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FIXED ETW4100SQ0 Estate washer spin acting strange AFTER clutch kit repair

ShyGuy

Premium Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2020
Messages
20
Location
Hope, Arkansas
Model Number
ETW4100SQ0
Brand
Estate
Age
More than 10 years
My Estate, top loading, direct drive washer after 14 faithful years of operation suddenly won't spin even though it agitates fine. I checked the door switch for continuity. It was fine. So I pulled the tranny, and since I could turn the clutch pads without too much resistance, I ordered a genuine Whirlpool clutch kit:

After putting everything back together, it spun fine when I ran it without any clothes. But when I put a small load in, it wouldn't spin just like before the repair. Bear in mind, the water pumps out, there is about a 30 sec delay when the pump switches off, then the motor switches on for the spin cycle. At this point, if I open up the lid, reach in, spin the tub by hand a little, and re-close the lid suddenly I hear "something" engage and the tub starts spinning. The spinning sounds smooth and normal. No strange noises.

Is it possible my tranny is bad? Please help!

EDIT:
I pulled the motor and checked the coupling. It is fine. No missing teeth, etc. At this point, I am reading on this forum that it is possibly a bad basket drive https://www.repairclinic.com/PartDetail/Basket/W10820043/4324929 since this is often replaced "as a pair" with the clutch. However, this part is significantly more expensive than the clutch. How does one determine for certain that the basket drive is the problem? Is it like the clutch and if it turns easily it is bad? I just want to be 100% certain before plopping down $122. And from the picture, it seems to come with a new clutch band. Did I need to buy a new clutch kit or could I just saved myself some money and bought the basket drive in the first place?
 
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Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
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Messages
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Yes, It's either the basket drive, drive block, or transmission has worn out. Let's check the basket drive and drive block first.

Here is the basket drive/brake assembly for your model(Video Included):
W10820043 Basktdrive


You'll need a spanner wrench to remove the inner tub: Spanner Wrench

Here's the tub drive block for your model you can order here if needed:
Drive Block WP389140


Here's the Video: Top Load Washer Drive Block Video

You can see the comparison here:

See the one on the left, its the old one, the one on the right is the new one. It has to have those 2 ear slots. Does yours look like the one on the left or right?



Let us know what you find.

Jake
 

ShyGuy

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Joined
Mar 25, 2020
Messages
20
Location
Hope, Arkansas
Jake,

Thank you so much for the reply. I really want to get to the bottom of this because so many people on the web have the exact same problem, yet the diagnosis is never clear. And I am loathe at this point to throw any more parts at it unless I am close to 100% certain.

I have done some additional "tests" to see what's up. After pulling the tranny, I turned the inner tub by hand counterclockwise using the plastic brake cam to see if the brakes are hanging up and/or dragging. The brakes disengage fairly cleanly and I can turn the tub by hand without noticing any additional resistance other than the tub inertia. When I let go of the brake assembly the brakes pop open and immediately stop the tub versus skidding to a stop. Is this correct or should the brakes bring the tub to a stop slowly? Bear in mind, my hand spin is very, very slow. So at least from this test, I think I can safely say the brakes are fine and not dragging or seizing.

As for the drive block, that is something I did not consider. But, after studying the parts diagram, something doesn't sound quite right. I can see that the drive tube and drive block have ears that mate. So presumably if one or both of these were worn, would it be possible to turn the inner tub by hand via the brake assembly from below like I described above? I would think that the drive tube would spin freely while the inner tub remained still.

Plus, there is nothing quite like disassembling a 14 year old washer for the very first time. The brake shoes may not be seized but everything in that drive shaft sure is. It took me a lot of banging, penetrating oil, and ultimately sand paper to get the tranny shaft to pass through the opening. I don't have a spanner wrench, but with similar flare I was able to bang it off. Of course, now I am at the frustrating step of getting the inner tub to release from the drive block. Who know who long that will take as the only real leverage I have is just pulling on the dang thing. After that, I can only imaging the fun involved in getting the drive block off. Thus my question above. FWIW, when I look at the top of the block with the spanner nut removed, I can clearly see two ears and it looks nothing like the left one in your picture.

Anyway, I am motivated to get the inner tub out because I have also read that debris between the inner and outer tub can cause the spin to lock up. And after 14 years who knows what is there.

