Maytag Washer Hangs

I tried googling this problem, but was unsuccessful.
I've got an early 80s Maytag washing machine that has started hanging when it finishes filling. The motor makes a loud hum sound.
If I bump the washer up off the front feet just a bit and back down, the washer kicks off and runs fine.
This is an intermittant problem. Doesn't always happen. Doesn't seem to be associated with load size.
There have never been any problems or repairs to the drive system on this machine.
I'm thinking the motor start capacitor may be shot. But a new motor is a pretty big expense.
Are there other things I should look at first?
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I'm afraid that is not enough information to know what design of Maytag washer you have (they're not all the same). The model number off it is what is needed to determine what design it is and which components of it might be the cause of problems.
You can read about locating the model and serial number tag on your appliances in the 'Repair Parts' section of my site linked at the bottom of this message.

That should indicate the motor is at least getting power.

Not generally a good idea to do.

If your washer's motor uses a start capacitor (not all do), it should be available separately from the motor. It being defective could stop the motor from running but generally wouldn't be affected by jarring the machine.
There is also a centrifugal switch on the motor which might be sticking. It could be affected by jarring of the washer. The switch if defective may be able to be replaced separately from the motor (not all are) but can cost in the area of 75-85% of cost of a whole motor which includes a new motor switch.
Lastly, on some Maytag models the motor moves back and forth in tracks. It may be possible that if sticking could cause stalling or the motor and may also be affected by jarring of the machine.
It may be possible to isolate if the problem is associated with the motor or not by removing the belt(s) from the motor and seeing if it then starts up without effort.
Dan O. - Appliance411.com http://ng.Appliance411.com/?ref411=Maytag+washer
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The model numbber is LA710

Yes. There is no problem with power to the motor. It's more that it is trying to turn and doesn't have enought torque. So either my bumping it is freeing some binding in the drivetrain or the motor itself is not delivering enough torque to start. But see below; more data...

The first time I tried this I had the front of the washer off. All I did was shake the motor a bit and it took off running.
I've played with it a bit more... so I have some more information.
I took the front panel off and let the washer fill on small load. Then I turned it to the start of the spin cycle. If I push in and pull out the knob to start and stop the spin cycle, the washer motor hangs probably 50% of the time.
With the motor hanging (and 60 hz humming) I shook it front to back along the spring loaded track by pressing on the translucent plastic top (the motor IS mounted to a slide track). Nothing. Kept humming. Then I tipped the motor on the track to the left. Nothing. Then I reached between the side washer wall and the motor and tipped it to the right. It immediately kicked off and began the spin cycle.
I repeated this on three different hangs and it happened every time.
So this is good hard data... I can make the motor take off when it is hung by applying light tipping pressure to the top plastic cover from the left side (washer panel-side) of the motor.

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Hi,
Sounds like the motor is going sour :(
http://www.repairclinic.com/referral.asp?R 3&N'54 Washing machine drive motor, two speed (120 volt).
http://www.applianceaid.com/images/maymotorrollers.JPG
Definetly clean and lubricate the motor rollers and track at the same time.
jeff.
Appliance Repair Aid http://www.applianceaid.com /
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Some versions of your washer model did have a motor start capacitor (see the following link).
Maytag LA710 Motor Start Capacitor http://ng.appliance411.com/data.php?rcC3314
On versions which didn't, one could be added. A kit was made to allow the upgrade (see this link).
Maytag Washer Motor Start Capacitor *Kit* http://ng.appliance411.com/data.php?rcC5472
It really sounds like your motor probably has warn bearings which is causing the problem. Replacing the motor may still be worthwhile if the rest of the machine is in decent shape (not rusting, etc.) as your Maytag washer design ("Dependable Care") is the one most service technicians prefer for longevity and the one Maytag is famous for.
Maytag LA710 Motor http://ng.appliance411.com/data.php?rc '54
Maytag 'Dependable Care' Washer Manual http://ng.appliance411.com/data.php?rcB1563
Or adding a start capacitor (if one isn't already present and good) *may* allow you to get a little more life out of the existing motor but if you want to keep it going for a while yet (no reason it can't last years), replacing the motor is likely the way to go (if just an open capacitor isn't contributing to or causing the current problem).
JMO
Dan O. - Appliance411.com http://ng.Appliance411.com/?ref411=Maytag+washer
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Thanks so much for the help...
The more I think about it, the more I tend to agree. I can't see that a capacitor problem would be so specific as to how the motor was jostled.
But I could definately see a situation where a worn bearing/bushing could cause the motor to bind, and could be cleared by tipping the motor in a specific manner.
The washer is in good shape. And I dread having to buy a new one, with all the electronic stuff. So I think a motor replacement is a good investment.
The only risk I know of is that the nozzle on the tub that is the bottom level sensor connection has lost some metal due to rust. I noticed this when I had to blow out crap from the level sensor impulse line. So I might be in for an outer tub at some point.
---Steve
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Maybe a thin coat of some sort of epoxy will help to extend its life a while longer? I would think at least rust paint would be in order for it?
You might also consider replacing the motor slides at the same time and belts if you're going to hang onto it for a while? Both are fairly common service items on that design of washer.
Maytag Dependable Care Motor Slide Kit http://ng.appliance411.com/data.php?rc '91
Drive Belt http://ng.appliance411.com/data.php?rcC7301
Pump Belt http://ng.appliance411.com/data.php?rcC7300
Belt Set (1 of each above) http://ng.appliance411.com/data.php?rc@2507
Dan O. - Appliance411.com http://ng.Appliance411.com/?ref411=Maytag+washer
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