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GE top load washer sometimes won't spin WDSR2120J8WW

pwalsh

Premium Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2020
Messages
7
Location
Indianapolis, IN
Model Number
WDSR2120J8WW
Brand
GE
Age
6-10 years
Hi All,

Hoping someone can help me. This washer just started intermittently not spinning. When it happened yesterday, I took off the front panel. The belt is in good shape, and the motor is getting hot trying to turn the drum. When I turned the washer off, I was able to turn the motor and pulley manually one way with ease and the agitator turned. Turning the other way required quite a bit more effort (hard to quantify without something to put a torque wrench on), but I was able to rotate it, and as I did, the drum turned. I tried turning the washer back on again and it was able to spin from this new starting point and spun fine for the rest of the cycle (no clothes).

Everything else (fill, drain, agitate, etc.) is working fine. No odd noises. Was thinking it might be the motor is losing power in that one direction or maybe it needs some bearing for the tub?

Thanks,

Pat
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
114,721
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Hi Pat,

Sounds like the drum bearing has gone bad, or you have something jammed in between the inner and outer tub, because the inner tub should be easier than that to turn from the transmission pulley the belt rides on.

I'd first remove the inner tub and check if something is jammed in between the inner and outer tubs like a small towel, etc.

You'd need to remove the inner spin basket hub nut (Click the part link to the hub nut and you will see a Video of how to do it):
Nut WH2X1193


Here's the spanner tool to order as well to get that hub nut off: Tub Wrench

Then Click here: WH38X10002 Transmission and Brake Assembly You will see a video to show you how to remove the inner spin basket.

Jake
 

pwalsh

Premium Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2020
Messages
7
Location
Indianapolis, IN
Hi Jake,

Thanks for the reply. Yeah, that left hand nut is what I'm faced with now. I've completed the rest of the steps to that point. I'm going to try a 4 lb. sledge on the pipe wrench on it probably tonight and when that doesn't work I'll put a new nut and tool on the shopping list and cut the old one off with a Dremel and maybe a chisel. Trying to just have one parts order, so I'm trying to see what the problem is and then make a decision on whether to order the parts to repair or just buy a different one.

Question: What is the split ring washer for? I haven't got that far yet so maybe it will make sense when I get the inner tub out.

Thanks,

Pat

P.S. To anyone else reading this, on my machine at least, the agitator was held in with a screw with a 7/16" head. Several places indicated it should just pop off, maybe with a belt or rope under it. It would take a lot of prying for that to work if that screw was still in there. :)
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
114,721
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
I've never known what the split ring washers purpose is, all I know is it has to be in place Pat.:)

Let us know how it goes.

Jake
 

pwalsh

Premium Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2020
Messages
7
Location
Indianapolis, IN
I hope my wife doesn't go down to the basement soon. Well, I got the inner tub out now. The nut was just too corroded for the wrench and hammer to work. I had to scrape gunk off the top of the nut and inspect close because I was having trouble seeing where the shaft ended and the nut began and it looked odd, like the shaft was square-ish. Finally realized the shaft has flats on four sides. So only the corner areas of the shaft have threads. This is helpful, and I'm guessing was done so that what I tried next would work. That was, to use a Dremel cutting disk vertically on the nut, directly in the center of the nut across from each flat, kind of dividing it into quarters. The flat area provides a gap between the nut and shaft so you are less likely to damage the threads or shaft. I then used a chisel to get the 4 sections of nut off and am pretty confident I didn't damage the threads. This was a lot quicker to type than to actually do, though.

Nothing between the inner and outer tubs, though, so I'm going to proceed with taking the outer tub out so I can remove and inspect the bearing and how the shaft rotates in it. The split ring broke as I removed it so that's another part for the shopping list so far if I go that route. One thing I was surprised at is that there is a little water sloshing around in the inner tub when I took it out. Apparently the inner tub has a gap between the inner and outer walls.

Anyway, I'll hopefully have the outer tub out today so I can see how the shaft and bearing are doing.

Thanks,

Pat
 

pwalsh

Premium Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2020
Messages
7
Location
Indianapolis, IN
I finished up the disassembly on my lunch hour. With the transmission/motor assembly separated from the tub, I can get a better look at the threads on the shaft and they do indeed look okay. There is a lot of gunk in them, which I'll clean out with a wire brush. I was also able to understand the operation of the brake a little better after I took the belt off and rotated it back and forth. I still need to get the bearing out of the tub. Looks like I'll have to drive it out with a piece of wood. There was only one torx screw holding the bearing in. No sign there was ever one in the other side, but it doesn't look like that mattered - the bearing is in there solid. I'll use two screws for the new one of course. The shaft of the transmission looks okay. Seems to have a slight buildup of old, somewhat tacky oil/grease that wasn't helping. I'll clean it off with brake cleaner and rags while I'm waiting on parts. Maybe wipe it with emery cloth unless that's a bad idea? The old bearing didn't look too bad, a light bit of rust in a couple of spots. Same with the washer under it.

