Proper Operation
Learn how your appliance is supposed to operate so you can determine if it is malfunctioning.

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Replacing Drum Support Rollers

Two roller wheels suspend the rear of the drum. The wheels have a hard rubber outer "tire" on an inner plastic rim. A self-lubricating sleeve bearing is mounted in the center of the wheel. The roller wheels are mounted on a hard steel shaft which is bolted to the dryer drum bulkhead. The sleeve bearing is the first component of the roller wheel assembly to fail. The lubricating qualities of the bearing decrease with age and the sleeve starts to wear away. Once the wear starts, it progresses rapidly until the bearing is wallowed out. This causes the wheel to wobble on the shaft. This noise is transmitted to the drum where it is amplified. The resulting sound is usually a rumbling noise and sometimes is accompanied by a grinding sound. The roller wheel must be replaced.

New Whirlpool Drum Roller Part Number 349241T

Replacing the Drum Support Roller

  2. If you have a lower access panel, remove it by pulling the top towards you and lifting it off the two lower support brackets.
  3. Remove the lint filter and the two screws that were under it.
  4. Pull the dryer away from the wall.
  5. (Figure 1) Get a putty knife and slide it in between the top and the cabinet about 2.5" in from each corner to release the clips holding the top down. Push in and pull up on the knife to release the clips. Don't use a screwdriver for this step or you will damage the dryer finish.
  6. Get a 5/16" nutdriver and lift the top up. You can rest the top on your head for this step. Reach in and remove the wires from the door switch. Mark them if there a three wires. Remove the clip holding the door switch wires. Replace the clip after removing the wires. Remove the two 5/16" sheet metal screws inside and near the top on both sides of the front panel.
  7. (Figure 2) Now pull the top of the front panel towards you until the drum drops out of the front bearing. Lift the front panel clear of the two screws at the two lower corners. You don't have to loosen these screws. Lower the top.
  8. Lay down on the floor in front of the dryer and grasp the idler pulley in your left hand. Push the idler pulley back to the right and slip the belt off the motor pulley with your right hand. Remove the idler pulley by lifting it out of its mounting slot ( you may have to move it slightly to the right).
  9. Leave the belt on the drum. Grasp the drum and work it out of the cabinet. Slide it through the rounded cutouts in cabinet side panels. You may want to put on a pair of gloves for this step to keep from cutting up your hands on the sharp edges. Set the drum aside.
  10. Inspect the two roller wheels towards the back of the dryer. Normally only one will have worn out. It won't be difficult to detect. There will be metal dust all around underneath it. If one wheel has failed, proceed to the next step. If everything looks OK, close this procedure back up and read the symptoms for the other noises.
  11. Remove the plastic triangle clip if it is the right hand wheel over the motor. Remove the metal friction clip, the metal brace and the plastic triangle clip it it is the left hand wheel. Inspect the shaft for any evidence of scoring by the sleeve bearing. The shaft is so hard that there will usually not be any damage. Replace the shaft too if there is any scoring since a scored shaft will cause the new wheel bearing to wear quickly.
  12. Place the new wheel on the shaft and replace the plastic triangle retainer clip, and if necessary, the support bracket and metal lock clip.
  13. (Figure 3) Position the drum back onto the rear rollers. Slide the foot of the idler pulley spring into its slot and push it to the left to secure it. Loop the belt through under the idler pulley, swing the pulley to the right and loop the belt around the motor pulley. Release the idler pulley. Check to see if the belt is lined up perpendicular to the shaft so that the belt won't jump off the pulley when you start the dryer.
  14. Lift the top (hold it on your head again), position the front panel on the two lower 5/16" screws, replace the door switch wires and retainer clip, lift the front of the drum onto the front bearings and replace the two 5/16" screws securing the front panel to the cabinet. Lower the cabinet top and lock it down. Replace the lower access panel if you had one. Replace the lint filter chute screws and slide the filter back in. Plug the dryer in and check for proper operation.

Figure 1 (Return)

Clip LocationPutty Knife

Figure 2 (Return)

Dryer Drum

Figure 3 (Return)

Motor and Idler pulley assembly