General Clothes Dryer Disassembly Question

Hi: A friend has asked me to repair her electric clothes dryer. Problem- She dropped an object (possibly a pen) into the lint trap jamming the drum. She has done this before and the service tech repared it in 15 minutes (she says). She seems to think that I, the inexperienced, can do it in this time too. I told here to be prepared for a long day :-) She is trying to avoid the service call by employing me for coffee and donuts.
First- I am a reasonably mechanically/electrically competent person and will not be electrocuting myself but have never taken apart a dryer. She says, based on past service history that the face of the dryer needs to be removed and the drum removed to remove the foreign object. Of course, I will see if the offending object can be fished out of the lint trap orifice before attempting major surgery.
I have never done this so any hints as to how to proceed would be appreciated. I cannot see how to get the front of the dryer off. I have not yet seen her dryer but looking at my own and they seem to all be similar there is a seem but are there hidden clips behind the outer cases ? I'm guessing the top comes off first. Are any special tools required as she has none of her own. I have a good selection.
Thanks in advance for any and all replies. John Buffett
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http://www.bobvila.com/FixItClub/Task/Repairing/FIG_ClothesDryer.html
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Warning!
Caution!
Beware!
Read the FIRST step, make sure you perform that task FIRST!!!
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FIRST, UNPLUG the dryer BEFORE you attempt to service it!!!!!
Depends on brand, some units the top unclips and hinges up and towards the back...then you unscrew/remove the front panel. Others you have to remove the front then unscrew the top.
The belt can be tricky if you don't check it out first! See how it goes around the pulley and motor.
Most are pretty simple, check the front glides, belt, and the back rollers for wear.
Good Luck
~kjpro~
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John wrote:

Funny you should ask. About 4 weeks ago I decide to pot the lid and vacuum the lint out of mine and wouldn't you know, the nozzle on the hose fell off and I could find it.
Anyway, first you pop the lid which is held down by two metal clips on the front edge about 4-6 inches from each side. The easy way to do this is run a putty knife along the seam between the lid and the front wall to locate the clips, then put the putty knife against the clip and push (toward the back). It may take a bit of fooling around if you've never done this. Then the lid lifts up.
With the lid up you can see how everything fits together. The front panel will probably be held by two screws one on each side near the top. Take those out, pull the top of the front panel toward you (just a little) and lift up (the bottom of the front panel likely has two slots that slide over a metal projection. The wire for the door light, likely is on one side so you don't have to disconnect any wires, just swing the door over to that side.
If you are lucky, the ducting for the lint trap will be right in front so that there will be no need to remove the tub.
Doing the above should take about 5 minutes (including moving the washer out so you can get to it and unplugging it).
OTOH, two things concern me. I don't know how a pen or pencil in the lint trap could jam the drum and I don't see why you would have to remove the drum. So maybe the pencil is jammed elsewhere.
To move the drum you need to move the belt off a pulley to get slack. The drum usually just sits and slide on non movable parts (felt in older dryers, nylon straps in newer models). The back end may be different, but you should be able to figure it out. Then you can pick the drum up and move it out of the way. Rather than removing the drum it might be quicker to just remove the appropriate side panel.
Nonetheless, if you are mechanically inclined you will have no problem, but it might take you an hour to do what the technician did in 15 minutes. All you need is a thin tool (like a putty knife) for the top clips, a phillips and a straight screw driver, and if you are unlucky, a socket wrench and a set of sockets. Good luck.
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There are multiple websites that offer brand-specific DIY help. Here are a couple...
http://www.applianceaid.com / http://appliancehelp.hypermart.net /
Here are a couple of forums dedicated to appliance repair....
http://www.appliance411.com/forum / http://www.selfhelpforums.com/forumdisplay.php?f=9
Mr Fixit eh
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Thanks all for the hints. Did the job. Just a pen in the fan. Did not have to take the drum out but did anyway to clean up. Pretty simply machine. Thanks again. John

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