Our trusted Whirlpool washer of over 15 years stopped spinning and thus kick started another DIY project. It might be combination of age + over filling the washer which I think my wife had done. Anyhow, after doing some research online it looked like the motor coupling might have broken or worn out and needed to be replaced.
One of the videos on you tube showed steps to jack up or tilt up the washer from the front and then reach to the components bottom up. I tried that and soon realized its just too cramped in there to do any work. So decided to slightly take a longer approach to remove the metal cover around the washer to make it easier to reach the various components.
So the basic plan was to see if I can locate the problem, remove the broken part, search for a replacement OEM part online, order it via amazon and then put everything back on.
Start with the back of the washer. Remove the two screws at each end as shown in the picture above. If there isn’t any easy way to get to the back of the washer then slightly climb up on it. This will loosen the top control panel.
Next push/slide the control panel towards you and lift up and kind of throw it back. Its okay if its swivel’s on the two plastic tabs as shown in the picture above. Remove the connector in the center and the two metal clips at each end as shown. Store these metal clips somewhere on the side or they would fall behind the washer.
Lift the center part of the cover and then pivot it on the front base frame and slide it out.
Store it aside somewhere as we need all the room we can get.
This is the bare tub. Optional step is to remove the top plastic ring and clean it. To remove the ring, press the top down and then pry the tabs out.
Jacked up the washer at one end using my reliable foot stool; to lift it up so that its easy to get to the motor and other parts.
Remove the two metal clips as shown in the above picture. If they come out completely or fall off while removing that’s fine and can be put back on very easily.
This is the motor, heart of the washer. Using a ratchet unscrew the two screws as shown in the above pictures and then remove the two clips. The motor is heavy so be careful once the clips are off. Its fine if the clips come off completely, can be easily re-attached. Good time to clean any dirt/debris around the motor. Take a note of the orientation of the motor at this time, which will help later when putting things back together.
The motor rests on the above metal base and as you can see the plastic coupling is cracked. Remove that.
The coupling is made up off three pieces two triangular white pieces and a black ring which holds the two white pieces.
So took to amazon and ordered the part.
In the meantime dragged the washer and dryer forward and my wife helped clean up all the mess that was back there, which had been collected all these years. This is where I found the brown spray paint can used for the beer bottle caps decor project.
New part came with a metal insert (top-right picture). I thought that might be a good thing as that’s exactly the point of failure. I also loctite super glued the old broken part. Seemed strong enough after the glue had dried.
Put everything back in. I had a tough time re-seating the motor in place. The metal clips would just not clip into place; I used some rope and all the strength that I had to put the motor back in place. Then put the cover back on, secured the control panel and powered on the machine. The machine was spinning. I was cautiously happy. I let it dry spin for maybe a couple of minutes and I could smell the motor burning. May Day! Something had gone wrong.
I had to remove everything back, so control panel off first, then the metal clips and power connector, the white metal washer cover and finally everything from the bottom of the washer. The coupling was tightly fused on to the motor shaft so I had to add some WD40 oil to pry it loose.
Did some more research and found a post from someone else on amazon who had run into exactly the same problem that I was going through. Even this other person had a tough time putting the motor back in, and it turns out those metal inserts in the plastic coupling are actually not recommended and cause a lot of issues. So I returned those and put the old super glued part back on.
This time the motor went on pretty smoothly, did not have to apply any extra pressure. So looked very promising. Put everything back on ran a dry spin for a couple of minutes and the washer was spinning and no motor burning smell. I was over joyed, could not believe that super glue could do the trick.
Put all the clothes that had stocked up for the week and started a full regular cycle. Machine broke!!
Yep, the same awe full noise was back and looked like the super glued part wasn’t really a good idea. This time around first had to flush all the soap water out, empty the soaked clothes to buckets and then follow the same drill to get to the motor coupling. Coupling had broken at the same place where it was glued together.
Ordered the correct part this time without the metal inserts. It was also cheaper than the one with the metal inserts.
So now put this coupling on the motor shaft. The coupling should rest flat with the shaft. Had to use one of the wider/larger socket and the extender attachment of my ratchet along with a rubber mallet to drive it in place.
So put one of the white pieces of the machine and the other other two on the motor shaft. Aligned the holes on the black ring and the triangular while piece and installed the motor in place. It fit like a glove no issues.
While putting on the white metal cover around the washer drum back on, the front edge of the white metal cover goes under the black metal frame whereas the sides rest on the top of the black frame. Also make sure the top back edge of the cover goes properly over the water spout (a white plastic piece).
That’s it, spinner works like a charm, tested with an extra small load first followed by a full load.