Thread Number: 92873  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
Direct Drive: Dancing Wash Basket?
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Post# 1174421   3/11/2023 at 15:34 (398 days old) by BlockEight88 (Hobart, IN)        

blockeight88's profile picture
Hey everyone! Last night I reconditioned my 1994 Kenmore Fabric Care washer. I replaced the entire suspension system. Springs, spring retainer clips, spring bracket, suspension plate including all the pads. After I put everything back together, I noticed during high speed agitation the wash basket "dances" or moves back and fourth. I was told that the new suspension pads after to "wear in".

Here is a video of what I am talking about. The person who shot the video just replaced his suspension plate & pads, too.

Post# 1174483 , Reply# 1   3/12/2023 at 09:23 (397 days old) by BlockEight88 (Hobart, IN)        

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Could it be the tub support? While it seemed fine before, that was something I didnít replace.

Post# 1174485 , Reply# 2   3/12/2023 at 09:34 (397 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Dancing, wash basket?

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The direct drive washer in the video is working completely. Normally, I donít know what your machine is doing

But the washer basket is supposed to dance around thatís what the suspension is for, there is no braking period necessary for the suspension components the machine should work the same way the first time you try it out till the end of the machineĎs life.


Post# 1174490 , Reply# 3   3/12/2023 at 09:54 (397 days old) by BlockEight88 (Hobart, IN)        

blockeight88's profile picture
Correct, it's just that before my repairs, it "danced" much less on fast agitation. Also my machine is doing exactly what the one in the video is doing.

Post# 1174502 , Reply# 4   3/12/2023 at 12:00 (397 days old) by BlockEight88 (Hobart, IN)        

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Here is my washer and the issue I am referring to exactly.

Post# 1174508 , Reply# 5   3/12/2023 at 14:18 (397 days old) by nmassman44 (Brooksville Florida)        

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That is normal for a direct drive washer. What you are seeing is the torque from the transmission just being transmitted to the wash tub and basket. There is nothing here to worry about.

Post# 1174509 , Reply# 6   3/12/2023 at 14:21 (397 days old) by BlockEight88 (Hobart, IN)        

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Would this have anything to do with me replacing the motor couple, clutch, and transmission? Everything is new

Post# 1174513 , Reply# 7   3/12/2023 at 15:12 (397 days old) by qsd-dan (West)        

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Would this have anything to do with me replacing the motor couple, clutch, and transmission?


Most likely from replacing the friction pads. New pads = less friction.


All of the suspensions on Whirlpools top loading washers have always been lightly sprung, that's why they shift around during agitation from the belt drives all they way up to todays VMW's.

Post# 1174515 , Reply# 8   3/12/2023 at 15:18 (397 days old) by BlockEight88 (Hobart, IN)        
Reply 7

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I have two other direct drives and the wash basket does move slightly when on high speed agitation, just not to this extent. Of course, this is the first time I have replaced the wear pads. Will they eventually wear in?

Post# 1174516 , Reply# 9   3/12/2023 at 15:19 (397 days old) by RyneR1988 (Indianapolis)        

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Yep, I'd say I agree with the others in that the reason this is happening is that everything is new and actually working as it should. There is likely more friction with age so one gets used to seeing it that way as opposed to the pads and other components operating as designed. So I'd say what you're seeing is a direct drive working in like new condition. :)

Post# 1174518 , Reply# 10   3/12/2023 at 15:52 (397 days old) by BlockEight88 (Hobart, IN)        

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Great. This will be the first washer I rebuild myself. Quick question: I have a brand new WP gearcase in there and the neutral drain sounds bad... very loud in fact. I read somewhere that new WP gearcases aren't like the old ones. I'm thinking about rebuilding the original gearcase at some point.

Post# 1174520 , Reply# 11   3/12/2023 at 16:10 (397 days old) by ryner1988 (Indianapolis)        

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Loud in what way?

Post# 1174532 , Reply# 12   3/12/2023 at 17:48 (397 days old) by BlockEight88 (Hobart, IN)        

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Just loud as in annoying. Seems like the older neutral drains sounder better. When I say old I am referring to those made in the 1990s or early 2000s.

Post# 1174614 , Reply# 13   3/13/2023 at 15:52 (396 days old) by ryner1988 (Indianapolis)        

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I tried leaving this on your latest Youtube video, but for some reason my computer keeps freezing every time I try to type over there.

