Thread Number: 93978  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
Champion (Parnall) Spin-Washer - Disassembly.
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Post# 1186453   7/31/2023 at 21:14 by GRNAppliance (Whakatane, New Zealand)        

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One tough part about restoring a rare vintage washing machine is that most times you don't have a great understanding of the parts, and hence, disassembly can be uncomfortably tricky. Especially with my recently acquired Champion Spin-Washer, it's not like I can just wing it and hope that it comes apart just fine.

For this thread, my aim is to educate myself on how to go about taking apart my 501, and to learn as much as I can about the machine's mechanics. I will mention that I do already know how to remove the agitator and also the cabinet, but anything after that is a mystery. As usual, any pictures and helpful info on this will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

I'll provide some more photos:

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Post# 1186637 , Reply# 1   8/2/2023 at 21:49 by GRNAppliance (Whakatane, New Zealand)        

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Here is the progress I have made so far...

Post# 1186638 , Reply# 2   8/2/2023 at 21:50 by GRNAppliance (Whakatane, New Zealand)        

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The Cabinet and lid have been taken off to reveal the inside.

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Post# 1186639 , Reply# 3   8/2/2023 at 21:51 by GRNAppliance (Whakatane, New Zealand)        

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Post# 1186640 , Reply# 4   8/2/2023 at 21:53 by GRNAppliance (Whakatane, New Zealand)        
This is where I need help.

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With the agitator removed, I can see that there are a few screws that can be undone. Which ones to do first is a mystery, as well as that black cap on the shaft.

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Post# 1186641 , Reply# 5   8/2/2023 at 21:54 by GRNAppliance (Whakatane, New Zealand)        

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A first look at the front.

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Post# 1186642 , Reply# 6   8/2/2023 at 21:56 by GRNAppliance (Whakatane, New Zealand)        

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Also noting these screws. I wonder when to take out the outer tub.

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Post# 1186645 , Reply# 7   8/2/2023 at 21:57 by GRNAppliance (Whakatane, New Zealand)        

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Another look at the front. This time, without the wiring.

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Post# 1186646 , Reply# 8   8/2/2023 at 21:58 by GRNAppliance (Whakatane, New Zealand)        

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Inner shot of the pump assembly, and another outer-tub screw.

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Post# 1186647 , Reply# 9   8/2/2023 at 22:00 by GRNAppliance (Whakatane, New Zealand)        

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Unsure of how to remove the valve-to-tub hose from the tub.

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Post# 1186648 , Reply# 10   8/2/2023 at 22:01 by GRNAppliance (Whakatane, New Zealand)        

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Post# 1186649 , Reply# 11   8/2/2023 at 22:02 by GRNAppliance (Whakatane, New Zealand)        

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A little concerned about the lid switch seal as well. I also don't know how to take that off from the outer tub, but it will need to get fixed for sure.

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Post# 1186650 , Reply# 12   8/2/2023 at 22:06 by GRNAppliance (Whakatane, New Zealand)        
Where do I go from here?

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Hopefully I provided enough pictures. If more are needed, feel free to let me know. Now where do I go from here? Any help is appreciated. Thanks!

Post# 1186672 , Reply# 13   8/3/2023 at 03:07 by Slowspin66 (lincoln uk)        

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Did I send you the service document ?

Post# 1186677 , Reply# 14   8/3/2023 at 04:37 by GRNAppliance (Whakatane, New Zealand)        

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I went through my e-mails and found no service document, but your one with the user manual is still there. If there is a service manual, feel free to e-mail it to me at Thanks!

Post# 1186779 , Reply# 15   8/3/2023 at 23:31 by GRNAppliance (Whakatane, New Zealand)        

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My first time looking underneath the machine. The belt does look pretty ancient, but no visible rips or tears in it.

