Replacing the bearings on a front-loading washer


Hello,
My 6 year old Kenmore front loading clothes washer was getting louder during the spin cycle, so I figured the bearings were worn. I tore it down to remove the two bearings holding the spin basket shaft, and the forward-most bearing was rough and rusty. Apparently the shaft seal between the bearings and the wash tub had partially failed, allowing some water into the bearing. Everything else was in good shape, so I guess I caught the problem early.
I've ordered replacement bearings and a replacement seal, but I have a few questions about reassembling the machine:
1) What is the proper grease/lubricant to use in each of the following places: between the bearings/seal and their metal housings, between the bearings and the shaft, and most importantly between the shaft and the seal? I have lithium grease on hand if that would work.
2) What is the proper glue to use for connecting rubber to painted metal? There is a rubber boot that connects the wash tub to the front face of the machine for the door to seal against. It was glued to the front frame in several discrete places around its perimetter, I guess so you don't dislodge the boot while shoving clothes in the washer. I need to reglue it.
There's no information in the service manual, since Kenmore sells the entire rear tub half with the bearings installed as a single unit. But that is alot more expensive than just replacing the bearings, plus the OEM bearings were not a very high quality.
Thanks, Wayne
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I can't speak to the grease question, but I'd use a little Dow 732 to reattach the boot. I love that stuff.
Dow Corning Silicone Adhesives/Sealants
Form a tough, rubbery solid in 24 hours at room temperature (unless otherwise stated). Not for concrete, mortar, or under water (unless otherwise stated). These products are VOC compliant in all 50 states as of October 1, 2008.
732 Multipurpose For sealing, bonding, and gasketing. Bonds metal, plastic, ceramic, glass, natural and synthetic fiber, silicone resin, vulcanized silicone rubber, and wood
http://www.mcmaster.com/#dow-corning-732-adhesives/sealants/=8bxjby
I'd just make sure the paint is still solid after the removal of the boot. There's no adhesive in the world that's going to work if whatever it's appplied to is loose.
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Thanks for the suggestion--RTV (room-temperature volcanizing) silicone seems like the way to go. I'll get myself some, although probably not the Dow 732, as I don't think it comes in small quantities.
As for the grease question, any takers? I'll probably just use the white lithium grease. There is a concern that it is petroleum based, so it can degrade rubber, but the seal I am using is marked "oil seal" so it is presumably a resistant material. :-)
Cheers, Wayne
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On 08/09/10 01:08 pm, Wayne Whitney wrote:

Ours is maybe 9 years old and is getting noisy too. Where did you find the bearings and seal? What are the part numbers? -- just in case ours are the same.
Perce
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I was able to find online the service manual for my machine, it helped with tearing down the machine. The job was a very involved, several hour affair. For replacing the bearings (instead of the whole rear tub half), the best resource was this long thread:
<http://www.applianceblog.com/mainforums/washers/237-fixed-drum-gasket-rear-shell-bearings.html .
As for the parts for this class of machine, they are a 6306RS2 bearing, a 6307RS2 bearing, and a 40x80x10 double lip metric seal. I ended up getting mine from bearingsdirect.com (no affiliation). You'll also need a replacement tub seal since you have to split the wash tub halves. Plus the materials I asked about in my OP.
I got the bearings today and the rear tub half is now reassembled. It spins quietly, yay! Now I'm just waiting for the tub seal and bottom supports (shocks), then I can reassemble the machine and see if it still works. :-)
Cheers, Wayne
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On 08/10/10 07:50 pm, Wayne Whitney wrote:

<http://www.applianceblog.com/mainforums/washers/237-fixed-drum-gasket-rear-shell-bearings.html .
Thanks for that, Wayne.
What was wrong with the shocks that they needed replacing too?
BTW, when we had the control module replaced under warranty, the service guy said that replacing the tub is a two-person job costing almost as much as a new washer. I hope that I can manage the job on my own -- as you did -- but I'll need help to get the dryer down from on top and put it back.
Perce
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One of them was cracked where it attaches to the bottom of the case. I decided to replace them both for good measure.

Sears would have done it for me for $129 flat labor plus around $170 for the rear tub half. At the time I wasn't 100% sure what was wrong with it, so I decided to disassemble it myself.

Yeah, I could have used a second person for moving the stack out of the closet, unstacking the dryer, and then moving the washer to an area with workspace on all sides.
After that you probably won't need a second person. I disassembled the machine the way the service manual suggested, not sure if the thread I referenced follows that procedure. The drum assembly is very heavy and most of the weight of the washer, because of the tub, metal basket and the concrete counterweights. The procedure involves disconnecting everything from the drum except the top spring supports, tipping the washer on its back (watch the drum, it sweighs now), disconnecting the springs, and then lifting the case off the drum assembly. That way you never have to handle the full weight of the machine.
Cheers, Wayne
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