Thread Number: 91022  /  Tag: Modern Automatic Washers
Finally bought my new washer
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Post# 1155347   7/27/2022 at 19:15 (665 days old) by ryner1988 (Indianapolis)        

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Hey guys,

So, I finally did it -- bought a washer to replace my gradually more and more persnickety Maytag 112. Unfortunately, the Speed Queen 2017 machine I really wanted went out of stock over the weekend, so I ended up going with the Whirlpool ultimate care direct drive. It is supposed to be delivered tomorrow afternoon.

I know a lot of people aren't fans of the direct drive washers, but I'm not really looking to have a super exciting, collector-type machine. I just want something that washes well and still has parts readily available so that someone can come work on it if something goes wrong. The direct drive fits that goal in my opinion.

The only thing I'm a little worried about is the plastic clear spinning cover that most direct drives have over their timer dials, making it difficult for me to set cycles by touch. Wonder if I can put some double-sided tape or something underneath it so that the plastic cover and the dial move as one and it doesn't slip around when I touch it. Or perhaps I'll learn something like it's a three-quarter rotation around the dial from the off position to the beginning of the regular cycle. Some ideas about how to handle this issue would be appreciated.

At any rate, I'm looking forward to hopefully having a washer I'm not nervous about all the time. The A112 has been great, but it's a bit too old for me as a disabled person to feel comfortable owning with all the potential problems that could occur.


Post# 1155355 , Reply# 1   7/27/2022 at 20:33 (665 days old) by Repairguy (Danbury, Texas)        

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If the washer is old enough you just unscrew the timer knob and there are 3 tabs that hold the clear plastic cover in place. I would explain the situation to the folks you are buying it from and they should be able to remove it easily for you. I would if you were my customer.

Post# 1155356 , Reply# 2   7/27/2022 at 20:58 (665 days old) by ryner1988 (Indianapolis)        

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The model came out in 2001 but my particular machine was manufactured in 2004, according to the serial number. Not sure if that helps in determining whether or not it's the unscrew type knob.

Post# 1155357 , Reply# 3   7/27/2022 at 21:18 (665 days old) by Repairguy (Danbury, Texas)        

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If it was built in 2004 it was probably the new design at that point where a long plastic piece is installed from the back of the timer to hold the knob on. Regardless the place you bought it from should be able to remove the plastic guard for you.

Post# 1155359 , Reply# 4   7/27/2022 at 21:52 (665 days old) by whirlykenmore78 (Prior Lake MN (GMT-0500 CDT.))        

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You bought a very good machine and it is quite an upgrade. You will find that the Whirlpool holds a lot more laundry per cycle and it will be more thoroughly washed and rinsed.
Enjoy your new machine, you got a good one.

Post# 1155427 , Reply# 5   7/28/2022 at 21:08 (664 days old) by ryner1988 (Indianapolis)        
Got the washer today...

ryner1988's profile picture
And have done four loads of laundry. Sorry to all the Maytag fans on here, but I think I like this Whirlpool direct drive better. Or more accurately, it seems to fit my situation better. I can fit more clothes, and the robust wash action is actually a good thing for a disabled household where there are more food stains, drink spills, etc, than there might be with the average couple.

The only thing I'm noticing is the infamous shortcoming of pretty much all refurbished direct drives I've come in contact with, and that is that they replaced many parts on the thing but didn't touch the neutral drain pack. You guest it guys, it slips straight into spin most of the time. I don't care much from a usage standpoint since I don't use fabric softener, and I know neutral drain plays a role in that being distributed properly. I just hope the spin drain stuff doesn't cause damage to the machine in the long-run.

Post# 1155434 , Reply# 6   7/28/2022 at 22:30 (664 days old) by qsd-dan (West)        

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I warned you about the small capacity tub when you got the Maytag washer. This is why I don't recommend them this day and age, they're very small by todays standards. They will wash and rinse just fine but you'll be forced into more laundry therapy whether you like it or not.

It's no surprise about the DD's failing drain kit as it's one of weakest points and the major killer of these machines. It's also a fairly big job to replace and financially cuts deeply into profits if it's done correctly and filled with new oil. It's a shame that they didn't engineer a better design or an externally easy to access design like the wig/wag setup on their BD machines.

Be aware that mechanical timers from this era are not reliable and they're NLA. Also note that you'll be greatly reducing the life of the clutch pack with the machine going directly into spin. There's also no out of balance switch on these machines either so it will beat itself to death like a GE Filter Flo. The suspension is designed for a neutral drain, not a spin drain, so expect it to go out of balance often if not loaded very carefully. On top of THAT, there's no clothes guard like the short lived spin draining DD machines so be carful about overloading and having items going over the top of the inner tub and getting stuck between the tubs during a spin drain.

