Determining if clutch or coupling needed for Whirlpool washer


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Old 03-11-21, 08:43 PM
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Question Determining if clutch or coupling needed for Whirlpool washer

I have an old second hand Whirlpool top load washer. Water drains, but the tub doesn't spin. No unusual noise. At first, it happened intermittently. The washer did spin with the lid open, so I know the lid switch isn't the issue. I'd set the dial back to spin, then get the drum spinning by pushing it with my hand until it gained momentum to spin on its own.
Well, as you may have guessed, the tub no longer spins whether I help it along or not. I've watched a bunch of videos on replacing the coupling and the clutch. Failure of either seems to cause this issue. I'd like to know if there is a way to determine which needs to be replaced.

My best guess for the model is WTW5500SQ. I've located photos online where the model and serial number are just under the lid when it's open. Mine is missing.

Thanks in advance!
 
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Old 03-12-21, 06:35 AM
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The coupling is only a few dollars. Unless you flip the machine over to examine it before ordering parts to determine whether the coupling is bad, I would just order both the clutch and the coupling. I had to replace the clutch on my machine, as it was slipping badly. The root cause of the problem was the output shaft (tall shaft that goes up to agitator) seal was leaking and the clutch (and everything in the area) was soaked in gear oil.

I bought a new seal, more gear oil, and some RTV (silicone), along with a new clutch. I removed the transmission, removed the top cover, replaced the seal, filled the transmission with oil, and spread new RTV where the cover meets the transmission housing. That was 3 years ago, and the washer runs like new.
 
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Old 03-12-21, 10:01 AM
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Sounds good. I ended up purchasing both. They should arrive tomorrow. Today the washer is spinning. I wasn't going to run a load, but my dogs had other plans. I was just going to agitate a load and rinse, then wring out, but lo and behold, it spun out pretty well. I'm thinking I'll replace both since I'll have both, and I'm sure one or the other is about to fail sometime soon.
 
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Old 03-12-21, 09:29 PM
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Are you talking about the motor coupling ?
If that was bad there would no spin/no agitate.
 
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Old 03-13-21, 11:40 AM
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Yes, I was. But now there's a plot twist.

The spin cycle is working completely fine on every cycle except Normal. I've only ever used Normal. Just for giggles, and since I had wet laundry, I thought I'd advance the dial to Spin on the permanent press cycle. It spun fast and as it should.

The Normal cycle had another issue a while back that I never fixed because it wasn't a problem for me, but now I'm seeing this could be another symptom. When setting the dial to Super Wash on Normal, the timer wouldn't advance to Regular. It would just keep agitating until I stopped the machine.



What do you think?

Thanks
 
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Old 03-15-21, 06:55 AM
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I'm not an expert, just a homeowner. From your latest post, it sounds like you may have a timer problem. The timer controls what the machine is doing. If the other cycles are working normally, that indicates that the "mechanics" (clutch & coupling) are working properly.
 
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Old 03-20-21, 08:12 PM
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Thanks Bob. I've been using permanent press all week (have a significant heating system issue going on at the moment), and the spin cycle started to fail on that, too. So clutch, timer... I'll have to come back to it in my spare time.
 
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Old 04-11-21, 12:34 PM
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Alright, I'm back a month later. Heating system is generally fixed (not completely), so I've had time to work on the washer. I replaced the clutch, part 285785. I was going to replace the coupling but I couldn't get it off, and it wasn't broken, so I just replaced the black rubber insert.
I took my time with it, but it appears I didn't put it back together properly, because during its first use, I heard unusual sounds... and had a leak at the bottom of the machine. I took video. I was filming as a vlog, so I am talking throughout, but I cut it way down to just show the cycles and noises. I didn't have a leak before I fixed the clutch. Other than not spinning, I had no other issues prior to replacing the clutch.
What would be some common things I could look for, as far as something not being seated properly, or anything else sometimes missed or overlooked in reassembling?
https://youtu.be/ng6v5Nu4r5o
 
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Old 04-11-21, 01:25 PM
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It was hard for me to tell from the video, but when the washer drains the water from the tub, is it also spinning? Unless your machine is a really old direct drive model, it should have the neutral drain feature. What this means is that the machine should drain without the tub spinning. After the drain cycle is finished, the machine stops for a second or two, then goes into spin mode. Very early direct drive machines didn't have the neutral drain feature and spun the tub while draining, so it may not necessarily be a problem.

You mentioned the machine is leaking, but you didn't say what it's leaking, oil or water. If it's water, normally changing the clutch should have nothing to do with that. If it's oil, you may have somehow damaged the output shaft seal.

There are many videos showing how to replace the clutch. Below is a link to one of them. All I can suggest is to check to see that the machine is assembled correctly.

https://youtu.be/7RS1l6t8efc
 
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Old 04-23-21, 04:09 PM
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Found the source of the leak, replaced the tub to pump hose. Also replaced the drain pump. Changed the clutch, and while I had everything apart, went to replace the coupler.
Well. It took me forever to get the one on the motor off. At one point I decided to leave it on because it wasn't broken. I went to tap it back to be flush with the motor, and the plastic separated from the metal center. Now that I had to remove it, I couldn't get the metal center off. Used liquid wrench and a hair dryer. Eventually it came off. Now I can't get the new one on. I tried tapping with a screwdriver, I used a rubber mallet to try to tap it on, and the rubber separated from the metal center. It also cracked. It's such a tight fit. Yes, I am lining up the flat and round sides. Any ideas?


I have two more new, intact couplers to try with


 
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Old 04-23-21, 04:50 PM
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The motor shaft may have rust on it. Try cleaning it with emery cloth.
I haven't had any previous problems replacing the coupler but it is a possibility especially if the motor shaft gets wet.
 
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Old 04-23-21, 04:57 PM
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If you haven't already tried this, I would suggest taking some sandpaper and sanding the motor shaft to make sure it's clean and smooth (could be rust and "crud" on shaft). Have you compared the size of the metal opening in the new coupler with that of the old? They should be identical. You could also try greasing the motor shaft after you've finished sanding it clean. If you need to tap the coupler onto the shaft, use an appropriately sized socket (smallest one that will fit over the shaft, and preferably a deep-well socket). Place the socket over the metal part of the coupler and tap on the socket with a hammer. This should keep the plastic portion of the coupler from breaking.
 
 

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