Thread Number: 94641  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
Maytag A512 02 Spins but Won't Agitate
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Post# 1192922   11/1/2023 at 20:24 by hosertp (Harbor City, CA)        

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New here and I want to thank everyone in advance for any consideration, direction or advice offered.

So I never had any problems with this pair except normal easily diagnosed repairs. I feel so strongly to keep them because to me they represent a better time when things were built to last and the parts manager at the local Maytag store told me that they were keepers.
My problem started when I washed a rather large (3/4 full) load and when it tried to start agitating, it started to smoke the belt so I turned it off, removed the wet clothes and used the spin cycle to pump the water from the tub. I assumed that if it would spin that it would agitate without such a large burden.
I ordered new Maytag belts, replaced both and checked the motor spring tension on the drive belt and gave the 1/4" squeeze test on the pump belt. Fully convinced that I was golden, I sanded and put a fresh coat of hammered epoxy paint on them both only to find that I was still smoking the drive belt at the start of the agitation cycle (no agitator movement at all) without any clothes in the tub. Again the spin cycle evacuated the tub water and I am now suspect of the transmission which I believe is no longer available as a complete unit.
Now I am not afraid of the idea that this might be a rather technical project and I have great friends with talents in many fields who can fabricate, etc. However, I AM afraid of giving my wife subject matter to roast me in front of the extended family at the Thanksgiving table in a couple of weeks!
Any heads up and potential courses of action will be greatly appreciated.

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Post# 1192924 , Reply# 1   11/1/2023 at 20:56 by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Likely seized transmission in a 1980s Maytag

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Unfortunately, all good things come to an end you might have to admit your wife is correct about this machine.

Good used transmission can still be found but itís quite a job to put one in a washer of this age.

Good news is Speed Queen just introduced a flat black color that will look good next to the dryer. You can now go out and buy the best new washer built a Speed Queen front load washer or if you prefer you can get the Top load machines in black also.

If you want to fix the Maytag, itíll be easier to find the updated orbital transmission. If you put that in with the load sensor agitator, youíll upgrade the performance of the washer a good bit and it will hold more making it a little bit more economical of water usage.


Post# 1192963 , Reply# 2   11/2/2023 at 20:01 by hosertp (Harbor City, CA)        
If you want to fix the Maytag, itíll be easier to find . . .

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John, thank you for your response.
So is an upgraded "orbital" transmission available new or is my only choice used? I believe my washers original transmission was a 20-6707. All I find when I search that part number are transmissions that are no longer available with no replacement anticipated or they have been updated to another transmission that has suffered the same fate.
If I can buy new, I would update the transmission and the agitator as you suggest. Every You Tube I have watched about replacing the transmission seem fairly straight forward? Is this upgrade much more involved because I would not be replacing like for like?
From what I see pricing wise, I am saving a lot of money over that Speed Queen?

Thanks again for sharing your knowledge.

Post# 1192967 , Reply# 3   11/2/2023 at 22:28 by DADoES (TX,†U.S. of A.)        

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Your original transmission is what's known as the pitman design*.† The transmission at the series 10 revision during the x12 production period was changed to what's known as the orbital design, the internal gearing was simplified and produces an agitation stroke that's faster and a shorter arc.† The agitator also changed to better accommodate the revised action, and later changed again to a dual-action auger design (the Load Sensor agitator that John mentions).

Your serial number indicates production date of February 1986.† I have an (a)L(mond)A512 produced in April 1984.

*The pitman transmission is often referred to as helical vs. the revised design being (correctly) called orbital.† Both transmissions are helical drive, which refers to the drive pulley/input shaft and is the same mechanical arrangement on both of them.† The internal transmission gearing which produces the agitation oscillation is the pitman vs. orbital difference.