Also, after reading other websites of people having the exact same problem, I have heard it posited that the problem is the neutral drain switch in the tranny. I am not sure how it works, but my understanding is that after draining the motor is somehow supposed to engage the transmission to take it out of neutral to spin. Perhaps the tranny is getting stuck in the neutral gear? It would be an easy thing at this point to replace that.

Again, thank you so much for the help!

EDIT:
OK, after wrestling some with the inner tub, albeit unsuccessfully, to get it to release from the drive block, I studied the top of the block and could clearly see the two ears from the drive tube sitting in the ear slots of the drive block. Also, when turning the inner tub back and forth to lift it out, the drive block and drive tube are clearly turning together. There is nothing to indicate that the drive tube or drive block have failed. Here is a pic where hopefully you can see the ears from the drive tube inside the drive block ear slots.
 

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Jake

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Yes, the drive block is fine.:)

Jake
 

ShyGuy

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Joined
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Messages
20
Location
Hope, Arkansas
Jake,

A little update. I was able to successfully remove the inner tub. All it needed was a little heat from a blow torch. Turns out there wasn't anything lodged between the inner and outer tub. And frankly, it was a lot cleaner than I expected. I was expecting to see loads of mildew, so hats off to my wife!

Thank you so much for your prompt, expert response! It is great having someone with so much experience willing to share their insight :D

It is a relief to know that my drive block is fine, Phew!

One question if you don't mind. What specifically is wrong with the basketdrive/brake assembly not causing it to spin properly with a load in it? Would pulling the basketdrive and inspecting it reveal something definitive in diagnosing the basketdrive as the problem? That would really help!

Thanks!
 

Jake

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Excellent, good job getting the inner tub out. (y)

What specifically is wrong with the basketdrive/brake assembly not causing it to spin properly with a load in it?
When it's in the spin cycle, either the brake release linkage is no longer releasing the brake properly when you have a load of clothes in it, or the bearing on the basket drive has worn out, causing the same scenario.

Jake
 

ShyGuy

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Messages
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Location
Hope, Arkansas
Jake,

Thanks for the thumbs up! (y) Here's another update. After getting the inner tub out, I was motivated to clean up every last bit of mildew I could find. I scrubbed the inner tub, outer tub, wash ring, and the plastic top until my arm and shoulder were hurting :). I even banged off a lot of the rust on the drive shaft and polished it with some steel wool. Anyway, after all that I was tired of working on the washer and life was getting in the way even though the laundry is piling up. So after walking away from the washer for a while, I resumed by attacking the basketdrive. To my surprise, the drive block came off without a fight. I was totally prepared for at least an hour of banging, blow torch, etc. Nope, came right off with a couple of strikes with the hammer. OK, things seem to be proceeding a little like those repair videos for the first time! So, the next order of business: will the basketdrive slide out without a fight? For the most part it did! Now my washer is completely disassembled with every part sitting on the floor, Haha! Here is a pic of the top of my basketdrive. I think the ears look good.

So I am sorry to keep coming at ya with more questions and thank you, thank you, thank you, for taking the time to answer my questions. (y) But I have a few more!

First, as I was sliding the basketdrive out and when it was about 3/4 of the way out, a rather vile, smelly, completely black liquid suddenly released spilling onto the floor. I wiped it up and it didn't leave any oily residue, but I wanted to check to make sure that this wasn't some sort of lubricating oil vs some really vile, water that was somehow trapped in the basketdrive. Should I worry?

Second, if the bearing is bad, is it possible to replace just the bearing? Where is the bearing exactly?

Finally, when I install the new basketdrive, should I lubricate it? The shaft that the basketdrive inserts into looks pretty dirty and I want to take some steel wool to it to clean it out. Is this a bad idea?

Thanks again!
 

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Jake

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First, as I was sliding the basketdrive out and when it was about 3/4 of the way out, a rather vile, smelly, completely black liquid suddenly released spilling onto the floor. I wiped it up and it didn't leave any oily residue, but I wanted to check to make sure that this wasn't some sort of lubricating oil vs some really vile, water that was somehow trapped in the basketdrive. Should I worry?
No, you should not worry, unless your transmission itself is leaking oil.

