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Washer not spinning or agitating?
Here's what to do.

This month, we're focusing on a repair specific to direct-drive, top-loading washing machines sold after 1985 under the brands of Whirlpool, Kenmore, Kitchen Aid, Roper or Estate. If you have or might acquire one of these machines, hold on to this information in case you need a repair in the future.

If you have one of the above machines, and it's not spinning or agitating but the motor still turns, replacing the motor drive coupler will most likely solve your problem. The coupler is a simple device designed to reduce stress between the powerful drive motor and the transmission. If the machine is overfilled with clothes, this coupler may shear in two, separating the motor from the transmission, which potentially prevents more costly repairs. Once it has sheared in two, it must be replaced. Here's how to do it:

. Disconnect the washing machine from the power source.
. Turn off the hot and cold water supply valves to the washing machine.
*Note: If there are no shut-off valves you must shut the water off at the main water supply valve.
. Carefully pull the washing machine away from the wall 10 to 12 inches.
. Remove the two screws in the lower front corners of the control panel. These are usually Philips head screws and may be hidden behind a plastic trim cap on either end of the control panel. Just snap off the trim pieces to reveal the screws.
. Lift the control panel up high enough so it stays up and back.
. Unplug any wire harness connections.
. Using a flat head screwdriver, snap out the two gold-colored spring clips at the top of the cabinet on the left and right sides.
. The cabinet will now lift up at the back. pull the cabinet up 10 to 12 inches and then slide it forward 2 inches.
. Set the cabinet aside.
. At the bottom of the washer, directly in front, you'll see the pump, the device to which two large rubber hoses are attached.
. Remove the two spring clips from the pump, and carefully bend it to the left and out of the way. The spring clips are under pressure so remove them carefully.
. The unit behind the pump is the drive motor.
. Unplug the wiring harness attached to the drive motor. If there are any other wires attached to the motor, label them and remove them.
. The motor is also held in place with two spring clips. These clips may be held on to the motor by two screws. Remove the screws and the spring clips. Again, the spring clips are under pressure so remove them carefully.
. Pull the motor toward you, and remove it from the machine. Be sure to retain any rubber motor mounts that may fall off the motor or stick to the motor mounting plate. The device behind the motor is the transmission, or gearbox.
. Remove the old coupler flanges from the motor and the transmission.
. Carefully press the new flanges onto the motor and transmission. The flanges will be very tight, and you may want to use a hammer to put the flanges on, but be sure to keep them perpendicular to the shafts, and don't hit the coupler flange nubs. Try using a large socket from a socket wrench set or a wide-bladed screwdriver to help with the installation.
. Install the rubber drive bushing from the coupler kit onto the coupler flange you already installed onto the transmission shaft.
. Reinstall any rubber motor mounts that fell off the motor or stuck to the motor mounting plate.
. Line up the holes of the coupler drive bushing with the nubs of the coupler flange you installed on the motor. Slide the motor into position, making sure the nubs of the coupler flange fit properly into the holes in the drive bushing.
. Reinstall the spring clamps and screws onto the motor.
. Reinstall the wiring.
. Align the motor shaft with the drive socket of the pump. Reinstall the pump and its spring clamps. If the pump shows signs of water seepage near the rotating hub attached to the motor, you should replace the pump.
. Reinstall the cabinet. (Note: As you follow this procedure, do not force the cabinet in any way. When done properly, the cabinet will go back together very smoothly.) First you must tilt the cabinet toward you 10 to 12 inches while you "walk" the cabinet back onto the lower frame of the washer. This will be easier if you have the washer lid open so you can see inside the cabinet at the same time. The front edge of the cabinet slides underneath the front of the base frame, and the sides of the cabinet rest on top of the base frame. With the cabinet resting on the frame squarely, check to be sure the back of the washer is aligned with the cabinet. There are two plastic strips attached to the back wall that must line up with the sides of the cabinet as you set the it down.
. Reinstall the two spring clips at the top.
. Reattach any wire harness connectors.
. Rotate the control panel back down, and install the two screws.
. Turn the water supply back on.
. Check for and correct any leaks.
. Pour one gallon of clean water into the machine to wet the pump seals.
. Restore power and test.

Take a look at the replacement coupler.

You might also want to consider purchasing the repair manual for this model to help you with this repair.

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