Kenmore -One Direction Agitation


Washer Repair

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We have an older, but wonderful, Kenmore washer in need of some "help". The symptoms: Fills and drains normally Timer

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Old 02-03-2013, 11:37 AM
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Default Kenmore -One Direction Agitation
Model Number: 110.C26832692   Brand: Kenmore   Age: More than 10 years   

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We have an older, but wonderful, Kenmore washer in need of some "help".

The symptoms:
  • Fills and drains normally
  • Timer moves through cycles normally
  • Fill and temp settings work normally
  • Lid switch works normally
  • Top agitator moves normally, feed-dogs appear to function as intended.
  • Lower agitator makes loud "grinding" noise and will only move in a clock-wise direction under load. Any number of pairs of adult pants or towels will cause failure. When load resistance is too heavy and agitator moves in one direction only, clothes become wrapped around agitator. Unwrapping/detangling of load allows agitation to occur normally for 6-9 seconds (yup, I timed it) before one direction movement resumes. If the load is ultra-light (4-5 t-shirts & few prs underwear in full tub of water) the agitation moves normally in both directions and cycle will complete without incident. Basket does not move with agitator in either situation.
  • On spin - agitator spins with basket. Slow speed spin functions relatively normally. High speed spin operates normally sometimes. More frequently, the spin will "Grab and Clunk" and the agitator shaft will stop momentarily during the spin. The agitator then immediately resumes spinning before the "Grab and Clunk" occurs again. We did remove the plastic agitator, ran a dry run spin and saw that the agitator shaft will "Grab and Clunk" on a spin even with nothing in the machine.
  • When the spin cycle is experiencing agitator "Grab and Clunk", bypassing the lid switch and holding the agitator still during the spin cycle completely stops the "Grab and Clunk" action. No downward pressure or upward pulling of the agitator is required to stop the "Grab and Clunk". The agitator presents no resistance whatsoever at these times and all that is required is a hand on top to keep it from spinning with the basket.
  • I assume that this is NOT a Neutral-Drain machine as the rinse cycle drain and spin occur simultaneously. Or, perhaps this IS a problem. It isn't something that I paid any attention to prior to this trouble.
  • The interior of the machine cabinet does NOT show oil leakage.
  • The floor under the machine does NOT show any oil leakage or black sooty/plastic bits.
  • Spraying the exterior of the clutch assembly with water does not show any signs of overheating (no sizzling or steaming). This was something that we read to test.
  • The load does ocassionally become unbalanced, but I assume that this is due to the high-water, low clothing load required for current functioning and is easily remedied.
Any help and advice is most appreciated. With much thanks in advance, we will patiently await a reply.

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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 02-03-2013, 12:25 PM
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What is the serial number of the machine? and/or, do you know the exact age of the machine?

It's sounding like a gearcase issue. During spin, the agitator shaft is not "driven" by the gearcase, however it is free to rotate so stopping the agitator by hand during spin is normal on this model. The agitator will spin during spin mode simply due to friction of the bearings in the spin tube. The bearings are pressed into the spin tube and the agitator shaft goes up through the bearings in the spin tube.

With the agitator removed, in agitate mode, can you stop the agitator shaft from going CCW by hand?

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Old 02-03-2013, 01:26 PM
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Thanks Eric for your quick reply,

I will go and take the agitator off and try. In the meantime, the serial number is #CJ1507552

I will report back as soon as I get an answer to your other question (just have to find that socket set).

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Old 02-03-2013, 02:21 PM
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Okay - here we go ...

In regards to your question about stoping CCW motion during agitation: Yes and No

I couldn't figure out how to grasp the agitator post with the agitator off to give resistance only for the CCW motion and not the CW motion. So, I tried with the agitator on. I know - not the best idea to stick one's hands in a moving washer. But, I do still have all ten fingers after this "experiment".

I was unable to get the agitator to stop the CCW motion for a bit and then it suddenly seemed to slip and it took only minimal force to stop the motion. The agitator tried to move CCW, but without much force. Then it would "catch" again and I could not stop it. However, the longer I stopped it from CCW motion, the less likely it was to "catch" again until I stopped resisting- i.e. it wouldn't "catch" back again easily if I kept up resistance. If I held it from even moving slightly CCW when it was resisting weakly, it would "click" and there was a faint "whirring" noise (I know noises are hard to accurately convey). When it did "catch", I was completely unable to stop it moving CCW. At all times, I was not able to stop the CW movement.

Does this help? Or is there a "trick" to grabbing the agitator for only the CCW movement with the agitator off?

Also, for what it is worth - I just remembered that the agitator shaft/base does not sit totally straight. There is a small difference in the distance that one side of the agitator bottom sits from the tub bottom. I can run my fingers around under the agitator in one area, but it is just a little too tight in the other areas. But, it has been that was for as long as I can remember with this machine.

Thanks again for your help.

Last edited by mommysews : 02-03-2013 at 02:31 PM.
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:42 PM
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Your washer was manufactured in 1999, so it does have a neutral drain gearcase. The neutral drain mechanism gets set during the first few seconds of agitate mode. After agitate, the motor should pause, then start again in the reverse direction and the washer should drain only. The motor should then pause again causing neutral drain to release, then start again continuing to drain and spin.

I was trying to eliminate the agitator from the equation. Check the splines up inside the agitator. When they strip out, it usually causes slippage in both directions so I really don't think that's the problem. It's looking like the gearcase. Apparently, the neutral drain isn't working. Sometimes, parts of it can break or come loose and float around in the gearcase causing intermittent problems.


Last edited by fairbank56 : 02-03-2013 at 02:49 PM.
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:55 PM
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Thanks Eric,

Well, from what you have described, it sounds like the neutral drain _is_ working exactly as it should. I was just seeing that it didn't drain _completely_ and then pause before the spin begins. I thought that all the water was to be gone before it began the spin out. At least that is one thing off the "fix it" list.

The splines inside the agitator are in fine shape. The whole thing is actually quite clean and "gunk-free". Nothing appears broken or missing.

So - the gearcase, eh? Is there a way that I can positively identify it as such before I buy parts? I suppose that I need to do some research to see how this works.

Thanks again Eric.

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Old 02-03-2013, 03:17 PM
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Well, the agitator shaft is one solid piece of metal. The top is splined to mate with the splines of the agitator. Near the bottom, inside the gearcase, it is also splined to mate with the agitator gear. The gearcase appears to be the most likely culprit. I would pull your gearcase before ordering anything. If the shaft is bent (crooked agitator?), it might not come out. I'm not sure on the gearcase part number, yours is a Canadian model?

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