Second, if the bearing is bad, is it possible to replace just the bearing? Where is the bearing exactly?
No, you can't replace just the bearing. The bearing is located at the very bottom of the basket drive.

Finally, when I install the new basketdrive, should I lubricate it? The shaft that the basketdrive inserts into looks pretty dirty and I want to take some steel wool to it to clean it out. Is this a bad idea?
No, don't lubricate it. No need to use steel wool either, I never have and I've replaced about 100 of these same basket drives on my service calls in my 33 years as a tech.:)

Jake
 

ShyGuy

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Wow! Once again, Jake to the rescue! Thanks for the responses! I am about to quickly get to work on this and will update you as to my progress (y):D
 

ShyGuy

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Hope, Arkansas
OK, I am back after putting it mostly back together. I wanted to do one more diagnostic test before hitting the buy button. I saw how some people jumpered the door switch and were able to watch what their washer was doing as it moved through the cycles. I decided to do the same. I made a short, 90 second video, and if you don't mind watching, it shows how the clutch turned briefly as it moved into the spin cycle but then stopped and didn't start spinning again until a wiggled the inner tub a bit. I figured if a picture is worth a thousand words then a video must be worth a million :D

Thanks for looking!
 

Jake

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What you did was turned the machine off then on again and it started spinning, that's called a neutral drain, if you wouldn't have pushed the timer knob in and just keep letting it run the timer would of naturally paused the motor, then restart the motor, thus the spinning begins.:)

There is about a 2 minute time frame where the drain cycle continues to run without it spinning, you didn't wait long enough.:)

Jake
 

ShyGuy

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Doh! I feel just like Homer Simpson right now! Slowly but surely, I am beginning to grasp how this machine works and thank you for your incredible patience and explanations :)

I finally mustered up the patience myself to literally sit through an entire load and listen to all the starts and stops. And, yes, after both the wash cycle and the rinse cycle, the washer pauses briefly, then the drain starts. When both drain cycles are finished, the washer pauses a second time, then the spin cycle starts. So at least from this I can rule out any problems with my timer not pausing the motor to engage the spin cycle :)

But sadly, the spin cycle does not start up. The motor sounds like it's running but no spin just like before. The thing that worries me is that the clutch plate doesn't even move the tiniest bit. I would think it would try to move if the basketdrive were the problem i.e. brakes seized or bad bearing as you mentioned before. Here is another quick, 40 second video where I let the washer timer cycle through the drain, pause, and spin by itself.

Thanks again for looking and all your expert help! :D

 
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ShyGuy

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To late to edit the above post, but some additional testing as I overcome my Homer Simpsoness:

- In the video above, I let the washer continue running until the end of the wash cycle. The spin never switched on, The motor continued to run the entire time as shown in the video and the clutch plate never moved an inch. The only other thing it did not shown in the video is it dumped some water into the tub a couple of times.
- Next, I repeated the test, and during what was supposed to be the spin cycle (about two minutes after the video above ends), I switched the washer off then on to see if that would do anything. Nothing.
- Finally, I switched off the washer, reached into the tub and turned it back and forth slightly, probably not more than an inch or two., When I switched the washer back on it started spinning.

If there are any other tests you would like me to run, I am happy to do so!

Thanks for all the great help!
 

Jake

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Got it!

So the silver clutch WAS NOT turning when it should be spinning in the spin cycle?

The silver clutch is just above the gearcase.

If the silver clutch WAS NOT turning when it should of been spinning, your gearcase is shot.

Here's the gearcase for your model you can order:
Transmission 3360629


Jake
 

ShyGuy

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Messages
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Location
Hope, Arkansas
Hi Jake,

Thanks again as always for the reply! You da man! :D
So the silver clutch WAS NOT turning when it should be spinning in the spin cycle?
Nope, as shown in my video above, the clutch did not move for the entire spin cycle even by the slightest amount. That's what was worrying me about assuming that it was the basketdrive/brakes that were causing the tub not to spin because I assumed that I would see some sort of movement out of the clutch in that scenario. Yikes, it looks like I have moved into an even costlier repair! I have seen some videos on gearcase rebuilds. I think I will at least open it up and take a look at things. Maybe I can cheaply rebuild it. Otherwise, I may be in the market for a new washer. Sigh...
 