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Post# 1186787 , Reply# 16   8/4/2023 at 01:30 by Slowspin66 (lincoln uk)        

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I will get the info scanned and sent to you asap . The machine mechanically is the same as the UK spinwasher except the one I have is semi automatic .. if your able to leave taking the wash basket out until you receive the information as there is a way of doing it . Also I wouldn’t take the gearbox to bits unless there is a problem . It sits under the agitator in a dome like housing . I will get the info to you . Regards

Post# 1186789 , Reply# 17   8/4/2023 at 02:36 by GRNAppliance (Whakatane, New Zealand)        

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Thank you, Darren. There's no rush to take the machine apart, I'll be working with my father on Sunday to figure out a way to get the fill nozzle off the outer tub. Regarding the Gearbox, I wouldn't mess with any of the gears, but I am still a little concerned about the amount of oil left in there after the spill it did. I would like to refill it if it's easy to take the lid off. Thanks again for sending me the info!

Post# 1186798 , Reply# 18   8/4/2023 at 05:54 by keymatic (London / UK)        

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Morning Gabriel,

I have a UK version of the same machine you have recently acquired (Parnall Spin Washer Mk2) i haven't really done much to it as it was in working order when i got it some 15 years ago. I guess the only thing i would say is due to the age i would be mindful about leaning it on it's side, as you have already discovered, one the oil escaping but also the fact that these machines have a very large conical rubber cone inside which protects the drive to the agitator, this sits within the water storage tank, if this in anyway splits / cracks etc the replacement would be a nightmare !! I have never seen this rubber cone to gauge the thickness etc

I know with my machine i had difficulty in getting the braking right and had to use feeler gauges as it was braking to abruptly.

Wishing you all the best with the project


Post# 1186959 , Reply# 19   8/6/2023 at 02:44 by GRNAppliance (Whakatane, New Zealand)        

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The first roadblock in the project is taken care of. I originally couldn't even move the fill nozzle because it had ceased in place on the outer tub. After cleaning the edges with a wipe, I took a putty knife and gently broke it free of the outer tub. After this, It still wouldn't loosen up enough for me to pull it off. A reasonable solution to this issue appeared to be heating the rubber up with a hairdryer and making it more flexible. Sure enough, after only about 3 minutes under the heat, it simply popped off the outer tub. Completely undamaged! That was a great Problem-Solving moment for me.

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Post# 1187525 , Reply# 20   8/13/2023 at 18:21 by GRNAppliance (Whakatane, New Zealand)        

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Any updates on the Service Document info? I myself have been out of action for the week because of sickness, but I'm back up to strength and eager to resume my progress. No new changes to the machine have occurred since the last post.

Post# 1187660 , Reply# 21   8/15/2023 at 16:41 by Slowspin66 (lincoln uk)        

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I’ve resent the info to your email address . Regards Darren

Post# 1187680 , Reply# 22   8/15/2023 at 20:30 by GRNAppliance (Whakatane, New Zealand)        
I've received the Service Manual. Thanks!

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Looks like the first thing I must do is remove the "Agitator Head Plug Unit," which gives the appearance of a black cap on the shaft. Unsure of how to get it removed, but studying the diagram of parts in picture 1 shows me it might need to be unscrewed. A confirmation would be nice before I actually attempted that.

Part 247 in the diagram.

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Post# 1187681 , Reply# 23   8/15/2023 at 20:35 by GRNAppliance (Whakatane, New Zealand)        

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Post# 1187721 , Reply# 24   8/16/2023 at 10:42 by Slowspin66 (lincoln uk)        
Is there a problem with the gear box ?

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Is there a problem in the gear box ?

Post# 1187793 , Reply# 25   8/16/2023 at 19:41 by GRNAppliance (Whakatane, New Zealand)        

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Whoops, I misunderstood the sequence. Turns out the agitator drive shaft doesn't need to come apart for the tub to be taken out.

According to Step 5. To Remove Basket Assembly, I will have to remove "12 mush. hd. screws from clamping ring," and the basket assembly will lift off. I circled these screws in red. It then goes on to say that you can take off the Basket Liner by removing the 6 Philips screws and nuts holding it in place, circled in yellow.

I'll do that later today, and once that's out, I'll need to figure out what to do next, perhaps step 6.

