Introduction: Washing Machine Clutch Replacement

As always, thanks for reading my instructable! So lately when I am doing laundry I have noticed that most of my clothes have finished the spin cycle and come out sopping wet. In most cases I have had to wring out a large portion of them otherwise they would be too wet for my dryer. Doing some research online, it appeared as if the clutch of the machine had worn out and needed replacement. It seemed like a fairly easy repair so I decided to attempt it myself. So if your washing machine isn't wringing out your clothes after a spin cycle, read on!

Disclaimer: By doing your own repairs, you may void warranties or break your own machine. Be cautious of this before you attempt any maintenance on your major appliances.

Step 1: Required Materials

For this repair, you will need a few tools and parts. The socket sizes may vary but it appear that these size are somewhat of an industry standard.

  • Medium flat blade screwdriver
  • Channel lock pliers
  • 7/16 in socket
  • 1/2 in socket
  • Drill/ impact driver


Step 2: Disconnect All of the Hookups

For many washing machines, the motor/ transmission assembly is easily accessible from the bottom of the unit. The quickest way to get to the bottom of the unit is to flip the machine onto its back. In order to do this you will need to disconnect the water and drain hookups. Also remember to disconnect the plug from the wall outlet. Water and electricity don't play well together!

Step 3: Remove the Agitator

For the first step of disassembling the machine you will need to use the screwdriver to remove the plate on top of the agitator. Once that is off, you will see a single bolt in the cavity under the covering plate. For most machines this will be the 7/16 in bolt. Once you have the bolt out, you can slide the agitator out of the basin. By removing the agitator, it will be much easier to remove the motor/transition assembly later.

Step 4: Tip the Machine

Pretty simple step, move the unit away from the wall until you can rotate it to lay on its back panel. From there you should be able to see the motor, water pump, and transmission. Be sure that you have plenty of space to lay the machine down and also be aware that the machine may spill water when you tip the machine. Also watch out, edges of sheet metal ca be very sharp. I received about two dozen small cuts from this project without really realizing it until afterwards.

Step 5: Disconnect the Water Pump

Once you have flipped the machine you should be able to see the water pump sitting on top of the machine motor. The pump is held in place by two metal clips that can be removed by hand or with the screwdriver. After removing the clips, the pump can be slid off of the motor.

Step 6: Disconnect Power From Motor

You will need to remove the electrical connections from the motor assembly. There i a tab that you need to hold while you unhook the plug. Be sure to disconnect the plug before you attempt to remove the motor and transmission which brings us to our next step.

Step 7: Remove the Motor & Transmission Assembly

To remove the motor, you only need to use the 1/2 socket and remove the three bolts holding the assembly to the frame. once those are removed you will be able to slide the entire assembly out. Now that the clutch is accessible, you will be able to replace the worn out parts.

Step 8: Remove Clutch Components

You will notice a small ring on the shaft. Remove it and sent it aside. You will now use you channel locks to compress the spring in the clutch. Once it is fully compressed, you should be able to work out the band out of the flange. You will need to use the screwdriver again to release the retaining ring near the center of the flange. After you remove it, you should be able to pull the old flange off.

Step 9: Replace the Flange

We will now begin to put the clutch back together. You will start by putting the plastic ring into the new flange and lining up the indentations and tabs. You will then install the new flange on the shaft. You will see a small hole on the flange for the retainer ring to sit in. Re-seat the the retaining ring and work the ring back around until it is completely seated in the plastic ring.

Step 10: Replace the Clutch Spring

For this step, you will compress the spring on the band and work the ban into the flange. Before you do however, notice that along the exterior of the band there plastic pieces, one side is smooth and the other has tabs on them. For the unit to operate correctly, the tabs must be facing down! Therefore the smooth side should be visible after you install the band.

Step 11: Replace the Brake Cam

The final part to be replaced is the brake cam. This piece is located on the flange directly above where we pulled the clutch from. The only thing holding this cam on is a c-ring that can be removed with our screwdriver. Just swap out the two cams and replace the c-ring. The first time I put the machine back together, I realized that the replacement was too tall so I ended up using the old one anyway. Before you attempt to put the engine/ transmission back in, rotate the can about 90 degrees backwards while pushing towards the top of the machine. This will ensure that you will be able to remount the engine assembly in the next step.

Step 12: Reassemble the Machine

At this point, the repairs are completed and you can put the machine back together. This step can be a bit frustrating and may require disassembling and reassembling to make sure that everything is functioning correctly. To reassemble, repeat the instructions backwards, starting with installing the engine, transmission, and pump. It is important to note that you should make sure that the clutch spring and the brake cam will not interfere with each other during assembly. It is a good idea just to put them at opposite sides of their respected flanges. When connecting the water pump you may have to turn the shaft to get the pump to slide on. Besides those notes, everything else should go back together just as easy as it came apart.

Step 13: Spin Cycle Test

Before I cleared the washing machine for service, I wanted to make sure that it would run properly without damaging itself. (I was 75% sure this repair was going to fail miserably). To do that I opened up the machine lid and set it for a spin cycle. Almost all washing machines have a safety latch to prevent the spin cycle from running while the lid is open so once again the screwdriver was broken out to override the safety switch. To my surprise, it not only did NOT burst into flames but instead was spinning like never before. I uploaded a video of that test and was hoping that you would be able to watch it in the guide but sadly that feature is not out yet :( . I hope that by reading this instructable you were able to repair your own machine and possibly saved yourself a little bit on the repair bill. Thanks for reading!