80's Whirlpool washer? Agitator?

minnbobberJuly 2, 2012


I'm orig owner of Whirlpool belt drive LA5700XKWO washer, circa 1980.

One piece agitator barely moves back and forth but rod up center of agitator (like a driveshaft) vigorously spins back and forth (smooth action and powerful).

I think a "drive block" connects the rod to the agitator.

Parts store has drive block for $16 but I have a problem.

After removing plastic cover on agit, rod and nut are exposed. I went to remove nut but rod spins....

1. any You Tube video of this repair, belt drive agitator removal? I searched and searched.

2. Is this worth repairing? I think it is built MUCH BETTER

than current washers.

Thanks for any help on this

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There is no agitator drive block on this model.

The agitator fits directly onto the splined drive shaft.

If the shaft is oscillating strongly as it should during agitation periods but the agitator largely doesn't move, then the splines on it are probably worn, not gripping the drive shaft. A replacement agitator is Whirlpool part number 363633. Runs between $66 and $70 at online sources such as SearsPartsDirect.com, PartsTap.com, and AppliancePartsPros.com. Two (used) are currently on eBay, and local repair services may have used agitators (or new). However, you do need to confirm that the transmission is OK, as there can be problems inside that cause agitation to be weak or erratic.

It's normal that the agitator shaft free-spins if the transmission is in neutral (not engaged in agitate mode). Some models have a position on the timer that triggers dry agitate, sometimes it's at the last 2-min wash interval on the normal/regular cycle. Try that to get the shaft locked for removing the nut. Otherwise, you could either manually engage the transmission (if you know how to do that), or let the machine fill to a low level to get agitation started then stop or unplug it.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 8:29AM
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Thanks dadoes, very helpful info!!!
So, I get the one piece agitator off and check out the Ebay ones and then find potential trouble:
It appears that the metal driveshaft splines are about
half worn down--the last thing that I expected. It's hard to see into the agitator but those plastic splines are probaly worn out.
1. do you think half length driveshaft splines will work?
2. what needs to be replaced to get a driveshaft with full
depth splines , just that shaft or more? What kind of labor time to go that next step?? Even available new or used?

I love the washer and trust it more than new models BUT it is from 1980's so don't know how much $$ to put into it???
3. Is it belt drive--I think it is??

Thank you!!!!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 11:47AM
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If the shaft splines are worn/rusted ... a new agitator may or may not be functional for very long.

The only way to properly fix the problem is replace the agitator shaft (p/n 362642), which requires removing and opening the transmission (calls for replacing the cork cover seal) ... not an easy job ... and replacement shafts are obsoleted, no longer available unless you can find NOS (new old-stock) somewhere. This machine design has not been manufactured since circa 1985/1986.

Another option is finding a rebuilt transmission, replace the whole thing. I've heard a seller on eBay is offering them, but I haven't looked. Last reference on the tranny is p/n 362901.

Before deciding whether to try going on with the repair, consider that centerpost bearings and the spin tube are also wear-points, the centerpost rusting through, and outer tub rust.

Replacing the agitator and hoping it'll go for a while is the cheapest and least labor-intensive option.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 12:15PM
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dadoes, thanks again for all the info and part numbers!!!
I went to the two local appliance parts places and no luck on finding agitator or driveshaft or tranny, used or NOS.
After cleaning the shaft, splines are probably 2/3 intact. They are slightly longer at the very bottom and top of the splined area. I took closeup pic but not sure how to post. Agitator has some splining left but since I don't know how much there is when new--???
Thanks for the ebay tip but they are used and buyers indicated they worked but no way to tell how much spline remains. They might be worse than mine.
So, I did the desparate repair, fix it or to the graveyard (recyclers) it goes..... JB Weld. I cleaned both surfaces to perfection, mixed up the JB, and it's curing.
The test is tomorrow.... Will it work and I'll get another 30 years of trouble free washing (LOL)?
I'll be happy for any extended life from this attempt.

If not, put your thinking cap on. Is it better to look for a 6-12 year old XXX washer (suggestions) OR buy a new one?
The complaints on new energy effic washers are scarey!!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 9:35PM
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