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Kenmore 90 Series Washer will not spin

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Premium Member
Jan 5, 2011
Portland Oregon
Model Number
Last week I replaced the clutch. It worked for five or six loads. This week it stopped spinning or would not engage on the spin mode. There was a loud noise and it seemed like it didn't want to catch or engage. I took the transmission off and noticed that it seems like the shoe brake is sitting farther down than I remember it being. I've included a picture of this. What do you think the problem is?


Check the drive block and spanner nut that holds the inner tub down. Make sure the ears of the spin tube are in the slots on the drive block.
I just pulled the drive block and spanner nut off and the inner tub out. The drive block was slight above the ears. I believe the ears need to be aligned with the top of the drive block. However I don't understand what keeps the brake and drive tube shaft up in place? The drive block can simply slide off the spin tube. The picture I posted shows my brake system half way out down from were I think it should be. The drive block doesn't keep the shaft up and in place does it?
That's your problem. Notice the drive block is slightly tapered and has a slot or opening down the side. The inner tub sits on the wide part of the drive block. When the spin tube ears are flush with the top of the drive block and in the two slots, The spanner nut squeezes the drive block tight on the spin tube and pushes the tub down which also tightens the drive block around the spin tube. I have a special wrench for those spanner nuts and once I get it hand tight with the tool, I use a 3.5lb. ball peen hammer with 3/4 of the handle cut off to give it 3 or 4 good whacks to tighten it.
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What keeps the brake and drive tube from dropping is the fact that the T-bearing, that's the bearing at the bottom center of the drive tube, sits on top of the thrust washer on top of the clutch. Typically, what happens when you pull the gearcase out is that you also pull the drive tube down a little bit. Before you reinstall the gearcase, you must grab the brake cam driver and rotate it CCW to release the brakes, while pushing to make sure the drive tube and brakes are fully up into the brake housing. Otherwise the gearcase won't go up all the way against the gearcase mounting studs and the inner tub will be very close to if not touching the outer tub.

Ok I get it now. thanks. So I put the original drive block back on as there was no unusual wear issues going on. It still will not spin. The motor works but no tub spinning. I've posted two videos below that will show you my problem. Last week I replaced the "T" bearing which was worn so badly that it would not hold the retaining clip. I also replaced the clutch assembly. Worked for about a week before his started doing this.

Sounds to me like the plastic spin gear in the gearcase is stripped out or the spin pawl on the neutral drain mechanism is worn and/or not engaging the spin gear properly. The approx. 3 "bangs" per second I'm hearing is the same rate (3 rev's per second) as the spin gear.

Eric, So you would suggest that I open up the top of the transmission and take a look at things? I've never opened a wash machine transmissions before but I'm assuming it's not to hard. Just take the top cover off and hopefully the problems looks obvious??
thanks, Jim
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There's another test that I would do to confirm that the problem is in the gearcase but I'm hesitant to recommend it to someone with no experience working on these things as you could get injured if your not careful but the next step after confirmation would be to open the gearcase. The gearcase has about 16oz of oil in it that is just below the top level of the lower gearcase housing. You need to keep the gearcase level when removing the cover. There is no formed gasket so you need to use a putty knife to work between cover and lower housing after removing clutch, to break the sealant loose. The plastic spin gear is right on top. You should be able to see if the teeth on it are stripping out.

Eric, I understand, but I think I just noticed a test on "YouTube" you might be speaking about. I'm mechanically minded especially with cars so I'll be safe or maybe I'll have my wife do the test:highly_amused:. l'll just use my drill and put the coupler in the drill chuck and turn the transmission both ways and make sure it works as instructed. If it doesn't work correctly I'll open the transmission and inspect the gears. I'll reply back and let you know what I find.
Thanks for all your guidance,
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Ok, I guess I have a little more confidence in you now. What I'm seeing in the video is that the clutch hub is not spinning smoothly as it should. It seems to start going and as soon as it starts to release the brake it stops and just keeps repeating that without ever getting up to speed. Even if the tub was jammed for some reason, the clutch band would just slip and the hub would still rotate smoothly. You can either run the gearcase with it removed from washer using the drive motor or using your drill and carefully grab the clutch hub with gloved hand to see if you can reproduce that starting/stopping thing. If you can, then the problem is for certain in the gearcase.

Eric, You are correct Sir!! Spin gear teeth are all gone. Now before I drop money on a new gear and oil, I'm wondering why it failed? Do know if I'm ready to spend $100 unless I know this will fix it the problem and not bring up another problem. Everyone asks that correct?? Was it something I did when I replaced the clutch? The output shaft is slightly loose around the gearcase seal but there is nothing else wrong inside the gearcase that I can see. I still need to dump out the old oil yet though.
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Well, the washer is 17 years old and this is a relatively common problem with age and use. All those plastic pieces are in there somewhere so I would definitely dump the oil, take it all apart and clean it up good. I suggest buying a neutral drain kit as it comes with a spin gear and is only $27. A failing neutral drain is also common so I would just replace it and the spin gear and put in some new oil and you should be good to go.

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No, don't forget to replace it as in put it back under the shaft. Don't leave it out.
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