« Last post by SumGuy on March 28, 2015, 11:48:04 AM »
I started this thread - here's an update.
To re-cap: For the past few months, every time the motor starts, regardless what the washer is going to do (agitate, rinse, spin, etc), the odds of the motor actually starting to rotate (vs humming and getting hot) was approaching zero. Giving the washer a good hit (body-check) while the motor is buzzing would usually get the motor turning, but even this was becoming increasingly less successful. This problem started 2 years ago, seemed to go away when I replaced the original start-capacitor with a (used) replacement, then came back again a year ago (and again I went out and got a used replacement).
So yesterday I took the timer out of the control panel. There are two rather elaborate sets of reed contact switches that are operated by indentations on a large timing drum. I removed each of these contact assemblies. Each assembly consists of 3 layers of plastic that snap into each other like a sandwich. Each layer holds a set of reed contacts. Together they form a set of single-pole/double-throw switches (about a dozen switches, give or take). The electrical contact points are on the ends of these flat brass reeds. When the 3 layers are taken apart, it's very easy to file or sand the contacts and remove any black residue or pitting. And I did see examples of both, to various degrees, on most of the contacts. Taking apart one of these assemblies is a little tricky since it has bus-bars that act like interconnects through the sandwich, and these must be partially or totally removed to be able to take the layers apart. Two of these bus-bars connect to the timing motor.
So after cleaning all these contacts, reinstalling the timer - it made no discernable change to the operation of the washer. Motor still buzzed.
Next thing I did was to locate the original motor capacitor and the first replacement capacitor (a used one) that I got 2 years ago. The cap that I currently had in the machine was a second replacement (also used) that I put in back almost exactly a year ago. I had soldered wires to the original and first replacement cap to essentially turn it into a single capacitor, and I took that and connected it in parallel with the second replacement cap. So I now have all 3 caps wired in parallel, and initially this looked promising since the washer was performing a wash cycle with no need to give it a whack to get the motor running. But alas, the cycle did not fully finish without the motor buzzing for the rinse or spin cycles.
I then reached under and wiggled a connector going to the back of the motor, and then pushed in the control knob and the motor spun - instead of buzz.
So my focus was then on this wiring connector on the motor, near the pump. The connector is plugged into a recepticle, and this receptical is fixed to the motor with a single screw, which I removed (somewhat difficult to get to this screw without removing the pump, but I did manage it). The receptical internally has 2 sets of contacts that are moved by a plastic arm that extends from the receptical and must ride on cam or shaft of the motor. The receptical has a red waferboard cover that comes off to reveal the plastic arm and the contacts. The contacts are on bus bars that are easily removed from the receptical housing, and I removed them and cleaned them with sandpaper. Had to do all that while on my side, on the ground, reaching under the washer (front of washer was propped up with a piece of 2x4).
I put all that back together, left the 3 capacitors in place, and the washer has now washed 2 small loads from start to finish with the motor starting just fine each time. So I would guess that the problem was internal to this motor wiring receptical / cam-activated switch assembly (what-ever it's called). I don't know (or I can't see) how this thing could be sold separately, given that it's wired into motor and not easily separated from it.