Friday, May 02, 2014

Working Washer! (Finally, Again)

So much for going many years before another major repair…

In the not too distant past, the washer started not spinning out the clothes sufficiently and left them damp enough that I could squeeze water out of them after their spin. I could put them on spin again and that would usually do the trick. But then the washer started not spinning out heavy loads (no, I try not to overload the washer, but some loads are just a little heavier than others). I could get the tub spinning if I was right there when the spin cycle started. I would lift the lid, push down on the lid switch with my finger and pull the tub clockwise and that would usually work. Finally it was so bad that it was doing it all the time and that was becoming inconvenient very fast.

I went online and tried to find a solution. There were several things I thought it could be, but one post I read said something about oil from the transmission could get into the clutch causing it to slip and not spin. The poster said that if there was a line of oil about 6” from the ground on the inside of the cabinet, that the transmission was leaking oil. Sure enough, I had the 6” line of oil. It took me awhile to figure out the cause of the leak, but most people agreed that it was mostly likely the shaft seal on the top cover of the transmission that was the culprit.

So I ordered the part and 2 days later got down to business. I pulled the transmission out and opened her up. She was filled with black sludgy oil with lots of floating plastic slivers in it. I dumped out all the old oil and attempted to replace the seal. It…wouldn’t…..budge. I couldn’t figure out why the rubber was SO bonded to the metal. I carefully scraped at it with a knife but it wouldn’t come off. Maddening! I froze it hoping that the rubber would become brittle and come off. I sprayed it with WD-40 hoping that that would weaken the bond of the rubber, no good. Then Geo (13) came at it with a screwdriver, figured out what I had been doing wrong and in no time flat, had the other part of the seal out. Whew! So now to just pop the new one in. Wrong. It….wouldn’t….go….in. So back to the net, I read about how one person used a “tail piece” plumbing part to muscle it in so I took our bathroom sink apart and borrowed what I thought was a tail piece, but it just wouldn’t work. So DH brought home the real deal (like this) and after a little “persuasion,” finally got it to go in.

Great, so now to put it all back together again and we’d be in business! Smile Not so fast. I had to buy some RTV gasket maker stuff and some 80W-90 gear oil to refill the transmission with. Got that, had Geo help me steady the transmission so I could pour the oil in (made sure I had all the parts in the right way), applied the gasket, screwed it all together, waited the 1 hour curing time and we held our breath… Filled for a small load, agitated properly on all the speed settings, drained and then just sat there, making a spinning noise, but NOT SPINNING! Agrivating. I couldn’t think of anything else to do but take it all apart again. Something was wrong in the transmission still because at least it was spinning (sort of) before I took it apart and now, nothing. I took pics, videos, uploaded them to my appliance forum and waited for replies. Some thought maybe I hadn’t waited long enough for it to spin, some thought maybe the spin gear was warn, which it is, but not seriously. Finally, one good Samaritan noticed that I had installed the spin gear cam upside down which wasn’t allowing it to activate neutral drain. I flipped it over, but still had to wait for DH to bring some engine cleaner so I could get the oil off the gasket surface before making the new gasket.

Finally it was ready to install this morning and …. it works! It works great! I’m so happy about that! So now I have our backup washer running in the carport (just till we get caught up) and Old Faithful working away in the laundry room, I should get caught up on laundry in no time. 

Now I pray that this fix lasts a LOOOOOOOONG time and I won’t have to look at the underside of my washer till a far and distant time.