How to Replace the Coupler in a Direct Drive Machine

Identify Your Machine

These instructions are for Whirlpool based manufacturing of top loading direct drive washing machines. If your machine has a belt, these instructions are not for you. Belt drive machines are a totally different technology.

To identify you Kenmore machine click here. Whirlpool is one of the major manufacturers for Kenmore.



How to diagnose a bad Coupler

A bad coupler in a machine generally results in no spin or agitation. The motor is running and the machine fills with water and then drains, but there is no sign of agitation or spin. This most often means that the connection between the motor and the transmission has been broken.

Sometimes a loud clicking is heard and is the result of a fractured coupler. Sometimes the couple rubber has disintegrated and you will find rubber particles on the floor under the machine about the middle of the machine.



Move the pump to the side
Move the pump to the side
Disconnect the Wires
Disconnect the Wires
Pry off the hold down clip
Pry off the hold down clip
Coupler on the motor shaft
Coupler on the motor shaft
Coupler and rubber on the transmission
Coupler and rubber on the transmission

Replace the Coupler

The case has to be taken off of the machine. Get detailed instructions on case removal and gaining service access by clicking here.

Following the instructions to remove the case, place the case out of the way. You now have access to the mechanical workings of the machine.

The process is to remove the pump and then remove the motor. The coupler is a three part device that has one piece installed on the back of the motor, one piece on the transmission, and the third piece is a rubber absorber that is installed between the motor and the transmission.

In removing the pump, it is not necessary to remove the hoses. If the pump is hard to remove you may need additional advice. Click here to see additional information regarding pump removal.

Two clips hold the pump on and they need to be pried off and removed.

Next the motor has to be removed. Start by removing the wiring harness to the motor. There may one two or three more connections. Unplug each of these wire connectors until there are no more wires connected to the motor. These wires are all in wire connectors that will only work one way so there will be no confusion when replacing the motor.

The motor has a start switch on it, this is the main connector in the red connector with several wires. When you take the motor out, be careful not to lay the motor on the start connector as it is fragile and can be damaged easily.

Also the motor is connected with two large clips that may have hold down screws. Remove the hold down screws, and pry the top clip off with a screwdriver, the motor will fall so try to hold it in place.

The motor vibration is dampened with rubber grommets on the mounts. Be sure the account for these, there are 4 of them. Usually they stay connected but may come loose and you will need them to complete the job.

Removed the old coupler and replace with the new coupler. The coupler may fit very snugly on the motor shaft and the transmission shaft. It may be tapped on by placing a screwdriver handle over the coupler and tapping with a small hammer. Do not strike the coupler too hard as this could fracture the new coupler. Slow and easy does it.

Replace the motor, this may take several tries since the motor and the transmission need to be aligned, rotate the couplers until they match then try to place the motor into position. Attach the top hold down clip first, then the bottom one.

Reverse the dis assembly process. The washer is now fixed.

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Comments 9 comments

dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

I enjoy your easy to follow, step-by-step instructions with links for details... Thanks for sharing.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS

Good grief, Steve! OK, 'fess up! Have you been peeking into my utility room at my virtually antique GE washer and Whirlpool dryer, both of which still valiantly support my limited laundry needs-for-one - but which surely one of these days will begin to scream for Steve-help??

In order to keep them running, I might add, - I avoid putting washable throw rugs into the washer and I clean the dryer vent between EVERY dry cycle!

If faced with REAL problems such as your wonderful instructions cover - I'm afraid I'd be screaming for Steve help, for sure!


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest Author

Nellieanna You do have the most wonderful comments. Thanks for coming by. Your dryer fits my instructions, your washer, however, does not. It sounds like you use them sensibly, here's a secret just for you: The GE washer is at least 100 times better than the new versions. It will probably last forever.


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York

Very interesting. It's not the type of thing I would try to fix myself without going online to find out how! Thanks!


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest Author

aradise7 Come on now, you can do it. I would personally help you! I once had a woman completely rebuild her old belt drive washer with my instructions. It took her a month, but she did it.


danatheteacher profile image

danatheteacher 6 years ago from Pacific Northwest

Love the visuals-where the hell do you find these? (or are you the kind that takes them himself???)


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest Author

Dana, Lucky me, I have a camera and a bunch of washing machines and parts, etc. I took those photos myself.


Dino 6 years ago

Steve, thanks for the info. Serviceman wanted $90. Wife wanted it repaired asap. I found the parts in town for $21.95 (same price everyone wanted. What a markup from $5.00 online), I followed your instructions and pictures to the letter. Repair was fairly simple and straight forward. I'm happy, wife is happy! Thank you very much for your post.


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest Author

Dino, thanks so much for the vote of confidence, and boy am I glad you had such success, it tells me that I'm doing something right. Thanks for leaving such a great comment.

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