So far my shopping list is about $66. Basically all the stuff associated with the shaft - nut, split washer, seal, bearing, washer below the bearing. I think that's it. Anything to do with the transmission while it's out (oil, grease)? Probably, "Leave it alone." I'll take a final look this afternoon and then buy it. Just don't want to forget something and have to pay shipping again.

Thanks,

Pat
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
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Messages
114,721
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Ok Pat, I doubt its the bearing, usually when the bearing goes bad it makes a very loud ROARING sound when it spins, like a JUMBO JET TAKING OFF.:)

Eric the tech, Said this:

Something may be preventing the transmission or basket from rotating. You should be able to rotate the motor pulley easily by hand. Rotate in CW (looking from below) direction. This will turn the belt, large pulley, transmission and basket. If it's very stiff, the brake may not be releasing fully. This can be caused by a broken LGS spring or oil leak that has gotten inside the spring causing it to slip. The large spring on the bottom of the transmission just above the belt pulley is the LGS spring. Within the spring are the pulley hub and the brake cam. In agitate mode the direction of rotation is such that the spring does not grip and only the pulley hub rotates which is attached to the transmission input shaft. The brake remains engaged to prevent the basket from spinning during agitate. During spin, the direction is reversed and the pulley hub rotates in a direction that grips the spring which causes it to also grip the brake cam turning the brake cam which pushes up on and engages with the brake hub. This releases the brake and turns the transmission. The outer shaft of the transmission is attached to the basket.

Here is a video of the bottom of the transmission:

When turning the motor pulley by hand, you should see the cam dog rotate towards the brake hub dog. The dogs won't meet because you can't turn it hard/fast enough by hand but that's what happens when driven by the motor, however, even turning it by hand will allow the brake to release and the basket should rotate easily. Try to rotate the pulley with two hands to keep it going to get a full rotation of the basket. If there's a tight spot in there, it's likely something between the basket and outer tub.

Eric

If there is nothing in between the inner and outer tub that's keeping it from spinning with clothes in it, then you'll need a new transmission, as you can't purchase the brake assembly as a separate part.

Here's the transmission assembly for your model:
GE WH38X10002 Transmission and Brake Assembly


Jake
 

pwalsh

Premium Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2020
Messages
7
Location
Indianapolis, IN
Jake/Eric,

Wow, that video was super helpful showing the way the LGS spring works. I was chuckling to myself in amazement at the engineering of that "one way" spring! Well, I'm sure the LGS on mine is okay. When the no-spin condition was present, neither pulley was turning. The motor was getting hot but nothing turning, where if there was an oil condition I believe both pulleys would be turning but tub would not spin because of the spring slipping.

Now that it's apart, I took the belt off so I can just work with the transmission pulley. At rest, I can't rotate the transmission end which I believe is correct - brake engaged. If I hold the transmission with one hand and turn the pulley CW from bottom with the other, the dogs engage and I can then rotate the pulley and transmission back and forth (together) as long as I keep them both engaged.

There might be a problem with the transmission that I'm not seeing, or the motor might be weak in that one direction. But I'm leaning toward spending the $66 since it's all apart, to try the bearing. The transmission is unavailable, and the motor is $314. If it doesn't fix it or doesn't last, I'll probably look for a different washer. Still thinking it over. Comes down to odds.

Should their be any lubricant between the output shaft of the transmission and the bearing? If so, what kind?

Thanks,

Pat
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
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Messages
114,721
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Ok Pat,

Yes, the transmission is No Longer Available.

No lubrication is needed between the output shaft of the transmission and the bearing.

Keep us posted.

Jake
 

pwalsh

Premium Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2020
Messages
7
Location
Indianapolis, IN
Waiting for parts to arrive. In the meantime, a couple of corrections to comments I posted above:

> One thing I was surprised at is that there is a little water sloshing around in the inner
> tub when I took it out. Apparently the inner tub has a gap between the inner and outer walls.

In looking at it closer, what I'm hearing is the balance ring at the top of the tub of course. Reduces movement and noise during spinning. Water in it is a good thing.

> There was only one torx screw holding the bearing in.

Apparently from videos, that's the way they ship. I just figured there would be two. But that bearing is in there tight, and one should be fine.

