Tips and Procedures
Learn how to restore appliances to the appearance and function they had when new.

Restoring Transmission (Gearcase)

The belted washer transmission or gearcase is bullet proof but not water proof. Water can leak past the seal at the top of the spin tube and travel down the agitator shaft into the transmission. The water will displace the grease and eventually the components inside the gearcase will rust away. The transmission is the grey portion of the following diagram.


If your washer is making a lot of noise in the agitate cycle or having trouble shifting into the agitate mode, you should suspect the gearcase. Confirm grease displacement by water by tipping the cabinet down on its face and observing the gearcase. If grease with the consistency and color of honey drips from the gearcase, the gearcase is fine and you can look elsewhere for a problem. If water or grey grease comes out, you should replace the grease before the gearcase destroys itself.

Gearcase Restoration Procedure

Restoring the gearcase is very labor intensive but a new gasket and some grease are normally the only parts required.

Removing the Agitator

  1. If you have an auger agitator it has an upper auger portion and bell shaped agitator below. The whole thing will come out in one assembly after you remove the agitator bolt.
  2. Remove the agitator cap.
  3. Use a 7/16 inch socket wrench to remove the agitator bolt.
  4. Pull the agitator up and off the shaft.

Removing the Gearcase

  1. I like to move the washer out into the garage or driveway because we are going to work on it from top to bottom and disassemble most of the major components.
  2. Unplug the washer and insert the three-prong plug in three holes of the four-hole diamond on the rear of the cabinet, just below the console.
  3. Lift the drain hose out of the sewer drain pipe and hook it over the console.
  4. Turn the water off at the faucets for both inlet hoses and disconnect them from the faucets.
  5. Lay the washer down on the front of the cabinet. If you have a dolley you can lift the washer up from the front of the cabinet and lay it front side down in a convenient place to work from the bottom of the washer. If you don't have a dolley, lay a rug that won't be damaged by a little water in front of the washer and then pull the washer over and lay it down with the front of the cabinet on the rug.
  6. If you haven't already done so, remove the two 5/16 inch sheet metal screws that secure the rear access panel and set the panel aside.
  7. Place an old rag or some paper towels on the cabinet under the transmission gearcase. Most gearcases will start to drip transmission grease when placed on their side. This is not a serious problem but you wouldn't want to leave the washer in this position overnight. The rag or paper towels will catch the grease so that when you tip the washer up again, the grease will not run down on the floor.
  8. Locate the 9/16" motor bracket adjustment nut above the motor on top of the tub platform and loosen it with an open-end wrench or an adjustable wrench. Pivot the motor to the right to fully loosen the belt. Remove the belt from the motor pulley. Move the motor back to the left just to get it out of the way.
  9. (Figure 1) Familiarize yourself with the major components under the washer. The drive belt goes around the drive motor pulley, the gearcase drive pulley, the pump pulley and the spin clutch pulley.
  10. (Figure 2) Remove the nuts from the three transmission gearcase braces using a socket wrench with at least a 6" extension and a 1/2" socket.
  11. (Figure 3) Remove the two bolts holding the water pump to the gearcase using a socket wrench and a 1/2" socket. Open the hose clamps on the water pump ports and slide the clamps down the hoses away from the pump. Slide the pump out of the hoses and set it aside.
  12. (Figure 4) Locate the plunger under the spin coil on the wig wag. The spin coil is the one with white and red wires connected to it. Hold the spin coil plunger up with the index finger of your left hand and turn the gearcase drive pulley with your right hand. Keep turning until the plunger slides the spin slide bar out towards the motor. This engages the spin clutch. Click here for a diagram of the spin clutch assembly. Note the location of the spin clutch spring in the diagram for the next step.
  13. (Figure 5) Locate the spin clutch spring and remove it. With the clutch engaged and the spring removed, the spin clutch yoke is now free.
  14. (Figure 6) Locate the three large gearcase stud mounting bolts. Remove the lowest bolt completely using a socket wrench and a 9/16" socket. As you slide the bolt out, grab the 3/4" long spacer and set it aside. Now remove the remaining two bolts and set them aside.
  15. (Figure 7) Before you slide the gearcase back, check the status of the "T" bearing and its ball bearing key. The "T" bearing is located on the agitator shaft between the spin clutch pulley and the gearcase. The bearing is free to slide anywhere on the agitator shaft when you pull the gearcase out.
  16. If the ball bearing is facing down when the "T" bearing goes scooting up the agitator shaft, you hear the ball bearing key clink as it falls out and then rolls away. Position the keyway on the upper half of the agitator shaft so that if the "T" is moved away from the ball bearing key, the ball bearing won't fall out of its socket in the agitator shaft. If you have to rotate the agitator shaft to see the ball and "T" bearing keyway, hold the wig wag agitate plunger (closest to the drive pulley) up while you spin the drive pulley with your other hand until the slide bar shifts into the agitate function. Further spinning of the drive shaft will rotate the shaft back and forth so that the ball bearing's socket in the shaft comes up to the top and is more visible. Don't forget to hold the plunger up when you turn the pulley or the wig wag will shift the transmission out of the agitate function!
  17. Remove the white, red and yellow wires from the control magnet or wig wag on top of the transmission.
  18. Grasp the transmission with both hands and gently pull it out. The gearcase is heavy (25 lbs or so).

