Kenmore Laundry System - dryer - grease leaks out


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Old 01-28-07, 02:11 PM
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Question Kenmore Laundry System - dryer - grease leaks out

I have a Kenmore Laundry System (stack washer/dryer) that was made in May 2003.
Model: 417.93702201 Serial No. XE32201244

In the very back of the dryer drum (where the heat comes out), in the center, there are 3 screws. On the diagram it looks like this is where the "shaft, drum support, ballhitch" might be behind it. It is dead center.
One screw fell out while we were drying clothes. There is black grease coming from the hole and also from behind the 2 remaining screws. Just sort of oozing a bit around the screws. I screwed back the one that came out.
The black grease is still coming out from behind the screws.

It is also now making a thumping sound - which I don't think it made before. This happens even with no clothes in it. Probably once per revolution.

What might be the problem (and cost to repair)? Rough estimate.
Apart from the grease, will it hurt the machine to keep using it?

Thanks.
 
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Old 01-30-07, 08:52 AM
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Kenmore Laundry Center - screws

I'm wondering now if I didn't get the screw back properly - and if there might have been a nut at the other end that fell off? Does anyone know?

The thumping seems to have only started after the screw fell out or after I screwed it back in. It is to the right and a little above where the screws are. I can feel it when I put my hand on the back of the machine and hand turn the drum. I'm pretty sure it is adjacent to the screw that fell out (though they all look pretty much the same).

I'm wondering about the grease - is it to keep the drum from scraping - or did something break and the grease is leaking from it? In other words, if I had unscrewed the screws when the machine was fine, would there be grease right behind the screw holes?

I was afraid I might strip the screws (not that I'm all that strong), so maybe I should try again? First it screwed in easily and then I had to really turn it, so maybe it didn't line up just right? Hard to know when I don't really know what I'm doing.

Please help. Any clues would be a help.
 
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Old 02-12-07, 08:14 AM
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Red face Kenmore Dryer - rear bearing - loose screw

Well... I seem to be the only one responding to my question.

I found a lot of help at: http://www.repairclinic.com Not only did he tell me how to take apart my machine, but he also had pictures of the exact part I was having trouble with. The screw came out of the rear bearing.

I tightened the screws again. And now the thumping has stopped. It seems I didn't tighten it enough the first time.

I'm still wondering why the screw came out in the first place and whether there should be grease between the rear drum and the rear bearing that sits up against it (being held there with the 3 screws). Or is grease leaking out of the rear bearing?

I didn't take it all apart. But I'm wondering now if it is really fixed or if the grease is a tell tale sign of something still wrong.

Does anyone know???

Also, does anyone know how hot the rear drum of a dryer should get? Is it REALLY hot? (I've never touched it before). If you know what temperature the metal gets to, that would help, because I'm considering glueing those screws in so the don't come loose again.
 
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Old 02-28-07, 07:22 AM
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bearing cup

Hi portraitdolls,
I am guessing that the grease is coming from the bearing cup on the rear bearing of your dryer. This cup does need to be filled with lubrication to keep the bearing from wearing out--or so repairmen have told me. Read my post about my experiences with this and you will see why. We have replaced the bearing on our newest dryer (2000) and had re-lubricated our previous electric dryer (1990) that we gave away to get a gas dryer. I am not sure how often this needs to be re-lubed which is why I posted my post. But I can tell you that it is a pain to get to--the drum needs to come out. Look up your part (1851) on repairclinic.com and you will see what I mean by the bearing cup--it is the white plastic (or nylon) piece shown. There are not nuts on the ends of the screws--we have the same part as you for our GE dryer. I wouldn't glue the screws in because eventually someone will have to take them out to get to the cup to re-lube it or replace the whole bearing. Basically, the thing that looks like a ball hitch on a car fits into the white plastic piece (cup) on the inside of the dryer --the pea sized metal ball and a metal strip fit on the outside of the dryer. I am not sure how your screws fell out on the outside of the dryer--since our bearing assembly has two screws and they are screwed in from the inside of the dryer (no screw heads outside). repairclinic.com has a diagram of the part on the page listing all of the parts for your model--there wasn't one with ours but it is the exact same part. Those people there are absolutely awesome--fast shipping, great prices, great help, helpful website (for when you have a broken part but you don't know what it is called-just look at the pictures), and just plain nice to chat with. I have ordered things from them for years!

So--I bet the thumping noise was the big bearing bouncing up and down or the drum bouncing because the bearing was not seated in the cup. My new lubrication (grease) is tan color --- before we replaced the bearing--black dusty stuff oozed out the back--I bet it was some grease with some wear from the bearing.

