Questions about noisy Kenmore dryer

I have Sears Kenmore electric dryer I'm working on. It's 16 years old, but it's been good to us and we're wanting to keep it for a while longer. The shell, drum, heater, etc. is in good condition, but the seals were going out and it was somewhat noisy.
I replaced the front and rear drum seals (they were in bad shape), lint chute seals, belt and idler pully. The motor, blower wheel, and support rollers seemed to be in good shape. In particular, the rollers seemed smooth, no obvious wear on the shafts or wobble, so I cleaned and oiled them and put them back in. The blower blades were all intact, no chips or anything missing, so again I cleaned it and put it back. I blew the lint out of the motor, the shaft seemed to turn smoothly, the bearings and belt pully looked ok. I didn't see anywhere to oil it.
However, after putting it all back together, even though it's definately smoother that it was, it's still noisy. I know it's hard to explain it on the net, but it's similar in pattern to a car motor fast idling (not quite as loud, though <G>). Since the pattern is fairly fast (much faster than the drum rotation speed), I don't think it's something with the drum or seals.
I don't have a problem with replacing some more parts, but I don't want to replace anything else if I don't have to (especially the motor), but I'm not sure what to try next: rollers, blower, or motor.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Mike O.
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In case you give up, COnsumer Reports rated a $350 Kenmore dryer a best buy and we bought one for my parents and it does a terrific job. Probably a lot better than your 16 year old dryer at getting out wrinkles and turning off when the job is done without overcooking your clothes.

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Actually, the dryer's been working OK as far as drying the clothes properly. That's one of the reasons I'm willing to spend the money to keep it running. It's just that the mechanical noise is getting worse and I'd like to get it fixed before it fails completely.

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I put new rollers (*) on my 29 year old Kenmore, and that eliminated about 80% of the noise it made. It used to sound like it was full of softballs.
The old ones had apparently gotten really hard, with a few flat spots. Imagine that, after only 2.5 decades. Cheap junk.
* = I'm not sure if there was 1 or 2. Might have been just one. It's been a few years.

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Yeah, that Kenmore stuff is really bad... After only 16 years, two house moves, and it's acting up.. <G>
Seriously, we've really been happy with the dryer, that's why I'm willing to sink some repair money into it, instead of just pitching and starting over.
I could kick myself that I didn't replace the rollers while I had everything apart. Thinking about it, the rubber parts did seem to be pretty solid, not very flexible, I figured that was what they were supposed to be like. I was looking more at the wear on the axles, not really the condition of "tire", although I did look for obvious problems on them (chunks missing, etc.). I've also since noticed that every "maintenance kit" for dryers I see on the web includes the belt, pully, and rollers. That should have told me something..
Oh well, back to the appliance parts store tomorrow.. At least I know the dryer's nice and clean inside, and the seals are good. I'm also getting experienced on taking it apart and re-assembly..
- Mike

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Mike O. wrote:

the blower fan would be going faster than the drum... it is in speed with the motor.. might be something like lint, dirt, etc. in the area of the blower thats hitting the turbine blade that is moving with the motor.. easy way to tell is to remove the drum and then run the motor with the blower still attached to it to see if it still makes the same noise..... might even be the sheetmetal around the blower fan that is misaligned and making the noise?????
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I know it's not dirt or other debris on the blades, that blower is clean enough to eat off of <G>. I had the entire system apart and cleaned everything, including all the ductwork. The fan itself was scrubbed in the sink. I also examined the blades, there were no nicks or other flaws that should cause problems.
I'm going to try running the motor without the drum belt to see if the sound is gone, but I don't know how accurate that will be with the motor basically unloaded.
At this point, I'm leaning toward the rollers. Of the more commonly replaced high wear parts (belt, pully, and rollers), the rollers are the only part I didn't replace. Besides, the rollers are easier to get to than the motor & blower <G>..
- Mike O.
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Hi Mike,
Without a model number I'll assume it's the most common 29 inch (cab. width) dryer. The short answer is: replace the drum rollers. A set of 2, part # 349241T, is only about 15 bucks.
These rollers can *look* OK, but be slightly out of round, have a little too much bearing play, etc, and can cause a surprising amount of noise
If yours is a 27 inch model, the problem's compounded bc there are rollers in front in addition to the 29's two rear ones. And be aware that the 27" rollers are a different part number, #8536974, only slightly more expensive each, but there are more of 'em.
Hope that's of some help.
God bless,
Dave Harnish Dave's Repair Service New Albany, PA www.DavesRepair.com snipped-for-privacy@sosbbs.com 570-363-2404
I'm a 32-year pro appliance technician, and love sharing what I've learned - in a FREE Monthly Appliance Tips Newsletter. (Back issues now posted here too!) www.DavesRepair.com
John 3:3

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Yes, I'm going to replace the rollers (it's the 29 inch model) tomorrow. I also went back and looked at the area on the drum that the rollers ride in. There are numerous small uneven spots with old glue and other stuff on the metal. I've used a small fine wire brush in my drill and now the track is smooth as glass. I'm getting the rollers tomorrow and will install them.
While I had the drum off, I ran the motor/blower without the drum, it's very smooth sounding and there doesn't seem to be any wobble in the motor shaft.
Mike

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SUCCESS!!
I replaced the rollers, cleaned out the "track" area on the drum that the rollers run in, re-assembled the dryer, turned it on.. Smooth as glass. Just a nice, even hum, and the light sound of the air through the vent.
My 12 year old son who's been helping on this was amazed. "I always thought the way it sounded before was the way dryers were supposed to sound.."
I think cleaning out the roller track on the drum helped a lot. In addition to the residue (apparently from the previous rollers) there were several hard spots of glue from the original seal. Thinking back, there's allways been some unevenness to the sound of the dryer. It's probably smoother now that when it was new.
It was also nice to hear the impressed tone in my wife's voice when she heard the dryer. Don't get me wrong, she's appreciative of the things I do around the house, but I think the dryer repair hit a little closer to home than say, finishing the workbench in the garage <G>..
I'd like to thank everyone for the comments and other assistance.
- Mike O.

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