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Replacing direct drive washer brake shoes

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A slow spin sometimes is due to dragging brake shoes if nothing stuck in the tub, or a broken filter

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Old 12-09-2007, 05:14 AM
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Default Replacing direct drive washer brake shoes

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A slow spin sometimes is due to dragging brake shoes if nothing stuck in the tub, or a broken filter under the spin basket. A shattered coupler failure during spin is another indication. Shine a lite in the basket to check, or just remove spin basket to check for foreign objects. Other indications are excessive vibration during spin, or a jerky stop. If you have an amprobe, measure the motor current during spin. With the tub full of water, the current should quickly go up to 10 amps, then ramp down to below 9 as the basket gets up to full speed when high speed is selected. If it just stays at 8 amps or less, you have a slipping clutch probably due to dragging brake shoes.These numbers will vary as a complex function of how bad the shoes are dragging and/or clutch slipping. If one brake shoe drags more than the other,or is worn more, current draw may be "normal", and the washer will vibrate excessively in spin. If the current is over 11 amps, the motor should start smoking! If the spin basket has difficulty getting up to speed, you have a slipping clutch. You can determine this by slightly holding the spin basket when you select spin.A rapid spin up to speed shows a "good" clutch.

Another indication is a jerky, noisy stop at turn off. A really serious indication, is a smoking motor! To confirm further, remove pump and motor (replace tranny coupler if broken) and turn tranny coupler clockwise till basket starts to turn, if very hard to turn, this confirms it.If unsure, put the motor back in and turn the shaft with an adjustable wrench. If it feals like excessive torq is needed to get the basket turning, you have problems. Do this test several times, brake rollers wear unevenly and sometimes they release the brakes, and sometimes they don't. If it takes a lot of rotation to get the tranny to engage spin, and the coupler broke, your coupler broke during agitation of a heavy load and brake shoes may be ok. If it only took a few turns to get it into spin, the coupler broke during spin. I just repaired one with a jerky stop and found it cracked the motor epoxy and ruined the motor bushings! At this point, I would resist the temptation of just spraying the shoes with WD-40. This is a temporary fix of a deteriorating situation that may degrade to the "smoking" motor stage! If the washer is an older one, and the brakes are not sticking "bad" WD-40 is ok, the situation is not deteriorating "fast".

The reason for brake shoe failure is a combination of soft brake shoe roller metal and lack of lubrication on the rollers.

Be aware,dragging brake shoes will eventually ruin the motor bushings, smoke the motor run winding, and accelerate the wear out of the brake shoes,clutch, coupler and tranny nylon gear.

To replace brake shoes, first remove motor, pump, agitator and tranny. Do NOT remove the hoses, just jam the pump to the left. At this time, pound on the new coupler and make sure it is a very tight fit. If the washer is more than 6 years old, you may find the tranny hard to pull out. You then will need to clean/scrape the spindle just above the spindle seal to let the spindle slide out easily. You can do this when you pull out the tranny. If the spin tube comes out with the tranny, push the tranny back in and clean/scrape the tranny spindle more, you want to avoid removing the spin tube along with the tranny. Then, loosen the spin basket drive block nut with the special spanner wrench, Part number: AP3538707

Part number: AP3538707
, pound down on the loose nut and pull up on one side of the spin basket to break free. If you don't have the special spanner wrench, you can use a small pipe wrench and a heavy hammer, just turn it counterclockwise.However, It is recommended to use the special spanner wrench to properly tighten the drive block nut at the end of the repair. At this time it might be a good idea to pull the spin basket to check for something in the tub, or a broken filter. If nothing, replace the spin basket before proceeding, but don't tighten the drive block nut. Also, at this time, test the clutch sitting on top of the tranny. Hold the clutch housing and try to turn the inner pad assembly, if really hard to turn, it's ok. If not, either get a new clutch AP3094537 or FRP # Part number: 285785

Part number: 285785
, or fix the old one. If not badly worn, you can add small washers into the spring retainer, just make sure the spring is still retained.

On the bottom of the spin tube, pry down the spin tube sufficiently to get the brake shoes clear of the brake housing, (but not too far). Do NOT pull the spin tube out all the way, it's not necessary and you will have a mess of turbine oil on the floor and it will require more work. Then remove c clips, spring,plastic cam, steel cam and brake shoes.Check the brake shoe cam rollers for excessive play, if worn replace the shoes.

The new brake shoes are available, Part number: 285438

Part number: 285438
, $32,this site #AP3094432. To repair the old shoes, I routinely grind down the shoe pads by 1/8 inch or less, just try to take the same amount of pad from both shoes. Then put oil on the pad and work some silicone grease in the roller.***Hint: If you have no grinder, you can use a wood file or sharp wood scraper on the pads with them STILL mounted on the spin tube. This will save a lot of time! This assumed you have only a small amount of wear on the brake shoe rollers.If you had a "smoking motor", type jam, replace the brake shoes. This will solve your problem. Check the brake housing for rust pits, if so, I put oil on the brake shoe pads and smoothen the housing with emery paper. If this housing is badly pitted, you will probably need to grind down more of the pad and in this case, new brake shoes will not work without grinding!
Grease the brake shoe cam rollers; This will ensure long, trouble free service! Re-assemble, pushing the spin tube up all the way.Test the brake shoes by turning the plastic cam till the brakes release. If they fail to release completely, grind more off the pads. Pack silicone grease in the upper spindle seal before putting back the tranny. I lubricate the tranny spindle with non-detergent oil (zoom spout oiler Part number: 55191

