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Amana washer spins but will not agitate


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15 replies to this topic

#1 jeauxkewl

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Posted 21 December 2005 - 05:25 AM

My Amana washer (LW8363L2) all of a sudden stopped agitating. It does still spin. Based on my fuzzy memory and the serial number of this machine (R9508048606), I believe this machine to be about 10 years old and this is my first issue with it. Can this be fixed with little effort/$$, or do I need to bust out the big bucks for a front loader?

Second question - Costco has been getting a fair amount of my money these days and happens to carry the Whirlpool Duet series. In the (wishful thinking) unlikely event that I have to replace my faithful Amana, what is your impression of the Whirlpool Duet?

Thank you!


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#2 Mad Mac

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Posted 21 December 2005 - 05:43 AM

Well, I've seen this before...but let's get a little more info before passing judgement. When it's not agitating, are there any sounds/sights/smells?
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#3 Pegi

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Posted 21 December 2005 - 06:10 AM

In reference to the Duet,we recommend them and the LG, both seem to hold up better than other brands, be sure to buy extended warranties these days tho...
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#4 jeauxkewl

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Posted 21 December 2005 - 06:40 AM

[user=13]Mad Mac[/user] wrote:

Well, I've seen this before...but let's get a little more info before passing judgement. When it's not agitating, are there any sounds/sights/smells?

Well, the plot thickens. I decided to check things out in ernest. As it turns out, this is an intermittent problem. I cycled the machine several times this morning and it is working fine. I hate intermittent problems.

So, I put a load in to wash and we'll see what happens.  To answer your question, there are no smells out of the ordinary. Sound differs only in the fact that you can hear that the agitator is, well, not agitating,  and this is verified by lifting the lid and visually observing no movement. There are no other sights, sounds, smells out of the ordinary.


#5 jeauxkewl

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Posted 21 December 2005 - 06:47 AM

[user=533]Pegi[/user] wrote:

In reference to the Duet,we recommend them and the LG, both seem to hold up better than other brands, be sure to buy extended warranties these days tho...

Thanks for the recommendation. This brings another situation to light. I am usually not one for extended warranties and my Amana is testementary to the reason - 10 years without a failure. There is something inherently wrong with spending $1k on a washer and then feeling it necessary to buy an extended warranty (essentially betting that it is going to break down). I'm old school in terms of appliances and expect them to last roughly 10 years between replacements, with only minor or no repairs in those 10 years. If Amana still made this model, or if they still made GE washers like the ones my parents used to buy in the 70's/80's, I would gladly pay top dollar for those.


#6 Pegi

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Posted 21 December 2005 - 06:58 AM

Right, but nothing is made like is used to be, take the new GE washers and dryers, fail in a year or two if you are lucky...you also need to be advised most of the new appliances sold now only have a 1 year warranty total, no more extended warranties on labor or parts past one year.  Exceptions are the LG and the Kitchenaid made by Whirlpool..and others made over seas..and the high line stuff that cost thousands of $$$..the new warranties started November 1 I believe for Whirlpool and the others in January...Sears Canada will also go by the warranty of the ones who make the appliances for Sears..will Sears USA, it's parent company be far behnd???  The new stuff has electronics, more to malfunction, not like the appliances of old...;)
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#7 Mad Mac

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Posted 21 December 2005 - 08:14 AM

Yep, lots of electronics in the front loaders, repairs are nasty and expensive. As to your Amana problem, I've seen this caused by the timer (only allows the motor to work in the 'spin' direction).
Mad Mac....Pray to God he's out there....somewhere.

#8 jeauxkewl

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Posted 21 December 2005 - 08:24 AM

Okay, so let's assume it is the timer. Would I still hear the motor like normal, but experience no agitation?

#9 jeauxkewl

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Posted 21 December 2005 - 09:13 AM

Update: With the next load, it's back to the drawing board. Did not start agitating. I opened lid, moved agitator slightly, then closed lid and agitation began. I don't know how these things work, but if I were guessing, it's some sort of slippage (belt or otherwise), but don't have any smell to substantiate it.

Thanks for all your input so far.


