How can I remove washing machine agitator?

I have an very old Kenmore top loader which after 20+ years still does a great job. Over the years I've personally replaced the automatic timer and the pump when they failed. However, lately I've noticed large oil stains on my clothes after they have been washed. The stains are not black and aren't noticeable until the garments are dry. The oily stains are most conspicuous on dark colors. Other posters in this forum have reported that, upon removal of the agitator assembly, they found an oily goop on the agitator shaft . Cleaning this gunk off the shaft seems to have resolved the greasy stain problem.
Can someone please provide instructions on how to remove the agitator from this machine. Do I need any special tools? Thank you.
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Baylynx wrote:

Agitator itself just slides on splined shaft. At that age it's undoubtedly "growed" on there and isn't going to be easy to pull in all likelihood. Brute force and awkwardness are about the only tools as it's rarely possible to get any leverage in any place that will do any good and the edge of the agitator itself away from the center is generally to weak to use as a pry point, anyway.
Some have a removable cap at the top that can either be unscrewed or pried out depending on the make/model -- if so, you can sometimes from that point actually see the splined shaft and get some solvent down there to help.
Unfortunately, ime, the "goop" has always signified a transmission shaft seal failure and nothing less than replacing that seal will solve the problem...
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"I have an very old Kenmore top loader which after 20+ years still does a great job."
You mean it still does a great job other than leaving large oily stains on your clothes. What would you consider a lousy job?
Anyway, even though you did not provide a model number, here's a generic suggestion for older Kenmores:
Remove the top cap on the agitator (probably screws off) Remove the large nut under the cap Pull the agitator straight up.
P.S. I've heard rumors of a set screw on the agitator, but I never had one on either of my Kenmores.
P.P.S. get rid of you 20 YO machine and buy a front loader - Less water, less detergent, less dry time (meaning less gas or electric usage), gentler on clothes, etc. etc.
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My 7 yr old Kenmore front loader model 417 just locked up. Bad main seal and bearing after only 7 years!
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Sometimes the top center has a thread off cap that reveals a couple screws. Other times the entire agiator just pulls straight up.
Kenmore (sears) is very good about parts diagrams and parts lists on the net. I'd suggest check the Sears web site for a parts diagram, that might have more information.
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----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I've got a Kenmore that was built in 1994, so it may or may not be the same as yours. I have a cap that pries off the agitator -- you can just barely see a line, but it's there. When the cap is off, then looking down in, there is a nut/washer combination that unscrews. With the nut off, I can just pull up on the agitator and it will come right out. I think the first time it stuck a bit, but not too badly.
HTH, Mark
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Got it off by unscrewing the cap first, then the agitator just pulled out... just as suggested. There was definitely two types of gunk on the shaft. Near the top of the shaft there was a waxy ball of crud. Down at the bottom of the shaft there was black grease oozing out. I cleaned them both and reassembled. The washer still works, but that black grease probably means that the transmission seal has failed and its days are numbered. I'm not fond of front loader washers, so I'll probably shop around for another top loader.
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which brand/model top loader you think you will get?
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