My Details about "no spin" Kenmore or Whirlpool "Motor Coupling" washer
The follow is stuff I didn't find on the Internet after what I learned;
while fixing my Washing machine.
We purchased a Kenmore Washer and Dryer (consumer recommended) set in
In 2001, a large load broke the "Motor Coupling" which I read is common
and just about the only weak point of this time developed 1996 washer.
This original (1st one) coupling (coupler or whatever) shredded the
rubber center piece.
The 2001 $10 replacement piece (2nd one) is a new design(one of many)
of the triangular type, not like the factory included parts drawing and
round disc. I have been told the rubber is of harder and better design.
This lasted until now, December 2006.
The 2001 park broke (now 2006) with a new blanket for the kids that was
made of some super absorbent material that I could hardly lift out of
the washer after getting wet. We had often washed king bedding with no
trouble. The thing of note is that the rubber center piece did NOT
shred and only had its holes stretched. The side (of two plastic piece)
did NOT break off at the pins but did split the plastic base that goes
on the motor and transmission shafts. Though it did NOT ream out the
plastic around the shaft. The plastic flat piece just broke like as if
it were a plate that was cut from top to bottom, not from side to side.
I think this was an FSP brand.
So now I purchased a (3rd short lived) "Supco" (after market?) brand
motor coupling set for $8 shipped. As soon as I washed a load of towels
(as usual) it reamed out one of the plastic pieces around where it
slides on the the shaft. I've now seen reference on the Internet saying
after market couplers don't last. The "FSP" Factory Specified Part"
label ones instead, are supposed to be the best and I think that is
what lasted from 2001 to 2006 for me.
I have noticed an after market brand that has a metal plate in the
rubber part too. I've also noticed stitched core reinforced rubber
center pieces. These are sometimes referred to as commercial grade or
heavy duty or super heavy duty. Just based on what I have personally
seen, the (newer) harder rubber part is sufficient and the problem is
I read an OPINION that contrary to popular belief, these things do NOT
need to break (to prevent damage) but just provide rubber cushioning
(and maybe from tearing your clothes). The Idea being that the breaker
would trip before damage. I do not know. Yet, I do think a stronger one
is in order.
I also read that stuff like torn towels can wrap under the agitator and
break the coupling trying to turn the stuck clothes it its agitator
movement (like a full load of towels).
Sears order center (call up till Midnight) was only able to tell me
that their $14 part was a substitute. I wanted to know what was better
about it and the rep was clueless. It may be possible to call sears and
learn the newest part number of these upgraded couplings.
I found out that the number ending in "A" currently means the center of
the plastic pieces has a new METAL sleeve well embedded into the
plastic (not the rubber piece); where it slides on the motor shaft.
This takes care of the reaming out problem.
Note:(Addendum to other on-line repair how to sites) Put the plastic
pieces all the way on the shaft first (new metal sleeves require
moderate hammering to the stops on the shafts (where you can see the
shaft all the way in) so I went ahead and disconnected and removed the
motor for better access. Make sure the four rubber motor face bushings
are good too. This takes some load off the coupling or at least reduced
play that may snap your plastic. I turned mine around by hand. Don't
forget to reconnect the motor (4) connectors and don't forget the
screws in the motor brackets after you are done with the couplings).
Then slip the rubber piece on the motor first and line it up with the
one on the transmission; as you clip the (heavy) motor in, top first
and add the screws. Continue with putting every thing back together.
In 2001 I went up from the bottom but that was working upside down and
moving the heavy washer and dealing with drain hose leaks. Do not
disturb your washer. Do it right. If you have plastic cover on the
sides of your washer controls, place a large flat head screw driver
under them and gently pry up from TOP TO BOTTOM (floor to ceiling)
direction, not side to side. Then you can get to the two screws that
allow you to roll the control panel back and that is what those plastic
hinges on the back are for. DO NOT unscrew them or anything on the back
wall. (WATCH FOR EXTRA HOSES around the lid on deluxe models after
un-clipping the washer surround),
So, their are many "grades" of these couplings and I found no other
information explaining the following.
1. The original piece of crap with the round plastic pieces as in my
factory included spec drawing.
2. All the various updated ones that follow.
A. Harder rubber piece (I guess this is good enough)
B. Threading in the rubber thus reinforced
C. Metal plate inside the rubber (after market?)
Plastic ends: (technically not exactly the same but inversed) New
A. After market (same manufacture? Inferior plastic?) Reamed out on
B. Nice metal sleeved - well embedded FSP brand Sears recommended (No
I don't work for them)
I decided the newer and harder rubber piece was fine enough and wasn't
the problem for me. In any case, the plastic could break. I wanted the
metal sleeved plastic pieces because the Supco after market brand
reamed out on me.
I called a local parts shop and was informed they had learned, the part
with an "A" at it's numbered end was the latest recommended and sleeved
(FSP brand) and it was $14 bucks. I got it for $12 cash and it is
working fine. I'm sure I can get it back off; should the plastic break
at the cost a few more minutes. I'm glad to have the metal sleeves. I
did not also get the reinforced rubber piece (that's about $35 for set
shipped on over-priced Ebay) as the rubber did not break on me last
time. Is it worth it, since the plastic is not reinforced; accept for
the metal sleeve? That's up to you.
It may be wise to get a spare.
Your mileage may vary and if you have a family (who doesn't have large
loads) like me, I hope this information has been helpful. I shudder to
think how rewarded the manufactures have been for this weak part, both
in service calls and just getting a new washer. It seems the trend is
toward integrity and stronger parts though.
I'm sure next year will bring on yet another rendition. Here's to
progress and leaving the cheap ones out of your washer.
Please add your helpful experience and part info to this thread.
I would like to know:
Is an unbreakable coupling part wise? Will the breaker protect?
Can't we reinforce the plastic; out to the pins?
Do reinforced (commercial) rubber pieces really last longer (assuming
you have the harder rubber)? Wouldn't the plastic just break instead?
Have you ever had the FSP brand (non sleeved) ream out inside the
What is the hardest grade of plastic and what is used in these
Can anything else be done to help prevent broken motor couplings?