Rebuild of a Maytag LA 608 Washer from the early 70's

posted Dec 12, 2009, 9:41 AM by Glynn Bebee   [ updated Feb 1, 2010, 3:59 PM ]
Well, this is the report on the salvage of an old washer.   It's a Maytag, and a commercial model no less, so I figured, "why not"?  

About a year ago we noticed significant loss of ability in agitation, draining and spin-drying.  At first, someone here noticed that the drain line was pinched, so upon fixing it drained better.  Then a while later, it stopped draining.  

Then we replaced the belts upon calling the local repair center.  They said a 30 year old machine probably would have burned through 3 sets of belts by now, but we possibly had originals.  Upon belt replacement, the machine worked better.  We thought it was fixed, but as it turns out, it was just a temporary fix destined to fail soon.  To understand why, read on...

A Maytag LA 608 has a motor with a single pulley wheel that drives two belts.  One belt services the drive shaft for the tub/agitator and the other services the water pump.  When we replaced the belts, because they were not stretched, we increased performance for a short while.  Though, over time, the rusted assembly that holds the motor in place (it originally could glide back and forth easily on the rails) slowly gave way...limiting performance of the new belts as they pulled the motor too much.  You see, the motor is on a slide mount with springs to hold a constant tension, but as you will find out, now we found that the spring tension must have been off...?

I went back to the appliance center and reported the loss of performance soon after replacing the belts.  They reported that maybe the springs are bad.  I purchased the new kit and during installation I noticed that our springs were so corroded, they had fallen apart.  When i replaced just half of the spring kit, our washer was now so wild and aggressive in agitation and spinning that i now started to wonder if I had brought to light a balance problem, or maybe the slide track was still so rusty that the springs could not moderate the tension in relation to the track as originally designed?