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Replacing the Belt on Your Belt Driven Whirlpool / Kenmore Washer

Replacing the Belt on Your Belt Driven Whirlpool / Kenmore Washer

A few things to check for before you begin....

Move washer away from wall and disconnect power cord, water fill hoses and your drain line.

With a 5/16" nut driver or a flat blade screwdriver in your hand, locate the access plate behind the washer and remove it.

Carefully check your drive belt (Part Number 95405) for wear or to see if it is broken.

If the belt is still in one piece but very worn (the sidewalls are nearly gone, the inner core is visible and there are bits of shredded belt everywhere), proceed as if it were broken and replace it. If the belt looks OK but you can deflect the belt more than 1/2 inch, you should tighten it.

Tools Required....

5/16" nut driver

Socket wrench (preferably 1/2), a 6-10 inch extension, a 1/2 inch and 9/16 inch sockets.

Procedures for Replacing the Belt....

Unplug the washer and lift the drain hose out of the sewer drain pipe and hook it over the console. Turn the water off at the faucets for both inlet hoses and disconnect them from the faucets. If water was left in the tub following the belt failure, you will want to get as much of it out of the tub as possible. Start by bailing out the water with a large plastic pitcher or glass. Now you can work the washer out from the wall. Lower the drain hose into a shallow container so that the end of the hose is no more than 6 inches off the floor and the water will siphon out of the washer. Lift the end of the hose up a couple of feet if you need to stop the flow to empty the container.

With the water out of the washer you can proceed to lay the washer down on the front of the cabinet. You may want to lay down a blanket or rug to keep from scratching the front painted finish. If you have a dolly you can lift the washer up from the front of the cabinet and lay it front side down in a convenient place to work from the bottom of the washer. If you don't have a dolly, lay the rug or blanket that won't be damaged by a little water in front of the washer and then pull the washer over and lay it down.

If you haven't already done so, remove the two 5/16 inch sheet metal screws that secure the rear access panel and set the panel aside. Place an old rag or some paper towels on the cabinet under the transmission gearcase. Most gearcases will start to drip transmission grease when placed on their side. This is not a serious problem but you wouldn't want to leave the washer in this position overnight. The rag or paper towels will catch the grease so that when you tip the washer up again, the grease will not run down on the floor. Locate the 9/16" motor bracket adjustment nut above the motor on top of the tub platform and loosen it with an open-end wrench or an adjustable wrench. Pivot the motor to the right to fully loosen the belt (if you still have one). Remove the belt from the motor pulley. Move the motor back to the left just to get it out of the way. Familiarize yourself with the major components under the washer. The drive belt goes around the drive motor pulley, the gearcase drive pulley, the pump pulley and the spin clutch pulley.

Remove the nuts from the three transmission gearcase braces using a socket wrench with at least a 6" extension and a 1/2" socket. Next, remove the two bolts holding the water pump to the gearcase using a socket wrench and a 1/2" socket. Do not remove the pump hoses. Locate the plunger under the spin coil on the wig wag. The spin coil is the one with white and red wires connected to it. Hold the spin coil plunger up with the index finger of your left hand and turn the gearcase drive pulley with your right hand. Keep turning until the plunger slides the spin slide bar out towards the motor. This engages the spin clutch. Locate the spin clutch spring and remove it. With the clutch engaged and the spring removed, the spin clutch yoke is now free.

Locate the three large gearcase stud mounting bolts. Remove the lowest bolt completely using a socket wrench and a 9/16" socket. As you slide the bolt out, grab the 3/4" long spacer and set it aside. Back the remaining two bolts out about 3/4's of an inch.

Before you slide the gearcase back, check the status of the "T" bearing and its ball bearing key. The "T" bearing is located on the agitator shaft between the spin clutch pulley and the gearcase. The bearing is free to slide anywhere on the agitator shaft when you pull the gearcase out. If the ball bearing is facing down when the "T" bearing goes scooting up the agitator shaft, you hear the ball bearing key clink as it falls out and then rolls away. Position the keyway on the upper half of the agitator shaft so that if the "T" bearing is moved away from the ball bearing key, the ball bearing won't fall out of its socket in the agitator shaft. If you have to rotate the agitator shaft to see the ball and "T" bearing keyway, hold the wig wag agitate plunger (closest to the drive pulley) up while you spin the drive pulley with your other hand until the slide bar shifts into the agitate function. Further spinning of the drive shaft will rotate the shaft back and forth so that the ball bearing's socket in the shaft comes up to the top and is more visible. Don't forget to hold the plunger up when you turn the pulley or the wig wag will shift the transmission out of the agitate function!