Post# 1192969 , Reply# 4   11/3/2023 at 00:11 by Thatwasherguy (Kentucky)        
You may be able to save your current transmissionÖ

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Iíve heard of a couple of people on here who have saved seized Maytag transmissions by rebuilding them. The transmission itself is not super challenging to work on, itís getting to it thatís the hard part. However, with a tub nut wrench, a set of vice grips, a set of screwdrivers and a standard ratchet set, it is certainly not impossible. Iíve included a link to a thread that helped me tremendously with rebuilding the pitman transmission in my 1978 model. If you wish to replace the transmission with a brand new one, the orbital unit is an exact fit. Whichever route you go, I would advise replacing the damper pads if they are at all damaged, and re-lubricating them if they are not. I would also recommend lubricating the pump and motor glides.
Best of luck,

CLICK HERE TO GO TO Thatwasherguy's LINK

Post# 1192981 , Reply# 5   11/3/2023 at 10:49 by qsd-dan (West)        

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Sounds like the upper agitator sleeve bearings are seized up. To confirm, remove the transmission belt and turn the transmission pulley counterclockwise. It it's difficult to turn or is frozen, the bearings are seized. You live in a very populated area so finding a donor machine for a transmission should be quick and easy.

Post# 1192984 , Reply# 6   11/3/2023 at 12:34 by maranoman (Des Moines, Iowa)        
Worth a Shot...

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This video on YouTube (by a member of, I believe) might have at least a temporary solution for you to get the washer up and running until you have the chance to find a new transmission or rebuild your existing one. I have not tried this method before but know others here have had success.


Post# 1192986 , Reply# 7   11/3/2023 at 14:17 by Good-Shepherd (New Jersey)        

You painted over a porcelain enamel finish with gray spray paint?

Put them out of their misery and part them out now..

Post# 1193079 , Reply# 8   11/5/2023 at 14:16 by hosertp (Harbor City, CA)        
Wow, that rebuild!

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So thanks to you all. I am still going through not only the links that you sent, but as well, the attached links to those links. The machines are my garage set, so I don't have laundromat visits to accelerate my course of action.
Good-Shepherd, thanks for worrying about the psyche of my appliances, but one is on life support, so I must stay focused.

That transmission rebuild was inspiring and the only concerns that I would have as I researched parts availability is the real possibility of having to source parts or seals that are no longer offered by OEM. That is a huge commitment. So I am leaning toward the replacement with a donor or replacement with an orbital as suggested.

Does anyone have experience with buying from eBay? Some like transmissions are available at $179.00 and they claim them to be tested for operation, in good "used" condition, I'm sure as-is. I would rather buy from a recommended seller?

I have talked to two reputable Maytag OEM parts suppliers in the area and neither of them had ever heard of buying a more contemporary orbital transmission that would match specs of my 206707 broken transmission. In order to price this option I need either a model number of the compatible machine or a part number of the transmission that I would buy. If I go this route, I think I would also update the agitator as suggested by John's post above. It sounds like the transmission and agitator would be from two different machines? With the expense of this option, I have to make positive I am buying the right parts.

I read and re-read all of your posts and try your troubleshooting directions, so thank you very much to all who have taken their time on my behalf.

Thanks for all of your considerations,

Post# 1193096 , Reply# 9   11/5/2023 at 23:25 by DADoES (TX,†U.S. of A.)        

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An orbital transmission is (or should be) a drop-in replacement for your pitman.† The only operational specifications that are changed for pitman --> orbital are the agitation degree-of-arc and strokes-per-minute.

Post# 1193114 , Reply# 10   11/6/2023 at 13:41 by Thatwasherguy (Kentucky)        
Orbital transmission model numberÖ

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The A512 came from the factory with orbital transmissions series 10 and later. However, I do have a couple of orbital-exclusive model numbers on-hand that you could use to order a transmission. They are LAT9406AAE and LAT9206AAM. Itís part number is 6-2097750. It was recently discontinued, so you may not be able to get a brand new one, unfortunately. However, I have had good luck with Ebay in the past. There are currently a few used orbital transmissions on there that look promising.
Hope this helps,

Post# 1193128 , Reply# 11   11/6/2023 at 20:05 by hosertp (Harbor City, CA)        

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I took your advice Washerguy and bought an eBay used 6-2097750 that the seller claims was tested and proven to function correctly. Seller offers 30 day returns/refunds and is in Vegas, so not too bad. Most importantly, 10's of thousands of satisfied eBay buyers.
Now I have the option to buy the "Load Sensor" agitator correct? I assume it would be smart to buy the seal kit along with the damper pads and the special lubricant. Anything thing else I should source?
Thanks to all for your help!

