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The inner tub indeed is indeed designed to be lifted out once the spanner nut is removed. There is nothing that otherwise mechanically holds it place. I thought maybe the nibs at the base of the central column of the inner tub perhaps held it in place. Nope. They actually held this plastic piece in place under the bottom of the inner tub (note: this was copied from the original thread at Washer Help Needed, so the "Click this bar ..." doesn't work; see that thread for a larger image and a ton more information about the repair process):

This image has been resized. Click this bar to view the full image.

That thin wire ring in the picture is actually the "spring" that holds the nibs in place once the plastic piece is installed. Here's what the bottom of the inner tub looks like without the plastic piece:

This image has been resized. Click this bar to view the full image.

And here is what the bottom of the inner tub looks like with the plastic piece installed:

This image has been resized. Click this bar to view the full image.

SO, what was holding the inner tub in place was simply years of accumulated soap residue acts like one incredible glue.

I disparaged of ever getting the tub out, sure that there was something somehow unique about my Kenmore model. (Truth: nope.) In doing research on the web, I did take encouragement from someone who faced the same predicament. ( They related that they did eventually did lift it out, but it took a lot of persistence, and that others could expect the same thing (it will lift out, there's nothing mechanically holding it in place, and you just have to be very persistent; read the bottom of the second to last post on the referenced URL for the bit of "encouragement").

Here're the things I tried, based on suggestions around the internet:

  • Soak it in WD-40 / Liquid Wrench / PB Blaster / brake fluid (actually works on rusted parts!), etc. If it doesn't work, soak it some more and wait an hour. Repeat. Bang on the central column of the inner tub (with the heel of your hand, a rubber mallet, and even a regular hammer, the latter with predictable effects on the porcelain, but I swear you'll get to the point of trying anything, anything at all to get the bloomin' tub out, even if it causes damage to the porcelain in the process) to "break" the bond. Repeat again. And again. Let it soak overnight. Etc.
This did / did not work for me. It actually was enough to free the washer drive block from the drive shaft (in the video instructions, you're told to gently tap the washer drive block up from the bottom to remove it once you've gotten the inner tub out). You'd think that this would be enough to lift the inner tub out (drive block and all), but no. It turns out that the inner tub was glued to the drive shaft support that surrounds the drive shaft, which is the middle item in this picture:​
You could lift the entire assembly about 1/2" -- and by "entire assembly" I mean the washer drive block which was glued to the inner tub which was glued to the drive shaft support (middle item in the picture above), which was held in place by the washer transmission(!) below the outer tub -- before the transmission banged against the bottom of the tub. None of this is evident, by the way, until after you get everything disassembled So, no joy in Mudville.​

  • Rock the inner tub back and forth, rotate it a bit, rock some more, and keep doing this until the bond is broken.
This didn't work for me, probably because the tension springs weren't attached. But hey, give it a try if you want ...​

  • Have someone lift up on the inner tub. Take a chisel, and hammer on the washer drive block. (Instead of the chisel, you can use the spanner wrench: hold it vertically, place one end on the top of the washer drive block, and hammer on the other end.)
Didn't work for me, but may work for you ...​

  • Take a flat-head screw driver, wedge it between the inner tub and the drive block, and hammer the screwdriver. Move the screwdriver to another position, and repeat.
Didn't work for me, but may work for you ...​

  • Take your shoes off, stand in the inner tub, and rock back and forth.
Didn't try this one, but may work for you ...​

  • Fill tub with (hot) water and let it soak.

    Think about it: we're talking about soap residue. This should work, but if you're like me with a leaky tub, it's not a viable option.

  • Pour hot water / vinegar / CLR (calcium, line, rust) cleaner. Repeat as necessary, letting it soak.
I think that this is what worked for me eventually, although I had to pour a lot of hot water over the top of the washer drive block, and let it soak a bit. If you look at the top of the washer drive block, you'll see that there is a slot down one side. Use a screwdriver to make sure this slot is clear, so that the hot water (or whatever) can go down along the drive shaft.​
I had thought along these lines beforehand, but what really convinced me to go this route was this post In fact, the whole post is worth reading, jammies and all (you'll know what I mean when you read the post).​
With the inner tub freed from the drive shaft support, the inner tub and the washer drive block (finally!) lifted off in one piece. And wouldn't you know, I had to hammer the top of the washer drive block to break it free of the inner tub! That's why when I re-assembled the washer, I put a thin layer of bearing grease (you probably could use plumbers joint compound) around the middle of the washer drive block. I left the top one-quarter and bottom one-quarter of the drive block's sides free of grease, so as to not have it wash off onto clothes. Do as you feel best.

I hope the foregoing will save you the time and trouble that so many of us have experienced getting the inner tub to "just lift out" (yeah right: cruise the internet to see how often this is a problem!). Yes, the inner tub just lifts out. No, there is nothing holding it mechanically in place. (Accumulated glue-like soap residue is another matter.) No, your washer isn't somehow unique. Yes, it requires persistence.


(Anyone who wants to contact me, please feel free. My ID is RichardZ)
Wow! I was about to give up. I could not get the inner tub out. Your post gave me the encouragement to keep at it, and I got it out. Thanks so much!
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