Grasp the transmission with both hands and gently pull it as far as the two gearcase mounting bolts, which you only turned out 3/4 of an inch, will let it go.

If you are replacing a worn belt, now is the time to take it out. This is a good opportunity to practice installing the new belt while removing the old one. Slide the belt through the opening between the clutch shaft ( the end with the nut on it that rested against the yoke) and the clutch yoke. The belt is now free of the spin clutch assembly. Now slide the belt off the drive motor pulley if it is not already off. Feed the belt through the opening made when the spacer was removed from the gearcase. Push the water pump over to the right and slip the belt through the opening between the pump and the gearcase. The old belt is now free.

Take the new belt and reverse the above steps. Make sure the drive motor is pivoted back to the right so that you can get the new belt on the motor pulley. This step is complete when you have the belt around the drive pulley, resting on the edge of the pump pulley and the spin pulley, and around the drive motor pulley. Make sure that the belt is in the groove of the motor pulley. Now it's time to put the washer back together.

Slowly slide the gearcase back in. Guide the spin clutch shaft into its hole in the clutch yoke. If there were any spacers (washers) on top of the clutch shaft, replace them before you put the clutch yoke down on them. Replace the clutch yoke spring. Make sure the yoke support on the opposite end of the yoke from the spring is in its plastic retainer. Check to see that the T bearing is in place with no greater than 1/16 inch clearance between it and the spin tube on top and the gearcase below. If everything is back where it belongs, the gearcase will be up against the gearcase mounting studs. If there is a gap, check the T bearing and clutch yoke again to confirm that they are in their correct places. Hold the spacer in place and replace the gearcase mounting bolt that you removed earlier. Tighten the bolt finger tight only. Tighten the other two bolts finger tight also. Why not tighten them up all the way? If you slid the transmission back with the machine on its side there is a slight chance for a misalignment in the spin clutch assembly. Grab the transmission gearcase and lift up on it with one hand while you tighten the top two bolts with the socket wrench in your other hand. Now tighten the lower bolt.

Replace the three braces. Brace No. 1 (the dirtiest one resembling a boomerang with shredded belt bits on it) goes around the drive motor. The rounded sides will face up. Make sure that you place the No. 1 brace on the upper raised stud along with the ground wire. There is another bolt stud near the correct one but the nut won't fit the threads on the stud. Brace No. 2 goes around the plastic drain manifold. Brace No. 3 attaches near the drive pulley. The top of Brace No. 3 goes UNDER the tub platform lip. Firmly tighten these nuts with a 1/2" socket wrench.

You will replace the two water pump bolts and tighten them with the same 1/2" socket wrench used to tighten the braces. Swing the pump back into its home position and hook the pump pulley on the belt and put the rubber-tipped pump shift lever in the agitate slide bar slot. Align the top hole in the pump frame with the threaded hole in the transmission gearcase. Start the threads with the bolt in your fingers. DO NOT shove the bolt into the gearcase threaded hole and start cranking with the socket wrench! You can easily strip the threads in the gearcase. After finger starting the top bolt you can run it in a couple of turns with the socket wrench but don't tighten it yet. Grab the water pump and twist it until the bottom bolt hole aligns with the threaded hole in the gearcase. Again, try to start the bolt threads by hand if you can otherwise put the bolt in the socket and extension (without the wrench handle) and try to get it started. Now tighten both bolts.

Check the belt again to make sure its in the grooves of all four pulleys. Make sure the belt is in the drive motor pulley grove instead of out on the pulley shoulder. The gearcase drive pulley is the easiest one to take the belt off of and it should be the last one that you put the belt on. Tighten the belt by prying the motor back to the left to get a deflection of about 1/2" in the belt. Tighten the 9/16" motor bracket mounting nut. An alternate approach is to snug up the 9/16" nut and tap the inside edge of the motor bracket with a hammer until the proper tension is reached.

Replace the rear access panel, pick up the transmission grease catching rag, right the machine and work it back to its normal place. Reconnect the power cord. Reconnect the inlet hoses and the drain hose. Run a spin function check.

IF you have any additional questions, don't hesitate to E-mail us.

 


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