I saw this post and I just HAD TO REGISTER and RELY.
I guess I beat the dryer lifetime by a longshot. I'm still maintaining my parent;s gas dryer made in 1968.. That's 48years old.
I have been doing preventive maintenance (PM), probably every two years. That;s basically been cleaning, inspecting and painting Igniter replacement is a given, but they last a long time. Lint liked to collect in the burner over temperature thermocouple. I did characterize the time it takes the burner to ignite and wrote it on the bottom cover.
I totally missed a PM spot. It; was the fan bearing assembly. The grease was hard as a rock.
About 2 years ago, it died from multiple failures, but I still decided to fix it and made some design changes along the way.
The blower bearing assembly failed (the grease was yucky). As a result of that, the drive belt failed. The drum belt has never been replaced and it was cracked in places. Two trust bearings failed on the drum idler, so I replaced them with an upgraded part/ A hinge was made of Nylon as exposed to heat, so i got new ones and epoxy painted them. I found a couple of NOS (new Old Stock bearing assemblies for like $15.00 each, but I had to select an appropriate grease. I did that an installed two thrust bearings (my design change). Replaced both belts. I had to epoxy paint one side of the dryer. I lubed and cleaned the front of the timer. I upgraded the rubber bumper on the filter door.
The next design change was to change the setscrews to brass tipped ones. If the shaft should seize again, the drive pulley should loosen. I made a felt gasket that was used in the exhaust. I upgraded the drum bulb to LED.
I still have a few things I want to do:
(Make the PM easier)
1. Install rivet nuts and possibly thumbscrews so the dryer vent assembly can be removed easier. Currently it uses sheet metal screws (6). The dryer back uses (2). The exhaust duct uses (3).
2. Install a dust seal on the timer shaft.
(Rebuild the lint filter from scratch)
A few things could help this dryer:
1. An elapsed time meter for PM's.
2. A method to detect slip on the blower drive pulley. That's real messy.
3. Characterize the ignitor so they can be made from scratch with a capacitance welder. I have two replacements which should be plenty.
Pretty much bought a new dryer - maybe.