Tips and Procedures
Learn how to restore appliances to the appearance and function they had when new.


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Spin Tube

Belted washers have a spin tube that rotates around the agitator shaft and is the heart of the spin function. A spin tube is shown in the following diagram.

Spin Tube

The spin basket attaches to the top of the tube and spin torque is applied via the spin clutch. The spin tube and spin pulley are shown in purple in the following diagram.

Spin Tube2

The spin tube can wear out and cause the basket to wobble on the agitator shaft during the spin cycle. A water seal at the top of the spin tube keeps water from flowing between the spin tube and the agitator shaft. If this seal leaks, water runs down the agitator shaft and displaces the grease in the transmission case. Therefore, replacing the spin tube can restore several important functions of the washer.

Spin Tube Replacement Procedure

Replacing the spin tube is a very involved and labor intensive procedure but the rewards are large so here we go!!

Removing the Spin Basket

  1. Unplug the washer and disconnect the water hoses.
  2. I like to move the washer out into the garage or driveway because we are going to work on it from top to bottom and disassemble most of the major components.
  3. Unplug the washer and insert the three-prong plug in three holes of the four-hole diamond on the rear of the cabinet, just below the console.
  4. Lift the drain hose out of the sewer drain pipe and hook it over the console.
  5. Turn the water off at the faucets for both inlet hoses and disconnect them from the faucets.
  6. (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 washer finish.
  7. Lift the washer top up and slowly swing it back against a wall behind the washer.
  8. Locate the snubber and spring assembly that is resting on the tub ring in the rear right hand corner of the cabinet.
  9. Slide a large screwdriver under the snubber spring and slip the grey plastic snubber out of the spring. Use a 1/2 inch socket wrench to remove the bolt holding the snubber spring to the cabinet. Swing the spring counterclockwise to get it out of its slot in the cabinet.
  10. Remove all of the clips from the white plastic tub ring. Lift the tub ring straight up and off the tub. Set it aside.
  11. Remove the top plate of the agitator to gain access to the bolt holding the agitator to the agitator shaft. If you have an auger agitator it has an upper auger portion and bell shaped agitator below. The whole thing will come out in one assembly after you remove the agitator bolt. Use a 7/16 inch socket to remove the bolt. Grasp the bottom of the agitator and pull straight up. Lift the agitator out of the machine.
  12. Compress the clamp on the water inlet hose and slide it down the hose a couple of inches. Pull the hose off the water inlet which is setting on top of the white plastic tub ring. Bend the hose back and secure it out of the way by sliding it behind the tub support rod.
  13. Place a flat-blade screwdriver in one of the slots of the locknut on the top of the agitator column. Strike the screwdriver with a hammer to unscrew the locknut in a counter-clockwise direction. Use caution to avoid striking the porcelain coating on the basket. A neat spanner wrench is available as a Gemline part at your friendly appliance parts store to remove this locknut.
  14. Rock the basket until it is free on the drive block. Grab the basket on the inside rim and lift it out of the tub.

