Introduction: Washing Machine Repair, Whirlpool Duet/ Frigidaire HE3, (aka What the H3LL Is That Banging Noise)
Update May 2012: Disassembled again, replaced the bearings and put back on the original drum, re-assembled... and we had a new NOISE!!! AAARRGH!!! It was squeeking. My wife pointed out that the rubber boot looked a bit out of position. Turns out that I had not pushed the tube all the way onto the platic soap feeder tube. Took the face of the washer, removed the spring ring, and pushed the boot on the plastic tube up to where the rubber butted up against the notches on the outside of the feeder tube. RE-assemble, now it wasn't squeaking but at the highest revolutions theres another rattle. Carefully pulled the front lower plate off,(CAUTION, there is a microswitch that shuts down the machine for safety due to a shock hazard) and listened for the new noise. Turns out I had not completed tightened down the concrete weights! Tightened, reassembled, re-tested...Success!
My Sunday afternoon of watching an MIB-athon with Kuhlkid was abruptly ended when the washing machine started making a horrendous banging noise as it started its spin cycle. A quick internet search and my wife found the video above. It is very detailed and a very basic knowledge of tools will allow any hesitant newbie DIY-er to fix their own machines.
We have the Whirlpool Model Number GHW9400PL0. The old broken drum and spider arm part number: 8182247 (replaced by the number below.)
Whirlpool upgraded the Drum& Spider Arm to this part number: W10269756
(I don't know what the Frigidaire HE3 Model Number is.)
(the Maytag Model Number MFW9700sq1 is a very similar and will take the same tub)
We got the part from this site www.appliancezone.com/ShowProduct.aspx?ID=20983 but there are several others.
May 2012 Update: I am withdarwing my recommendation of the above site for buying yor spider arm and drum. The spider arm was fine but the stainless steel drum was was out of round which caused the machine to wobble as if the spider arm was broken again.
Having spent over $1200 on the set, I'm distressed to see that a manufacture is putting out a product that connects a stainless steel drum to an aluminum spinner arm. ( Galvanic corrosion galore!) They need to put a barrier between the spinner and the drum to prevent it. We do Alodine treatments that creates a chromatic layer that prevents this and is paintable. Not a very technical process but the chemicals are dangerous if you don't have protective equipment.
Watch the video and you get a good idea of what it will take to do this repair and more.