of John's extraordinary skill, for the average lady around here, they're toothy pit-bulls in a bad mood. Maytag, say what one will about the decline in quality toward the end (and it was real) are easier to work on - and they seem to have been put together for people with sausage size fingers.


Second - it's unfair, but I find it hard to think of Speed Queen anything without the emotional impact of their appalling treatment of everyone who pointed out the enormous failings of their absolutely awful washers a few years back.



Post# 1097497 , Reply# 12   11/18/2020 at 09:17 (856 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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whenever making a choice for a machine, car, toaster, DVD player, TV, etc....

not wise to run to Youtube, Consumer Reports or average person on the cannot rely on their credibility....

any given device can have a bad one in the bunch, one person can have a bad experience, and suddenly every thing made from there on is a machine to avoid....thats when you separate opinion from fact...

who you want to speak with is a repairman, tech, mechanic......those are the guys who see these units on a daily basis, have the expertise, and have nothing to lose by offering what they have seen in the past....

thats who I go to, and the person I seek when needing repair work or help....

there are hundreds of repair vids on YT....but which one do you choose to give you the simplest information, not to mention the correct may have to search through several until you find the one you need...

Post# 1097519 , Reply# 13   11/18/2020 at 12:22 (856 days old) by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

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John has made some good points about why a the subject SQ would last longer than the older Maytag, but unless they've improved the problem with SQ machines eating up belts (a recent thread about a bad belt on a church lady machine seems to indicate otherwise), that remains a concern.  Even the tech that came out to fix our '97 Amana washer (because we wisely kept renewing our extended warranty on it) remarked about how involved it was to change the belt, the one component that reliably failed three times in nine years, and it was not the result of chronic overloading.


I see this as a trade-off.  Potential longevity with the SQ if you're willing to put up with annoying belt failures over the next 20 years, or the reliability of the Maytag but holding your breath that nothing major finally needs to be replaced.  I still vote for the Maytag.  If it has a catastrophic failure that you don't want to take on, then there will be plenty of pre-owned SQ machines out there to replace it with.  And again, I think the Maytag's capacity is more compatible with the GE dryer you want to use.

Post# 1097522 , Reply# 14   11/18/2020 at 12:56 (856 days old) by 48bencix (Sacramento CA)        

I had the Maytag Orbital from 2000 to 2017 when I got the new Speed Queen set. Here is what happened to my Orbital. Shaft came out of the transmission. Since the seal had failed a few years earlier, I decided to trade it in.


Post# 1097523 , Reply# 15   11/18/2020 at 13:14 (855 days old) by robbinsandmyers (Conn)        

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Back in the 80's when I was helping an old appliance repair guy I remember a machine with rocking levers on the trans and solenoids?? Was that the Speed Queens of the 1970's? One thing I hated was replacing the belt on them, a real bitch and one tub bracket had to come off I think. Them and the Gibsons I hated working on. Only thing we changed on Maytags back then was belts, water valves, and hinge balls. Plus the very rare timer.

Post# 1097528 , Reply# 16   11/18/2020 at 13:34 (855 days old) by DADoES (TX,†U.S. of A.)        

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^ Sounds like Whirlpool/Kenmore transmission.

Post# 1097534 , Reply# 17   11/18/2020 at 14:43 (855 days old) by Good-Shepherd (New Jersey)        

When the Speed Queen gives up the ghost it will be nothing but scrap metal, while his well cared for Maytag could be rebuilt and put back into service.

BTW in my experience SQ washers can easily chew up more than one belt over 20 years and are a PIA to replace.

A friend had Alliance built SQ that wore out a new belt in the four years she owned it, then it died at 13 years old (some kind of slow spin issue)

Most DC Maytag's are just getting broken in at 13 years old.

Post# 1097536 , Reply# 18   11/18/2020 at 15:18 (855 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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until you change any one of the three belts on a Speed Queen solid tub machine....

the new Speed Queen is a breeze!...especially with the pump hold down clips versus the original torx head screws...