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Post# 1187810 , Reply# 26   8/16/2023 at 22:49 by GRNAppliance (Whakatane, New Zealand)        

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The tub might be stuck. I think it was designed to come off of the dome housing, but it stayed connected when I attempted to lift.

Post# 1187898 , Reply# 27   8/18/2023 at 01:59 by GRNAppliance (Whakatane, New Zealand)        

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I pried off the metal ring, and it looks like I will also need to remove the 8 Philips screws holding the center in place. I thought the blue base was 2 pieces screwed together, but it looks like it's one piece. Anyhow, I'll still get those screws removed, and we'll see if it comes out then.

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Post# 1187901 , Reply# 28   8/18/2023 at 04:04 by GRNAppliance (Whakatane, New Zealand)        
Screw Trouble

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I got the Agitator Tube cleaned up as best as I could. I then proceeded to apply some WD-40 to the screws. They are unfortunately about to round out and are beyond my ability to loosen with my screwdriver without damaging them further. I really don't know how to solve that issue, so I'm getting ready to research some solutions. Any ideas?

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Post# 1187908 , Reply# 29   8/18/2023 at 09:12 by gizmo (Victoria, Australia)        

1. Clean out the slots in the top of the screws.

2. Soak in Inox, not WD40. Leave a day or two.

3. Try a selection of screwdriver bits to use in a cordless screwdriver/drill. Try both Phillips and Pozidriv bits, in several sizes each. Only one will fit Perfectly.


only trial-fit them first in the screw heads, don't use them in a driver/drill till you have chosen the perfect fit. This gives you the best chance of undoing the screws without damage.


4. Maybe try a cordless impact driver with the correct bit?



Post# 1187929 , Reply# 30   8/18/2023 at 17:01 by Slowspin66 (lincoln uk)        
Tub removal

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To get the tub and gear box out you need to remove the clutch housing and drive and brake cone from under the machine . The gear box and tub ( all attached ) will slide out upwards ..
I really wouldn’t open the bell housing on the gear box unless there is a known problem . Did you get the service manual okay ? The only time you would need to get the complete unit out is to service the snubber seal … call me if you get stuck . Regards Darren

Post# 1188146 , Reply# 31   8/22/2023 at 00:39 by GRNAppliance (Whakatane, New Zealand)        

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I'm delighted to inform everyone of my progress. I took the day off to study Step 7 in the service manual, as well as the Clutch Helix and Brake assembly diagram on page 22.

I carefully laid the machine on its side and supported both tubs with towels. The manual was a tremendous help to me and allowed me to take apart the base with relative ease. I almost made an error standing the machine up to undo the clamp bar, as the tub and brake drum unexpectedly slid down, but everything appears to be fine.

Brake drum removed, I slid the tub, gearbox, and shaft out of the tub while it was on its side, reasoning that I probably wouldn't be able to lift it standing because of the weight. And there it was! The inner tub came right out of the machine, revealing the inside of the outer tub. It really isn't looking too bad in there, I can totally get that cleaned up just fine. I don't know how the tub seal is, but it'll be easier to tell once it's clean.

The rest of the disassembly is looking very much accomplishable, now that the tub, clutch, and brake assembly are finally out of the picture. I'm looking forward to resuming my progress tomorrow. Thanks Darren for the service manual!

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Post# 1188198 , Reply# 32   8/22/2023 at 16:10 by Slowspin66 (lincoln uk)        
Brilliant progress

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Brilliant progress . Keep the restore going

Post# 1188251 , Reply# 33   8/22/2023 at 23:57 by GRNAppliance (Whakatane, New Zealand)        

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Disassembly is pretty much complete now. I left the Snubber Seal assembly on the outer tub in just case it was one of those Do-Not-Disturb assemblies. The Motor, Capacitor, Pump, and Pressure container have all been removed from the base, and the outer tub has been disconnected from it as well.

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Post# 1188252 , Reply# 34   8/23/2023 at 00:03 by GRNAppliance (Whakatane, New Zealand)        

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I would like your thoughts on what to do with these parts from the machine. Regarding the transmission, would it still operate fine with half of its oil missing?

