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.
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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