It's rather long, but I wanted to give a good recent history of the machine.
So, the 'ol girl has gotten sick. A few months ago she sheared the roll pin in the motor drive pulley. I replaced the roll pin and noticed the belt was in really bad shape. I didn't change it as it looked to be a pain. So I figured I would let it go till it broke and change it then. The roll pin I put in was a little longer than the original. When I ran it there was a fairly loud metal hitting metal noise. It sounded like the longer roll pin was hitting the tensioner arm. I ran it that way for a while before I finally made the time to fix the long roll pin issue. When I got down there and looked close enough I could see the roll pin wasn't hitting the tensioner arm after all, rather the hole in the drive pulley is actually a slot which is letting the drive pulley flop around on the shaft a bit. At this time I saw the belt was even worse and now is missing pieces. The other day it made it through the agitation cycle, but wouldn't spin. When I found it, it was just sitting there humming. So, I figured it's time to stop ignoring the belt. Went and got another one and changed it. It tries to spin for 5 seconds then the motor overload trips. The machine was loaded very very heavy. So I decided to pick out most of to to help it out. No change in the spin cycle. Then I figured maybe the motor had gotten too hot with all of the hard work and the windings were burnt up for the high speed. I bought another motor. Loaded it with a medium load and let it go. The metal on metal sound is gone (confirming the sound was due to the slotted pulley hole). It ran like a dream until it came to the spin cycle. It still will only spin for about 5 seconds then the motor over load trips. I think I have it boiled down to the brake not disengaging properly. If I open the lid and turn the drum manually counter clockwise (opposite normal rotation) there is a lot of resistance at first but once I get the drum to turn some the brake seems to release and it will spin free. When I get on the floor and turn the drive pulley by hand (clock wise/normal rotation) the pulley raises up on the shaft like it is supposed to and just as it gets to the top the brake seems to come off and the drum spins fairly free as far as I can tell. I say "as far as I can tell" because it's hard to get a good feel for how easy the drum is turning when you have your hand contorted trying to turn the mechanism by the belt. I thought maybe the brake/pulley/shim washers might be a bit wore and aren't release the brake completely anymore. So, I made a couple shims out of tuna fish can lids. Still no joy. A shotgun shell did get run through the wash not too long ago. I suppose the bb's could bind the pump or something, but I can say with 100% certainty that if I take the belt off the drum wheel the pump will empty the water out fine. I can also say that the machine will go into spin cycle if it is completely empty. If there are no clothes or water it will spin like no tomorrow. If I try to do even a small load it won't spin. It looks like the entire drum has to come out to service the brake. Any thoughts of what I might try before I take that step?