Direct Drive vs Belt Drive for New Washer

Any opinions on which is better for a new washing machine, belt-drive or direct-drive? In a recent thread we were discussing my old Kenmore direct-drive washer and how to fix it. I determined it needs a new motor. I can get a used motor for $45 but who knows how long that will last. A new motor is about $135 plus shipping. Plus another $20- $30 for new "dogs" and a new coupler. A new Kenmore large capacity washer from Sears is $299. The thing is it is a "steel belt drive" and has a plastic case for the gearbox. I was under the impresson that direct-drive had pretty much replaced belt drive washers due to lower maintenance and easier repairs. There must be some reason why new washers are belt drive. Any reason why a plastic case on the gearbox is not as good as steel? On a direct-drive it seems like there would be little stress on the seals and bearings but I'm not so sure about a plastic box on a belt drive.
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We had a direct drive Kenmore that only lasted a few years with just 2 adults in the house hold. The underwater seal went in the agitator destroying the transmission.

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Which model was it?
Hydrowave model?
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On Mon, 1 Dec 2008 18:21:41 -0500, "Art"

Our first direct drive kenmore lastes 23 years through 2 kids with cloth diapers. When the pump failed I replaced the whole washer. We replaced the drive coupling under waerranty, and sold it after about 5 years and bought LG front loaders..
And don't even think about "american made". The ONLY Canadian or US built washer we could have bought was - wait for this - a BOSCH.
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On Dec 1, 7:11 pm, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

LMAO A few years ago I bought a Nissan picup. It was made in USA. My Fords were all made in Mexico.
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Ulysses wrote:

More importantly, the direct drive is cheaper to manufacture. Most consumers place more importance on a low price than maintainability.
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Any kluts with 10 thumbs can change the direct drive coupler on a kenmore. As long as he owns a few tools. A flat screwdriver and a vicegrip don't quite count.
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Ulysses wrote:

$150.00 for parts to repair the direct drive failure vs $6.00 for a new belt.
Hmm. Let me think...
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I just replaced the direct drive coupling on my Whirlpool washer for $15 using a flat screwdriver and a phillips to get the cabinet off.
Worth it for me.
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wrote:

you forgot you still need the motor.
The coupler is about $27 and usually outlasts the belt about 2 or 3 to 1. And the labour involved is not substantially different.
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On Dec 2, 3:23�pm, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

sears service is the most costly way to get any appliance repaired.
most likely other parts will fail so belt doesnt matter much
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The general consensus seems to be that none of them are any good :-|
Well, the motor could fail on any of them. So could the water pump. So could the gearbox.
Whoever paid $27 for the coupler the price at www.searspartsdirect.com is only $15.49 and the Agitator Dogs (wasn't that a movie by Quinten Tarentino?) are $7.99. I found both on eBay for less than $9 total including shipping. BTW that's for the newer, steel reinforced coupler.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch....
I ended up getting a used motor (had them test it first) for $30 and the washer works just fine now except it needs new dogs and the coupler could use replacing. Thanks to everyone who helped and thanks to others who posted long ago for Google to find. With the direct drive all that is needed to replace the coupling (or the motor or water pump or gearbox) is ten thumbs, a flat screwdriver, and a socket wrench with a long extension. I don't think you could get the agitator off with vice grips ;-)
The hard part now is to convince my wife she doesn't want a new washer. Kinda tough this close to Christmas.
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There is an appliance parts house here that has the couplers for under $4.00. They are actually easier to replace than the belt on the old Whirlpool/Kenmores IMO. Those were a major PITA, especially if you never did one before (or often enough to remember how). I recently bought a set of the dogs for the agitator for a friend's machine but haven't gotten around to installing them yet. Forgot exactly what they cost. Do all the direct drive machines have that "ratchet" setup on the agitator or just certain models? My own machine is an old Montgomery Wards (Norge) that my aunt gave me when she inhereted her mother's nearly new machine. I've had it for about 30 years.It washes great, but is the noisiest machine ever made. Years ago my sister had a similar one and left it with the old house when they moved because it was so noisy. I replaced the belt about 4 or 5 years ago--talk about easy! No tools at all. Just had to lean the machine back enough to get my hand under it. The motor has a spring tensioner on it so you just crank the belt on. Hardest part was draining the machine. Belts NEVER break unless the machine is full of water, and this one has a huge tub. Yeah, I know it is ineffiecient from that standpoint, but it drains out into the yard,so the water is not wasted. Larry
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On Tue, 2 Dec 2008 17:36:02 -0800 (PST), Ulysses

How old is your Kenmore? If it's 10 years old it will oullive 2 or 3 new ones - and if it's 15, it might STILL outlive 4 new ones.
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On Dec 2, 7:14 pm, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Let me try this again (third try). I hope I have not triple-posted!
Howdy. I'm seeing a lot of familiar faces (nicks, anyway) here. Too bad my ISP does not carry this NG and I have to resort to Google.
My Kenmore is probably about 10-12 years old. It has a steel (?) housing for the gearbox. I took apart the gearbox when first trying to determine what the problem was and it does have some plastic gears but nothing looked worn or damaged. From what you are saying it would be worth putting a new motor in it every 10 years, if needed, and forget the new ones. I have some doubts about the switches and timer lasting that long though. I originally bought this machine used for something like $100 when my Whirlpool belt-drive washer wore out. This washer was outside in the rain and snow for years while I was trying to get a house built. Amazing that it still works. It was covered when not in use. We used to fill it directly from the well and then power it from a generator which may not have been good for the motor. I never tried to repair the Whirlpool as it had been subjected to my wife for over 10 years. This is my first washer repair attempt and maybe I'll get better at analyzing these things but so far it makes fixing a fuel-injected computerized car engine seem easy.
When trying to determine if the motor was bad I also had to consider the start switch on the motor, wiring in general, mechanical factors, control switches, and the timer. Plus there is a small circuit board next to the second rinse switch and I have no idea what it is for. I was thinking it might be a motor speed controller that chopped the waveforms like a dimmer switch since I had no slow speed on my motor. Anyway, I'm learning. Slowly. I should probably get a generic washer repair manual. Does Hayne's make one? I got a lot out of their small engine repair manual.
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A little update: I searched on eBay again and found lots of motors, new and used, for reasonable prices and reasonable shipping. I didn't find *any* the first time I looked. I also found timers, water pumps, and other parts so it looks like it'll be possible to keep this thing running for a very long time, assuming I can figure out what's wrong with it ;-)
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On Tue, 2 Dec 2008 12:53:35 -0800 (PST), " snipped-for-privacy@aol.com"

If they last anything like mine did I have no complaint - that's the old Kenmore - built by Inglis in Cambridge Ontario. It lasted 27 years of hard use.
However, Inglis is gone. Owned by Whirlpool. Crap is now built in Mexico of poor grade scrap - no matter if it is Kenmore, Whirlpool, or - get this - MAYTAG.. Still a few built in germany (yes, electrolux is in the same pile). Some frontloaders MAY still be built in Ohio.. Some GE (crap) may still be american made, who knows.
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replying to HeyBub, bb wrote: hmm....let me think....6 bucks for the belt and how much for the repair guy to come to the house? I don't do repairs.
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On 10/03/2016 07:44 PM, bb wrote:

Service calls are approximately $110 for the first hour.
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