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JDB59 12-14-2010 04:37 PM

No Agitation & No Spin

The agitator on my Whirlpool washing machine stopped working and when I reached in and tried to turn the agitator by hand it would not budge. Also, the tub does not move (i.e. spin) on the the spin cycle. Before this complete failure, the machine was making a "clunking" sound during the wash cycle.

I have pulled the motor off and the motor coupler is completely trashed. I have also pulled the transmission out and I am unable turn the shaft by hand. All other parts that are visible (e.g. the clutch) look to be in working order.

From reading past threads on this site, I'm thinking that the transmission may have seized. Your hit?


ApplianceJunk 12-14-2010 06:14 PM

What shaft are you trying to turn by hand?

You may not be able to turn the long agitator shaft that comes out the top.

You should be able to turn the short stubby shaft that the coupler goes on by hand.

99% of the time when the coupler is bad all you need is a new coupler, but it sounds as if you may have problems with the transmission/gear box.

JDB59 12-14-2010 07:14 PM


Thanks for the quick reply.

I am trying to turn the long shaft that comes out of the top of the transmission (i.e. the shaft that the agitator attaches over/to). I tried turning this shaft using the agitator as a grip and to get some torque, but no go.

The "short stubby" shaft on the motor end of the transmission (where the motor coupler attaches) spins freely and easily.


ApplianceJunk 12-14-2010 07:27 PM

I would not worry about trying to turn the long shaft.

If you can turn the small shaft one way by hand and watch the long shaft agitate back and forth (it will be slow moving) it should be ok.

Turn the short shaft by hand the opposite way and you should be able to see the part at the bottom of the long shaft that the clutch mounts to spin in one direction too.

I would guess all you may need is a new coupler and there was no reason to even remove the transmission from the washer in the first place.

The coupler is a common part to wear out and I must have replaced hundreds or more of them over the years. It's a cheap and easy part to replace.

JDB59 12-14-2010 08:36 PM

Yes, turning the short shaft of the transmission does cause the long shaft to slowly turn back and forth. :) However, when I turn the short shaft the opposite direction the part of the long shaft that the clutch is mounted to does not move. Instead, the long shaft moves slowly back and forth just as it did earlier when I was turning the input shaft the "other" way. Hmmm?

ApplianceJunk 12-14-2010 09:31 PM

You may have to turn it the other way for some time before it shifts out of agitation mode and into spin mode.

I suggest you put the washer back together with a new motor coupler and try it.

JDB59 12-15-2010 09:31 AM

I will install a new motor coupler, put the machine back together and give her a whirl.

While I'm thinking of it, I have a habit (an OCD type thing) of spinning the agitator a few times, by hand, with detergent in it and as the tub is filling. I do this to dissolve the detergent more quickly so I can then put the clothes in before the tub is completely filled. Am I messing with the transmission by doing this, and could this action caused the coupler to fail?

Again, thank you for prompt, helpful, and professional assistance.


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