If you would prefer a rebuilt transmission, I see they have them available on eBay for $120.

Also, it looks like Genuine Appliance Parts still sells the units refurbished by coreCentric Solutions.


If it were me though I'd wait a week or so wash a few loads and see if the new transmission settles down as far as the noise level goes. Mine eventually did so. It's definitely not as quiet as the old ones but I wouldn't say it's obnoxiously loud either. I'm able to watch TV with the washer running in my one-bedroom apartment (laundry is in a closet right in the hallway) and not be bothered much at all.

Good luck, whatever you decide to do.


Post# 1174617 , Reply# 14   3/13/2023 at 16:09 (396 days old) by BlockEight88 (Hobart, IN)        

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Thank you for those links, Ryne. This is something I will consider, but like you said, after the new transmission settles. I just wonder why its louder than the older ones.

Post# 1174639 , Reply# 15   3/13/2023 at 17:24 (396 days old) by ryner1988 (Indianapolis)        

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I believe the reasoning behind the increased noise level is two-fold.

A: It's a pretty well-known fact that the casting molds for the transmission housings are aging, and Whirlpool doesn't want to invest in re-upping them, since the direct drive design has been discontinued for a decade now. This presumably results in a product with looser tolerances and therefore one can hear what is going on mechanically more than what once was. I do know that my washer, while admittedly louder in some parts of the cycle than it used to be, washes great so it's not a deal breaker for me.

B:I read somewhere that the same sort of issue happened around 2005 or so -- the tooling was worn and therefore Whirlpool was producing a product that was a bit out-of-spec. Word on the street is that at that time they overhauled the casting machines so that the tolerances were back in spec, although at the time I believe they began using a lighter oil than they had been, and this supposedly caused noise levels to increase. There is a thread somewhere back in the archives discussing this. So, one can surmise that the noise level increase is also caused by the lighter oil used -- the gears just shift around differently and I wouldn't think it's much to worry about.

Post# 1174640 , Reply# 16   3/13/2023 at 17:27 (396 days old) by ryner1988 (Indianapolis)        

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Adding to my previous post, it's hard to know without hearing the noise you're describing if it's just normal for the new transmission or if yours is actually defective. Posting a video of the neutral drain or whatever it is you're concerned about would give a better, more accurate, picture of whether the noise is cause for worry or not.

Post# 1174643 , Reply# 17   3/13/2023 at 17:52 (396 days old) by BlockEight88 (Hobart, IN)        

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It actually sounds more normal in these videos. It seemed louder on a heavier load. I will add that I have insulated the washer cabinet with sound deadening materials.

Here are videos:

My last video is after the deep rinse. I'm not sure if the timer is going, but it does 3 spray rinses. The last one is like 3 seconds. Seems pointless... idk

Post# 1174648 , Reply# 18   3/13/2023 at 19:47 (396 days old) by ryner1988 (Indianapolis)        

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That transmission sounds fairly normal to me actually, aside from the rum-rum-rum sound during neutral drain perhaps being a bit more prominent than it was in older units.

In my opinion, it's not a big enough deal to justify buying a rebuilt unit, waiting for it to arrive, pulling this one from the machine, putting in the other one, and selling this one. You have a perfectly working machine right now, so my advice to you would be to put the finishing touches on the refurb and be on your way. :)

Then on down the road if you decide you still don't like this transmission, you could possibly try to rebuild the old one from the washer when/if you have the time and energy to do so.

But, of course, it's your machine and you ultimately have to do what you're most comfortable with.

This post was last edited 03/13/2023 at 23:25
Post# 1174712 , Reply# 19   3/14/2023 at 12:20 (395 days old) by BlockEight88 (Hobart, IN)        

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Thank you for your insightful reply. I definitely agree. Do you think adding more sound deadener will help?

Post# 1174723 , Reply# 20   3/14/2023 at 14:06 (395 days old) by drummerboy928 (Illinois)        
Sound Deadening

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If I recall, all your previous DD machines had some factory sound deadening. This machine likely had none. If youíre used to hearing the dampened sounds of a DD with the ďQuiet PakĒ a DD without sound insulation can be quite loud. If youíre having problems with it being annoyingly loud Iíd definitely think about adding some sound deadening to the inside of the cabinet to help cut down noises

Post# 1174742 , Reply# 21   3/14/2023 at 16:21 (395 days old) by ryner1988 (Indianapolis)        
Reply #20

ryner1988's profile picture
He'd mentioned in a previous reply that he'd added sound deadening materials already, maybe adding a bit more would help I'm not really sure on that. I do think that the new-production transmission that is now in this machine (video in reply #17), while maybe a touch louder on neutral drain, isn't so obnoxious that it needs to be pulled. Wonder if others have a different opinion.