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Jake

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As techs with 10 calls a day and 100 miles to travel we need to fix it promptly and get to the next call or we will be out till midnight. LOL

We never took the gearcase apart to replace the parts inside it, as that's very time consuming and messy to boot with the transmission oil in it, but if you have plenty of time on your hands like many do now with this Covid-19 virus, then go for it.:)

Rick gave very detailed instructions on how these transmissions work here:
He also points out the internal parts you will need in his post #8.

The Kenmore 110 models are made by Whirlpool and uses the exact same transmission your Whirlpool Estate does.:)

Jake
 

ShyGuy

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Hope, Arkansas
Jake,

Thanks for the link on rebuilding transmissions. That is perfect! It gives me the confidence that it can be done, and I found that the neutral drain kit for my model is available.

Whirlpool Neutral Drain Kit

I get it. When a repair tech is out on calls, it just isn't economical for the tech or the customer to rebuild these things.

That is one of the reasons I am an avid DIYer. But I am not your average DIYer. I have a lot of experience wrenching on my cars and other appliances in my house. It is a rare, rare day when I actually call someone to fix my stuff. But I am humble enough to know when something is out of my league. :)

But like I said in post #1, in the 14 years I've had this machine, it has NEVER given me a problem until now. So washers are somewhat new territory for me, and while I suspected a transmission problem, I was hesitant to tear into it without a second opinion :). However, I am always excited to learn. I will be posting my experience here as I progress with the rebuild as a small way of repaying all the help you and this site has given me :D.
 

Jake

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Yes, We are always glad to help.

Keep us posted on your progress.

This video shows you how to replace that Neutral Drain Kit:


Jake
 

ShyGuy

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Posting back my experience with rebuilding the transmission for anyone who may be wondering if they should rebuild their transmission. TLDR, yes!

First, I opened the transmission, drained out all the oil, then carefully removed all the gears, cleaning each part thoroughly until they were clean and shiny! :)

Next, I inspected each part carefully to see if there were any broken pieces. I fully expected to see something wrong with the big plastic gear or the neutral drain kit. But everything looked fine. All the metal gears looked nearly perfect. The gear teeth were all still very sharp. In fact, it was interesting to play with the transmission while it was open to get an idea of how it worked. Those were some nicely machined gears.

At this point, I couldn't see the point in replacing the neutral drain kit. None of the teeth were missing or chewed up on the big plastic gear. So, I just decided to put it back together.

Once, the tranny was all buttoned up, I tested it by turning the input shaft by hand in both directions and I noticed that it was much easier to turn than before. Smooth as butter, while before it was stiff and would fight me.

That is a good video when it comes to replacing the neutral drain kit, but I wouldn't really call it a rebuild video. Plus, my washer wasn't exhibiting the symptoms shown i.e. spinning while draining.

I used the video below which provides detailed step by step demonstrations of how to completely disassemble the transmission and put it back together. I followed the video mostly with a couple of exceptions. One, there is a small plastic gear and metal ring attached to the bottom of the big plastic gear, not shown in the video. I took that off and cleaned it thoroughly as well. Two, one could potentially disassemble the agitator gear mechanism. My washer agitated fine, and the video below doesn't describe how to do this, so I didn't either. Three, when I reassembled it, I lubed each part liberally with gear oil versus putting it back together dry like shown in the video.


In terms of difficulty, I would rate this medium. Once, the transmission is off the washer, opening it up, taking it apart, cleaning, and reassembling is not hard. You don't even need any special tools. There is a snap ring, yes, but it's so small you can probably pop it off and on with a screwdriver if you don't have snap ring pliers. Once the snap ring is removed, every part easily lifts out by hand.

I haven't done a ton of laundry just yet, but so far the washer spins like a dream! Am I brave enough to say fixed? Ask me again in a few days ;)

Thanks again for all the help!
 

ShyGuy

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Location
Hope, Arkansas
I made a few short videos of how the transmission works because I noticed that there really aren't many videos on the web demonstrating it. However, I felt confident in making the videos after I reassembled my transmission because I have a much better understanding of how the transmission works having taken it apart and putting it back together.

The forum doesn't really work well inserting more than one video in a post, so sorry for the multiple posts.

The first video shows agitation.
 
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