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Post# 1188499 , Reply# 35   8/25/2023 at 16:34 by Slowspin66 (lincoln uk)        
Oil level

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Well done and good work stripping the machine . As the oil came down the side of the drive shaft I would try and replace the oil down the same way . You could make a small reservoir with a plastic bag and some strong elastic bands to allow the oil to seep down the drive shaft Do you have any idea how much oil you lost . The service document will tell you the quantity I think it was shell Trocus oil ?? Just an idea ?

Post# 1189029 , Reply# 36   8/31/2023 at 23:40 by GRNAppliance (Whakatane, New Zealand)        
Transmission update:

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I don't think the source of the oil leak was from the drive shaft. A look at the bottom of the machine's agitator revealed no signs of oil runoff from the shaft. Furthermore, when I decided to investigate how much oil was left in the transmission by successfully removing the agitator tube, there turned out to be a lot more oil missing than I expected.

This uncertainty with the leak left me puzzled. The only theory I could think of was that oil came through the basket clamp ring via a leak in the main oil seal. I'm currently working on fixing this issue.

In other news, I will be beginning the cleanup process soon. Everything is just about organized for that to happen.

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Post# 1189050 , Reply# 37   9/1/2023 at 08:13 by keymatic (London / UK)        

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Hi Gabriel,

You are making fantastic progress with the Champion washer !! You have definitely taken on a challenge there and you have delved much deeper than i ever would with my Parnall Spinwasher.

Keep up the great work and look forward to seeing the working machine in due course.


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Post# 1189234 , Reply# 38   9/3/2023 at 20:28 by GRNAppliance (Whakatane, New Zealand)        
Snubber Seal

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So the snubber seal is still in the outer tub, and I've been investigating it some more. It's probably a good idea to put a plastic bag over it during cleaning so that no water gets on the inside.

But after I clean the tub, the snubber seal is going to need some attention. The outer part of the seal looks fine to me, but the inner part does not. It's the complete opposite of dry, giving off an almost melted appearance. Perhaps the correct word is rotten. There are two visible tears in it, both small, but they will have to be addressed if the machine is to hold water properly.

I know how to remove the outer snubber so that I can look at repairing the inner seal, but first, I'll gather your thoughts.

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Post# 1189732 , Reply# 39   9/10/2023 at 07:07 by Slowspin66 (lincoln uk)        
Any seal progress

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How did you get on with the seal issues it looks like the oil leak may have damaged the rubber ….. ?? It doesn’t look as bad and is repairable
…. Can you post some
More photos of the seal inside and out and also what’s the counter surface made of ?
Keep us posted Darren

Post# 1189774 , Reply# 40   9/10/2023 at 20:22 by GRNAppliance (Whakatane, New Zealand)        
Snubber Seal update

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I was able to successfully remove the seal from the outer tub. I also discovered why it wasn't matching the picture in the service manual, as the upper half of the seal had apparently flexed into itself. Flexing it back to shape is great because it makes it easier for me to get it cleaned up and repaired.

I will give the seal a light wipe-down on the outside to remove the dirt from there. For the inside, I'll probably remove the top part and do the same steps as the outside, and there looks to be a lot of debris residing there.

To repair it, I'll leave it in the freezer to solidify it enough to patch the holes with gasket maker, especially that top piece. And we'll see what happens from there.

If by the counter surface you mean the top of the machine, that's made of porcelain, with the exception of the lid which almost feels like plastic.

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Post# 1189791 , Reply# 41   9/11/2023 at 06:19 by Slowspin66 (lincoln uk)        
Can you post a few more pictures

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When it’s cleaned up and sorted I think it will be just fine …. I remember the terrible
Gunk on the one I did . Was almost like a green oily slime ?? But it cleaned up
Fine and worked …!!
Before you put it back on the machine can you send a few more photos … thanks Darren

Post# 1190124 , Reply# 42   9/17/2023 at 03:25 by GRNAppliance (Whakatane, New Zealand)        
Seal Update

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This update has mixed news. The good results came from the main snubber, which cleaned up rather great I must admit. Flexible and moisturized, that part is definitely reusable. The absorber tube is not perfect after cleaning, but it's certainly much better than it was when I first pulled it out and can be reused.

