Need to Manually start a spin cycle

andre_mediaJune 4, 2013

Kenmore Series 80

Often (not always), the clothes are wet after spin cycle. IF I reach in an give the tub a half spin or so, turn the knob around to the spin setting again, close the lid,it then spins properly to completion.

I did replace the couple a couple years ago. Could it be the couple again,, or something gear/clutch related.


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Probably clutch- or transmission-related. The brake is already released if it's easy to turn when basket when you do that. More detailed examination and diagnosis is required to pinpoint the problem ... you have to understand how the various parts of the mechanism work together to provide the spin function, observe the sequence of events for what's failing.

Please note also that Series 80 is not a model number, it's a marketing term that means pretty much nothing in terms of technical service. The full/correct model number is on a tag, usually on the rear edge of the top loading port, but can be in other locations depending on the age of the machine.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 12:23PM
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In my original post, I meant to type coupling (not couple).

But anyway. It is model 110.16862500

Just did 4 loads. I had to re-spin 3 of the 4.

Thanks for the response. I dont have understanding of how all the varioius parts work together, thats why i am asking. As far as the sequence. The tub washes, then discharges water and during the spin cycle. You hear the hum, but its not spinning unless, I turn it by hand and go back to the start of spin cycle. Then it always works.

Once in a while it works fine without manual intervention.

On a 10 year old washer, clutch/transmission sounds like an expensive repair.

Any further guidance is greatly approeciated.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 2:14PM
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The motor runs one direction for agitation, reverses for spin & drain. The pump runs at all times with the motor ... in the "wrong" direction during agitation and thus forces water back into the tub instead of to the drain ... in the "right" direction for draining when the motor reverses.

A cam is preset in the transmission during agitation.

At the end of an agitation period (either washing or agitated rinse), the timer cuts power to the motor briefly so it coasts to a stop before reversing.

Upon reversing after an agitation period has occurred, the preset cam in the transmission "holds" the spin gear from engaging, and the transmission effectively runs in neutral so there's neither spin nor agitation during a timed (usually 2 mins) drain period.

After the drain period, the timer pauses the motor again, the cam releases, the motor restarts in the reverse direction, the spin gear engages to release the brake and power the clutch for spinning the basket.

BOTH pauses are necessary during the normal course of the cycle for neutral drain and then spin to occur after an agitation period. In some cases the timer can wear in such a way that the pauses either don't occur or are too short.

The lid safety switch comes into play whenever the motor reverses for drain or spin ... so opening and closing the lid during a neutral drain period has the same effect as the timer pausing the motor ... spin will begin when the lid is closed.

The basket spin clutch and brake mechanism are outside (atop) the transmission. The spin gear and neutral drain cam are inside the transmission.

A typical clue whether the transmission is at fault is if the clutch bell is turning when spin is supposed to occur. If so, the transmission is likely OK and the problem is in the clutch & brake assembly. The clutch bell can be observed by removing the machine's outer cabinet, jumpering the lid switch, and watching the machine run ... but you have to know where to look to see the clutch bell.

The neutral drain cam can wear inside the transmission and cause trouble ... although usually it's that neutral drain doesn't occur but rather spin starts immediately on the first reverse ... which is not a serious problem.

Clutch and brake parts can wear or break. For example, the brake release pawl can break and thus the brake stays engaged and prevents spin. The clutch pads can wear down.

When you're restarting the machine directly to spin after a spin failure occurs, the mechanism is starting immediately in the reverse direction ... no agitation has yet occurred so there should be no neutral drain, spin should run immediately.

There are videos on YouTube that explain diagnosis and repair. Search for "whirlpool kenmore direct drive washer spin problem clutch repair" and similar terms.

Ten years is not too old to repair. These machines are a simple and long-lasting design.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 4:17PM
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Thanks dadoes for the detailed info.

One last questoin and thought. Does the fact that it does not happen all the time provide a clue?

Based on your note and a You Tube I saw on diagnosing the problem, I think its either clutch or coupling.

If I troubleshoot and find that it does not happen as much with lighter loads, then a worn clutch could be likley problem? Or is that a faulty hypothesis.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 11:59AM
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Intermittent nature doesn't pinpoint the issue to anything specific. Any of the potential trouble areas can be intermittent.

A bad / broken motor coupler will also typically affect agitation performance in some noticeable way. Examining the coupler is a yes / no situation ... it's either good or bad ... although a crack in either half that causes it to lose proper grip on the motor or tranny shaft when under a load can be a little difficult to see.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 12:51PM
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