Washing Machine Motor | How to Install

Do you need to replace a washing machine motor? Good because in this section we will talk about how to install the motor on a direct drive washer manufactured by Whirlpool. Whirlpool has manufactured direct drive washers under the following brand names, Kenmore, Whirlpool, KitchenAid, Estate, Roper, Maytag, Kirkland, as well as some other brands.

The washer is called a direct drive washer, because the motor is connected directly to the transmission with a motor coupler. It does not use a belt to connect to a pulley on the transmission. The motor on a direct drive washer is located in front and is relatively easy to replace

Before you decide to replace the motor on a direct drive washer, it is best to visually inspect it for burned or damaged windings. That's because these motors are very hardy, and rarely fail. If the washer agitates but does not spin, most likely the motor is not defective. The motor on this type of washing machine operates on 120 volts A/C, and uses the same start and run windings, to agitate and spin. This is accomplished by the timer or electronic control reversing the direction the electricity flows through the start winding. Rarely is this motor defective, if the washer will agitate but does not spin.

Once you determine that the motor is defective and you're going to order a replacement washer motor, always order a placement heavy duty coupler, part number 285852A. Although you might be able to remove the old coupler from the motor, it is often damaged in the process. For 20 bucks, it's simply not worth the hassle or the time delay, in the event you damage the old coupler trying to remove it from the motor.

Once you have the cabinet removed, locate the motor and pump assembly in the very front bottom of the washer. Use a flat bladed screwdriver to disconnect the pump retainer clips, rotate them 90 degrees to the right or left, and pull them forward off of the motor. Now you can grab the pump with both hands and pull it off the motor shaft. Have an assistant hold the pump off to the side, while you detach the wiring connector from the motor switch, and push the wires out of your way. Next remove the two screws from the motor retaining clips, located at the 6 and 12 o'clock position on the motor. Use a flat bladed screwdriver to snap off the bottom motor retaining clip. The motor is kind of heavy, so position your arm under the motor, with your hand prepared to support the weight. Next use a flat bladed screwdriver to disengage the other motor retaining clip.

Now you can position the motor off to the side, and compare it to the new motor that you are about to install, to confirm that you have the correct part. Next open up the bag that holds your new coupler. Notice the two heavy duty plastic cogs that look like they have three fingers sticking out. Use a large nut driver, to install one of the cogs on the motor shaft. If necessary, you can put a little petroleum jelly on the motor shaft so that it slides into the cog easily. Now remove the four rubber grommets from the old motor, and install them onto the mounting posts of the new motor.

Put the motor off to the side while you remove the coupler cog that is attached to the transmission shaft. Use a large heavy-duty screwdriver, to slide it off the transmission shaft. Now use your large nut driver to tap the new coupler cog onto the transmission shaft. Again if necessary, use a very small amount of petroleum jelly to help the coupler slide onto the transmission shaft. All that is left to do is put the coupler isolator on the coupler section on the transmission, reinstall the motor reversing the procedure listed here, reinstall the cabinet, and check the operation of the washer. It's always a good idea to fill the washer completely up with water, let it agitate for a few minutes and pump out the water to check for water leaks.

How to remove the cabinet on a direct drive washer
Depending on the model washer you have, you will either find Phillips head screws on the far right and left of the control panel that secure it to the top. On some washers you may have to snap off the decorative end caps on the control panel to gain access to the screws. To remove these end caps, use your finger to grab them at the top and pull slightly forward disengaging them from the control panel. Now you have access to the two screws that hold the control panel to the top. On a few models the control panel is held in place by two screws that come through the back forward into the control panel. Finally on a limited number of models, the control panel is held in place by spring-loaded clips at the right and left hand side of the control panel. Simply use a putty knife or flat screwdriver and push the clips rearward to release the panel. Once you have the control panel loose you can rotate it back and lean it against the wall behind the washer.

The washer lid switch is connected to the wiring harness by a connector that comes up through the washer top. Press the locking tabs on each side to unlock the connector and pull it up.

Now locate the two odd looking spring clips on the right and the left side of the washer top that hold the washer top to the washer back. Take a flat head screwdriver at the very front of these clips, and press down and backwards to release the clips. Grab the left and right rear of the top of the cabinet and rotate it up and forward. Rest the cabinet on the floor with the front of the washer cabinet down. Use a piece of carpet or beach towel, to prevent damage to the front of the washer.