Question about Kenmore 98702 Stacked Washer/Dryer

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Dryer Squeals Hello, My Sears Kenmore stackable washer/dryer (circa 2000) recently developed a squealing sound that comes from the back of the dryer unit. The squeal comes and goes during the dry cycle, but seems to be getting louder as days go by. Last night I replaced the drum belt, but that did not solve the problem. While I was behind the unit I noticed a dark brown substance the consistency of burned coffee grounds coming through a small opening in the center of the dryer unit. Can you tell me what the problem might be, and if it is worth fixing the unit or if I should cut my losses and buy a new washer and dryer? Thank you, Dan

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  • Squealer Jul 13, 2008

    I may have been premature in making this post. After doing some research on this and other sites, it appears that I should lubricate the rear bearing. Wish I had read that last night before putting everything back together again!

  • Squealer Jul 18, 2008

    I repaired the dryer and thought I would share my experience for those of you with similar problems. As previously stated, this is the Sears Kenmore stackable washer/dryer of 2000 or 2001 vintage. Surprisingly, this job requires minimal tools: a drill with a Phillips head bit, a regular head screwdriver, and a pair of pliers. Be prepared for a few days of down time, as you will have to diagnose and potentially replace several parts in the machine while you are there. It may take three or four days to get the parts if you order on-line.

    To access the rear bearing, proceed as follows.

    1) Unplug the machine. If you don't you will get a very nasty surprise when you touch the heater coil at the back of the machine. I learned this from experience this time when I got distracted and forgot to unplug the dryer. Of course, I suppose one exciting thing about do-it-yourself work is the possibility doing serious harm to oneself in the process.

    2) Remove the angled white cover plate at the bottom of the dryer unit. (Take out the two screws, tilt top down, slide up and out). Unhook the vent pipe, and move the unit to someplace where you can access the front, back and left side simultaneously.

    3) Remove the gray plate on top of the dryer cabinet. (Remove the screws along all four edges).

    4) Remove the knobs from the control panel. To remove the washer knob, push in and turn counterclockwise. There is a thin metal snap ring between the knob and the knob backing. Don't lose that. Pull the other knobs straight out.

    5) Remove the two black screws from underneath the control panel bottom corners. Remove the other screws holding the control panel tabs, also along the bottom. The panel will still be attached. Slip the regular head screwdriver between the top right edge of the control panel housing and the metal cabinet door. Carefully lever the panel down. Do the same on the left side. This is necessary to remove the tabs that hold it in place. Do not lever the control panel toward your body, or you will break the tabs like I did.

    6) As the panel falls forward, you will notice an opaque plug on the left that connects the control panel to the dryer. Disconnect the plug and let the control panel hang forward.

    7) By this time the front of the dryer drum may have surprised you by dropping down and pushing the door and housing forward. Take the two screws out of the lower left and right corners of the door frame (there may be others). Tilt the door assembly out of the dryer drum, allowing the drum to shift, then lift up and out. This part is cumbersome as the plastic funnel hooked to the lower left of the door will get hung under the dryer drum. Persevere.

    7a) Inspect the glides attached to the top edge of the felt inside the dryer door. Two of my three glides were worn off and/or broken. If your glides are worn off or broken, replace the felt strip with a new one.

    8) Remove the left side white cabinet panel. There are screws along the back, along the angled lower front edge, and probably up under the back corner. Carefully lift down the panel.

    9) Take the drum belt off. Do this by standing at the side of the cabinet, and pushing the topmost (larger) pully away from you. That will relieve tension on the belt, and allow you to slip it off the smaller pulley. Slide the belt off the dryer drum and set it aside.

    10) Go back around the front, reach into the dryer drum, and remove the three screws in the back center of the dryer drum. This will release the drum from the cabinet, so be careful that it does not fall on something important.

    11) Remove the three outside screws from inside the dryer drum. This will release the thin metal plate that protects the back of the dryer. Register surprise at the amount of lint caught in there.

