What could (gradually?) kill a dryer's motor?

I have a Kenmore dryer (model no. 110.96588210) that starts only when cool, and sometimes turns off during a cycle when the motor heats up... and always has a deep groaning sound when starting up...
I was advised by one of the experts in this newsgroup that it needs a new motor (thank you, Todd).
After replacing the support roller wheels (all 4) - which was much needed, as each of the older ones was about 1-2 mm shorter (worn out) in diameter, the dryer's drum rotates much more smoothly and is certainly less noisy - but... the problem described above still exists.
So, I came to the conclusion that the expert is right and I am about to order a new motor for my dryer.
However, as someone who used to be familiar with the theory behind the operation of electric motors, I am curious what could make this motor behave so strangely. Isn't a motor either "dead" or "alive"? I could understand an unusual load (i.e. one that the motor was not designed for) overloading the motor and leading to its thermal protection to shut it off. But now, all is supposedly well - so why would it overheat?
Could this be indicating some additional *mechanical* problem, stemming from some wear in the motor assembly itself? (after all, it is 12 years old)
Just curious. I would appreciate any tip or hint in this regard.
Thanks, Sam
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Bearings are certainly one possibility that are mechanical and certainly could be a contributor. A weak start cap (assuming it has one) and/or failed centrifugal switch could be another....there's a veritable plethora of things that can be contributors...
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dpb, thank you for your answer.
The motor in my dryer is P/N 279787 and can be seen here:
http://www.pcappliancerepair.com/cgi-bin/detail.cgi?item '9787&brand=WPL
Does such a motor have bearings?
Can you see from the picture/description whether it has a start cap?
Does it have a centrifugal switch?
I am also curious because when I replaced the (12 year old) belt with a new one, the new one that I bought was somewhat narrower. I wonder whether the new belt could be any contributor to the motor's failure?
Thanks, Sam
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Does it have a shaft? Presuming it does, the shaft has to turn on _something_...

... Don't know...look on the parts list(s), etc., do picture(s) show the giveaway can? May be internal...many don't, some do, it's just one possibility...
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Thanks for the help so far. In the meanwhile I discovered the following incredible resource:
http://applianceguru.com/forum2/1263-1.html
Which describes exactly my problem - and has nice instructions how to replace the motor.
Sam
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Every motor has bearings. Some are sleeve type, others are ball or roller type. Over time the bearing wear out, lubrication dries up and the motor has more frictional resistance to overcome. Larger motors can be rebuilt, but most smaller ones are throw-aways.
Some motors can be lubricated and will last for many years running 24/7, others are sealed and required no lubrication.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Check Craigslist for the closest large city. There's at least one free dryer every week (at least there is in mine - Houston).
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:-)
Thanks for the tip. I can actually afford buying a new one, but if I replace my defective dryer where is the fun in reparing it? :-)
Regards, Sam
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On Wed, 08 Aug 2007 18:05:46 -0700, " snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com"

And then it won't match the washer. I can't stand when it doesn't match the washer. I can't sleep at night. In the day, I'm tired and I have trouble steering the car.
You know it is traditional that the washer match the dryer. It goes back thousands of years. The same woman who washes the clothes hangs them on the line.
I don't think they have free dryers in Baltimore, but otoh, I've never looked. I will look if mine ever breaks, although they don't have many parts and it's probably easier to fix it than to lug a whole dryer home.

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LOL - I can't stand it either when doesn't match the washer. Last time when I tried to insert the screw into the washer it didn't match - the screw was too thick for the washer. I had to replace the woman. :-)
Sam
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wrote:

Ummmm, where is that previous washer, exactly...
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Very possibly worn motor berrings (the sleeve around the motor shaft) and also likely the lubricating oil dried out.
My very old Whirlpool washing machine came with my home, the last folks left it cause it was broken. The main electric motor needed to be cleaned and oiled.
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