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bucksone 08-12-2007 09:14 PM

noisy washer agitator
My Whirlpool Design 2000 top-loading washer (bought in 1987!) has started making a loud noise. The noise is in rhythm with the agitator. It only does it during the wash cycle when the agitator is moving back and forth. While I realize I have received my money's worth out of this washer after 20 years, if this is something fixable, I'm willing to give it a try. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

SecretSquirrel 08-12-2007 09:34 PM

This is more of a story than DIY advice. I had a similar issue with a 15 year old Sears Kenmore washer except my spin cycle quit working. I'm a DIY type of guy right? Well I started dismantling the washer to find the source of the problem and uncovered the remnants of some sort of nylon gear or bushing. I whipped out my service manual and after studying the possible components that could have contributed to the meltdown and then looking at the washer transmission, not to mention the looming pile of laundry, the next thing I did was call a service center to see what a "hypothetical" repair would cost. After hearing that bad news and looking at the prospect of a real PITA and time consuming repair I decided to save what little hair I have left on my head and take the washer to the dump and replace it with a new one. A wise man chooses the battles he is capable of winning.

Individual results may vary.

skymaster 08-13-2007 10:06 AM

Buck: Padre Espritum Sanctum
Take the wife out to lunch and a shopping trip :laughing::yes:

boman47k 08-16-2007 08:47 PM

What type of noise?


It only does it during the wash cycle when the agitator is moving back and forth.
Watch it while it is in wash mode and see if the tub is going from side to side or wobbling. If it is, raise the top and look in the corners for rubber dampers going from the tub to the washer itself. One or more may be broken if it has them. If it has springs on the bottom that serve basically the same purpose, check them. These will be heavy springs if it has them. Be careful when installing or remmoving. Do you know if it is direct drive or belt driven? If direct drive, definitely check the coupler. Not really sure how far back the direct drives go. Just some suggestions without being there to actually see it.

girltech 01-04-2008 01:18 PM

What is the model number of the washer?

The model number should be on a tag in the opening of the washer where you put the clothes in.

If the agitator is a duel action type it has what are call dog in it and a cam that could be making the noise.

DeviantDave 01-31-2014 09:02 PM

I have this EXACT same problem, with the EXACT same washer. The model # is LA3400XPW0. I am in the process of trying to take it apart, but I'm worried that I'm going to pull the gearbox off and misalign something, or have stuff come apart in a way that I won't be able to figure out how it goes back together... I took the agitator off from the top, but don't have a spanner to take the large nut off (from under the agitator). I've taken the 3 bolts out of the gearbox, and disconnected the motor (separating the grommet/coupling), but not sure where to go from there. The noise it makes when agitating, sounds like a belt, or a gear, that is sheering, or jumping, teeth.

DeviantDave 01-31-2014 09:28 PM

No Pm...
Hey Bucksone,

If you're still active on this forum, can you reply back to this, and let me know what you found (I tried to PM you, but apparently you have to make 15 posts for every PM you send, or something to that effect, so I couldn't message you, directly). I am having trouble getting my washer apart to find the problem, and I want to avoid forcing something, and having gears fall out all over the floor... Your help would be GREATLY appreciated!


bucksone 02-01-2014 07:58 AM

Well,DeviantDave,I took SecretSquirrel's advice and bought a new washer. Sorry I couldn't be of any help to you.

DeviantDave 02-01-2014 06:08 PM

Awww, man... Ok... Yeah, I had purchased a newer washing machine, awhile back, and it failed, after replacing several (semi-expensive) computer boards, it ended up in my backyard, with this older one taking its place (much easier to work on, until now). I can't afford another new one, so I will have to keep trying until I figure this out... Thanks for the reply, though!

boman47k 02-03-2014 10:02 AM


or jumping, teeth.
Dave, grab the top of the agitator and try to turn it both ways. It should only turn one way. If it makes a clicking or gear skipping sound and turns both ways, the agitator dogs are bad. Very inexpensive fix.

Let us know what you find out.

P.S. If the top of the agitator turns both ways independent of the bottom, I think you can put everything back together. No need to remove the tranny, motor, etc. Be a good time to replace the coupler too, ifit has any loose play in it. Also relatively inexpensive. Both the dogs and the coupler can be bought on Ebay for pretty good savings if you can wait a few days for them to come in.
But, if needed quickly, they are not that expensive to buy from a parts house.

DeviantDave 02-04-2014 03:25 AM

Hi Boman47k,

Thanks for the reply! Unfortunately, this is a slightly older model, with a single, solid agitator (no agitator dogs, as far as I know). After removing the agitator, and checking the spindle/spline (both the metal, and plastic, looked to be in perfect shape), I removed the motor from the gearcase. The coupler was the older, more solid round type (as opposed to the triangular-shaped newer ones), and both coupling gears, and the rubber coupler were all very tight and in extremely excellent shape. not seeing any other "easy to check" possibilities, I dismantled the gearcase, only to find it to be in just as good of shape as everything else... Going to put it back together, tomorrow, reinstall it, and see if I can figure anything else out. Any other suggestions, I would love to hear them all!


boman47k 02-04-2014 06:52 AM

Be sure to check the middle of the coupler to make sure it is not rounded out to the point it might slip on the motor shaft when a load is put on it, especially if it is the plastic type and not the metal insert type. Both can do this though.

Look in the center of the tub nut you mentioned you could not remove under the agitator . This nut screws down on the drive block. This drive block has a split in the middle and two gaps in it, one on each side. The tube has two tabs that should be aligned with and set into these two gaps, See if there is any wear there.
Might be worth checking out.

To get a better understanding of what I am referring to type in - whirlpool drive block - on You Tube.

P.S. Did you take the cover off the tranny, or did you just pull it from the machine?
P.S.S. You might use a small pipe wrench and hammer to remove the tub nut.

boman47k 02-04-2014 07:43 AM

On second thought, I doubt the drive block is the problem here if the machine still spins properly. Starting to sound like a transmission problem if the brake, clutch, etc. are all good.

DeviantDave 02-04-2014 04:18 PM

The coupling (gears and rubber) were in very good shape (Very tight, no wear, no room for slippage - had to kinda pry them apart, they were so snug). I completely dismantled the gearcase/tranny and found no sign of any damage, or wear. All of the plastic components are in good shape, no plastic or metal shavings, everything is aligned and seems to be meshing perfectly... I'm really at a loss. I was going to put it back together, today, but had some other stuff come up, so I will probably put it back together tomorrow and listen to it again.

DeviantDave 02-04-2014 04:26 PM

... on the Brake and clutch being good... They seem to be working ok... is there any definitive tests that I can use to verify that?

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