Post# 1174747 , Reply# 22   3/14/2023 at 18:59 (395 days old) by BlockEight88 (Hobart, IN)        

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So it actually sounds more normal. This is probably the 6th load I've done on it now. Adding more sound deadener can't hurt.

Post# 1174752 , Reply# 23   3/14/2023 at 21:13 (394 days old) by ryner1988 (Indianapolis)        

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Yep, I think those transmissions wear in over time. I've had a new one in my machine for a couple months now and it's not nearly as loud as it was when it was first put in.

Post# 1199965 , Reply# 24   2/22/2024 at 19:56 by BlockEight88 (Hobart, IN)        
Seems worse?

blockeight88's profile picture
Good evening,

I put my 1994 machine back in use, after swapping out a defective suspension plate (WP3946509) and noticed the tub basket really "dances" during high speed agitation; especially if its a heavy load. It doesn't affect anything, it is just super annoying. I replaced the suspension pads on my 2002 Kenmore Elite machine and did not experience this.

I will upload a new video demonstrating the issue tomorrow.

Post# 1200035 , Reply# 25   2/23/2024 at 19:29 by BlockEight88 (Hobart, IN)        

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More obvious towards the end of the video.

I am also aware this is normal to some degree, but I am curious as to why these machines do this? Some do, some don't. I would rather the tub not "dance" as much.

Post# 1200061 , Reply# 26   2/24/2024 at 08:54 by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        

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Why ? This shaking helps heavy soil settle out and fall into the outer tub where it gets pumped away when the machine drains.

GE T model washers do this as well and it may be one of the reasons that they do such a superior job getting rid of heavy soils.

John L.

Post# 1200062 , Reply# 27   2/24/2024 at 09:03 by BlockEight88 (Hobart, IN)        

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Iím not saying itís a bad thing. I just want to know why some DDís do this and some donít. This machineís wash basket really didnít move at all on past agitation before I rebuilt it

Post# 1200086 , Reply# 28   2/24/2024 at 17:10 by BlockEight88 (Hobart, IN)        
Suspension System

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How long does it typically take for a suspension system to break in?

Post# 1200236 , Reply# 29   2/26/2024 at 09:32 by BlockEight88 (Hobart, IN)        

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Can you chime in here?

Post# 1200366 , Reply# 30   2/27/2024 at 20:20 by DADoES (TX,†U.S. of A.)        

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I have no advice on how to stop the tub from oscillating.† The best I can offer is that thereís no need to obsess about a characteristic which is a normal variation of machine operation that causes no detrimental effect.†† 🙂

Post# 1200375 , Reply# 31   2/27/2024 at 21:17 by BlockEight88 (Hobart, IN)        

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Thank you. I appreciate your input. Someone in my channel said their DD did the same thing when new, then after about a year it stopped. Of course this was on fast agitation with very heavy loads. I just wish I knew why some do this and some donít. Anyway, thanks for your input.

Post# 1200395 , Reply# 32   2/28/2024 at 05:59 by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Oscillating tub assembly on a direct drive washer

combo52's profile picture
Iím sure when the pads are new, theyíre a little bit more rounded and slippery, as they wear in it probably will oscillate less, so youíre probably right. This will go away after a couple hundred heavy loads.

Interesting but itís not something I ever thought about even though Iíve worked on thousands of these machines, obviously itís something that even the engineers didnít worry about.

If you wanted it to oscillate less, take the little tan pads out that snap into the black lower suspension frame and sand them down a little bit so they have a little flatter surface with a little more friction .


Post# 1200442 , Reply# 33   2/28/2024 at 15:05 by BlockEight88 (Hobart, IN)        

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Iím not going to mess with it. I just wanted to know the why. Iím fine knowing it has to break in.

Post# 1201184 , Reply# 34   3/9/2024 at 14:55 by BlockEight88 (Hobart, IN)        
Sanding the snubber pads

blockeight88's profile picture
Worked. I didn't use much force, but this seem to do it. I also swapped out my "Made in Mexico" motor with an older USA one. Perhaps that one is heavier and helps. Not sure.

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