The Virtual Repairman  -Technical Support Series (Sept 2008)




Replacing the Motor Coupler on Direct-drive Washers-
















All top-load washers made since 1985 by Kenmore, Whirlpool, Kitchen-Aid, Roper and Estate have a direct drive coupling assembly between the motor and the transmission. This part fails after several years of use or from other factors, such as overloading, but is very easy to replace.



Always unplug the machine before servicing!!




How To Begin:


1. Open the control panel on your washer by removing 2 screws at either end as shown below. The top will then flip up out of the way.




2. Disconnect the lid switch harness (3-wires) from the top of the washer.


3. Use a screwdriver to pry up the 2 clips holding the top to the rear panel.


Next, grasp the cabinet from inside the lid and pull it forward and up in one motion. The entire cabinet will slip free from the base and you can set it to the side to begin replacing  the coupler.



The water pump has two spring clips which hold it against the motor shaft. These can be popped off by hand, or with a gentle pry of the screwdriver. (Do not remove the hoses or clamps) The pump will slide forward off the short motor shaft. You can then push the pump upward and out of the way by folding back the hoses and wedging it above you. Next, you will see that the motor is held in place with two similar, but larger clamps.  

There are two screws securing these to the base of the motor, which you will remove. Pop these clips off. Then you can rotate them 90 degrees to remove them. I suggest removing the plastic wiring harness from the motor by unlocking the little clip holding it down.

The motor can now be removed by wriggling it toward the front. Use the screwdriver blade to remove the old white plastic coupling from the motor shaft by prying under it gently. Facing you, on the transmission is the other plastic coupling, which you will remove.
In your drive-coupling replacement kit, there are three components:

(2) Couplings
(1) Rubber union

Place either of the two new white couplings on the transmission shaft with the teeth facing toward the motor. Use the 1/2"socket as a press, place it over the center of the coupling and tap it onto the shaft, taking care not to damage the three little prongs. Place the black rubber union over the prongs on the coupling you just installed. Now, tap the other coupling onto the rear shaft of the motor, prongs facing back toward transmission. The motor can now be re-installed, taking care to line up the three prongs with the remaining holes in the union. This can be helped by rotating the motor shaft slightly while holding it up to the coupling. Also, note that the four rubber caps on the motor mount must match up with the four indents on the frame. Once the coupling is engaged, apply the clips & screws to the motor. Hook up the wires, install the pump and you're done!


Need a coupling? Got plenty in stock!    Click here

Direct Drive Motor Coupling Demo-



This segment and all other repairs to the Direct Drive machine are expertly described in the DVD. Get your copy now!