Any opinions on which is better for a new washing machine, belt-drive
or direct-drive? In a recent thread we were discussing my old Kenmore
direct-drive washer and how to fix it. I determined it needs a new
motor. I can get a used motor for $45 but who knows how long that
will last. A new motor is about $135 plus shipping. Plus another $20-
$30 for new "dogs" and a new coupler. A new Kenmore large capacity
washer from Sears is $299. The thing is it is a "steel belt drive"
and has a plastic case for the gearbox. I was under the impresson
that direct-drive had pretty much replaced belt drive washers due to
lower maintenance and easier repairs. There must be some reason why
new washers are belt drive. Any reason why a plastic case on the
gearbox is not as good as steel? On a direct-drive it seems like
there would be little stress on the seals and bearings but I'm not so
sure about a plastic box on a belt drive.
Our first direct drive kenmore lastes 23 years through 2 kids with
cloth diapers. When the pump failed I replaced the whole washer. We
replaced the drive coupling under waerranty, and sold it after about 5
years and bought LG front loaders..
And don't even think about "american made". The ONLY Canadian or US
built washer we could have bought was - wait for this - a BOSCH.
The general consensus seems to be that none of them are any good :-|
Well, the motor could fail on any of them. So could the water pump.
So could the gearbox.
Whoever paid $27 for the coupler the price at www.searspartsdirect.com
is only $15.49 and the Agitator Dogs (wasn't that a movie by Quinten
Tarentino?) are $7.99. I found both on eBay for less than $9 total
including shipping. BTW that's for the newer, steel reinforced
Meanwhile, back at the ranch....
I ended up getting a used motor (had them test it first) for $30 and
the washer works just fine now except it needs new dogs and the
coupler could use replacing. Thanks to everyone who helped and thanks
to others who posted long ago for Google to find. With the direct
drive all that is needed to replace the coupling (or the motor or
water pump or gearbox) is ten thumbs, a flat screwdriver, and a socket
wrench with a long extension. I don't think you could get the
agitator off with vice grips ;-)
The hard part now is to convince my wife she doesn't want a new
washer. Kinda tough this close to Christmas.
There is an appliance parts house here that has the couplers for under
$4.00. They are actually easier to replace than the belt on the old
Whirlpool/Kenmores IMO. Those were a major PITA, especially if you never
did one before (or often enough to remember how). I recently bought a
set of the dogs for the agitator for a friend's machine but haven't
gotten around to installing them yet. Forgot exactly what they cost. Do
all the direct drive machines have that "ratchet" setup on the agitator
or just certain models? My own machine is an old Montgomery Wards
(Norge) that my aunt gave me when she inhereted her mother's nearly new
machine. I've had it for about 30 years.It washes great, but is the
noisiest machine ever made. Years ago my sister had a similar one and
left it with the old house when they moved because it was so noisy. I
replaced the belt about 4 or 5 years ago--talk about easy! No tools at
all. Just had to lean the machine back enough to get my hand under it.
The motor has a spring tensioner on it so you just crank the belt on.
Hardest part was draining the machine. Belts NEVER break unless the
machine is full of water, and this one has a huge tub. Yeah, I know it
is ineffiecient from that standpoint, but it drains out into the yard,so
the water is not wasted. Larry
On Dec 2, 7:14 pm, email@example.com wrote:
Let me try this again (third try). I hope I have not triple-posted!
Howdy. I'm seeing a lot of familiar faces (nicks, anyway) here. Too
bad my ISP does not carry this NG and I have to resort to Google.
My Kenmore is probably about 10-12 years old. It has a steel (?)
housing for the gearbox. I took apart the gearbox when first trying
to determine what the problem was and it does have some plastic gears
but nothing looked worn or damaged. From what you are saying it would
be worth putting a new motor in it every 10 years, if needed, and
forget the new ones. I have some doubts about the switches and timer
lasting that long though. I originally bought this machine used for
something like $100 when my Whirlpool belt-drive washer wore out.
This washer was outside in the rain and snow for years while I was
trying to get a house built. Amazing that it still works. It was
covered when not in use. We used to fill it directly from the well
and then power it from a generator which may not have been good for
the motor. I never tried to repair the Whirlpool as it had been
subjected to my wife for over 10 years. This is my first washer
repair attempt and maybe I'll get better at analyzing these things but
so far it makes fixing a fuel-injected computerized car engine seem
When trying to determine if the motor was bad I also had to consider
the start switch on the motor, wiring in general, mechanical factors,
control switches, and the timer. Plus there is a small circuit board
next to the second rinse switch and I have no idea what it is for. I
was thinking it might be a motor speed controller that chopped the
waveforms like a dimmer switch since I had no slow speed on my motor.
Anyway, I'm learning. Slowly. I should probably get a generic washer
repair manual. Does Hayne's make one? I got a lot out of their small
engine repair manual.
A little update: I searched on eBay again and found lots of motors,
new and used, for reasonable prices and reasonable shipping. I didn't
find *any* the first time I looked. I also found timers, water pumps,
and other parts so it looks like it'll be possible to keep this thing
running for a very long time, assuming I can figure out what's wrong
with it ;-)
On Tue, 2 Dec 2008 12:53:35 -0800 (PST), " firstname.lastname@example.org"
If they last anything like mine did I have no complaint - that's the
old Kenmore - built by Inglis in Cambridge Ontario. It lasted 27 years
of hard use.
However, Inglis is gone. Owned by Whirlpool. Crap is now built in
Mexico of poor grade scrap - no matter if it is Kenmore, Whirlpool, or
- get this - MAYTAG.. Still a few built in germany (yes, electrolux is
in the same pile). Some frontloaders MAY still be built in Ohio.. Some
GE (crap) may still be american made, who knows.
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