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Grimmspropeller

Kenmore Front Load Washer Woes

132 posts in this topic

I have a Frigidaire FWT449GFS1 Front load Washer built in 1999. I live in Canada. Two of the spider arms are completely broken. I'm not sure about the bearing, but after all the work of taking it apart, I'm reluctant to reassemble it without changing the bearings. Does anyone know if the complete assembly, with the front and back tub with bearing and SS basket and arm will fit my machine? And is the part available to Canada?

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Need appliance parts? Call 877-803-7957 now!

PLEASE HELP!  I am having the same problem - inner drum won't come out of the back shell.  I purchased (and just received) a new back shell but need to re-use the inner drum and don't want to damage the drum or shaft.  Will forcing it with a hammer damage it?  Is there some way to loosen it up? 

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Update...with liquid wrench and a hammer and dowel I was able to disengage the inner basket & shaft from the shell, but now I can't get the new shell/bearing assembly to slide easily onto the shaft.  Can I force it with a rubber mallet?  Will this damage anything?  Has anyone else had this problem?

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One more question...the drive belt has 6 channels, and the motor shaft does as well, so I see how the belt stays on the shaft....but my pulley is smooth - no channels - so how does the belt stay on the pulley?  My belt had fallen off, and it looks like it's falling off the pulley to the inside.  Any thoughts on how to keep the belt on the pulley?  This seems like an odd design.

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When you bearings got to the point of almost falling apart it let the inner basket drop down putting the pulley out of alignment causing belt to walk right off pulley.

With good bearings your belt will stay in the correct position with no problems.

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Thanks, William!   When I pulled (forcibly) the SS basket and shaft out of the old bearings, the bearings did fall apart, so this makes sense.   

Any thoughts on how to get the new rear shell/bearing onto the shaft of the old inner basket?  It doesn't slide on easily.  The shaft isn't completely smooth - it's slightly rough and feels very slightly scored from the old bearings.   Is the shaft still OK?  Can I (should I) force the new shell/bearing onto the shaft? 

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SUCCESS!   My father brought over some calipers which we used to determine that I had deformed the top of the shaft when I used a hammer and dowel to get the old shaft out of the old shell casing.  With a metal file, some emery paper, and a lot of patience, we were able to (slowly) get the shaft head back into spec so that the new shell/bearings slipped onto the old shaft sweetly.    Then everything else went back together smoothly.

This was a big job - it took me (with help from my dad) about 6 hours to disassemble the machine and reassemble with the new shell/casing, but it's so nice to see a spin cycle without hearing that deafening roar.

I personally think that this design is flawed, given that so many people have written on many internet sites about bearing problems.  My machine was only four years old when the bearings went out.  Unfortunately I have TWO of these machines, since I bought the same model for my vacation home.  That's why I decided to put the time into understanding how it works and being able to fix it.  Hopefully my other machine won't have bearing problems anytime soon.

Well, my husband is amazed that I attempted this, and even more surprised that I succeeded.   Thanks so much to all of you for writing about your past experiences with repairing this machine.  It was valuable information.   And some advice for others:

-  these resources were invaluable:  a laptop that I kept nearby with a blowup diagram of the inner tub that I referred to at least a hundred times, found at http://www3.sears.com/  (enter your washing machine model number and choose the view diagram option), and step-by-step instructions that I printed out and which guided me through the whole process http://www.zenzoidman.com/documents/RearBearingV6.pdf

-  put all your screws/fastener groups into individual baggies and label them.  That saved me lots of time when reassembling things.

-  label both sides of connection points that aren't intuitive - the small diameter hose that attaches to the water level gauge is a good case in point - I'm so glad I labeled both sides when I disconnected the tube from the red plastic thing hanging off the top of the washing machine - I think I'd still be looking for where that connected to.  Most connections, though, are pretty intuitive.

-  If the inner basket won't come out of the shell because the bearings are shot, DON'T pound too hard on the shaft (unless you have calipers, a metal file, emery cloth and a lot of time to do repair work).  Use Liquid Wrench, douse it, and let it sit for awhile.  After an hour, I was able to remove the old basket with much less force.  I used a 1-inch dowel (about 5" long) to punch out the shaft from the old casing.

