Introduction: Removing a Broken Washing Machine Drum Bearing
Noisy washing machine bearings need to be replaced at the earliest opportunity. If its noisy on spin, and feels rough when spun by hand, it needs replacing.
The longer it's left, the harder and costlier it will be to replace. Often the bearing can split and also damage the spindle.
It's rare that cheap washing machines are actually repaired these days (once out of warranty), as labour costs can be prohibitive compared to new.
However if you have the tools, they can be replaced quite cheaply (£10 kit) and it saves on the environment too.
Step 1: The Fix
In an ideal repair, the bearings will be in tact and you can simply drift them out.
However, most of the time they can be a right pain to remove.
Certain manufacturers like Hotpoint make it even harder by glue sealing the drum unit (on their entry level machines). The reason is unlikely to be the cost of the screws, but more for a continued revenue stream.
Again its bad for the environment and consumer as you have to replace the whole drum unit at significant cost. Let's hope right to repair addresses this?
So let's say you have a stripped down machine, and have extracted the drum unit. Shock horror, you find an exploded bearing. How can you remove the inner and outer bearing race shells? It would be a shame to give up now, after all the hard work to get to this point!
A seized inner race bearing is relatively easy to extract from the drum spindle. This can be done using a bearing puller or careful use of hacksaw followed by a split.
However, the outer race bearing will still be sitting deep in the plastic drum hole (beneath the oil seal). Trying to tap this out from the opposite end can seem impossible, as theres usually no hard edge available to tap securely against, to drift it out.
My workaround technique is to use a mig welder to create some lugs on the inside wall of the outer race bearing shell. This gives you something solid to hit from the other side and gradually drift it out.
However, when welding, theres very little metal to clamp the earth clamp onto. The bearing sits in a plastic drum, and there isn't much space for a clamp and mig gun.
My workaround is to use a big nail clamped in the earth clamp, to act as an earth probe terminal. The earth probe is put in contact with the thin outer race edge, giving space for the mig probe to weld some internal lugs.
Just don't go crazy with the welds as you could melt the plastic housing.
Hope this info helps, as it worked for me.