Rear Tub Bearing Replacement Whirlpool Frigidaire Kenmore Front Loar Washers
This advice is for replacing the rear wash tub shell of most Kenmore Elite HE model FRONT LOADERS, along with Whirlpool Duet, and some Frigidaire FRONT LOADER models. This is a repair that would be rated as difficult due to the extensive disassembly and reassembly of components.
The requirement to replace the rear wash tub shell is usually attributed to the rear tub bearing failure in which the bearings are molded into the tub and cannot be replaced otherwise. In some situations the replacement of the inner spinner basket (stainless steel tub) may also be required due to the corrosion and breakage of the spider arms in the back of the basket that support the basket.
SYMPTOMS: Washer exhibits excessively loud "rumbling" type noise during the spin cycle, excessively vibrates, or won't spin at all.
DETERMINING IF THE BEARING AND SPIN BASKET ARE BAD: With the washer door open, place your hand inside the basket and push straight up. If there is excessive play in the tub (wobbles up and down) the bearing is probably bad. If the spinner basket scrapes against the outer tub shell when you give it a spin, you will have to replace the inner spin basket as well. Unfortunately, you cannot see the condition of spinner basket supports until it is removed from the outer tub shells. In some cases, a brownish colored stain my show up on clothing as the bearing seal has been breached and leaks into the spinner basket.
Before starting this repair, make sure you read through all instructions thoroughly and place the washer is in an area that gives you plenty of space to work.
1. Unplug washer and turn off water supply.
2. Disconnect washer inlet supply lines and remove drain hose from standpipe.
3. Using a shop vac, pull a vacuum on the drain hose to remove all residual water from the drain lines, tub and drain pump. If you do not own a shop vac, remove the lower panel under the door and locate the drain pump. If the drain pump has a clean out trap, lay out some old towels, and open the trap to allow water to drain. If the pump does not have a drain trap, disconnect one of the drain pump hoses.
4. Remove the lower panel under the door (if you haven't done so in the previous step) and remove the washer top and back panels.
5. Disconnect the dispenser hose from the top of the wash tub and disconnect the hose on the side of the tub going to the pressure switch.
6. Remove the hose that leads from the bottom of the wash tub to the drain pump and remove the drain hose that leads to the standpipe.
7. Remove the door bellow (rubber door boot) from the door frame ONLY and push inside the tub. Leave the other end of the door boot attached to the tub shell. If this is a small front loader, the bellow is cemented to the washer door frame. Use a putty knife to slowly peel the rubber from the door facing. If this is a large HE or Duet model, the bellow is held in place by a small hoop spring. It is located in the seam of the bellow along the door frame at the six o'clock position. Pull the spring out and carefully stretch it apart to remove the hoop from the seam. With the hoop removed, the bellow can be pushed inside the wash tub. Remember to remove the bellow from the water inlet tube that leads from the dispenser.
8. Remove the washer support shocks from the wash tub. The large HE model and Duet models are removed by grasping the upper portion of the shock and turning counter-clockwise. The shock will snap loose and can be pushed aside. Leave the lower portion installed in the bottom of the washer. If this is a small front loader, the shocks are held in place by plastic pins. The pins have a locking tab that needs to be compressed while pushing the pin out of the hole. This is NOT any easy task and it will take some effort. HINT: If you use a long socket that fits snugly over the pointed end of the plastic pins, it will compress the locking tab and enable you to use a hammer to carefully tap them free. NOTE: Large HE models and Duets have 4 shocks, while the smaller models may only have 2.
9. Remove the Drive Motor belt by grasping it near the top and pulling towards you while rotating the large pulley. The belt should slip off.
10. Remove the Drive Motor and Motor Control Board. Carefully label all connections, so you know here the go when have to re-install them.