I have worked on both....

heck, Eugene changes the belt and tensioner for around 10 minutes, and that includes his detailed instruction....

Post# 1097537 , Reply# 19   11/18/2020 at 15:22 (855 days old) by RP2813 (Sannazay)        
". . . nothing but scrap metal . . ."

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Douglas, I couldn't have said it better myself.  No automatic washer could match a genuine Maytag for build quality and durability then, and for sure nothing built today is even in the same league.  Porcelain enamel beats powder coated paint any day.


Eugene's work on refurbishing older Maytag and Whirlpool-sourced automatic washers speaks to their build quality compared to the best option for a conventional top-loader on the market today, which I would agree is the Speed Queen, but the SQ is flimsy in comparison.


You're preaching to the choir about the belt issues with SQ machines.  They seem to have intentionally designed things to make the belt the Achilles heel that saves more expensive components from failure (much like the plastic gearing on WP-produced KitchenAid stand mixers), but belts still shouldn't get chewed up so quickly on a machine that's properly operated.    Why can't Alliance come up with a fix for this chronic problem that so many here and elsewhere on line have reported?


I gave up on Consumer Reports after they top-rated the '97 Amana we bought.  It was on its third belt when we ditched it after nine years.  That had to have skewed the "frequency of repair" numbers badly for the Amana they top-rated, and I see no reason to think it wouldn't still be doing the same for Speed Queens.

Post# 1097545 , Reply# 20   11/18/2020 at 17:56 (855 days old) by Good-Shepherd (New Jersey)        
no likely hood that MT DC will go to age 45 Years

Have to disagree with that statement.

We've seen a number of people come on this site looking for help with 40-45 year old (or older) Maytag DC machines.

Yeah, they usually need a lot work but they made it that long with little to no repairs.

The almond MT washer "wa9aLqTh" is getting rid of appeared to be around 1980 vintage, hard to believe but that was 40 years ago, yikes..

Post# 1097553 , Reply# 21   11/18/2020 at 20:26 (855 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
1980 MT against a 10 YO SQ Commercial TL Washer

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Hi Ralph, The 1997 Amana you had has almost nothing to do with an Alliance Ripon Wi built washer. The Amanas and AmanaTag washers and dryers were full of problems.


Around a decade ago SQ did something to improve belt life, several techs have told me they can't believe that the belts just don't fail any longer. I only change 1 or 2 a year, our whole company maybe changes around 4-6 a year, We are responsible for backing the service on almost 10,000 SQ TL Washers in our service area.


Just last year SQ went back to an aluminum main drive pulley to further extend belt life, this keeps the belt cooler durning overload conditions.


The belt is easy to change, you only need a 5/16" nut driver to remove the front panel [ it is easier to remove than a Mts front panel ] Then you just remove three pump clips with your fingers and flip the belt in place, snap the pump back on and install the front panel, you are done in under 10 minutes, Yes it is easier to change the belts on a MT DC.


Hi Douglas, a 1980 MT DC will be very lucky to last another 5 years without repairs and likely major rebuilding, this makes a 10 YO SQ a much better bet, to say nothing about better performance and greater capacity, the SQ will likely last another 20 years with just minor repairs.


John L.

Post# 1097590 , Reply# 22   11/19/2020 at 07:50 (855 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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Greetings Dave (wa9aLqTh), and welcome to what happens when you ask an ďeither/orĒ question here at Automatic Washer, lol. Thereís never a shortage of opinions about and personal experiences with any washer youíd care to name.

Just for the record, I have no interest whatsoever in repairing my own washer. Iím the person who helps keep guys like John (combo52) and Eugene (Lorainfurniture) in business.

In light of that, my vote goes for the Speed Queen. Itís still a very young machine and parts will be readily available for many years when service is required.

I have a 2017 SQ top-loader and am very happy with its performance.

This post was last edited 11/19/2020 at 08:19

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