Part number: 55191
),makes it easier to push in. After you replace the motor, turn the motor shaft clockwise till you hear the tranny shift to spin. If very hard to turn, you have something jammed in there that was overlooked. If ok Now check motor current, should be lower than before. It is important to check motor current for safe operation. A motor drawing well over 11 amps will start smoking! Before tightening the drive block nut, make sure the spin tube tabs are in the spin drive block slots. Just push down and turn the spin basket till they fall in place. It's important to really pound tight the drive block nut to prevent future problems. If the spin basket becomes loose later, it will wear(make a ramp) the spin tube tabs. If this happens, you will have to file the tabs to remove the ramp and install a new drive block.

This repair is a lot easier and cheaper than replacing the entire spin tube assembly!

Note: Be careful not to grind too much pad off the shoes, if you do, it will take much longer to stop and make more noise. Also, you may need to tilt the washer back a lot more to keep the spin tube from sliding down.

Note: The coupler is put in there to break from a high impact load,(ex.stuck brake shoes or heavy agitator load), thus protecting other components from failure.A high impact load can occur from a towel stuck in the tub, or sneakers with insufficient water. However,it will not necessarily break due to a high friction load, which may deteriorate to a smoking motor load! An example of a high friction load would be brake shoes that "partially" release and cause a motor current over 11 amps. Fortunately, Whirlpool is NOW using less friction pads in the new clutch assembly that tend to reduce the probability of a smoking motor as the clutch will start to slip. However, if this happens, the clutch will wear out quicker.

New update, Whirlpool has put a ridge on the tranny thrust washer above the c clip. When you pull and replace the tranny, this washer can shift higher, thus jamming the spin tube!

Latest update, The new clutches only have 3 pads, thus they wear out fast, so fast that they fail to properly release the brake shoes giving a false symptom of bad brakes. Just replace/repair the clutch before testing.

When the job is done, it's best (particularly if you had a smoking motor) to test the current draw in agitate and spin, anything over 10 amps will indicate a bad motor, burnt/shorted windings.
Shake update;
If the washer shakes in spin with a jerky motion and no clothes in it, you might have worn skate plate pads. It also could have weak springs, an unbalanced spin basket, or bad brake shoes that where filed differtly on each shoe.
Remove outer panel and all skate plate springs and check for stretched springs. If ok, jam a board under the skate plate and replace each brown friction pad 285744,(AP3094518) should fix it.

Good luck

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Last edited by richappy : 06-01-2012 at 01:43 AM.
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Old 08-03-2008, 07:46 PM
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maybe it's just me, but this seems pretty complicated for a person who has never worked on a washing machine before. would you agree?

if i were to call a repairman, what kind of charge should i expect to pay?

**edit**
sorry, forgot to say that i am having an issue with spin only. agitate works, drains fine, but won't spin even with one wet towel in it. there is a burning smell if we leave it, however, if you help start it by hand, it will spin up to speed on it's own.

this is in a kenmore 90 series

Last edited by IvelDesigns : 08-03-2008 at 07:51 PM.
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Old 08-04-2008, 02:03 AM
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Jamming brake shoes is your most probable problem. A servicer may replace the spin tube and charge about $200 or more depending on labor rates. Makes the repair more than it's value!!
It's worth a try, but you really need the special spanner wrench sold by this site. Don't know the part #. If you buy it, please inform this site the part # and cost.
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Last edited by richappy : 03-11-2009 at 04:12 AM.
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Old 03-08-2009, 05:32 PM
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rich happy is awesome
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Old 03-09-2009, 01:46 AM
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It's good you'r fixing this before something more expensive fails.
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Old 03-11-2009, 02:54 PM
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Do u happen to know where I can get a diagramed manual for a Kenmore 80 series
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Old 03-12-2009, 02:43 AM
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Never saw such a thing. If you want to get good experience with a direct drive Whirlpool washer, I suggest you get a junked one and take it apart; illustrated diagrams in this parts site help.
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Old 05-20-2009, 01:23 AM
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Post this as a problem with the washer model #.
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Old 09-03-2009, 11:27 AM
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I'm new here also and I think my washer is doing the samething with the brakes as it makes a bad noise when it goes to spin cycle.I have already got everyhting apart far as the hull of the washer took off.I see the couplings are in great shape as I moved the motor off.I have checked the tub and everyhitng is ok,nothing in there hung.But how to get to the brakes is another thing as I don't have the spanner wrench and don't even no were to look for one?I guess at the appliance store?
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Old 09-14-2009, 11:39 PM
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Default Replacing direct drive washer brake shoes

Fortunetly for me your sugestion to look for items that may have gotten between the drum was all that I needed to do to fix my michine. A wash cloth had gotten in there and was all that was causing the trouble.
You saved me a fortune and made me lots of brownies points with the wife.

Thanks
E
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