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800 Series washer does not always spin


Premium Member
Jan 14, 2014
New Jersey
Model Number
Sears Kenmore
6-10 years
My Kenmore 800 series washer has been leaving the wash very wet recently. Today, I found that it was not spinning at all, although it had drained the water. I tried every cycle but could not get it to spin. Then (with the machine stopped) I gave the tub a slight push clockwise. There was a sound like something (the clutch maybe) snapping into position. I then restarted the machine in the spin part of the cycle, and it began to spin normally.
I tried it many times again and it seemed to be spinning ok now. Of course, I understand that something is wrong, and what I did probably reset some part into position, or perhaps the tub was slightly off-balance.

I wanted to look at the innards of the machine, but not having done any work on a washer in a very long time, I was looking for a way to remove the rear panel. After failing to remove the panel, I Googled and found some great videos on YouTube, showing me exactly how to work on the machine.
I went back to the machine and defeated the lid interlock so that I could see whether it was agitating or not. I found that it was. I also found that as the spin cycle is starting, the tub is still full of water. I understand this is normal for these machines. On the older machines, the pump and spin cycles were separate. The first machine I had where the pump and spin cycle were the same was a GE about 15-20 years ago.

As the machine was beginning its spin cycle, I put my hand gently on the inside of the tub, and found that it was easy to stop it from spinning. Of course, I never attempted to stop its spin once it had started. So this led me to conclude that the clutch is weak. This would explain why sometimes the wash comes out dripping, but other times it seems fine.

Watching the YouTube videos, it seems that replacing the clutch and motor coupling is a straight-forward job, which does not involve any special tools. I believe I can handle this, so I went ahead and ordered the clutch and motor coupling from Sears Parts Direct. I don't really think the motor coupling is bad, but since I will be working on the clutch anyway, and the coupling was only another $14, I figured I might as well replace both.

There is another issue with this machine, which first led me to believe the problem was the timer.
The second spin on the "normal" cycle has been running at slow (same as for delicate cycle) speed for some time, yet for the Ultra cycle, the second spin is fast. The first spin on both normal and ultra cycles is fast.
I cannot figure out why the second spin on the normal cycle would be slow. This will result in incomplete water extraction for heavier loads. Yet at the same time, this condition is not intermittent. I do not believe this was always the case. I used to do certain loads on normal cycle with 2nd spin, and clothes were coming out fine. Then, occasionally clothes would come out dripping when the 2nd spin was used, and more recently, occasionally when only one spin was used. I believe that today was the first time the machine failed to spin at all.
It appears that I may have multiple issues with this machine. The clutch is one, and the timer is the other. Since a new timer is $100, I didn't want to order one until I had replaced the clutch and know that the machine is spinning correctly in the first place.

A schematic diagram would be helpful to me, but I was unable to find one on Sears Parts Direct. Perhaps someone here can direct me to where I can purchase (or download) the schematic for this machine.

Does anyone have any comments/suggestions on this issue?
I have to wait about a week for the new parts, so in the mean time I will be watching all the videos and reading all I can about this repair so I really know what I am doing.