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Spin cycle works but it will not do the wash cycle and agitate

It is a kenmore laundry center. model 417.99570120 the washer fills and drains properly. the spin cycle works properly. after the tub fills the engine humms for about 5 seconds then stops and nothing happens.the washer will not agitate and go through the washing cycle. i did replace the lid switch and that did not help. please help

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  • jsprad0703 Sep 27, 2009

    the washer does have a belt. it is not a direct drive. the spin cycle works fine but the wash cycle does not. i can hear the motor make a clicking noise/humm for about 5 seconds and it feels hot. it will continue to click on about every five minutes if i leave the washer on, but it will never start the wash cycle. when it is on for the 5 seconds i can see the top of the motor spin, but the bottom does not turn the belt. Is the part that turns the belt the coupler for a belt drive? also i noticed when i do turn it on it fill up and when it hits the wash cycle the timer doesn't go any further. i have to turn the nob to the spin cycle to get the water out. could this be some kind electrical problem between the timer and motor? i am going to go ahead and take the motor off and the agitator apart to see what it looks like inside.

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The agitator is fastened to the agitator shaft and its movement is driven either by splines or a simple clutch assembly. The splines are usually plastic or rubber nubs on a cylinder that fits over the agitator shaft. If the nubs wear down, the shaft will not turn properly or it will turn weakly. If the agitator is moving in only one direction, the likely cause is the clutch assembly. The clutch has dogs that depress and pop up with each turn. If those dogs are worn, they will not engage properly and the agitator will turn only in one direction. Another issue that might cause this disruption is the Motor coupler.

Washers with a direct drive motor have a motor coupler instead of a belt. The motor coupler consists of three plastic disks (or tri-stars) with interlocking tabs. Those tabs can wear and break which results in slippage. The slippage causes little or no power to be transferred to the transmission. A worn motor coupling can result in weak or no movement of the agitator and spin basket. Inspecting the motor couplers requires removing the motor, which is fairly easy to do.

Remove the cabinet. Locate the motor. The pump is mounted to one side of the motor. You do not have to remove the hoses from the pump unless they prevent you from moving the pump out of your way. If you must remove the hoses, label where they connect first. To disconnect the hoses, pinch the wire clamps with pliers (or loosen the screw) and slide the clamp farther up the hose. Slide the hose off of the pump port.

There are two clips that secure the pump housing to the motor. Use a screwdriver to pry up the clips and remove the cover. Next, slide off the pump to reveal the motor. Disconnect the wiring harness from the motor, do not pull on the wires themselves. The motor typically is secured with retaining clips and bolts. Remove the bolts and use a screwdriver to pry up the clips (if present). Remove the motor.

Mounted on the shaft of the back of the motor you will find the motor coupler. Separate the three disks and inspect them for damage. If you find cracks or excessive wear, replace the coupler.

**(((If the motor couple is in good condition, replace the agitator components and clutch assembly as well.)))

Posted on Sep 27, 2009

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