, this top load washer was washing properly, but would make a ratcheting noise during the spin cycle. The noise would only occur during the spin cycle, and the basket was spinning at what seemed to be the correct RPM. So other than the noise, everything seemed to be working as expected, but the noise was just too loud to ignore. Service was in order for this washer.
Noises are always fun to locate and as I have said plenty of times before, take the panels off and get your ears into looking for the problem. With the cabinet removed from the unit, I started a test cycle to see if I could pinpoint the source of the noise. As the customer stated, the agitation cycle worked fine, but when I started a spin cycle, the rather loud noise was quick to show itself. While it was running, I didn't really notice anything out of the ordinary except each time I heard the noise, the agitator stopped moving. This is unusual because the agitator will usually free wheel in the spin cycle so it just goes along with the spinning clothes. With this bit of information, It was time to get into the mechanics of this washer.
I started by removing the center bolt holding the agitator to the top of the gearbox drive shaft, then tipped the entire unit back to get better access to the rest. I removed the motor and motor mount, then removed the three bolts holding the gearbox to the tripod assembly. Nothing seemed out of place, so I decided to spin the gearbox by turning the coupler one direction then the other. In the counter clockwise direction, the center shaft would move back and fourth which is how it moves the agitator. In the clockwise direction the clutch mounted to the top would start to spin and then stop. And if I kept turning, it would continue with this pattern. It looks as if I have located the source of the noise and out of curiosity, decided to take a closer look.
The gearbox is made up of several components, all of which are individually replaceable, but I rarely hear of anyone doing anything other than replace the whole unit. I decided to remove the gearbox cover and found the spin gear had broken and now was missing a small section of its teeth. This would explain the noise and the agitator stopping, during the spin cycle. I replaced the gear case
for the customer, (it was under warranty after all), but the spin gear
could have just as easily been replaced. If economics comes into play, I would opt for the less expensive repair. Just remember not to spill to much of the oil. With the new gearbox installed and everything back where I found it, the unit again spins but now it doesn it without the noise.