Post# 1193131 , Reply# 12   11/6/2023 at 21:54 by Opticalpopsicle (Rhode Island )        
Poor washer

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Iím so sorry to hear about your situation. I have no advice but Iím in the same boat. I have the same washer (mine has the slider instead of push button for load size, itís a LA512) and tonight the agitator stopped moving during the rinse cycle. Boo! It still spins and drains. Tomorrow I will troubleshoot more. My fault, I think I overloaded the washer. Ö. I do happen to hoard these Maytags so if I canít get it working Iíll just part it out and switch it out for one of my working ones. Good luck! And if you do figure out the problem be sure to update us so we know how it went!
My husband says our washer just needs to rest and tomorrow it will work. As if all this washer needs is a nap! 😂

Post# 1193178 , Reply# 13   11/7/2023 at 18:36 by thatwasherguy (Kentucky)        
You are correct...

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While it is generally recommended to replace the agitator with the newer one that is designed for the orbital transmission, it isn't absolutely required, as the old Power Fin agitator will fit just fine. If you wish to use the Load Sensor, it's part number is 22001821. However, this doesn't include the softener dispenser. This is part number WP21001905. In terms of stocking up on parts, I would recommend getting a spare set of damper pads (PN 203956), a transmission lip seal (PN 207843), a tub bearing kit (PN 6-2040130), a set of motor glides (PN 205000), both water injector components (PN WP216201 and WP213015), and stem seal kit (PN 6-2095720). You will also likely need to replace the seals on the tub bolts. You can buy the OEM bolts (1X PN W10175939 and X2 W10175938), or you can do what I did, and take the bolts to your local hardware store and buy some rubber O-rings that fit on them. As of right now, the motor glides and stem seal are already discontinued, and many more parts are likely to follow. In order to replace the damper pads, you will have to have some sort of glue. Maytag used their own (PN WPY055980), although I have heard of people also using Whirlpool's adhesive (PN WP279368) with no ill effects. I have removed my fair share of both adhesives, and I will tell you that the only way you are getting rid of either will be to spend hours with a scraper and some sandpaper. The main difference seems to be that the Maytag adhesive is very springy and rubbery, while the Whirlpool adhesive is very rigid once dry.
Hope this helps,

Post# 1193237 , Reply# 14   11/8/2023 at 16:21 by Hosertp (Harbor City, CA)        

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Opti-pop, I hope your machine wakes up from its coma.

What a gift you gave me Mr. Washerguy, I have them all on my shopping list. I am to receive the transmission today and with the long weekend, I am going to try to proceed as far as possible. I will keep a tab on the $ and spend lots of time watching YouTube.

Thank you very much for all of your help.

Post# 1193425 , Reply# 15   11/11/2023 at 17:48 by Hosertp (Harbor City, CA)        
Demolition complete

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So now it is clean-up time. I donít know exactly how far to go because I hope to have it together in a week or two at the most. I found a tub seal kit online. Anyone bought one from whole Parts on Amazon? Have no choice but to outsource a 6-2095720. Let me know if you see something I should concentrate on.
In one of the pictures below I took from on top of the new transmission where there is no hole! So I need the latest agitator that uses the retaining screw down low on the side. If the shaft is the exact right height, I suppose you could drill and tap? Not sure if the top screw mounted agitator is any better than the side, they look the same?
Well, thanks again for everyoneís help along the way!

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Post# 1193440 , Reply# 16   11/11/2023 at 22:30 by thatwasherguy (Kentucky)        
You may not even need the mounting screw...

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My Maytag washer from 1978 didnít have any sort of mounting screw from the factory. Instead, the agitator is held in place by friction created by some grease on the splines. I think the load sensor has the side mount screw, though. If worst comes to worst, the agitator shafts are solid steel, and wonít be hurt by drilling and tapping.
Looks like youíre making great progress! At the rate youíre going, the machine will be back in service in no time!
Hope this helps,

Post# 1193456 , Reply# 17   11/12/2023 at 06:17 by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Changing out a Pittman transmission for orbital

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Hi, Paul, looks like youíre making great progress, there is no hole ever in the agitator shaft, the later models that used to screw. It just goes in the groove underneath the spines to keep the agitator from pulling up until the screw is removed or loosened.