I was also looking at the bottom bearing, the one that's part of the transmission/brake assembly. Per this page and video, I got this disassembled to the point I could inspect the bearing:


The video makes it harder than it needs to be, clamping in a fixture to compress the brake springs to get the spiral lock ring off and on. As pointed out in the first comment on youtube, if you leave the transmission in the 4 legged mount, the brake springs are already compressed and you can easily get the ring off and on. No clamping or fixture needed. I've left the bearing in the hub it's crimped into for now, but in rotating the bearing, it feels a little gritty. I ordered a replacement bearing 6205-2RS-1 on Amazon for under $10 w/shipping and I'm waiting for it to get here. The bearing has an OD of 52mm but an ID of 1 inch. Others reported getting the wrong bearing sent with an ID of 25 mm (just a few thousandths shy of 1 inch, and too small to fit over the shaft). I want to test the bearing I receive to make sure it fits before grinding the 4 crimps holding the old bearing which will destroy it. If the wrong bearing arrives, I'll just send it back and reuse what I have for now, to get the washer operational again.

Pat
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
114,721
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Ok Pat, sounds good.

As techs we just replace the entire transmission and brake assembly together as 1 unit, if we can no longer order the transmission we tell the customer to go washer shopping as we don't get this deep into repairing the transmission/brake assembly.:)

But you can for sure, let us know how it goes, as others can benefit.:)

Jake
 

pwalsh

Premium Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2020
Messages
7
Location
Indianapolis, IN
I got the last of the parts yesterday, the ball bearing from Amazon for the bottom of the transmission at the brake part. The parts from Appliance Parts Pros had already arrived and I had installed the new tub bearing in the outer tub. I had also installed the new seal. I'm glad I read that sealant is needed to hold it into the tub, as the fit was not great. I used RTV and had to weigh the seal down to get it to stay in place. The recess it fits into in the tub seems tapered and wants to push the seal out.

Anyway, I test fit the ball bearing onto the input shaft of the transmission and it fit snugly. As I mentioned, I was concerned that the ID of the bearing might be too small but that was not the case. I ground out the four crimps, drove out the old bearing and drove in the new. I put a little locktite on the new bearing but it's a pretty tight fit and I doubt it was necessary. I put the rest of the brake assembly back together and verified the transmission was working. Turning it one way turned the agitator and the other way turned the transmission body, very smoothly.

I put the washer back together and tried it out with a load of clothes. The first thing I noticed is that when it's agitating, the transmission it turning a little, which to me indicates the tub it turning as well. It's not spinning around, just maybe rotating 1/6 to 1/8 of a turn in jerks, in one direction, as the agitator goes back and forth. Is this normal/acceptable? I didn't watch the machine before from the bottom as it was agitating. I'm guessing the transmission is rotating about 8 RPMs, in jerks. At least there were no leaks. I was really worried about that seal.

When it got to the spin cycle, it spun really, really fast. No problem at all starting up, but now it DOES sound like a freight train. Really loud, just kind of rumbling not a screech. Grr. :mad: As I started writing this, I was going over the steps of assembling the shaft parts, and it occurred to me that I couldn't remember specifically putting the nut on right side up. I went down to check (just have to remove the agitator with the 7/16" socket - no other disassembly needed) and sure enough, I had the flat side against the hub and the tapered side up. The nut had also worked its way loose and was only finger tight. Turning the nut over correctly has two effects. The first is the centering the tub hub on the shaft. Before I took the nut off, I could see it was off center. The flats on the nut were about to the edge of the hub on one side and quite a bit away on the other. The other effect is the taper wedges into the hub, increasing friction to help prevent loosening. Once the nut was oriented correctly, I tested again and both the problem with the transmission rotating during agitation and the super loud spinning were both fixed. It spins really quiet now.

I do have one remaining (or new) problem though: This washer has 3 cycles labeled:

Whites (regular)
Casuals (pulsed)
Dark Colors (regular)

The problem seems to only be with the "Casuals (pulsed)" one. This cycle seems to have dead spots during the agitation phase. There are specific spots where if the timer is set there, it won't start agitating. If I push the knob in (stop) and turn to another section of the cycle, it will start agitating. The dead spots seem consistent. I can rotate around to the same spot and it won't agitate. And if I start the cycle before these spots, it will stop agitating when it gets to that point. I can hear the timer whirring if I put my ear to it. I haven't waited to see if the agitation picks up again once it gets past the dead spot. I looked at the wiring at both the timer and the motor and don't see any problem. Tried removing and reinserting both connectors but no change. Wiggling the wires at both connectors had no effect, only moving the knob got it going again. Going to think on this awhile. The other two cycles are fine so the washer is usable. Not really sure what the difference is between any of these cycles anyway.

Pat
 
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