    12) Double check to make sure that the dryer is unplugged. If the dryer is not unplugged, and you touch that bare coiled wire at the back of the cabinet, you are screwed.

    13) Slide the face plate in the back center of the dryer wall up and out. Look at the tip of the metal ball. Is it worn? Mine had a good sized depression in it. The replacement unit did not have a depression. I took that as a sign to replace the ball assembly.

    14) Using your pliers, loosen the bolts holding the metal bracket, plastic cup, and other stuff in place. This assembly consists of a clip at the back of the machine (accessible from the outside), a small metal bearing, the plastic cup, metal bracket, and two screws. Take careful note of how it all goes together. Hold the metal clip at the back of the machine while you take the screws out the rest of the way by hand.

    15) A word about the replacement assembly. There is room for argument here about whether to replace the whole assembly, or simply add hi-temp grease. I replaced the whole assembly for these reasons. Mine looked worn, it had served for seven or eight years, and I really didn't want to go through this process again anytime soon. I ordered my replacement assembly from A good place for parts at reasonable prices. I will go into part costs later. This assembly was made in China, as much is these days. Since the two long screws and the metal bracket did not look as strong as my original equipment, and these original parts were still in good shape, I those two items original and replaced the rest.

    16) This part is tricky. Put the metal bracket on the plastic cup, insert the screws, slide the screws through the appropriate holes, and into the clip that your are holding at the back of the machine again. Turn the screws just enough to hold the clip on, but not tight. Drop the metal ball between the inside of the dryer cabinet and back of the plastic cup, doing whatever is necessary, however many times is necessary, to get the ball trapped behind the hole at the center of the plastic cup. Pin the ball in place and tighten the screws. Breathe a sign of relief.

    17) Apply high temp grease to the plastic cup and the metal ball on the face plate. Use common sense about the amount. You want a decent amount, but not so much that it is falling out onto the heater coil.

    18) Vaccuum everything you can reach in the cabinet. I was surprised by the amount of lint in the cabinet, especially around the heater coil.

    19) Vaccuum the back of the dryer drum, and re-attach the metal circle to the back of the dryer drum by using the three outermost screws attached from inside the dryer drum.

    20) This is the trickiest part of the whole operation. Unless you are a circus performer, it really helps to have a second person here. Lift up the dryer drum, and line the three inside screw holes up with the three holes in the bearing face plate. Attach the screws. Much easier said than done if you are doing this yourself.

    21) Reattach the drum belt. Although, you should consider replacing it if it is worn.

    22) Reassemble the rest of the machine in the reverse order that the parts came off.

    I ordered the parts from for the following cost:

    Item #343 Front Upper Felt Glide Pad with Nylon Glides, Adhesive and Instructions ($28.35)

    Item #1851 Rear Dryer Drum Bearing Kit ($24.00)

    Item #1156851 Dyer Drum Drive Belt ($11.60)

    Shipping ($8.97)

    Total cost: $72.92

    If I have left any details out, I apologize in advance. I have learned a lot from folks on-line about repairing various things, and thought my experience with this unit might help you in return in some small way.

    Good luck and have fun!


  • Shimmer Feb 21, 2013

    Squealer, this is the best post in any self help site ever. Ever. Thank you!

  • Shimmer Feb 21, 2013

    Squealer, this is the best post in any self help site ever. Ever. Thank you!



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My sears kenmore 417 stacking get things caught every time in the dryer and leaves some brown stuff on all my clothes.

How can I keep things from getting caught??

Posted on Jul 20, 2008

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Rear drum bearing is dry or worn ..there is a plastic cup the bearing rest in it ususally dry or wears down to the metal support bracket if not worn to bracket hi temp grease will solve the problem ..drum must be removed to acess also ck the front seal for wear or excess brown residue before reassembling get it all while you're at it

Posted on Jul 13, 2008


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