On the original design, there was a rubber ring in this groove that helped lock the agitator in place, the grease on the spines, obviously does not hold the agitator in place.

Maytag went to a screw because of injuries and damaged caused when the agitator would occasionally fly off The agitator shaft, this, probably most often happened because somebody removed the agitator, and did not push it all the way down when reinstalling it.

You will need one of the newer agitators that go with the orbital transmission, the load sensor, of course is the preferred one.


Post# 1193485 , Reply# 18   11/12/2023 at 15:09 by nmassman44 (Brooksville Florida)        

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The agitator is held onto the shaft by either a set screw in the agitator base or a rubber stop ring. If it is a stop ring just take a thin screw driver and pry it from the original transmission and put it onto the new one, same place . It will slide down the shaft and snap into the area you need if you want to use the original PowerFin. Using the original PowerFin will turn over a load fast since it will be moving at 150 opm instead of 63 with original transmission. The Orbital will have a much shorter stroke arc at 90 degrees compared to the 190 degree stroke of the Pitman transmission. Keep in mind with the set screw agitator it will bounce up and down n the shaft during agitation. Stop ring agitators do not bounce.

Post# 1193946 , Reply# 19   11/19/2023 at 22:15 by hosertp (Harbor City, CA)        
Cleaning done, parts are here, reassembly started

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Hello to those still watching. I have cleaned up almost everything, have almost all of the things I need to complete the transmission swap but I still have a couple of questions:
#1 - In the picture below I am showing the old tub seal (still on the tub) and the new one off of ebay. I chose the $79.00 one, mid-price range and surprisingly high quality materials except, there is a little difference where the tub seal bearing meets the transmission. Anyone see the difference between the old and new being a problem? The old is in remarkable condition and I will probably save it, but it is kind of deep not to put in the new unless a potential problem is identified. Thoughts?
#2 - The tub cover seal seems to have been leaking a little in spots and there are some rust spots along the lip of the tub where the seal sits. If the seal is in reasonable condition, can I sand the rust on the lip of the tub reasonably smooth and install the seal (either old or new) with a small bead of silicone then clamp in place? Is it worth the effort or does that seal always leak a little?
#3 - My latest parts cache. I still need to order the agitator (which thatwasherguy properly instructed me the part number that has the retainer screw on the side) and the softener dispenser cup.

Thanks to everyone for their consideration and advice. I hope to finish up after Thanksgiving and will show more pictures then.

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Post# 1193956 , Reply# 20   11/20/2023 at 08:29 by thatwasherguy (Kentucky)        

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Looks like you're making some great progress! As for the tub bearing, the difference is the fact that the old one has an oil wick on it, while the new one lacks this feature. Both styles are completely interchangeable with one another. As for the tub rust, I would advise using a rust coating product to prevent it from spreading. Personally, I really like POR-15. However, there are many other products out there that will do the same thing. You sure don't want that rust eventually turning into a hole like it did on my Maytag's outer tub! As far as the RTV is concerned, I would absolutely use it. I was having trouble stopping a leak on my tub cover gasket that was created by the patched area of the tub being much thicker than the original metal lip. Thus, the clamp wouldn't tighten fully. I used some RTV on both sides of the seal, and it doesn't leak so much as a drop.
Hope this helps,

Post# 1194221 , Reply# 21   11/27/2023 at 14:02 by hosertp (Harbor City, CA)        
Final assembly waits on the tub repair

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I have everything inside the washer ready to go for when the tub rust removal/restoration of the lip/POR 15 paint job is complete. I plan to tape a bit below the tub lip bend on the outside and just below the bend on the inside as well for painting purposes. The repair will be pretty minor with JB Weld. All surfaces have been sanded smooth , cleaned and etched with the POR-15 products. For now I am addressing the bottom where there were some rust spots
So I switched gears to the damper pads, the pad lubricant, the brake install, pulley and belts so I can set the machine upright for setting the tub when it is finished. So a couple of pics, let me know if anyone has comments please.
When I am done with the bottom of the tub, I will send pictures of the surface where the seal contacts the tub. I would appreciate consultation if I should add some JB Weld in one area or if I should leave it be. Photos to come when the tub gets flipped right side up.
As always, thank you all for your willingness to share you knowledge.

