Eric Praetzel - Kenmore Elite Washer Repair


At 12 years of age the bearings started to make noise on high speed spin. Manually turning the drum verified that the bearings were failing.
I've disassembled two similar Kenmore Elite front loaders and in both cases no only had the inner bearing failed but the aluminum spider arms, holding the stainless drum, had sacrifically corroded and the washer was junk.
One can buy a new 1/2 tub & drum with new bearings at 1/2 the cost of a new washer - and in hindsight if you like the washer and it's been reliable I would say go for it as it's a much faster and simpler repair.

I purchased a bearing kit from EBay for $18 US + $18 S/H. I wasn't able to find the exact drum model in my washer - and so went with something that seemed to have a very similar model number.
We have a Kenmore 970-C41062-00 which seems to have tub 1315 25500?? which is similar to Kenmore 970-C40052? I bought "Kenmore Front Load Washer Bearing & Seal Kit 131525500 131462800 131275200"
The kit included the inner and outer bearing and a cheap rubber seal. The original seal looked to be better quality.

However, if you have the time, tools and skill (or want to learn) it's a great thing to do because for very little money you can extend the life of the washer possibly another decade.


There are many videos on YouTube about disassembling a Kenmore front loader and they're good - BUT:

  1. It will take you much longer than the video implies. Expect around 3 hours for the first disassembly and a few more hours to get the bearings into place and everything back together.
  2. In the video they show the drum, and it's shaft, just falling out of the bearings. In my case I had to hammer the shaft out of the bearings - using a slim jim to protect the shaft end.
  3. Knocking the bearings out was tedious. A 5 gallon pail was invaluable. Having a 3/4" dia steel pipe that you don't mind destroying is good. I did some damage to a socket set and had to file it to repair it.
  4. Inserting the shaft back thru the bearings was crazy. I had to rig a kind-of bearing puller - an extra long bolt going into the end of the drum shaft to pull it thru the bearings and seat it. It was impossible to insert it otherwise.
  5. The end of the drum shaft had to be filed down to make it fit onto the motor pulley.
  6. Pulling the springs which hold the drum was fun. I used a coat hanger wire - thru the loop that holds the top of the spring to pull the spring up and thru - and then cut the coat hanger to get it out.

Our drum did have some corrosion of the spider arm - at the very center as can be seen in the photos.

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