Thread Number: 91153  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
Vintage whirlpool needing TLC
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Post# 1156555   8/10/2022 at 22:19 by whirlpoolfriend (San Ramon, CA)        

Hi everyone!
Please bear with me as I am new to this forum. I have a Whirlpool washer that we purchased from a friend. It was approximately 10 years old when we purchased it and it has travelled with me as we were stationed in different states with the USAF. It has been my one and only washer for almost 30 years and I love it. We have repaired it through the years, even though many people have told us it was time to retire it. It has some issues now and I am hopeful that they are fixable though these fixes seem more difficult than previous ones and parts are more difficult to find. We were told that it will need a new transmission. It also has a rusted bottom causing a leak. Again, theses repairs are not difficult, but finding parts is very tough at this point. The washer is from the 1980's and is showing a model number of LHA5500N1.
Is there any hope for my little whirlpool friend? I really don't want to let it go...I love the durability and simplicity of this old guy!
This seems like the place to ask, because if anyone would know how to help me, I feel like you guys would!
I will include a photo to see if that will help!

Thanks for reading!

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

Post# 1156558 , Reply# 1   8/10/2022 at 22:50 by Repairguy (Danbury, Texas)        

repairguy's profile picture
Looks like it was built the 4th week of 1981. What are the specific issues that it is having that led to needing a gearcase diagnosis? Have you pinpointed where the leak is coming from? Usually when these washers reach this age they need a complete rebuild of the drive system as well as the water seal system.

Post# 1157900 , Reply# 2   8/26/2022 at 04:47 by whirlpoolfriend (San Ramon, CA)        

I can't thank yo enough for responding to my post! I love my vintage washer and I'm fighting to keep it going as long as I can. I am convinced it works better than most new machines on the market.

I have been told that it has an issue with the transmission-it has been leaking fluid, though not much has leaked out and it runs fine. The man who said that the transmission was on its way out could not find replacement parts.

The biggest issue now is that the drum (barrel? I am not sure on the correct terminology) is made of metal and has finally rusted through. We had water all over the laundry room and into the hallway. We are unable to use it because of this issue. The repair man who came to our home said that he could replace it but that he did not know where to get the part to do it.
Our problem seems to be availability of parts. Is there anything to be done for my little washer friend at this point? Can parts be substituted from other models?

I would appreciate any help or expertise.

Again, thank you for responding to my post!

Post# 1157905 , Reply# 3   8/26/2022 at 06:10 by Repairguy (Danbury, Texas)        

repairguy's profile picture
The parts you are needing would have to come from a donor machine. Depending on where the tub is leaking and how bad the rust is it may be able to be patched but it probably needs to be removed and replace the tub seal as well.

Post# 1157913 , Reply# 4   8/26/2022 at 10:33 by volsboy1 (East Tenn Smoky mountains )        

volsboy1's profile picture

I had one like that also that I loved and would have never got rid of it but it turned into a game of wack and mole trying to fix leaks and transmissions, I was fixing gears with JB cole weld but did not hold up . If you love that type of Machine and want the same quality buy a Speed Queen TC5. There the last American made machine made like a tank with a wash transmission I think, all the others have gone to direct drive or something close.There more $$$ but will last ..

Post# 1157914 , Reply# 5   8/26/2022 at 10:41 by Maytag85 (Sean A806)        

maytag85's profile picture
If thereís pinholes on the outer tub, it can be welded since thatís what I did to my 1963 RCA Whirlpool Imperial Mark XII washer last December since it started leaking. Usually if the leak is above the baseplate, itís usually the seals or the tub itself. If thereís a leak below the baseplate, more than likely the the hose since they are either dry rotted after 40 years or were disturbed which will require rotary hose clamps to help stop the leaks.

As for the transmission, more than likely will need to be taken apart for a oil change if itís been contaminated with water. It will be a messy and involved job but is worth it since you want to keep your machine for running as long as possible. Be sure to use 90 weight Royal purple gear oil since thatís what I use when I rebuilt the transmission out of my Ď63 Whirlpool last year.

Post# 1158038 , Reply# 6   8/28/2022 at 02:16 by Stan (Napa CA)        
Can you

stan's profile picture
Confirm that the leak is coming from rust holes yourself?
Did the repair man show you the holes while he had the cabinet off?
Can you remove the cabinet so you can see for yourself..take pics so we can see..
What if all thatís wrong is a worn tub seal?

Post# 1158150 , Reply# 7   8/28/2022 at 21:24 by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Leaking Outer Tub In A WP Belt Drive Washer

combo52's profile picture

You pretty much have to raise the top, remove the tub cover, agitator, and wash basket to check the condition of the outer tub, you may even have to remove the outer tub to confirm the location of leaks.


It is a pretty serious job to do this, but it all depends on how much effort you want to put in this and your ability.


John L.

Post# 1159537 , Reply# 8   9/14/2022 at 03:36 by whirlpoolfriend (San Ramon, CA)        

You have all been incredibly helpful to me! I think you truly understand my attachment to this old beauty! When I tell others about my situation, they just tell me to get a new washer! Really want to try to keep this old friend going, but I am not sure where or how to get parts. I don't know what washers would have acceptable or compatible parts. Any help or advice would be appreciated. Thank you again for your responses! I am sorry to take so long to reply.

Post# 1159548 , Reply# 9   9/14/2022 at 11:10 by Pierreandreply4 (St-Bruno de montarville (province of quebec) canada)        

pierreandreply4's profile picture
just check this website by entering your washer model number

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