Removing the Gearcase

  1. Lay the washer down on the front of the cabinet. If you have a dolley you can lift the washer up from the front of the cabinet and lay it front side down in a convenient place to work from the bottom of the washer. If you don't have a dolley, lay a rug that won't be damaged by a little water in front of the washer and then pull the washer over and lay it down with the front of the cabinet on the rug.
  2. If you haven't already done so, remove the two 5/16 inch sheet metal screws that secure the rear access panel and set the panel aside.
  3. Place an old rag or some paper towels on the cabinet under the transmission gearcase. Most gearcases will start to drip transmission grease when placed on their side. This is not a serious problem but you wouldn't want to leave the washer in this position overnight. The rag or paper towels will catch the grease so that when you tip the washer up again, the grease will not run down on the floor.
  4. Locate the 9/16" motor bracket adjustment nut above the motor on top of the tub platform and loosen it with an open-end wrench or an adjustable wrench. Pivot the motor to the right to fully loosen the belt. Remove the belt from the motor pulley and the gearcase pulley. Move the motor back to the left just to get it out of the way.
  5. (Figure 2) Familiarize yourself with the major components under the washer. The drive belt goes around the drive motor pulley, the gearcase drive pulley, the pump pulley and the spin clutch pulley.
  6. (Figure 3) Remove the nuts from the three transmission gearcase braces using a socket wrench with at least a 6" extension and a 1/2" socket.
  7. (Figure 4) Remove the two bolts holding the water pump to the gearcase using a socket wrench and a 1/2" socket. Open the hose clamps on the water pump ports and slide the clamps down the hoses away from the pump. Slide the pump out of the hoses and set it aside.
  8. (Figure 5) Locate the plunger under the spin coil on the wig wag. The spin coil is the one with white and red wires connected to it. Hold the spin coil plunger up with the index finger of your left hand and turn the gearcase drive pulley with your right hand. Keep turning until the plunger slides the spin slide bar out towards the motor. This engages the spin clutch. Click here for a diagram of the spin clutch assembly. Note the location of the spin clutch spring in the diagram for the next step.
  9. (Figure 6) Locate the spin clutch spring and remove it. With the clutch engaged and the spring removed, the spin clutch yoke is now free.
  10. (Figure 7) Locate the three large gearcase stud mounting bolts. Remove the lowest bolt completely using a socket wrench and a 9/16" socket. As you slide the bolt out, grab the 3/4" long spacer and set it aside. Now remove the remaining two bolts and set them aside.
  11. (Figure 8) Before you slide the gearcase back, check the status of the "T" bearing and its ball bearing key. The "T" bearing is located on the agitator shaft between the spin clutch pulley and the gearcase. The bearing is free to slide anywhere on the agitator shaft when you pull the gearcase out.
  12. If the ball bearing is facing down when the "T" bearing goes scooting up the agitator shaft, you hear the ball bearing key clink as it falls out and then rolls away. Position the keyway on the upper half of the agitator shaft so that if the "T" is moved away from the ball bearing key, the ball bearing won't fall out of its socket in the agitator shaft. If you have to rotate the agitator shaft to see the ball and "T" bearing keyway, hold the wig wag agitate plunger (closest to the drive pulley) up while you spin the drive pulley with your other hand until the slide bar shifts into the agitate function. Further spinning of the drive shaft will rotate the shaft back and forth so that the ball bearing's socket in the shaft comes up to the top and is more visible. Don't forget to hold the plunger up when you turn the pulley or the wig wag will shift the transmission out of the agitate function!
  13. Remove the white, red and yellow wires from the control magnet or wig wag on top of the transmission.
  14. Pry the end of the spin clutch yoke that has the black plastic retainer off of the yoke support stem coming up from the gearcase. Take care with this step as the plastic retainer is easily broken.
  15. Place your hand under the other end of the clutch plate and slowly pull the transmission towards you. Catch the 2 or 3 washers on the spin clutch shaft.
  16. Grasp the transmission with both hands and gently pull it out and set it aside. The gearcase is heavy (25 lbs or so).

Removing the Basket Drive (Spin Tube, Clutch and Brake) Assembly

  1. This assembly is being held in by the bottom tub seal.
  2. Grab the basket drive assembly by the spin drive pulley and firmly pull it out of the washer. The spin tube is a tight fit in the bottom seal by design. Never beat on the end of the spin tube with a metal object to get it out because you will deform it and it won't go through the bottom seal. Dress the top end of the spin tube with a fine metal file until you can pull it through the seal.

Restoring the Basket Drive Assembly

  1. (Figure 9) The assembled basket drive assembly is shown in the linked drawing. Take a few minutes to become familiar with its components. The assembly is held together in compression by the set screw in the brake. The brake pad slides freely on the spin tube.
  2. If the brake pad has absorbed a lot of oil and grease, replace it with a new one.
  3. (Figure 10) Put the basket drive assembly in a big vise as shown in the following diagram. Use an Allen wrench to back out the set screw and then open the vise to releive the compression on the springs.
  4. Slide the brake, yoke and clutch off the spin tube. Set the springs aside.
  5. Use a flat blade screwdriver to remove the C clip retaining the spin pulley on the spin tube. Slide the pulley and the fiber washer off the spin tube. We are now ready to reassemble the basket drive assembly with some new parts.
  6. Slide the fiber washer and the spin pulley down onto the new spin tube. Install the C clip to lock the pulley in place.
  7. Slide the clutch, yoke,brake plates and springs onto the spin tube and load them up into the vise again.
  8. Compress the top brake plate until you can see the hole in spin tube line up with the threaded hole for the set screw. Use the allen wrench to seat the set screw into the spin tube. Remove the basket drive assembly from the vise.