#10 jeauxkewl

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Posted 21 December 2005 - 12:29 PM

Same deal. It sounds like something is slipping - no smell, but the wife reminded me that we heard a squealing sound the first time it happened. Hope this helps.

#11 Mad Mac

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Posted 21 December 2005 - 01:02 PM

This might be an issue with the "drive bell" that the agitator engages to. The agitator appears to be just a push-fit on this one - see our illustrious leader's guide to agitator removal RIGHT HERE!
Mad Mac....Pray to God he's out there....somewhere.

#12 jeauxkewl

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Posted 22 December 2005 - 04:17 AM

I removed the agitator and, except for the usual icky buildup, nothing appears to be out of the ordinary.

The plot thickens - I consistently had problems last night and I am seriously thinking the timer is involved. As I tried to get a load or two out, the machine refused to spin, with no motor activity. I had to dink with the timer to finally get the tub to drain and get it to spin. Almost acts as if the timer contacts are shot. Not sure now if I have one problem or two.

Attached is a picture of whatever the thing is called that the agitator snaps onto.

Attached Files



#13 jeauxkewl

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Posted 22 December 2005 - 07:05 AM

More updates: was able to remove the drive bell and the stainless tub. Thoroughly cleaned the screen underneath and all parts removed so far.

The drive belt is shot. I removed the motor/pump assembly (suspect the pump has a slight leak around the impeller seal as I saw standing water in the molded pump; and don't mind replacing it). 

My new issues du jour are

1. I can't seem to get the pump separated from the motor assembly after removing the 3 screws that hold the plastic housing in place. I looked at some parts diagrams and it appears that the keyed shaft just slides into the pump impeller, so I am suspecting corrosion. Any helpful hints or suggestions other than the obvious (get a bigger hammer)? My belt is shredded and it is a miracle it has held together this long, so I have to get this pump off to get the belt off and install a new one.

2. As stated, I was able to remove the inner stainless tub and have removed the drive bell with no issues. The seal appears to be fine and I don't want to go any further unless the appliance grand masters of the universe feel it is necessary.

3. Aside from the replacement of the pump, belt and timer, are there any other 'wear items' I may have missed that I should consider replacing, seeing as I have the blasted thing apart?

Thanks for your guidance so far.


#14 Mad Mac

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Posted 22 December 2005 - 10:40 AM

Pump removal - bigger hammer time. Don't force the new pump on, file the corrosion off the motor shaft to get it to fit.

Belt - use ONLY the authorised factory replacement. This is critical to correct operation on these machines (belt slips during pump-out to prevent the water centrifuging out of the top of the tub).

Other preventative maintenance - check for signs of water leakage down through the centre seal. If so, quit now. This is NOT a repair anyone wants to do. It's probably worthwhile replacing the spring on the idler pulley while you're at it (RepairClinic.com item number 542701, only $1!). There was a revised version of this spring brought out a few years back to help with "aggressive spin" (see above). Also check the idler pulley itself for smooth operation and wear, although I've never had an issue with them.

Timer is RepairClinic.com item number 541652, around $82. Buy your parts from the link at the bottom of the page, it supports the site plus you can return any item for any reason for a full refund less postage.

Mad Mac....Pray to God he's out there....somewhere.

#15 jeauxkewl

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Posted 22 December 2005 - 12:09 PM

I took it on myself and did exactly what you recommended before you recommended it :). Replaced timer, pump (big hammer worked well) and did file corrosion down to make replacement pump fit on. Didn't replace idler pulley spring as my local parts house was out. Replaced belt with OEM replacement (it just so happens to be a Goodyear belt - same as the one that I took off!). I wound up buying from 1st Source Parts as I had done business with them before on previous occasions and needed the parts immediately due to laundry bursting out of my house.

I found no leaks and everything appears to be working well. The timer was definitely my issue (wouldn't have found it without your recommendation) and the belt was definitely a weak link.

Thanks very much - I did contribute to the United Samurai Beer fund and I hope you are able to partake. You guys and gals are awesome! I will definitely spread the word!


#16 Mad Mac

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Posted 22 December 2005 - 12:56 PM

Glad to be of help!
Mad Mac....Pray to God he's out there....somewhere.




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