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Maytag Agitates Slow, Burns Up Belts  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Fri Apr 1st, 2005 02:30 am
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DJ
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Great Website. Spent most of the day reading it and had many laughs. Also, many good insights.

My 12 year old Maytag is two years out of the 10year transmission warranty. I have read that transmissions are very hard to replace, and expensive.... yet the thought of this nice looking machine going to landfill makes me sick. Here is the story:

Six months ago, the belt squeeled and burned. Replaced it with official maytag belt. Now the same failure happened again. The next logical item was loose belt tension; so installed a motor slide/spring kit. The belt immediately started slipping again; so added a third spring from the leftover parts. Now it worked, but the agitator grunted when it moved, and first load of the day the belt still slipped. Then comes the sinking feeling the problem is in the transmission.

Studied the parts breakdown, looks simpler than replacing the crankshaft in my 40 horse Johnson Outboard. Removed the pumpkin cover; rotating the bottom pully while watching the transmission gears, shows some high friction in the agitator shaft. Removed the agitator, agitator shaft seal and agitator shaft clip in the pumpkin. Now from the diagram, this is just a shaft through a hole out the top of the transmission; no bearing; it should pull out. This baby seems stuck, and so am I. Maybe it ran dry and there was galling; don't know. There is no sign of water in the transmission oil. The top agitator shaft seal looked good, no leaks.

What tool do I use to get it out undamaged? How is this agitator shaft supposed to stay lubricated over its life?

If I can get it out, polish the surfaces, lubricate it, reassemble, it should be good for another 12 years.

Thanks in advance.
DJ

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 Posted: Fri Apr 1st, 2005 02:54 am
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DJ
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Forgot to mention that spin cycle works fine.

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 Posted: Fri Apr 1st, 2005 03:13 am
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Samurai Appliance Repair Man
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Hang in there, all is not lost!

You've done your homework and covered the bases on this one. But even if the problem is the transmission, that's not necessarily the end of the line for this washer. You can see how simple it is:



First, check between the inner basket and outer tub, up at the top, under the top panel, all the way around, for a sock or something stuck in there. This is a common cause for burning belts in this washer.

If it is the transmission, I think you can still buy a re-build kit. Check here.



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 Posted: Fri Apr 1st, 2005 03:25 am
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Jedi Appliance Guy



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Does this washer have 1 belt or two?

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 Posted: Fri Apr 1st, 2005 03:28 am
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Samurai Appliance Repair Man
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It's the old Dependable Care-- two belts.



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 Posted: Fri Apr 1st, 2005 03:31 am
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Jedi Appliance Guy



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Could it be as simple as changing both the drive belt and the pump belts at the same time?

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 Posted: Fri Apr 1st, 2005 03:36 am
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Samurai Appliance Repair Man
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Sure could, talked about that in a another thread on this same type of washer:

http://applianceguru.com/forum2/21.html



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 Posted: Sat Apr 2nd, 2005 07:09 am
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DJ
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No sock stuck in the top and both belts changed 6 months ago. The agitator shaft has much friction and cannot get it out of the transmission. Apparently there is no means provided to keep it lubricated. I came up with a procedure to lubricate the shaft that I call "Maytag Transmission Bed Rest".

Maytag Transmission Bed Rest Procedure:
Duct tape some 4x4s to the back of your Maytag washer and rotate it onto it's back. Turn on washer into mode that operates the agitator. Mine is a suds saver model, so I can use the suds return mode. For other models, you may have to bypass the tub full sensor switch. Then just run it for a couple hours on its back this way. This results in transmission oil being distributed into the top two agitator shaft bushings.

I was doing this procedure and had some dumb luck. To prevent accidental flinging of transmission oil, I put the cap back on the transmission punkin; but forgot to install the agitator shaft clip. By luck, the agitator shaft walked out the top of the transmission.

Rust on the shaft was the obvious culprit. A few swipes with a high quality metal file took care of it. Deciding what type of grease to put on it was the hard part. No recommendations are available. I may have chosen poorly, but decided to use a silicone lube because it resists moisture and didn't seem to be disolved by the transmission oil.

Two new agitator shaft seals ($12) was all it took to fix this (plus labor), not a new transmission or new machine. It seems to me that agitator shaft repair/replacement should be added as a field service repair. It is a lot easier than replacing the whole transmission, and a lot cheaper.

Would you say that poor lubrication in the top end of the transmission is a design defect?

DJ

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 Posted: Sat Apr 2nd, 2005 10:46 am
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Budget Appliance Repair
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No, original problem was leaking agitator shaft seal allow a small seepage of water into the upper agitator shaft over a long period of time causing the agitator shaft to finally seize up.

William Burk (Willie)
Willie's Budget Appliance Repair
Eureka, CA 95501



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 Posted: Sat Apr 2nd, 2005 05:24 pm
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DJ
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OK; that is possible; but only with a very small amount of water. There were no water drops beneath the agitator shaft seal and no sign of moisture in the transmission top end or the oil. Either way, the air space in this spring seal will be high humidity.

Another possible source of a "small" amount of water is condensation. Temperature cycling is known to draw humid air into a sealed product and will condense on the top; exactly where these bushings are. So again; bad design.