Reassembling the Basket Drive Assembly and Gearcase

  1. Slide the basket drive assembly back into the bottom seal.
  2. Slide the gearcase agitator shaft most of the way into the basket drive assembly. Now is a good time to route the new belt around the pulleys. Make sure the drive motor is pivoted back to the right so that you can get the new belt on the motor pulley. This step is complete when you have the belt around the gearcase drive pulley, the spin pulley, and around the drive motor pulley. Make sure that the belt is in the groove of the motor pulley. Now we have to put the washer back together!!
  3. Slide the gearcase all the way in. Guide the spin clutch shaft into its hole in the clutch yoke. If there were any spacers (washers) on top of the clutch shaft, replace them before you put the clutch yoke down on them. Replace the clutch yoke spring. Make sure the yoke support on the opposite end of the yoke from the spring is in its plastic retainer. Check to see that the T bearing is in place with no greater than 1/16 inch clearance between it and the spin tube on top and the gearcase below. If everything is back where it belongs, the gearcase will be up against the gearcase mounting studs. If there is a gap, check the T bearing and clutch yoke again to confirm that they are in their correct places.
  4. Hold the spacer in place and replace the gearcase mounting bolt that you removed earlier. Tighten the bolt finger tight only. Tighten the other two bolts finger tight also. Why not tighten them up all the way? If you slid the transmission back with the machine on its side there is a slight chance for a misalignment in the spin clutch assembly. Grab the transmission gearcase and lift up on it with one hand while you tighten the top two bolts with the socket wrench in your other hand. Now tighten the lower bolt.
  5. (Figure 11) Replace the three braces. Brace No. 1 (the dirtiest one resembling a boomerang with shredded belt bits on it) goes around the drive motor. The rounded sides will face up. Make sure that you place the No. 1 brace on the upper raised stud along with the ground wire. There is another bolt stud near the correct one but the nut won't fit the threads on the stud. Brace No. 2 goes around the plastic drain manifold. Brace No. 3 attaches near the drive pulley. The top of Brace No. 3 goes UNDER the tub platform lip. Firmly tighten these nuts with a 1/2" socket wrench.
  6. You will replace the two water pump bolts and tighten them with the same 1/2" socket wrench used to tighten the braces. Swing the pump back into its home position and hook the pump pulley on the belt and put the rubber-tipped pump shift lever in the agitate slide bar slot. Align the top hole in the pump frame with the threaded hole in the transmission gearcase. Start the threads with the bolt in your fingers. DO NOT shove the bolt into the gearcase threaded hole and start cranking with the socket wrench! You can easily strip the threads in the gearcase. After finger starting the top bolt you can run it in a couple of turns with the socket wrench but don't tighten it yet. Grab the water pump and twist it until the bottom bolt hole aligns with the threaded hole in the gearcase. Again, try to start the bolt threads by hand if you can otherwise put the bolt in the socket and extension (without the wrench handle) and try to get it started. Now tighten both bolts.
  7. Check the belt again to make sure its in the grooves of all four pulleys. Make sure the belt is in the drive motor pulley grove instead of out on the pulley shoulder!! The gearcase drive pulley is the easiest one to take the belt off of and it should be the last one that you put the belt on.
  8. Tighten the belt by prying the motor back to the left to get a deflection of about 1/2" in the belt. Tighten the 9/16" motor bracket mounting nut. An alternate approach is to snug up the 9/16" nut and tap the inside edge of the motor bracket with a hammer until the proper tension is reached.
  9. Replace the rear access panel, pick up the transmission grease catching rag, and right the machine.
  10. Reassemble the basket, tub ring, snubber, agitator and water inlet hose. Check for proper operation.

Figure 1 (Return)

Clips

Figure 2 (Return)

Pulley

Figure 3 (Return)

Gearcase1

Figure 4 (Return)

Gearcase2

Figure 5 (Return)

Spin Clutch

Figure 6 (Return)

Agitator Shaft

Figure 7 (Return)

Transmission Mounting Bolts

Figure 8 (Return)

Bearing

Figure 9 (Return)

Brake Pads

Figure 10 (Return)

Brake Pads2

Figure 11 (Return)

Gearcase Braces