Thread Number: 88157  /  Tag: Vintage Dryers
Trying to save my vintage family dryer - Frigidaire DEC needs new belt!
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Post# 1127342   8/31/2021 at 09:14 (830 days old) by DaveMills (New York)        

Hi Everyone,

I'm staying in upstate NY at my aunt's house - which used to be my grandparents' house, and has had the same gorgeous old red & brown Frigidaire dryer since as far back as I can remember.

A few days ago I was doing a load of laundry and foolishly over-packed it, and the dryer belt broke. Long story short, the (newer) washing machine didn't drain properly, so I took all the super-soaked clothes and in a panic to get everything dry, threw them all in the dryer not thinking about how heavy they'd be with all that water.

A repairman came by, and said it was likely to go soon anyway as the belt is so old, but that my overpacking was probably the straw that broke the camel's back. He took the machine apart and said he should be able to get a new belt for it.

The problem is, he called this morning and said he can't find a replacement belt anywhere, that its been discontinued, etc, and that he recommended I just get a new machine.

Let alone the cost of a new machine, but I'd hate for my mistake to be the end of this otherwise perfectly functional vintage dryer. Does anyone know much about the belts this machine uses? There MUST be a modern equivalent, no? It seems crazy to me to have to junk the entire machine over a $10 part!

I tried digging online and am not finding anything regarding the belt, but I did come across this forum and am hoping maybe some of your folks' expertise can help. Thank you so much in advance, you'd be solving a major headache if you have any ideas. Attaching some photos.

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 3         View Full Size

Post# 1127345 , Reply# 1   8/31/2021 at 10:02 (830 days old) by Repairguy (Danbury, Texas)        

repairguy's profile picture
The original belt number was 638957. The latest number is 5300638957. You can give this number to your repair person if they were unable to find it or here is a link where you can get it yourself and have them install it if they are willing. Good luck!

CLICK HERE TO GO TO Repairguy's LINK on eBay

Post# 1127346 , Reply# 2   8/31/2021 at 10:37 (830 days old) by coldspot66 (Plymouth, Mass)        

I may have a belt, if you're interested. I'll look.

Post# 1127348 , Reply# 3   8/31/2021 at 10:58 (830 days old) by Good-Shepherd (New Jersey)        

Great repairman. Advises trashing a vintage machine because he's too lazy or incompetent to track down a simple belt.

Kudos to Repairguy with the part number and link.

Post# 1127349 , Reply# 4   8/31/2021 at 11:01 (830 days old) by DaveMills (New York)        

@RepairGuy thank you so much!!! That is a major help. Going to look into this, much appreciated!

@coldspot66 please don't go out of your way but if you think you have one around, I might be interested!

@Good-Shephard haha I know. It's weird because when he showed up at the house he seemed genuinely excited that we still had this vintage machine and kept talking about how "great they used to make 'em". Then today seemed to have zero interest in following up on it, meanwhile you guys all had answers so quickly! Maybe he has a deal w/ the store in town to try and sell people on machines or something.

Post# 1127369 , Reply# 5   8/31/2021 at 17:01 (830 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Replacing The Belt On A 1970s FD Dryer

combo52's profile picture

Is not that easy, so if you are going to precede be sure the person that is going do it is experienced working on these dryers [ they should have gray hair for starters ]


FD dryers from the 70s were not a very durable dryers, however if it has had very light use over the years and it was running quietly and drying quickly and it gets very little use now you may be able to get more use out of it, so it might be worth trying to get fixed at least in the short run.


John L.

Post# 1127389 , Reply# 6   8/31/2021 at 21:27 (830 days old) by DaveMills (New York)        

@JohnL yes he told me he was celebrating his 69th birthday soon, so I felt good about his level of experience, haha. And yeah - while it was used somewhat regularly back when my grandparents were still around, the past 20 years its probably only used a couple of times a year when people stay at the house, so I think overall it should have more life left than normal in it. I'm really hoping the belt change will save things.

I ordered two new belts from the ebay link RepairMan so kindly provided! I'm hoping once they arrive, I can get this guy to do it -- or will look up someone that appears to have the needed experience to install

Post# 1127390 , Reply# 7   8/31/2021 at 21:37 (830 days old) by qsd-dan (West)        

qsd-dan's profile picture

Go to your local library and check the appliance repair book section. My library still has appliance repair books going back to the 1960's for machines going back to the 1940's. You'll most likely find a book on the shelf that details a belt replacement for this dryer.

Post# 1127415 , Reply# 8   9/1/2021 at 06:37 (830 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Replacing A Belt On A FD Dryer

combo52's profile picture

The tech is 69 years old, well I think he should be well qualified, hopefully you can convince him to install the belt when you get it.


To install the belt you basically take the back off and the rear drum balk-head and pass the belt around the drum.


Then you reinstall the rear drum balk-head and thread the belt around the motor and idler pulleys and then when the belt is properly alined around the drum you reinstall the rear panel and hopefully you are good to go.


Even though I have been repairing major appliances for 50+ years  now and am also 69 years of age I don't think I ever put even 4 belts on FD 1-18 dryers for two reasons, one FD used a very good belt 2nd was that while these dryers performed well the rest of the machine usually wore out long before the belt failed.


Good Luck hopefully you can get it going.


John L.

Post# 1158260 , Reply# 9   8/30/2022 at 13:12 (466 days old) by DaveMills (New York)        

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to post here as it is now almost exactly a year since I made this thread. The link RepairMan posted was great - although one of the belts they sent wasn't the right one, but the other one fit perfectly. The repairman did wind up installing the belt, and a year later (albeit only being up here sporadically), the dryer still works great!

Just wanted to thank you all again for your help and I'm really happy this vintage machine can still work in my grandparents' old house.

Post# 1158274 , Reply# 10   8/30/2022 at 18:17 (466 days old) by Repairguy (Danbury, Texas)        

repairguy's profile picture
Glad you got it fixed!

Post# 1158338 , Reply# 11   8/31/2022 at 18:11 (465 days old) by Washerlover (The Big Island, Hawai’i)        

washerlover's profile picture
And I have found over the years that auto parts stores are a great source for getting replacement belts.

Post# 1158745 , Reply# 12   9/5/2022 at 14:55 (460 days old) by Hippiedoll ( arizona )        
Great news!

hippiedoll's profile picture
So glad to read your update post on the vintage Frigidaire dryer!
That was a nice update to read, made me smile

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