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Post# 1194231 , Reply# 22   11/27/2023 at 17:59 by Good-Shepherd (New Jersey)        
showing the old tub seal (still on the tub)

The older style tub bearing oil wick can be saturated with turbine oil by pulling back the rubber and re-used if in good condition.

I'd re-use or save it, just matter of time before OEM tub bearings are NLA.

Post# 1194592 , Reply# 23   12/2/2023 at 19:58 by hosertp (Harbor City, CA)        
Itís time

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Iím done eliminating rust and such and am ready to put everything together, but I still have a question or two:
#1 - Before installing the outer tub, should I put anything between the transmission/sleeve like oil or grease? Any particular type? Same question regarding between the sleeve and the bearing?

#2 - Can I bolt up the 3 tub support arms to the tub with the springs in place or should I bolt them without the springs and then vise grip them to the eyelets?

Any other tips that I shouldn't forget on my way will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

PS - My picture of the new agitator , Iím giddy!

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Post# 1194625 , Reply# 24   12/3/2023 at 10:22 by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Reassembling a Maytag helical Drive washer

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Hi Paul, the bearing sleeve that slips on top of the transmission should just go on dry does not need any lubrication underneath, etc.. In fact, I think it would be a poor idea to put anything between the sleeve and the transmission.

I normally would have the arms and springs in place on the damper and then set the transmission in place and then put the outer tub in place.

Your wash basket and new agitator look great, very clever, to paint the top of the concrete balance ring. Those usually got pretty crappy, looking and sometimes would absorb water and create odors,

Looks like youíre close to having a running washer again.


Post# 1194656 , Reply# 25   12/3/2023 at 19:34 by hosertp (Harbor City, CA)        
Oh No!

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I replaced a Pittman transmission that didn't agitate but it ran the spin cycle and the new orbital agitates but will not spin. I left the front cover off of the washer to check for leaks and to catch any issues quickly. Load was set at medium, hot/cold, regular without clothes. When it came time for the spin cycle, it never turned, belts started to slip and finally a slight puff of smoke from the motor when I turned it off.
Good news is that there were no leaks and the transmission is still under warrantee, but now I have to haggle a bit about the return.
Everything fit so perfectly that this was the last thing that I could have imagined. Is there any way I could have put this together incorrectly? I just don't see it. Let me know, because I'd much rather not have to go through the R&R and look a bit foolish.
Seller swears that it was tested specifically in high speed spin cycle and stated that I bought the wrong transmission (a 6707 instead of what I needed a 6708). I showed them the picture below, A512 takes a 6707 just like they were advertising. There is no doubt in my mind that they think the transmission is functional, but it ain't functioning for me.
Always interested in hearing your ideas and thanks in advance,

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Post# 1194658 , Reply# 26   12/3/2023 at 19:48 by DADoES (TX,†U.S. of A.)        

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It's unlikely that no-spin is a transmission problem.† The internal gearing of the transmission has no function related to spin.† More likely a brake release problem.† I'm sure someone more expert on those issues will offer advice.

Post# 1194661 , Reply# 27   12/3/2023 at 20:14 by Repairguy (Danbury, Texas)        

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I agree with Glenn itís not a transmission problem. That tub cover is not resting on top of the wash basket is it?

Post# 1194668 , Reply# 28   12/3/2023 at 21:06 by hosertp (Harbor City, CA)        
That might be it

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Thank you, I believe that is it. I will check that out.

Post# 1194675 , Reply# 29   12/3/2023 at 22:42 by hosertp (Harbor City, CA)        

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I missed that before tightening the seal. Thank you all, for helping through the entire process.
A final post to follow.

Post# 1195140 , Reply# 30   12/10/2023 at 13:55 by hosertp (Harbor City, CA)        

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After 5 loads of varying sizes and temperatures, clean clothes and no leaks, I deem the effort a success! I am so happy with the results of the upgrades that I would have never thought about attempting to incorporate and the important maintenance items you all suggested for me while I had the machine in pieces. I have one seized Pittman transmission and a shark fin agitator to offer to anyone who wants to pay shipping? If no one wants the Pittman, Iíll probably take it apart to figure out what went wrong and maybe fix it?