Replacing the Gearcase Grease

  1. (Figure 8) The following top view of the gearcase will be used to disassemble and assemble the gearcase:
  2. Remove the control magnet by backing out the tapered screw using a 5/16 inch socket wrench. Twist the control magnet off of the gearcase shaft.
  3. Remove the bolt holding the spring plate over the agitate and spin slide bars.
  4. Slide the "T" bearing up and off the agitator shaft. Remove the ball from the shaft and store it in a safe place.
  5. Put the end of a large flat blade screwdriver into the slot in the agitator shaft. Place the screwdriver over the spin slide bar and lift the agitator shaft up. This takes pressure off the agitator fork shaft and will allow you to slide the agitator slide bar out. Leave the plungers on the slide bars.
  6. Pull the spin slide bar out of the spin clutch shaft.
  7. Getting the set screw out of the gearcase pulley is difficult. This pulley DOES NOT have to be removed for this procedure.
  8. Remove all of the gearcase bolts from the top of the gearcase using a 1/2 inch socket wrench. You will have to use an open end wrench for the one under the gearcase pulley. Note the location of the 3 long bolts. These are used with the gearcase braces.
  9. Cover your workspace area with several layers of newspaper and put the gearcase on top of them. Use 2x4's to support the gearcase so that it is upright and level.
  10. Crack the gearcase open by wedging a flat blade screwdriver into the gasket on the agitator shaft end of the gearcase where the bottom and top halves don't perfectly overlap. Once you separate the two halves, lift the top up and off the agitator shaft and lay it on the newspapers.
  11. Lift the agitator shaft, its spring and the agitator shift yoke out and lay them on newspaper.
  12. Set up a funnel in an old plastic milk jug. Pour the contents of the lower half of the gearcase into the milk jug and take it to the same place that you take used motor oil. You can remove the gears and connecting bars from the lower half of the gearcase.
  13. Use Gunk, paint thinner or whatever you use to clean oily auto parts to clean both halves and their contents. Don't loose the metal disk that sits under the agitator shaft. Scrape the old gasket off the gearcase with a knife or wood chisel.
  14. Once you have everything all cleaned up, you are ready to put grease back into the gearcase. Put the gears and cams back into the lower half of the gearcase and put it back on the blocks. Use a level to make sure the lower gearcase half is level. Tack the new gearcase gasket to the bottom half of the gearcase using gasket sealant (Permatex). When the gasket is glued down, you are ready to add the new grease. I use the Maytag gearcase grease that comes in a one quart white plastic bottle.
  15. Pour one pint or half the bottle of grease into the bottom half of the gearcase. Replace the agitator shaft, its spring and the agitate yoke back and lower the top half of the gearcase down the shaft. Face the slot in the agitator shaft away from gearcase pulley end of the gearcase. You may have to rock the gearcase pulley to get the gears to line up. If the two halves are back together, you are ready to button up the gearcase.
  16. Replace the gearcase bolts and tighten them up using a 1/2 inch socket wrench.
  17. Replace the spin slide bar and spin clutch shaft. Slide a screwdriver into the agitator shaft slot and pry up the shaft and yoke so that you can put the agitate slide bar back through the slot in the yoke shaft.
  18. Bolt the spring plate back down over the slide bars (curled edges up).
  19. Put the plungers back into the control magnet and push it down on its shaft. Replace the tapered screw.
  20. Put some grease in the hole in the agitator shaft, replace the ball bearing key and slide the "T" bearing back down the shaft. This completes the gearcase assembly


