Question about Kenmore Washing Machines

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How can I check the agitator on my Kenmore Elite?

I have a model #11020932993, serial #ck4907099, type 111 kenmore elite washing machine. It will drain on the spin cycle, but is making a grinding sound which leads me to believe there is a problem with the agitator. I don't know how to remove the agitator in order to troubleshoot this issue.

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  • Master
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More than likely (and more commonly) this is a broken motor coupling. This is a very simple and inexpensive repair that does not require you to remove the agitator.

If the washer does not agitate or spin, but will STILL drain, the likely culprit is a broken motor coupling. You may also hear a loud rattling sound as the drive motor engages, but the tub no longer spins. That could be the "grinding" noise you hear. Whirlpool uses a motor coupling in the place of a drive belt. It is located between the drive motor and and gearcase (transmission). This configuration is known as a "direct-drive" system. It is common for the coupler to wear out with age and break. Newer versions of this coupler are more resilient and resist breakage. The following link explains how to access and/or replace one:

http://www.fixya.com/support/r3574231-replacing_a_motor_coupling

The part number for the improved motor coupling is included in the link I provided. The average cost is about $10 - $15. You can purchase replacements at any of the following webistes:

searspartsdirect.com
pcappliancerepair.com
appliancepartspros.com
repairclinic.com

Prices vary between sites, so shop and compare. If you do not wish to order on line, take the part number provided and go to your nearest appliance parts retailer. This is a common part they should have in their in-store inventory.

If you have questions, or if the symptoms I describe do not match what you are experiencing, please post back and let me know. I hope this helps you.

Posted on Feb 02, 2010

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  • Master
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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/getModel!retrieve.pd?modelNumber=110.20932993


and you'll see a list of major sub-components with diagrams and parts.

Also see the Whirlpool / Kenmore service manual for top load direct drive washers.

https://secured.whirlpool.com/Service/SrvTechAdm.nsf/2cd44500d572193285256a45004fd9d6/f7e2147fa98b28cf85257122007475cb/$FILE/L-55.pdf

See also a more detailed description from Whirlpool of how their transmissions work.

https://secured.whirlpool.com/Service/SrvTechAdm.nsf/2cd44500d572193285256a45004fd9d6/2550f737b3129b0c85256b0600504738/$FILE/787772%20%234.pdf

See the following for how to remove the cabinet, pump, motor and transmission. YOU DON'T HAVE TO REMOVE THE AGITATORS OR TUB.

http://www.american-appliance.com/catalog/newsdesk_info.php?newsPath=16&newsdesk_id=137&osCsid=1051095663c7f2d5997fa53b976529d6

I had the same problem with major gear grinding during the spin cycle and this solved it.

Within the transmission are a set of plastic cams that raise the agitator gear when moving into the spin cycle. If the cams are worn, the gear won't lift high enough (about 1/18") and the gears will grind.

Assuming that you know how to remove the cabinet, agitator (you don't need to remove the tub), pump, motor and transmission the agitator cam and follower use the same whirlpool part number 62580/01. This is a plastic set used to raise the agitate gear on the shaft.

I had the same problem with gear grinding and this solved it.

Pull the transmission.

Remove the clutch (the spring holding the clutch to the spin pinion is a bear to replace.

Remove the 8 transmission screws carefully, the transmission is full (15 oz.) of 80-90 weight oil.

Remove the transmission cover.

Pull off the spin pinion.

Push down on the agitate spring and remove the spring clip. Note where is attaches to the main shaft.

The two plastic agitate cam parts pull right off. Don't lose the washer on top of the cams.

Replace the cams, washer, spring and clip, pinion, oil (assuming you drained the oil first), cover and clutch parts.

Line up the transmission so that the release cam on the brake drum will snap onto the clutch spring retaining clip and put all parts back in the washer.

The basic tools are screwdriver, small socket set with up to a 1/2" socket, vice grips or good pliers (to remove and replace clips)

Be sure to align the holes on the Motor Coupler correctly or the motor and transmission won't fit together correctly.

Following is also the Whirlpool parts list for their commercial top load direct drive washers that has a better description of the cams and the Whirlpool part numbers.

https://secured.whirlpool.com/Service/SrvTechAdm.nsf/2cd44500d572193285256a45004fd9d6/2550f737b3129b0c85256b0600504738/$FILE/787772%20%234.pdf

It is a bit of a messy job but much ($10 vs $170 for a transmission) less than having a service person replace the transmission.

Be sure to study the Service manual so that you can see exactly how the cams work.

Posted on Feb 02, 2010

  • oldguy5 Feb 02, 2010

    See the following for how to pull the cabinet, pump, motor and transmission.

    http://www.american-appliance.com/catalo...


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