Beside all of that, enjoy your new toy :)

Post# 1155442 , Reply# 7   7/28/2022 at 23:06 (664 days old) by Maytag85 (Sean A806)        

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Thatís what I like about the belt drives, thereís no neutral drain pack that can fail causing it to slip into spin. Direct drives may be simpler than the belt drives but for what I can imagine donít rinse as well since the older belt drives did at least 3 to 4 spray rinses on the first spin and another 3 to 4 rinses on the final spin. Only downside to them from my experience is they will suds lock easily with high sudsing detergent or if you use too much detergent but other than that, thatís the only quirk about them for what Iíve noticed.

Post# 1155445 , Reply# 8   7/28/2022 at 23:30 (664 days old) by qsd-dan (West)        

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Honestly, I don't think DD's are a simpler design. They're simpler to repair minus the transmission. The transmission in the BD's are crazy simple inside. Hell, there's less moving parts in there than a pitman Maytag. Sure, the wig wags die, the wires break, sometimes the linkage goes haywire, but that's all easy to access and repair.

Post# 1155447 , Reply# 9   7/28/2022 at 23:43 (664 days old) by Maytag85 (Sean A806)        
Reply #8

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I always thought the belt drive design was complicated but once you figure out how it works, itís very simple. Thereís only a total of 7 to 9 parts inside the old belt drive transmissions and I can confirm since Iíve taken 2 apart so far. Crazy as this sounds, the belt drives in some ways were built just as well and maybe a little better than a Maytag but the Achilles heel were the bearings and the outer tub since the bearings had a tendency to go out after heavy use the the outer tubs tended to rust out as well. I think if Whirlpool simply used ball or roller type bearings and used a thicker gauge of metal along with several layers of porcelain enamel on the outer tub, many would still be around to this day but Whirlpool seemed to have to have not invested cash in those areas for some reason.

Post# 1155448 , Reply# 10   7/28/2022 at 23:56 (664 days old) by Maytag85 (Sean A806)        

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Inside of a belt drive transmission, very few parts inside since thereís only a total of 7 parts inside the original transmission on my Ď63 Whirlpool.

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Post# 1155464 , Reply# 11   7/29/2022 at 07:17 (664 days old) by DADoES (TX,†U.S. of A.)        

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Add the mode shift mechanical components & electrics atop the transmission, spin brake & clutch, & pump with flapper valve linked to agitation and it becomes more complex than the DDs.

Post# 1155487 , Reply# 12   7/29/2022 at 10:46 (663 days old) by Maytag85 (Sean A806)        
Reply #11

maytag85's profile picture
Yeah, the belt drives are a bit more complex than the direct drives however all the complexity is outside of the transmission and not inside of it. Since all those components are outside the transmission, they are easy to access and repair. Since Iíve taken my Whirlpool apart about a dozen plus times, itís not that difficult to work on plus I have more experience with the belt drives than I do the newer direct drives.

Post# 1155496 , Reply# 13   7/29/2022 at 12:38 (663 days old) by ryner1988 (Indianapolis)        
Failing neutral drain

ryner1988's profile picture
I was looking around online last night, and it seems that most service techs won't replace the neutral drain packs as it's a messy and involved job. A lot of people just swap out the entire transmission/gear box and install a new clutch, therefore replacing many effected parts at once with very little effort. Wonder if it would be worth it for me to at some point soon purchase a new transmission and clutch to keep on standby, and have someone change it out for me when/if the time comes. I know a transmission is expensive, but I didn't pay a lot for the washer, and I'd like to keep this one going for a while if possible.

Post# 1155498 , Reply# 14   7/29/2022 at 12:50 (663 days old) by DADoES (TX,†U.S. of A.)        

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Iíve done one neutral drain repair. Maybe Iím cracked in the head but it wasnít that big of a deal by my standards. More experience under the belt presumably makes it less of a deal. It can be done without draining & replacing the oil, although that is reasonable to do by the age at which neutral drain typically fails.

Post# 1155499 , Reply# 15   7/29/2022 at 13:03 (663 days old) by ryner1988 (Indianapolis)        

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Oh I figured an experienced tech could do it. I'm just operating under the assumption that most won't.

At least I know repairs on these washers are still done in most cases, unlike the old Maytag. That gives me a lot of peace of mind.

Post# 1155501 , Reply# 16   7/29/2022 at 14:25 (663 days old) by GELaundry4ever (Nacogdoches, TX, USA)        
whirlpool direct drive design

I'd like to take the time to appreciate the direct drive design whirlpool engineers came up with in clyde ohio.

Post# 1155503 , Reply# 17   7/29/2022 at 14:51 (663 days old) by ryner1988 (Indianapolis)        

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I agree about the simplicity of the direct drive design. I really wanted a mechanical Speed Queen, but the one I was looking at went out of stock before I could get it. So, the direct drive was the second choice. I'm actually comforted to know that even though a lot of people don't replace neutral drain packs, the problem could be solved by just replacing the gear box, which is still available and can be done. I just hope I don't have to worry about it for a while. It's just me and my wife, so with the larger capacity of the direct drive I'll probably need to do a load every 4 or 5 days, and towels like every other time. So, about 3 loads every week and a half or so, a couple more loads than that occasionally if bedding is also involved. So, not super heavy usage therefore I won't be putting strain on the transmission with the neutral drain issue literally every single day.

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