Hope that helps--Tad
 
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Old 02-28-07, 03:17 PM
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Question Rear bearing shaft and ball assembly

Hi Tad,
You are quite right, my part is Item #1851 on repairclinic.com. The 3 screws go into part #32 (which is the rear bearing shaft). I'm unclear where the lubrication goes and why it doesn't ooze out if it isn't in a closed system.
Obviously it isn't because a lubricant is included with the kit.

The 3 screw heads are on the inside of my dryer drum (where the clothes tumble around). Since tightening the thumping has stopped and everything seems normal. But there is still a tiny bit of grease if you take a tissue with your fingernail and try to put it under the screw head. I get the impression of the fingernail. So far they seem to be remaining tight, but the one that originally fell out seems to be a little 'crooked'. There is no screeching.

If you could describe more about the area to be lubricated, perhaps I can figure out why it is coming out the screw holes. Is it directly behind the back part of the drum (so if you had x-ray vision and looked through the back of the drum you'd be looking into the part that gets lubricated? Is that part open to the other side of the back of the drum? In other words, if the back of the drum had a hole in the middle could you reach in to lubricate it?

I'm really thinking it is the fault of the screws more than the rear bearing (but not sure). This machine is lightly used - about twice a week for 3 1/2 years. We don't overload it. I hear what you are saying about the glue.
Right now we are keeping any eye on it and checking the screws after each load. So far so good. I'm pretty sure it would be fairly expensive to pay someone to lubricate it. And we aren't in a position to take it all apart.

Would really like to hear more about the lubricating. Thanks.
 
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Old 02-28-07, 05:52 PM
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Hi portraitdolls,
Okay well did you hear my hand slap my forehead? Of course the screw heads are in the dryer drum (inside)--I forgot and now I understand what happened a little better.

There still are no nuts on those screws--they are supposed to lock into place because there is a little lip on the screw holes on the big round thing pictured on repairclinic.com (the bearing). (link http://www.repairclinic.com/0081.asp?RccPartID=1851)The flat side of the bearing faces the drum--the thing that looks like the ball hitch sits inside the white plastic thing pictured on their website. That plastic thing is against the back wall of the dryer (not the inside of the dryer). Now--IF they had that plastic thing pictured showing the other side of it--you could see that the thing is a sort of cup -- check out this picture of the same part http://www.repairclinic.com/0081.asp?RccPartID=771336&SeqID=2&Chg=1 My dryer is a GE model DSXH43GV1WW (if you need to look it up that way--as there are different pictures for the same part--and different part numbers--but they all are the same---part # 771336 is the same as #1851. Kit Rear Bearing or Rear dryer drum bearing kit

The lubricant goes into that cup and smeared all around the ball part of that ball-hitch looking bearing (I always thought bearings were completely round). There is a little well in that cup--maybe 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep. So--I think that lubricant needs to be added as that stuff dries up or smushes out--it is not a closed bearing.

So--what I am guessing is that your screw fell out for some crazy reason (you mentioned that it is a stackable set--perhaps the washer moving loosened it--I have no experience with those) and that allowed the bearing to move a bit and as it was moving while the dryer drum was rotating, the bearing splashed down into the cup (the thumping noise) and squirted the lubricant out onto the flat part of the bearing assembly and the spinning of the dryer has made the lubricant work its way to the screw holes--and that would be the grease you see. That may also explain why the screws (IF) work their way out again.

So--to answer your question-- "In other words, if the back of the drum had a hole in the middle could you reach in to lubricate it?" No--the cup is behind the big bearing thing. If there were a big hole behind the dryer--then one could put lubrication in the cup (reaching in from behind). In fact--the small ball bearing that you can see on the outside of the back of the dryer rolls around on the bigger ball-hitch bearing top (or knob as it looks to me). The two metal things are seperated by the plastic cup thing (see the hole in the middle of it--that is where the small ball bearing peaks through).


Now--is the thumping sound gone? If I were you--I would feel around the inside front of the drum--feel the "crack" there between the drum and the front of the dryer (or door assembly)----is that crack tight? Or--can you move the drum up and down slightly (not a-round like it is supposed to move--but up and down from front to back)? You want to make sure that you have the bearing set back into the cup because if it is not--it will allow the drum to move and allow a gap (crack) where the clothes will get caught in the front of the dryer. I am guessing that if the thumping stopped then everything is fine.

So--if I were you--I would keep wiping the grease off the screw heads and when the dryer starts squeaking--then take it apart and inspect the bearing kit--maybe order one if it looks worn or just get some high temp white lithium grease and lube it up again. When taking the dryer apart--Usually there is a spring behind the back access panel of the dryer that will release the belt from the drum (that is a hint I wish I had ;-).

