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The problem was the seal was worn, allowing liquid to seep past into the top blade shaft bearing washing out the grease and ruining the bearing. The "noise" you heard was the bearing running without any lubrication. Both bearings and the seal needed to be replaced but I have not found a source for purchasing these. Vita-Mix Company does not sell parts, they sell units (outrageously priced units)!
Hi, Disassemble the base from the jar, and check the placement of the gasket. Reassembly, with the jar upside down is gasket, blades, then base. While disassembled, rotate the blades by hand just to make sure that they aren't in a bind. Replace if defective.
Does the motor still work if you take the pitcher off of the base? If so, the rod that's in the blade assembly is probably corroded. The blades are connected to a metal rod that passes through a brass tube through to the piece that makes contact with the motor when you put the pitcher on the base. The grease wears down eventually and if you don't pulse and run the motor for a long time at once, the heat can corrode the bar and cause the blade to stop spinning. You can either disassemble the blade unit, or buy a new blade unit online. google blender parts and you can get one for $10
You will definitely need to change the clutch blade i.e. the black rubber rotating bit. Chaging it on the base unit may be difficult, I would check with your local Kitcheaid repairer for spare parts and repair advice.
Once you receive the parts, unscrew the collar from the bottom of the jar, and the old gasket and blade assembly will pop out - sometimes you have to peel the gasket apart from blender jar, but not always.
(0) unplug unit (1) Remove the bottom 4 screws, cover plate and motor shield ( 2) unhook the white motor wire from its binding clip ( 3) locate the plastic sleeve with the fuseable link (4) cut the sleeve and test for continuity between points on either side of link with ohmmeter (5) if no continuity, clip out fuseable link and and solder the white wire back together (6) cover with tape (7) rebind to other wires (8) replace bottom and check. This worked for me.
You can replace the Osterizer "Standard Blade Assembly" (which includes a new rubber gasket) without buying a new and expensive glass jar. See http://www.householdappliance.com/blenderparts.html or one of the other appliance repair parts websites. After 20 years of use, it's time for a new blade and bearing.