Is your washer making a loud noise all of a sudden and doesn’t agitate or spin out the washer water? We have a common solution for you – replacing your drive coupling yourself! No big repair bills or being without your washer for what seems like forever.
We sure are glad you are here to sit a spell. Go grab a cup of your favorite beverage and a seat and we will tell you all about a repair we did on my washer.
Two Teens + Washer = Broke Washers
I don’t know if you have this problem or not, but I have had to replace more washers than I want to count over the last five years. Of course they weren’t new washers, but they were decent washers. I miss the days when my brand new washer that was purchased early in my marriage that lasted over 15 years.
I blame my problem on two teenagers who detest doing laundry and would continuously overload the washer (making it work way too hard). I think the basis of their theory was – the more you put into a load the less loads you had to do (don’t worry about whether or not it comes clean or if all the laundry becomes one color). Geeze, I have even gone so far as to give individual instructions, directions, and draft a laundry Do’s & Don’t list. Nope – didn’t work.
The last two washers I have owned I have had to replace them with other (always with prayers) used ones since money has been tight. But finally, I had to figure it out on my own as I couldn’t afford even another used washer or to hire a repair person – seriously, I could just buy another used one for the price of service.
Common Washer Repair
Since my funds were limited and I really detest hauling all my laundry to the laundry mat – I was determined to figure out how to repair the washer myself.
After much research on the internet and watching a ton of YouTube videos – I found out that my type of top load washers (at least the last two) have direct drive. This means they don’t have a belt that operates the motor.
With direct drive motors there is a safety feature that keeps the motor from being destroyed – meaning big bucks to pay out for repair or purchase. The repair is a drive coupling replacement. The drive coupling (aka dog bone), is made of two plastic pieces that interlock from both sides into the one rubber piece. When the washer is overworked the plastic pieces will break causing the drive motor to stop working (agitating/spinning). This will cause the washer to sound loud and noisy and will not agitate or spin the water out of the washer.
If your washer is draining the water and not spinning or agitating – the odds are that you need to replace the drive coupling. Come with us and we will show you how simple it is to do.
The Good News
This repair is fairly inexpensive and really a super easy fix. Hey, if I can do it, then just about anyone can! Once you get into a top load model washer (mine is a Kenmore), I was surprised at how simple they looked. There really isn’t too much in the parts department to them. Through Youtube I was able to study the anatomy of the washer, diagnose my problem and then purchase the correct drive coupling.
Order The Correct Part
You need to make sure that you order the correct part for the washer. I purchased mine through Amazon, but first I had to find out what part number I needed. I did this by going to ApplianceRepair.com to find the part number. They are a great company and I have ordered other parts from them for other equipment, but for this piece Amazon was cheaper. I simply entered my brand and model number and voila – I had my part number to cross reference at Amazon.
Once you receive the part you are ready to repair the unit. I do have to say that the first one I replaced was done in the confines of my very small laundry area and there was a lot of strange contortion happening on my part. The second one I did I put in the garage on saw horses and the repair was much easier and quicker. I was able to stand or sit to do the repair. I opt for the latter from now on!
Boldly Repairing On Your Own
Most importantly whether you repair in the laundry room or a roomy garage PLEASE unplug the washer from the wall.
Another big help for me was using my cell phone to take pictures before I unhooked everything to show me exactly how it should look when I put the parts back together. Believe – you will not remember and then you will wonder what the heck you thought you were doing!
My washer that we filmed was a Kenmore as was the second one and they both took the same repair. The only reason I had to do the repair on the second one was that the transmission went out on my first washer and it was cheaper to get another used one.
- Remove the two console screws on each side.
- Using a screwdriver, pry off the metal console to cabinet clips located on each side of the washer under the console. They may come off by themselves if they are worn, if not carefully remove them using a flat tip screwdriver.
- Flip up the console and disconnect the electrical lid switch. The clear/white connector sticking up from the washer. No judging on the dust and dirt.
- First check to see if you need to unscrew or just slide the washer cabinet off. If needed, unscrew all screws on rear of panel, to enable you to remove cabinet from rear panel.
- Rock the cabinet away from rear panel and lift it off the locating tabs. You will want to make sure you lift it clear of the water dispenser (located in the back) otherwise you may get it snagged taking off the console and have to make another repair.
- Once the washer cabinet is removed you should see something like this. Pretty naked without it’s clothing/cabinet:o)
- Use a screwdriver to pop off the two spring clips (shown above), which hold the water pump against the motor shaft. Don’t remove the hoses or clamps. The pump will slide forward off the short motor shaft and out of the way. I held it back with a rubber band to keep it out of my way. Bending the hose slightly will not harm it.
- The wiring harness can be removed before or after the motor is removed. Remove the plastic wiring harness from the motor using a flat tip screw driver. This will unlock the little clip holding it down. Grip the harness firmly – you may have to tug firmly to remove the harness. Do not jerk or pull hard. Slow and firm.
- You will see the motor which is held in place with two similar, but larger clamps as the white pump above. There may be two screws securing the clamps to the base of the motor. If so, remove those screws. And then pop the clamps off with a flat tip screw driver.
- The motor can now be removed by wriggling it toward the front.
- Use the screwdriver blade to remove the old white plastic coupling from the motor shaft by prying under it gently. Pieces of the broken drive coupling may come off. In your drive-coupling replacement kit, there are three components: 2 couplings and one rubber union. Replace it with one of the new plastic couplings and use the 1/2″socket as a press by placing it over the center of the coupling and tapping it onto the shaft, taking care not to damage the three little prongs. You want to make sure to have the center piece flush with the shaft.
- Facing you, on the transmission is the other plastic coupling and rubber union, which you will remove and replace with the two new pieces.
- The motor can now be re-installed, taking care to line up the three prongs with the remaining holes in the union. This can be helped by rotating the motor shaft slightly while holding it up to the coupling. Also, note that the four rubber caps on the motor mount must match up with the four indents on the frame. Once the coupling is engaged, apply the clips & screws to the motor.
- NOTE: By the time I replaced my second drive coupling kit it was easier for me to center the plastic coupling piece to the piece on the transmission, eyeballing it and then I guided the motor back onto the transmission using the four outside rubber caps (bumpers) as my guide.
- Hook up the wires, install the pump and you’re done!
- PS NOTE: The pictures are a mix of my last two washers, but I wanted you to see the similarity and get the differences.
To watch more of our fun DIY videos check out our YouTube channel “TheHard Hat Belles” or click The Hard Hat Belles to go directly there. Once there like and subscribe to receive notifications of the latest video releases. Or simply subscribe here to see each of our videos within our blog stories. . . . You’ll be getting two for the price of one!
Please subscribe to our blog here or above.
Love & Hugs,
Denine & Wiebke