Thread Number: 95293  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
Help - difference between GE Washer clutch part numbers
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Post# 1199365   2/15/2024 at 14:12 by delco1946 (Oregon)        

Can someone tell me what the difference is between GE clutches WH49X265 and WH49X198? These seem commonly available, however none look exactly like what I have.

I need a two speed clutch; I'm thinking newer stock may have changed/replaced the original parts.

Full Story - a shop broke the inner drum so I need a replacement. However, i'd rather spend a little more and get all the other parts that come with a NOS assembly, rather than just the inner drum. My 57 1WA850 is dead in the water until I can get this fixed.

Post# 1199419 , Reply# 1   2/16/2024 at 06:51 by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
GE two speed washer clutches

combo52's profile picture
GE made a lot of changes in those clutches from the time they were introduced till the later ones yours is among the first two speed clutch I believe in 1957

Iíve not tried it but I believe it may be possible to install the later two speed clutch it has a different shift actuator and you might have to figure out how to mount it to do so, if you can put the later clutch in, I think you would be smart to do it because they had worked out a lot a little bugs with it.

Personally, I would be very tempted to just throw a one speed clutch in your washer, thereís very little use for the two speeds if youíre not washing a lot of delicate dainty stuff in the machine .

Even on later GE we frequently just threw a one speed clutch in when people had problems. Those are readily available still.

As to your original question, I could maybe help if you posted good pictures of what you need to fix the old clutch


Post# 1199424 , Reply# 2   2/16/2024 at 07:37 by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, IA)        
it may be possible to install the later two speed clutch

swestoyz's profile picture
Yep, it sure is. Did this with the '58.

I would highly recommend getting the WH49X265 kit and using all parts from the kit, with the exception of the carrier plate, or at least I hope the carrier plate is fine and it was the primary/inner drum that the shop broke.

This way, you can use the original style solenoid brake shoe on the '57, vs. having to make the changes I did to swap it over to the "finger" style on the '62 and later clutch.


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Post# 1199427 , Reply# 3   2/16/2024 at 08:46 by Delco1946 (Oregon)        
Cooking with gas!

Thanks John and Ben!! This is very helpful. Iíll order the x265 kit. My carrier plate was fine for now, but I am a little nervous they might deform it. But I think the young guy helping me learned a lesson with how to support an item while pushing the bearings thru. They had brand new bearings so I think I might be better off using those versus ordering the x91 bearing kit and getting 30 to 60 year old grease, which had probably started to break down.

Post# 1199483 , Reply# 4   2/17/2024 at 00:39 by Delco1946 (Oregon)        
Went gung-ho

I bought the Wh5x207 and the wh49x265 just to be safe and have backups. This also has me thinking it might be worth just buying a bearing press machine from harbor freight for $169 so I can do this myself in the future. Iíve had to do this enough times now where a hammer the right size socket isnít cutting it.

Post# 1201264 , Reply# 5   3/10/2024 at 16:17 by Delco1946 (Oregon)        

Hi Ben, regarding the clutch, the nos one still seems much quieter/ smoother to spin than my rebuilt original one. I reassembled and relubed the motor and replaced the clutch bearings. The old clutch also seems to sit cocked on the motor shaft for some reason ( which Iím sure creates a lovely spinning imbalance). I hooked up the washer and the old clutch works but is rather loud, especially on slow wash ( rattles like a can of nails!). Otherwise everything seems to work.

At this point, I would like to use my nos clutch, but Iím not sure how to modify it to work. The only major difference is the carrier plate which exists on the old version, but the new one just has little old dog ears that stick out, which would be incompatible with the original style braking mechanism/ brake shoe. However, I am wondering if those dog year tabs have just the right amount of mass to trigger breaking without an accessory brake shoe? If itís as simple as disconnecting the brake shoe that almost seems to easy to be true. I tried transferring all the guts from the new one and using the carrier plate but because of subtle differences in washer spacing and design, the carrier plate does not spin freely, and I canít add washers to make it spin freely as that increase the height of said stacked pieces, and canít clip on the O-ring clip on the very bottom side 🙄.