Part of what got me going on the washer project was that I wanted to branch off of the gas dryer with a quick disconnect for my tri-fuel 13,000 watt whole home generator. Having a generator to work off your pre-piped gas source keeps you from running out for energy sources in a crisis (as long as your propane/natural gas is operable). An image of that new connection is attached.

Attached is a final photo of the pair ready for action! If you have been following along, the attached photos are for you. Thank you very much!

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Post# 1195144 , Reply# 31   12/10/2023 at 15:30 by Good-Shepherd (New Jersey)        
Photo 3

Looks like the tub spring eye bolts could use some adjustment to get the tub more centered.

Post# 1195149 , Reply# 32   12/10/2023 at 17:36 by robbinsandmyers (Conn)        

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Congrats on your success! I would take the pitman apart and rebuild it to install back in at a later date with its original agitator. The simplicity and robustness of them is legendary. As for the gas hook up, is that to code?

Post# 1195166 , Reply# 33   12/10/2023 at 23:07 by hosertp (Harbor City, CA)        
Good Shepard is right

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Good_Shepherd, you are right. I took the picture after I had set the tub. During setting the tub I had released pressure to make all three attachments easier. After full attachment I did tighten them up until it set equally on the damper pads. I had measured them before I took them off at 1 1/8Ē from the top of the adjustment nut to the start of the eye so I had a benchmark as well. Very perceptive and thanks for your comment.
RobbinsandMyers, Iím not a plumber, but I am a superintendent. Iím not sure why it wouldnít be legal. If you were only counting on the quick connector for your gas shut-off, probably not acceptable, but with the ball valve, all the rest of it is just piping. Iíll ask the plumbers on site tomorrow and report back. Thanks

Post# 1195180 , Reply# 34   12/11/2023 at 07:27 by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
A job well done

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Hi Paul, first of all, thank you for the generous donation in the name of many of us automatic washer members. Thatís a really nice thing to do and as far as I know itís the first time anybodyís made a charitable donation in the name of automatic washer. thank you.

Your machines look absolutely great I love the finish. Iíve always wanted to paint, some of my appliances cool colors the closest Iíve come is my outdoor kitchen I painted a couple of them forest green.

The centering of your outer tub doesnít look to be that far off unless youíre having trouble with it going out of balance or banging the cabinet. I donít think Iíd worry about it too much or unless it bugs you

Your gas hook up is good. The only possible concern is that most of the flexible lines that you buy are not rated for indoor use however, we have such hook ups that Iíve installed both in my basement and that our warehouse that we use for testing, gas appliances, ranges, dryers, etc. and I donít see that thereís any great hazard to them. I do generally shut the gas off when Iím leaving the building for extended period of time.

Whatís your next Appliance project?


Post# 1195182 , Reply# 35   12/11/2023 at 07:46 by thatwasherguy (Kentucky)        

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Glad to hear you got it all finished up. Hopefully, now that you've replaced the majority of the consumable parts, it will be able to run for another 30+ years, as that machine is about as close to new as a washer from the 80's can get!

Post# 1196403 , Reply# 36   1/1/2024 at 17:03 by hosertp (Harbor City, CA)        
robbinsandmyers set the seed

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Hello to all and I wish a very happy and prosperous 2024!

My A512 is working flawlessly thanks to all of your great counsel.
I am seriously considering rebuilding the Pittman transmission as it is always in my way and is just asking for attention. I would keep it as a safe second should the used orbital fail.
I read the entire thread where Eugene and Dan were discussing making a shaft replacement with new bushings which seems to have been completed, but there was no more activity on the thread after they were made? So before I make one transmission into 30 parts, I thought I would do a quick assessment of parts availability.
Any advice pointing me in the right direction will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance,

Post# 1196404 , Reply# 37   1/1/2024 at 17:17 by qsd-dan (West)        

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The only way to find out if the pitman transmission is frozen from the upper sleeve bearing is to pop the top half of the trans off and see if the shaft is still frozen in place.

There are not many parts inside these transmissions, it's not like a manual or automatic transmission out of a vehicle. Here's a video I made of a 906 washer 8 years ago that has some transmission shots in operation.


Post# 1196503 , Reply# 38   1/3/2024 at 23:58 by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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That's a great job!

