Thanks, AJ. The Kenmore was purchased in 1997 so I guess I should be glad it gave us 15+ years of service.....BUT, what a waste to have to declare it dead for the lack of an $80 part that is simply not available. The unit was in pristine shape, too. I am parting it out if anyone needs a great deal on replacement parts: Model 110.42924200. Kenmore Elite front loader in bisque.
If it wasn't for the fact that my wife would declare me totally bonkers I would tear into the new GE and remove the spider and have it powder coated for long life.