Good luck and many happy repairs!

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Stupid question.  I am at the end of reassembling and cannot get the belt back onto the motor and pulley.  Any tips?

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The belt is a tight fit, just put on the motor pulley then start it around the big main pulley and slowly turn while holding the belt in position as it rides up and around the big pulley, it will pull right up into position.

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I have Fridigaire model #FWT449FS0 purchased in 1999 with the same noise problem. Started last week after all these years of trouble free service. If I purchase the bearing kit or the rear drum assembly, will I need a new seal for the drum?

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Thank, I'm leaning toward buying the whole rear drum also, but If I were to only buy the seal and bearing kit would I also have to buy a new seal?

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If you are referring to the seal that goes between the 2 outer plastic tub halves, it's probably a good idea to replace it while you have the tub halves apart. 

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I took apart the washer apart, and when I removed the rear drum I saw one of the spiders was broken. Maybe that explains why the loud noise came so suddenly. I riveted a stainless steel sheet metal plate across the break to see if it would work. After 6 loads of wash the loud noise started again at final spin. My guess would be that the patch broke. My question would be, are the new drum and spider any better the old ones that keep breaking? I don't want to throw good money after bad and maybe a new washer would be a better choice.

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Most likely a cracked support bracket on the SS drum.  When I hear all the stories on this, I wonder why a class-action lawsuit has not been taken.  A defective design.

 Anyone who agrees send a reply.  We should all be reimbursed

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[user=6453]Russ[/user] wrote:

Most likely a cracked support bracket on the SS drum.  When I hear all the stories on this, I wonder why a class-action lawsuit has not been taken.  A defective design.

 Anyone who agrees send a reply.  We should all be reimbursed .  Also wonder if this part has been up-graded.  If not, I am done with Sears.

 

 

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I just replace the drum and ran the first couple loads, and it appears to be work fine.

The spider (the arms that connect the drum to the shaft) are made out of zinc die cast. While zinc is non rusting it does corrode over time and it is brittle material without a lot of strength. A redesign is needed, using better materials or changing the structural shape to stiffen it. At this point I am hoping for 5 years before I replace the machine.

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Same here .... hoping to get a few years on it.... will not buy another Kenmore

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[user=36]Budget Appliance Repair[/user] wrote:

Binki, The part# is in the post just above mine.

Here it is again: 134453200 and RepairClinc can get it for you

CLICK HERE to order

It doesn't show a picture but it is the complete assembled outer tub with inner stainless steel spin basket with all new parts for only $218.40 instead of $250.90 for just the back tub half with bearings and seals.

The problem with just ordering the bearings is once you get it apart you might find that the tub shaft may be rusted badly from leaking for a long time and also who knows how bad the tub spider is at this point, seems to be quite a few of this breaking also.

The complete tub assembly would most diffinitely the easiest way for a novice and then you would have an almost new machine.

Can someone check this link and tell me if it is still valid?  The link has a different part number and price.
Thanks in advance!
amajamar

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It's still valid. The difference in part numbers is simply the difference between the manufacturer's part number and RepairClinic's internal part number. Same-o, same-o, GI.

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hello everyone, I just found this site. I'm so glad you guys are here, I want to thankyou for the time you have spent on this problem. I have a frigidaire FWT445GES2. it has started making a nosie like the bearings are going out. I really want to buy a entire assembly. but when I called repair.com and they said I had to order all the parts seperatly. I'm not wasting allot of money on this machine. I don't think the spider arms are broken, but from the looks of it, its only a matter of time. I called sears about this problem and they were down right mean! I'm am finished with sears. sorry I had to vent alittle.

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If its just the bearings, replacing the bearings and seal or the rear assembly might be worth it. If I knew I would also have had to replace the drum I think I would have bought a new machine. Good luck with your machine

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Thx, I found the parts at a local parts store here in town and the drum and the bearing case thingy with seal cost $330. other than this bearing noise its been a geat machine. my wife loves it. I hope I can get a few more years out of it. maybe by that time there will be a better design on the market. Yeah right! thanks again-Randy

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