The top part of the agitator shaft beneath the agitator itself is in constant exposure to water and chemicals; yet shows no corrosion. Therefore moisture alone will not cause corrosion beneath the surface of a properly coated shaft. I think the expectation that this teflon-like coating will provide an adequate bearing surface for an equal product life as the bottom end of the transmission is misguided design. Although it will get it past waranty.

In hindsight, I believe that I was not filing off only rust from the agitator shaft. The teflon-like coating had turned to a black/dark brown brittle substance in the two bushing zones; very similar characteristics as rust. There was definetly some rust pock marks on the shaft beneath the teflon-like coating in many areas; mostly in the two bushing zones. Obviously the teflon-like coating was not a suitable long term replacement for grease or oil. Therefore, this repair may be doomed to a short life as the non-telon coated agitator shaft has no way to keep a replenished source of grease/oil on it. It all depends on how effective the grease is on migrating to prevent corrosion.

At least I can identify the symptom of this problem easy now... The agitator should twist freely over a few degrees more or less, depending on the rotation of the transmission gears. Before this repair, the agitator was locked solid; only the motor had the power to twist it.

I am a strong proponent of scheduled maintenaince. There are certain inexpensive parts in a product that cause very expensive repaiars when they fail. Replacing the $10 agitator seal is a good idea and should be done at scheduled intervals like changing the oil/filter on a car. The consequence of not doing both eventually results in a repair cost that can exceed the value of the machine. Not including part procurement or getting the tools out, how much time does it take? About 10 minutes!

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 Posted: Sat Apr 2nd, 2005 06:52 pm
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edwardh1
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In the drawing what part number is the agitator seal?

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 Posted: Sat Apr 2nd, 2005 08:39 pm
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DJ
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There are two seals on the agitator shaft. The one in the diagram above is number 17. It is a typical rubber grommet and seals the agitator shaft to transmission housing. More of a dust seal.

The seal named "agitator shaft seal" is not pictured above. It is part of the tub assembly drawing and seals the agitator shaft to the fasteners on the base of the inner perforated laundry tub. This is the seal that keeps tub water off the top of the transmission, and the seal that I feel should be replaced periodically. It is accessable by removing the agitator.

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 Posted: Sun Apr 3rd, 2005 01:41 am
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Samurai Appliance Repair Man
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If your tub has leaked and the hub is rotted out, as Willie says (and this is very likely the case), then you need the tub stem seal and hub assembly and the tub bearing repair kit.

 



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 Posted: Sun Apr 3rd, 2005 03:04 am
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DJ
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Sounds like you are saying that the agitator shaft bearings and the tub bearings usually fail together; from water leaking through the agitator shaft seal.

Not a drop of water has ever leaked out of the tub bearing. The tub spins flawlessly.

As I said, if any water leaked through the seal, it was nill. I will watch the tub bearing for failure now, just in case.

Are you suggesting that you would replace the tub bearing whether or not it is defective?

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 Posted: Sun Apr 3rd, 2005 11:52 am
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Moostafa
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Are you suggesting that you would replace the tub bearing whether or not it is defective?


 

Hello, my suggestive friend.  Our dear and gracious host, Samurai Appliance Repair Man, has numerous laws of appliance repair, the first being, "Thou shalt not replace any part without proof that the part is bad."  You would acquire this proof by removing the inner basket from your washer so that you can feast your Ameedican squinties on the suspect parts.  In extreme cases, you would see something like this.  Another one of the Samurai's most excellent photos shows a comparison between two tub seals.  If the tub seal is bad, does it not follow that the tub bearing has been adversely affected?  Indeed, best practice dictates that both assemblies are changed as a pair, even if only one of them is visibly affected. 



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 Posted: Sun Apr 3rd, 2005 06:47 pm
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DJ
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Honorable Moostafa,

Your words confuse;

Indeed, best practice dictates that both assemblies are changed as a pair, even if only one of them is visibly affected.

contradicts the law you refer to:

"Thou shalt not replace any part without proof that the part is bad."

Respectfully,
DJ

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 Posted: Sun Apr 3rd, 2005 11:35 pm
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Moostafa
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Hello again, my contradictory friend.  I can understand your confusion; however, in my own clumsy way, I was attempting to help you benefit from my years of repairing appliances for the Mujahideen while we were repelling the Soviet infidels.  To satisfy your healthy and appropriate skepticism, I invite you to spend the 2+ hours required to replace the tub seal but omit the tub bearing (which takes only an additional 5 minutes).  This would be a most interesting experiment to see how many loads you could run in your washer before concluding that you need to repeat the entire tear down to replace the tub bearing.



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 Posted: Mon Apr 4th, 2005 01:49 am
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DJ
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Honorable Moostafa,

I have not replaced the tub seal or the tub bearing. Neither is broken. I replaced the agitator shaft seal; not even because it was defective, but because it was removed during service.... Just good practice. Only a 10 minute job, not 2+ hours.

Replacing the tub bearing and seal looks like it requires a special tool and appears difficult compared to replacing the agitator shaft.

Respectfully,
DJ

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 Posted: Mon Apr 4th, 2005 09:35 am
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Samurai Appliance Repair Man
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So, are you saying this fixed the problem or what?



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 Posted: Mon Apr 4th, 2005 05:13 pm
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edwardh1
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washer located inside or outside (garage etc)
and was the lid open or shut when not in use?

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