Post# 1196551 , Reply# 39   1/5/2024 at 09:49 by thatwasherguy (Kentucky)        
Congrats on getting the machine running!!

thatwasherguy's profile picture
As for the pitman transmission, I would definitely suggest diving into it. I rebuilt the one on my 1978 Maytag in about a day. Yours may take longer given that it was experiencing issues, however. If at all possible, avoid removing the metal gear from the agitator shaft. The groove pins that hold them in place often get destroyed when you remove them, and replacements are extremely difficult to find. The OEM oil (part number 6-0560800) was recently discontinued, but was re-created by Eugene. The two oil seals (part numbers WP210286 and 210690) should be replaced as well. The latter seal is discontinued, but may be able to be purchased NOS on Ebay. Both can be substituted with generic o-rings from a hardware store. While not absolutely required, you can also replace the clutching washers underneath the nylon pinion (part numbers WP6-2114830 and 211484). Once again, the latter of these parts is discontinued, but may be able to be had NOS on Ebay. I didn't replace these when I rebuilt my transmission, and it still works fine. However, it now shows symptoms of these washers being worn, so I wish I'd replaced them while I had it apart. I cleaned mine with carb and choke cleaner and mineral spirits, although kerosene will also work well for this purpose.
Hope this helps,

Post# 1196556 , Reply# 40   1/5/2024 at 13:56 by maranoman (Des Moines, Iowa)        
"Symptoms of these washers being worn"

maranoman's profile picture

Can you elaborate on the symptoms you might observe when the clutching washers become worn?

Last year I rebuilt several pitman transmissions and a couple of them are behaving oddly. When the washer begins a spin cycle, the agitator will briefly agitate back and forth a time or two before going into the spin direction. I've tried adjusting the drive pulley lug and changing the brake, but neither solved the issue. It doesn't seem to affect operation or performance, but it annoys the perfectionist in me. Four other transmissions I rebuilt do not exhibit this behavior - just these two.

I'm wondering if it might one of the symptoms of a worn clutching washer that you mentioned. I did not change the clutching washers in any of the transmissions I rebuilt last year because they looked fine to me.



Post# 1196570 , Reply# 41   1/5/2024 at 23:23 by thatwasherguy (Kentucky)        

thatwasherguy's profile picture
Thatís EXACTLY what my 1978 Maytag does! Iíve read the service manual on the transmission several times, and those washers are the only thing I can think of causing the issue. It seemed to subside whenever the drive pulley was tightened beyond specification. However, this caused other issues, so I loosened it back up. Itís annoying, but it doesnít seem as if it will hurt anything.
Hope this helps,

Post# 1197141 , Reply# 42   1/14/2024 at 19:07 by hosertp (Harbor City, CA)        
Breaking down and cleaning up . . .

hosertp's profile picture
Hello to all following along. I took a few hours out today to break the Pitman into pieces and begin the cleaning up of the pieces. I believe that the agitator shaft is seized as suspected by one of ya'll in a previous post.

I am going to be doing my homework this week and start procuring parts for the re-assembly. I will be using thatwasherguy's check list from his post above, but will be listening to all comments and links to help this me be successful.

I am hoping that Eugene still able/willing to whip me up a batch of his mystery oil. The stock oil seems to me to exhibit qualities that are different to the gear oils that I have dealt with in my limited experience.

Here are some pictures, let me know your thoughts please, and thank you in advance.


  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 7         View Full Size
Post# 1197145 , Reply# 43   1/14/2024 at 19:52 by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Rebuilding a seized Pitman transmission

combo52's profile picture
This should be a fun project, thereís nothing special about the oil used in these transmissions just use a 90 weight gear oil thatís safe for bronze bearings. You can see the crap that Maytag used in the first place if that oil had been put in a transmission it wouldíve seized up in a few thousand miles.

If you get the new shaft from Eugene, make sure heís had the top of the powder coated if not, youíll need to do that because the ones he had made weíre just plain steel and they wouldnít last a year without a plating on the shaft.

Itís a shame Maytag didnít put a small thin stainless steel sleeve on that shaft but of course they werenít trying to build a washer that would last forever. Whirlpool didnít do it either on their belt drive machines and thatís the downfall of those as they age as well.

Hopefully you can get it apart and get a new shaft for it. The pin that holds the gear on it such a challenging thing that it might be better just to have the gear tack welded onto the new shaft.

