Question about Kenmore Washing Machines
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:
Enter your model number and you'll see a list of major sub-components with diagrams and parts.
If you lift the lid, put it down again and the washer begins to spin, the problem is likely in the transmission "Neutral Drain Assembly".
Those cams/gears etc. in that assembly keep the washer from spinning until all of the water is pumped out and then go into spin mode. Apparently, by opening and closing the lid, torque from the motor starting throws the cams into the right gears so that the washer will spin.
Ours had the same problem, no spin unless the lid was raised and lowered or we shut off and re-started the cycle.
After looking at the transmission parts list (available on a number of sites) and on the Whirlpool site (Whirlpool makes Kenmore) we noticed that the one of the cams in the neutral assembly which is supposed to have a small spring, didn't on ours when we tore the transmission apart again
Found the part number for a kit (Whirlpool part number 388253 Neutral Assembly) for $15.00 and replaced the cams and gears.
In order to get the transmission out, you have to remove the cabinet, the fabric dispenser and both agitators. The top agitator uses a plastic 1/2" drive bolt. You don't have to remove the drum.
Lay the machine down (after disconnecting power and hoses, remove the pump (two clips), the motor (two screws hold two clips on the motor), lift and set the motor aside, remove two 1/2 inch bolts for the motor mounting plate and three 1/2 inch bolts for the transmission. Pull the transmission, remove the clutch (there is a spring clip that holds the clutch on the main agitator shaft, remove the 8 screws carefully the transmission holds 14 - 15Oz of oil, remove the clip holding the main spin gear on and check the plastic cams.
If the cam that should have a spring doesn't, or the others look damaged, the washer won't go into spin mode.
If that's the problem, install a Neutral drain kit, put everything back together carefully and the problem may be solved.
The other areas to look at are the Lid Switch (not difficult to replace if you have the cabinet) off or the Timer.
You can bypass the lid switch to determine if it's the problem by putting a jumper between the two outermost pins in the switch. The Whirlpool PDF shows how to do it.
If the timer moves through it's cycle, but the washer still doesn't spin, the timer is probably OK.
If the Washer pumps out the water first and doesn't spin, the problem points to the transmission and likely the Neutral drain.
When taking the cabinet and motor off, I'd also check the Motor Coupling, used as a fail safe to protect the motor and transmission.
These have a tendency to go as does the lid switch.
Posted on Sep 23, 2009
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
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