How to Fix Whirlpool/Kenmore Direct Drive
(Top-Load) Washer Spin Vibration
(May be either brown or white - same pads)
Tools needed: Phillips and straight screwdrivers, hammer, small piece of 1 X 2 wood, naptha (lighter fluid), paper towels, long-nosed pliers
A very common call we get on Whirlpool-built direct drive washers, and one of very few problems they have, is that the machine vibrates like it's out of balance when spinning, even without any clothes in the basket. Sometimes it'll 'walk' across the floor if this is allowed to worsen.
This is almost always caused by worn support pads. The entire mechanism rests on these three small plastic pads, and when they wear, even a little bit, the machine will vibrate like crazy in spin, like its load is badly out of balance. Replacing these pads (Part #285744 ) will nearly always correct this problem. And they aren't hard to replace if you're just a little 'handy'. Here's how:
Unplug the washer. Remove the 2 Phillips screws that retain the console. On some machines, these are hidden under console end caps that must be pried off. On newer models, they’re on the back of the console. On some of the latest direct-drives, there are none; you slide a putty knife between cabinet and console, from the front, to release two clips. Rotate the console fwd, then up and back; it will hang back out of the way if the washer’s away from the wall far enough.
Unplug the white lid switch plug and pry up the 2 large clips that hold the cabinet to the washer back panel.
Tilt the entire cabinet forward and it’ll unhook from the retainers on the base. Lift the cabinet off and set aside (not as heavy as it sounds!)
With the cabinet off, you'll see 3 large horizontal springs, one in each corner of the support 'tripod', and one smaller, vertical one in the left-rear
that counterbalances the motor's weight.
Unhook all 4 of these springs and insert a small piece of '1-by' (5/8" or 3/4" thick) board to prop the mechanism up, to access the pads one at a time. Insert the piece of wood between pad locations, on a side of the support triangle (a helper's handy here) .
Use a little lighter fluid or rubbing alcohol to clean the mating surface of the support plate that these pads ride against before inserting each new one. Be careful not to scratch the support plate when working under it; it needs to be smooth and contaminate-free. Try not to touch the bearing surfaces of the plate with your hands, because even a bit of skin oil on the plate surface can cause spin vibration issues (I replace each pad first, then clean the plate and pad at that location).
Knock the old pads out, one at a time, by lightly tapping on their mounting pins from underneath with a hammer. Put each new pad in place in its mounting holes, carefully remove the wooden 'shim', then stand up and push down hard on the tub on that corner. You'll hear - and feel - the pad snap into its mounting holes.
Repeat this process for each of the other two pads mounted on the support 'tripod' (do the rear, 'fun' one last, after you have experience replacing the other two), and your washer will behave a whole lot better in the spin cycle.
Oh, and remember to reach around and pat yourself on the back! You just saved yourself at least $100.00 (and maybe the price of a new washer, depending on who you called)!
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