Thanks for all the great pictures. Looks like a good project.

John L

Post# 1197147 , Reply# 44   1/14/2024 at 20:03 by qsd-dan (West)        

qsd-dan's profile picture
The upper shaft is junk, way too much rust and corrosion. The bearings are toast if it seized up. Maytag had just about every single part available until their demise in 2006 but they never had upper bearings available. Had to purchase the entire upper housing. They did have new upper shafts available along with all of the hardware but that's all long obsoleted and parts have since dried up.

John Lefever claims to have several transmissions available. You can either use the entire transmission if it's a large tub model or steal the upper housing if it's a short tub transmission. The upper housing on a 12 series transmission ONLY fits a 12 series transmission and is not backwards compatible. Keep that in mind.

Everything else look fine. I'd be on the lookout for a new Delrin pinion gear, clutch washers, and lip seal. Some fresh GL-1 90W oil should do the trick. Here's an interesting thread about that oil here in Reply #8

Post# 1197153 , Reply# 45   1/14/2024 at 21:46 by Good-Shepherd (New Jersey)        
whip me up a batch of his mystery oil

No big mystery to the trans oil.

Sta-Lube 85w-90 GL-4 gear oil (or another GL-4 oil) will work just fine.

The stock oil is just old, thick, oxidized, possibly water contaminated and some say wasn't the best quality to begin with.

If fact with the oil so thick from age no wonder the upper bearings seize up.

Post# 1197155 , Reply# 46   1/14/2024 at 22:16 by Good-Shepherd (New Jersey)        
fresh GL-1 90W oil should do the trick.

Considering how the factory trans oil turns into molasses over time maybe a modern GL-4 oil might be the way to go?

Sta-Lube GL-4 claims it is non-corrosive to yellow metals.

Post# 1197504 , Reply# 47   1/20/2024 at 17:44 by hosertp (Harbor City, CA)        

hosertp's profile picture
Hello to all following along and looking in.

My A512-02 Pitman transmission's upper agitator shaft and bearing are seized. From all of your responses, I think I have limited options available. Here are what I think are my only options:

#1 - Find John Lefever or anyone who might have the upper case, with or without a property functioning shaft in working order. The cover, with the shaft will allow for a simple completion of the rebuild. Without the shaft will require reaching out to Eugene or another and see if he still has one of his replicant shafts available. Since I want to take advantage of the Pitman that I own as a safe second for the future, I won't be buying a new complete unit.

#2 - Go tribal on the old Pitman, surgically remove the pin, remove the shaft as carefully as possible, inspect the bearing, try to repair it or . . . try to replace it. If the bearing is wasted and is the only hurdle, I was thinking that maybe I could remove the shaft and cut the agitator housing allowing free access to the bearing to mill it out of the housing, replace it, weld the housing back together, buy a new shaft and put the unit back together. I don't even know if this material would weld with all of the contaminations in the metal? The very worst thing that I could imagine for exploring in this direction is "binning" the entire thing in the process, and the loss of time.

I have no technical expertise to rely on for pursuing such an undertaking. At the same time, I am unable to find in Google searches any threads that document an attempt to replace that bearing in the upper housing? If anyone knows of any, please share!

I do have a working A512, supercharged because of y'all's direction, and this Pitman ready to be refreshed to whatever degree deemed necessary. All comments and suggestions are welcomed and very much appreciated.

  View Full Size
Post# 1198169 , Reply# 48   1/28/2024 at 17:09 by hosertp (Harbor City, CA)        
Upper housing and functioning agitator shaft for an A512?

hosertp's profile picture
If anyone has this the upper housing and agitator shaft for my Maytag A512 and is willing to sell it, I would be interested. Let me know, please. I would rather buy from this community if one is available, that is my preferred route.

Thanks in advance,

Post# 1198180 , Reply# 49   1/28/2024 at 19:48 by Good-Shepherd (New Jersey)        
would rather buy from this community

Did you try contacting John directly?

Post# 1198206 , Reply# 50   1/29/2024 at 05:16 by qsd-dan (West)        

qsd-dan's profile picture
Just an FYI, you will need an upper housing from a 12 series washer, the previous series will not work with this transmission.

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