Kenmore dryer's drum won't rotate


I have a Kenmore dryer model no. 110.96588210 (11 years without a single failure - up until now).
About 2 weeks ago, it stopped heating. Quick troubleshooting revealed a broken heating element. I replaced it, took out all lint from that internal area and everything seemed to be working again. :)
But after a week, I heard the motor attempting to perform its last turn and then... shut-off. Thereafter, any attempt to restart the dryer, will sound a motor trying to rotate something that is mechanically stuck.
Indeed, during this "lucky week" in which I had the dryer working, I heard the drum beating about once every rotation. I told my wife: "uh oh, I think the ball bearings are gone.".
However, I have no clue wether indeed the ball bearings are gone or whether it even this model has ball bearings. :)
Theoretically, yes - the motor could have gone - but my hunch tells me it is not the motor, but rather some kind of a mechanical problem. Moreover, when I try to rotate the drum by hand, it does not rotate easily at all...
Any tips or ideas about how to further troubleshoot this problem?
Thanks!
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Open the unit and look at the belt, maybe broken, but most likely the roller/rollers need to be replaced. I did mine about 4yrs ago. I don't think it cost alot and it was simple to do. While you have it apart I would replace the rollers and the belt. This is what I did and I think the dryer was about the same age. The dryer is still running and we bought it back in 1985.
-paul
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Wow! Paul, thank you so much for your quick answer. Indeed it helped me progress with my troubleshooting: I removed the lint filter assembly (I have what repairclinic.com calls "Electric Whirlpool Style Version 2") and was able to look closely at the various mechanical parts. There was A LOT of lint & hair still remaining there...
So, I removed some of it and especially cleaned the rollers. I reconnected to see whether it changes anything and, sure enough, the motor runs and rotates the drum. :)
However, this "beating noise" is till there and I know this is a sign for a more serious failure waiting to happen... (the last thing I want is a burning motor).
So, I think I will take your advice and while at that replace whatever needs to be replaced.
One question, though: How do I access the back roller? My arms are relatively short and I was having hard time reaching the back roller for lint removal, which means I will need more clearance to reach that part. Do I have to remove the drum? What is the proper way to do so?
For your reference, I am providing a URL to a drawing that is remarkably identical to my dryer: http://www.repairclinic.com/0100_16.asp
Thanks! Sam
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

You'll just have to pay attention to how the unit comes apart, but I beleive I took the drum out. Once out, I then replaced the rollers. Like I said, it's a simple job, but pay attention to how the unit comes apart and put it back together the way you took it apart.
I'm 99.99% sure it's the rollers. My dryer was banging also and I replaced the rollers. Take the part number down to a shop for the replacement parts. Then, with parts in hand, take the machine apart and put it back together.
-paul
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Thanks again, Paul. One little tip I need here: How do I take the drum out? The front cover of this dryer has two screws holding it at the bottom, which I managed to remove without any problem. However, the top part of this front cover (which seems connected to the drum) seems to be held to the rest of the unit by some "invisible screws or clips".
Any idea?
Thanks, Sam
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

On my Kenmore, after you remove the lint assembly the top swings up. Two clips hold the back of the top on, just remove then and swing the top out of the way. I think I removed the top completely. I then beleive I removed the thin belt which helped to remove the drum. I don't remember what else was holding the drum in. But once the drum was out the rollers were right there and came out without any problem. Sorry, it was awhile ago when I did this, but if you continue to have a problem I'll go down and take the cover off of mine.
-paul
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

OK - got it. It turns out that the console needs to be removed first, because it hides 3 screws that hold the top to the frame at the back. Once these 3 screws were removed, I had no problem sliding the top towards the front and take the top out completely. I think I passed the only serious hurdle here (tricky).
Thank you so much. I truly appreciate your help.
Sam
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

So, how did you make out? All apart, repaired, and put back together?
-paul
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Unfortunately, I celebrated too early: While I was able to take out the drum and confirm that the 2 back rollers are indeed stuck (due to lots of lint & hair in there), I found no easy way of accessing the nuts at the back that will allow me to remove them...
The back seems to be covered by yet another cover and removing screws that seem to hold the back cover to the back frame doesn't help much because... it seems like that two back parts are "glued" together. I am afraid to do more damage than good, so I am back here, to consult regarding what do in such case.
Thanks, Sam
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

OK - I found the "trick": There is no way around this without removing the drum completely. I was afraid to even touch the belt, but once I decided this is the right thing to do I simply did it, paying attention to how the belt was placed around the bottom pulley, so that I remember how to replace it.
Once the drum was out, I had access to the rollers and boy how stuck it was: not only it was full of lint & hair, it was also stuck to the shaft (I mistkanely called it "axel" earlier"). I used acetone to clean all this stickents and now the rollers turn like new. There is no need to buy new ones, so I saved about extra $50. :)
Now I have to put everything back. We'll see how this goes. I am documenting here every step, so that others like me who google for a solution, will find this. I decided to start fixing my appliances myself after SEARS charged me $239 for 20 minutes replacing the fan in my Kenmore refrigerator... I think that even a Ph.D. doesn't earn that much as an hourly rate...
Thanks, Sam
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Summary/Conclusion (after I managed to complete the repair to my (wife's) satisfaction):
In the process of attempting to remvoe the rollers to replace them, I discovered that... none of them needed replacement. It turns out that in addition to the lint & hair in all 4 rollers, the 2 back rollers couldn't rotate because there was some sticky material between them and the shafts. I bet this is old oil that has been "baked" for 11 years... I used acetone to clean it and, sure enough, they were all rolling again like new. So, I saved $50 (the cost of 4 new rollers). :)
The drum belt seems a little cracked, but I didn't order it yet. It will have to wait for some other time (or when it tears apart - whichever comes first).
Oh - and here is an important picture:
http://www.cheapapplianceparts.com/pho-repair/REP-DRY-BELT.jpg
Paul, thank you so much!
Sam
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