11. Remove the back casing brackets so the entire back of the washer is open.
12. Remove the rear counter weight from the wash tub to minimize some of the weight.
13. This next step may require two persons: With the tub still suspended by the upper support springs, slowly lay the washer all the way on its back while supporting the wash tub. NOTE: Place something under the washer to support the tub shaft as you lay the washer back (i.e., old blankets, cardboard boxes, etc.) Once the washer is lying down, remove the upper support springs and set the cabinet upright. The wash tub should be now free from the washer cabinet.
14. Set the wash tub assembly upright and remove all the screws around the perimeter of the tub shell halves. NOTE: An electric screw driver with socket attachment works wonders and will speed up this process. If the tub is held together with clips, use a screwdriver along the tub edge under each clip and pry up to remove.
15. NOTE: If you plan on reusing the door bellow, use care not to damage any of the rubber. Place some old towels down and lay the wash tub assembly with the front opening face down. Lift the rear shell off the inner wash basket shaft. You can now inspect the spider arm supports of the spin basket. If the supports are cracked or broken, or if the shaft is worn, you will need to replace the spinner basket.
16. Remove the spinner basket assembly and inspect the front tub shell. In most cases the front shell can be reused and will not require replacement. If the inside of the front shell is damaged, however, it will require replacement.
1. Reassembling the tub shell parts and inner spin basket is self-explanatory. Just make sure you tighten all screws evenly in a crossing pattern as you tighten the tub shells. If the tub is held together with clips, they can be tapped back into place with a hammer. Use the same crossing pattern to ensure the shells are tightened evenly.
2. Lay the assembled tub shell with the opening face up. Make sure you support the spin basket shaft.
3. Lay the washer casing down over top the washer tub shell.
4. Insert the upper shell support springs into the wash tub and support spring brackets.
5. Raise the washer casing to the upright position, making sure the tub does not swing forward into the washer front. Re-install the rear counter-weight and washer back brackets.
6. Re-install the washer support shocks.
7. Re-install the drain line hose.
8. Re-install the Motor Control Unit and Drive Motor.
9. Re-install the Drive Belt pulley and belt. The belt is installed by placing it into the Drive Motor shaft, first. Make sure there is a one-groove gap between the belt and the end of the drive shaft. With your left hand hold the belt on the drive pulley and guide it around as you turn the pulley with your right hand in a clockwise direction. This can take some effort.
10. Re-install the hoses that lead from the bottom of the wash tub to the drain pump, and pressure switch.
11. Re-insert the water inlet tube into the rubber door bellow, ensuring the rubber is seated past the flange on the tube.
12. Pull the door bellow through the door frame opening and reseat it. If this is a small model front loader the door bellow will have to be cemented back in place with appliance door gasket adhesive. If this is a larger model front loader that has a hoop spring to hold the bellow in place, insert as follows:
- Place the hoop into the groove of the door bellow along the facing of the door frame with the spring in the 6 o'clock position.
- With both hands gradually work your way around to the 4 and 8 o'clock positions and stretch the spring apart.
- Push the spring and hoop into the groove.
NOTE: It may require a second person to get the door bellow back in place.
1. Re-install the rubber dispenser hose to the top of the wash tub.
2. Re-install back panel and top panel and hook washer back up to water source. Make sure the drain hose is placed back in the standpipe.
3. Leave the bottom washer panel off and plug unit back in. Test operate and check for leaks. If no leaks are present, re-install bottom panel.
Some other parts that may have to be considered when performing a rear tub shell replacement:
- Rubber Door Bellow
- Spinner Basket (if arm supports are damaged)
- Front Tub Shell (if signs of internal damage)
- Drive Pulley (can sometimes become damaged trying to remove old one)
- Drive Belt (check belt during parts removal for wear)
- Wash Tub Support Shocks (The shocks can sometimes break when trying to remove)
NOTE: 1. If you replace the front tub shell you will need to remove the door bellow and front counter-weights and install them on the new shell. 2. If you replace the spinner basket, some do not come with the wash tub fins. Make sure you remove and re-install the old ones in the new tub if required.
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