Just in case I confused you more with my "not so technical" descriptions (I am not mechanical at all)-- the diagram of how the parts are supposed to fit together is here http://www.repairclinic.com/0081.asp?RccPartID=1851&SeqID=1&Chg=1

Hopefully, your plastic cup is not cracked or broken somehow. If it were though--it is available at repairclinic.com all by itself. The pain is taking apart the dryer--but I am cheap and I tear things apart before I call the repairman to fix what I broke or can't put back together (or call my hubby or my dear ole daddy).

Does this help?
Tad
 

Last edited by Tad; 02-28-07 at 05:57 PM. Reason: forgot some words again
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Old 03-01-07, 09:44 AM
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Assemby of Rear Bearing etc.

Hi Tad,
A lot of what you say makes sense (we speak the same non-technical language), but I'm still having trouble with the diagram at: http://www.repairclinic.com/0081.asp?RccPartID=1851&SeqID=1&Chg=1

It looks like to me that the 3 screws go into part number 32, the flat side, and that part 32 would butt up against the unseen side of the back of the dryer. (Is this right?) If that is the case, then it looks like the cup would be pretty far away from the screw holes. I suppose it could squirt over there as it was whirling around. I take it that no grease would normally be between the back of the drum and part 32 where they meet. So hopefully what I'm finding is just residual grease from when the screw came loose.

The thumping is gone. It seems that it came from part 32 when I didn't have the screw tight enough. It sounded a little like if you take an aluminum pie tin and bend it so that it makes a noise, so I think the back of the drum moved enough to make the sound. I could feel it move as well.

There is a 1/16" 'crack' or space at the bottom of the front of the drum around the rim. It remains the same as the drum rotates. The white felt (on the stationary rim that surrounds the drum) looks completely untouched. So I'm guessing there has been no up and down movement. It doesn't seem to go up and down now. But I'll keep an eye on it. No clothes have gotten caught in it.

You've been a big help. I did write to the fellow at repairclinic.com, but he was a bit too technical and didn't tell me exactly where that lubricant went.

If I start to hear the squeaking, I'll either try to take it apart or call a repair person. Thanks so much for your help. I didn't want a big repair bill if the solution was to tighten the screws. :-) I think we'll avoid washing and drying at the same time - so there will be less vibration.
 
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Old 03-01-07, 10:40 AM
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Hi portraitdolls,
"It looks like to me that the 3 screws go into part number 32, the flat side, and that part 32 would butt up against the unseen side of the back of the dryer. (Is this right?)" Yeap--exactly right.
"If that is the case, then it looks like the cup would be pretty far away from the screw holes. " Yeap--right!
"I take it that no grease would normally be between the back of the drum and part 32 where they meet. So hopefully what I'm finding is just residual grease from when the screw came loose. " Yes--that is my guess. In a nutshell--I don't think there is anything back there that can break and release any grease out of it--there wasn't on my dryer.

I am glad the thumping is gone and no clothes are getting stuck in the cracks. Thumping or clothes with odd wrinkles or brown marks (almost looks burnt or like someone put milk chocolate on them) (meaning that they got stuck between the drum and the front of the dryer in a gap) or screeching would mean bad stuff. What it meant for me was that the bearing was worn. So--for you--so far, so good. "If it ain't broke--don't fix it."

If the crack is uniform around the entire drum--then I assume that is the way it is supposed to be. Mine is tight--no crack--I can't see the white felt at all. Yes--the felt is supposed to be white too--my old felt was the "milk chocolate" or rust color on half of it from the wear of various clothes being stuck in the crack for who-knows-how-many-loads. Just watch to make sure no clothes get stuck--but I think yours is fine.

If it is inconvenient to wash and dry at different times--then don't do it. I think those units are meant to be used at the same time--they should not cause a problem. (ha ha "should not") I know my washer gallops across the floor sometimes--much worse with my front loader than with my top loader washer--but then I have two big boys and their dad with bulky jeans now. I just have to watch who loads what into the washer now. I am sure that not everyone has the same problem as me. My washer and dryer are not stacked.

Glad I could help. Trust me--I have had a lot of trial and error and a lot of beating my head against the wall when talking to technicians or GE help desk. We happen to have a knowledgeable appliance salesman in our town--and while he didn't have time to repair things--he did sell me parts before and told me what to do to lube my old Montgomery Ward dryer (which is still running in someone else's house). Not many repair people will do that. With that dryer--we thought the horrible screeching was the belt--it wasn't--it was the same bearing that needed lube. I think my quest for knowledge and "tight with money" personality comes from my dad telling me that if I was going to drive a car--then I needed to know how it worked and how to fix it--even if I wasn't going to continue doing that on my own (I might get greasy, you know ha ha).
Take care and happy laundering!
Tad
 
 

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