What sort of modifications did you have to make?


Post# 1201266 , Reply# 6   3/10/2024 at 16:23 by Delco1946 (Oregon)        

Normal speed agitation video


Post# 1201267 , Reply# 7   3/10/2024 at 16:24 by Delco1946 (Oregon)        

First wet test. Aside from clutch noise seems to work well and no leaks!


Post# 1201270 , Reply# 8   3/10/2024 at 17:31 by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
GE washer two Speed clutches

combo52's profile picture
I would use the new style to speed clutch and try to mount the little shifter solenoid from a newer design one on the motor mounting plate. I donít think it would be too hard to do.

Just grab a two speed clutch and motor assembly from a newer filter, flow washer And you can see the difference and how to mount the shifter solenoid to work with the newer style clutch on your machine.

Itís very hard to rebuild old Worn GE clutches and get them to work quietly. Also the older breaking mechanism they used on your machine was not a very good design, which is why they changed it if somebody accidentally turned it onto low speed while it was running, it burns up the brake shoe.


Post# 1201272 , Reply# 9   3/10/2024 at 17:49 by Delco1946 (Oregon)        

Hi John,

Are you saying that newer filter flows added a solenoid that somehow activates the tabs where on older clutches the carrier plate is? Are there pictures of this somewhere? Im guessing itís a separate part that I could buy on eBay once I get a part number? Iíll do some digging.

Took a picture on the underside on my nos 2 speed clutch with the tabs if a picture helps.

Thanks - Christopher

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Post# 1201283 , Reply# 10   3/10/2024 at 18:58 by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, IA)        

swestoyz's profile picture
In my thread I talk about replacing the brake shoe solenoid mechanism with the tab solenoid shifter bracket. I had enough parts on hand from salvaged clutches to adapt the shifter bracket to the Ď58 motor plate.

I had to go this route as I had damaged my carrier plate, but even when I had tested the machine prior to disassembly it was noisy and ultimately I like the quiet sound of the swapped finger style clutch.


Post# 1201288 , Reply# 11   3/10/2024 at 19:32 by Delco1946 (Oregon)        

Thanks Ben! Sorry I missed that. My gosh this washer is becoming a pain in my ass lol.

Post# 1201307 , Reply# 12   3/11/2024 at 10:54 by delco1946 (Oregon)        

If anyone knows this shifter solenoid part number, that would be helpful (or of course has one to buy). I haven't found in in the master parts catalog yet and nothing resembling it comes up with internet searches. Based off John's description and the fact that this was the prevalent (later) style for GE washer shifting, I would think they are somewhat common...?

Post# 1201348 , Reply# 13   3/11/2024 at 21:11 by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, IA)        

swestoyz's profile picture
AFAIK, GE didn't sell the full assembly for the shifter assembly but rather sold each part individually.

I have seen the shifter assembly sold with a full retro kit to swap out a full motor/clutch assembly (WH49X271), however this kit wouldn't work on your '57, unless you bought one just for the shifter.

One option you do have is something John mentioned earlier. You could always put a single speed clutch on the washer, or throw your original clutch on it and live with the noise.


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Post# 1201374 , Reply# 14   3/12/2024 at 09:04 by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Later, GE filter, flow to speed clutches

combo52's profile picture
Hereís a picture of the later clutch assembly that was used from 1961 through 1994

The little magnet assembly was available as an entire assembly. Thatís normally the only way we ever saw them early on you could buy it piece by piece.

I should think it would be fairly easy to use the newer clutch you got, and to buy this little shifter assembly and mount it to the mounting plate of your old 57 GE washer.

John L

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Post# 1201666 , Reply# 15   3/16/2024 at 20:49 by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, IA)        

swestoyz's profile picture
Chris, I take back what I said on 3/11. Tonight I stumbled across the PN that GE later on assigned to the full shifter assembly - WH12X847. There are several out on eBay and available through other vendors.


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