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Re: Whirlpool top-loading washer problem
You will most likely have a bad pump / pump turns one way while agit and the the other dir in spin so pump runs when washer runs / i bet there is something in the pump / replace pump and you will be ok / larryyb
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The Whirlpool / Kenmore top load direct drive washer uses an agitate shaft from the transmission with splines on its' top that fit into slots in the agitator. If the slots in the agitator are damaged / worn, the washer may not agitate.
Remove the fabric softener dispenser, remove the top agitator cap (a short screwdriver works well), and you'll see a 1/2" square drive bolt. Use a 1/2" socket extension to remove the bolt, pull up on the top agitator and carefully turn it over. You should see four plastic "dogs" that allow the top agitator to turn one way only. If they are worn, they are easily replaced.
After removing the top agitator, you should see a bolt (I think it's 5/8").
Carefully remove the bolt and the rubber washer under it and the main agitator should come off. You'll see the top of the transmission agitator shaft with it's splines. Check them and the slots inside the main agitator.
If the splines on the transmission agitator and main agitator are OK, the washer spins and drains and the timer moves through its' cycle, the problem points to an agitate gear in the transmission itself.
See the parts PDF for the transmission.
Replacing the gear in the transmission is a bit complicated (and messy) but it's a lot less expensive than a $170 transmission.
If you decide that you want to work on the transmission (it's not really that hard) post another question on Fixya and I or someone else should be able to walk you through it.
This assumes that you have a basic Kenmore / Whirlpool top load, direct drive, neutral drain (it doesn't spin until the pump removes most of the water) machine.
First, see the Sears parts site for your washer: http://www.searspartsdirect.com/partsdirect/index.action
Enter your model number and you'll see a list of major sub-components with diagrams and parts.
There are a number of Series 80 design washers. You'll need the actual model number to better check for the problem.
First, I'd remove the top agitator (as you've already done), then I'd remove the main agitator.
Under it you will see a clip and what Whirlpool calls a "washer". The "washer has two prongs, one fits into the main agitator shaft drive and the other fits in the lower agitator. If one or the other of the prongs is broken, the agitator most likely wont. I'd also look inside the main agitator to see if the ridges are broken off.
I'd then start the washer on it's smallest cycle and see if the main agitator shaft turns back and forth. If it doesn't and the washer goes through it's drain and spin cycles, the problem is likely in the transmission itself with what they call the agitate gear and / or agitate cams.
Please see the Whirlpool / Kenmore PDF document on installation, maintenance and operation of direct drive washers.