Kenmore HE 3t Washer (attempted) Repair

We have (had) a Kenmore Elite HE 3t (part# 110.44936.200) front-load washer started making obnoxious noises about 2 weeks ago. It was purchased in late 2004 from Sears Factory outlet, so it has had a pretty good run before it decided to act-up.  I am the curious sort that likes to take things apart and fix them, so I had a long weekend and decided to break out the toolbelt and give it ago.

Before taking it apart, I found several youtube videos that indicated the issue was likely the spin bracket on the back of the drum. 

I decided to find out…

Talking apart a modern washer is not an easy task; luckily the RepairClinc had some very good videos.  :)
A few hours later, I had most of the system taken apart:
It appears that GE/Kenmore is very fond of #20 Torx screws; I would estimate that 90% of all the fasteners in this system are this type.

Finally I had access to see the back of the drum and the spinner arm.  There was a bit of corrosion, and the arm was broken in two places:

This is the arm removed from the drum- giving a better view of the extent of the damage:
Additionally, the broken arm allowed the drum to oscillate around during spinning, damaging the front part of the tub housing:

It also made some deep groves in the rear tub housing:
The bearings seem to be intact, and I could re-use the tub rear housing- but there would always be the concern of the plastic giving out an a leak starting. (perhaps this could be fixed with silicone or a high-temperature glue gun?)

For some reason, Sears does not sell the spinner arm separate from the basket- even though it is secured by six #30 Torx screws.  To repair the the washer, parts are going for:
Outer Tub- Front
Outer Tub- Rear
Total =

Essentially, I am looking at the price of a new washer to replace these three parts from sears.
I was able to find these parts for $789.23 from another website, but for $140 more, I could purchase a Samsung 4.5 cu ft washer (the old washer was 4.0 cu ft) washer with a ton of other features (Eco wash,  steam wash cycles, direct drive motor and- wait for it- WiFi with a Android/iOS app) from Sears Factory outlet.

I did manage to find one website that sells the spinner bracket only for $100, but it looks like this is a salvage part and I don’t know how much I would trust (and they are out of stock).

In the end, I don’t think I will be inventing money in an 8+ year old washing machine.  The drain motor is fairly new (this was replaced 2-3 years ago) but there could be issues with the drive motor, shock absorbers, spring,s etc.  I did learn a good deal on tearing down a washer (and putting it mostly back together- sans the tub/basket) that will probably be useful with our next washer.  :)

This is a view of the tub housing (with motor) sans the spinner arm and axle that goes through the bearings:
The bulk of the 245lbs of the washer are the basket, the bearings in the rear of the tub, the motor and the counter-weights.  Without these parts removed, I was able to transport the washer downstairs by myself.   I was a little surprised at the amount of concrete that is used in a washing machine (on the tub counter-weights):

1 comment:

  1. I think we have the same problem with our HE3t washer. Thanks for the great post!