It's not looking good for the upper seal. Placing it in the freezer didn't help much to solidify it enough for cleaning. Moreover, there are actually two holes in the seal, and the inside looks very rough along with the lip. I am beginning to doubt my ability to repair it. While it probably isn't impossible, I was wondering how easy it would be to get my hands on a replacement?

I'll see what else I can do about it, but that's where everything stands for now.

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Post# 1190172 , Reply# 43   9/17/2023 at 19:25 by Slowspin66 (lincoln uk)        
All good don’t worry

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The main cone is great which is perfect . Much the same on my mk11 spinwasher with the top looking
a bit shabby . What I did was to have a non ferrous collar machined to go over the top of the main shaft of the tub and then use a modern lip seal onto the main snubber . The outer dimension need to sit into the top of the cone … you can then apply a stainless clamp to hold the new seal in place . Find someone who can do laithe work it sounds complicated but any good bearing shop will sell the modern seal … . The non ferrous collar is the key to the seal as the main drive shaft is made of steel and won’t hold a seal … .. best wishes Darren

Post# 1190173 , Reply# 44   9/17/2023 at 19:47 by Slowspin66 (lincoln uk)        
This type of seal

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This type of seal is what I used

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Post# 1190175 , Reply# 45   9/17/2023 at 20:24 by Slowspin66 (lincoln uk)        
This may help

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This was from one of the Bendix machines I’ve done in the past . The older mechanical seals were impossible to find so this is where the conversion cloaking to the drive shaft was done . You may be able to see what my friend with the laithe was able to do . Really good job ….

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Post# 1191242 , Reply# 46   10/4/2023 at 10:39 by Slowspin66 (lincoln uk)        
How are you doing

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How are you progressing ? Did you have any luck with the seal

Post# 1191318 , Reply# 47   10/5/2023 at 19:04 by GRNAppliance (Whakatane, New Zealand)        
Seal update:

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I apologize for the stall in updates. The collar alternative is currently unachievable for me in my current circumstances. But that being said, that didn't stop me from continuing on with my original idea. I believe I may have pulled off a successful repair...

It was a careful job, but I wiped the good parts of the seal housing clean. Then, I took the gasket maker that I had on hand and sealed up the two holes as well as other wrinkled spots along the edge. On the inside, slowly but surely, I rebuilt the edges where the spring is held in place, and I also sealed the holes from the inside. Additionally, I revived the spring for good measure.

Spring and clamp secure, it appears to be functioning as designed. The spring no longer pops out like before, and it can hold the housing up even when it is pushed down. The water seal is fine, but I'll be putting some Vasoline around where it sits in the housing, just to be safe.

For now, things are looking up for the Snubber Seal Assembly. Thanks for your suggestions!

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Post# 1191406 , Reply# 48   10/6/2023 at 19:25 by gizmo (Victoria, Australia)        

Is that a Shacklock branded Gentle Annie in the background?

Post# 1191963 , Reply# 49   10/15/2023 at 03:23 by GRNAppliance (Whakatane, New Zealand)        

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Here goes the Pressure Container and Pump assembly after cleanup. More cleaning pics to come.

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Post# 1192799 , Reply# 50   10/30/2023 at 17:00 by GRNAppliance (Whakatane, New Zealand)        

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I don't have a photograph to put with this reply, but I am just letting everyone know that I finished all of the small parts on my table, apart from the control panel. Everything from the Pump to the Agitator Tube is looking a lot better than previously. All I need to do now is dedicate a day to cleaning the larger components with my Power Washer. Then, that should hopefully wrap up the cleaning phase of the repair.

Post# 1194800 , Reply# 51   12/5/2023 at 20:57 by GRNAppliance (Whakatane, New Zealand)        
Big parts update

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Here is a video of me cleaning the bigger components with the power washer. It wasn't as effective as I thought it would be, but I guess that's what happens when the stains are over 50 years old. I finished them off by hand, and I'll include some pictures of everything in my next post.

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