  1. Slide the gearcase agitator shaft most of the way into the basket drive assembly. Now is a good time to route the new belt around the pulleys. Make sure the drive motor is pivoted back to the right so that you can get the new belt on the motor pulley. This step is complete when you have the belt around the gearcase drive pulley, the spin pulley, and around the drive motor pulley. Make sure that the belt is in the groove of the motor pulley. Now we have to put the washer back together!!
  2. Slide the gearcase all the way in. Guide the spin clutch shaft into its hole in the clutch yoke. If there were any spacers (washers) on top of the clutch shaft, replace them before you put the clutch yoke down on them. Replace the clutch yoke spring. Make sure the yoke support on the opposite end of the yoke from the spring is in its plastic retainer. Check to see that the T bearing is in place with no greater than 1/16 inch clearance between it and the spin tube on top and the gearcase below. If everything is back where it belongs, the gearcase will be up against the gearcase mounting studs. If there is a gap, check the T bearing and clutch yoke again to confirm that they are in their correct places.
  3. Hold the spacer in place and replace the gearcase mounting bolt that you removed earlier. Tighten the bolt finger tight only. Tighten the other two bolts finger tight also. Why not tighten them up all the way? If you slid the transmission back with the machine on its side there is a slight chance for a misalignment in the spin clutch assembly. Grab the transmission gearcase and lift up on it with one hand while you tighten the top two bolts with the socket wrench in your other hand. Now tighten the lower bolt.
  4. (Figure 8) Replace the three braces. Brace No. 1 (the dirtiest one resembling a boomerang with shredded belt bits on it) goes around the drive motor. The rounded sides will face up. Make sure that you place the No. 1 brace on the upper raised stud along with the ground wire. There is another bolt stud near the correct one but the nut won't fit the threads on the stud. Brace No. 2 goes around the plastic drain manifold. Brace No. 3 attaches near the drive pulley. The top of Brace No. 3 goes UNDER the tub platform lip. Firmly tighten these nuts with a 1/2" socket wrench.
  5. You will replace the two water pump bolts and tighten them with the same 1/2" socket wrench used to tighten the braces. Swing the pump back into its home position and hook the pump pulley on the belt and put the rubber-tipped pump shift lever in the agitate slide bar slot. Align the top hole in the pump frame with the threaded hole in the transmission gearcase. Start the threads with the bolt in your fingers. DO NOT shove the bolt into the gearcase threaded hole and start cranking with the socket wrench! You can easily strip the threads in the gearcase. After finger starting the top bolt you can run it in a couple of turns with the socket wrench but don't tighten it yet. Grab the water pump and twist it until the bottom bolt hole aligns with the threaded hole in the gearcase. Again, try to start the bolt threads by hand if you can otherwise put the bolt in the socket and extension (without the wrench handle) and try to get it started. Now tighten both bolts.
  6. Check the belt again to make sure its in the grooves of all four pulleys. Make sure the belt is in the drive motor pulley grove instead of out on the pulley shoulder!! The gearcase drive pulley is the easiest one to take the belt off of and it should be the last one that you put the belt on.
  7. Tighten the belt by prying the motor back to the left to get a deflection of about 1/2" in the belt. Tighten the 9/16" motor bracket mounting nut. An alternate approach is to snug up the 9/16" nut and tap the inside edge of the motor bracket with a hammer until the proper tension is reached.
  8. Replace the rear access panel, pick up the transmission grease catching rag, and right the machine.
  9. Reassemble the agitator. Check for proper operation.

Figure 1 (Return)


Figure 2 (Return)


Figure 3 (Return)


Figure 4 (Return)

Spin Clutch

Figure 5 (Return)

Spin Clutch

Figure 6 (Return)

Transmission Mounting Bolts

Figure 7 (Return)

T Bearing

Figure 8 (Return)

Agitator Shaft

Figure 9 (Return)