How to Repair and Slow Spinning Estate Washer

If the clothes coming out of your Estate washer model ETW4400WQ are still considerably wet after the appliance has turned off, you are likely dealing with a slow spinning malfunction. Unfortunately, there are a number of part failures that can lead to soggy clothes at the end of a wash cycle. We’ve created a list of possible malfunctions to help you determine which faulty component is slowing down your washer’s spin cycle.

As with any appliance repair, you must unplug your washer and turn off its water supply to avoid electrocution. Protecting your hands and eyes by wearing work gloves and goggles is a safety precaution that should be taken during every appliance repair.

The Clutch

Your washer’s clutch connects the appliance’s inner tub and transmission. The linkage the clutch creates helps the transmission spin the inner tub. If the clutch is damaged, the tub can end up spinning at a reduced speed. In order to fix the union between the two parts, you’ll need to disassemble your washer and replace the clutch.

How to Replace the Clutch in Your Estate Washer

  1. Open the washer lid. Using a flat head screwdriver, pry the agitator cap off the agitator. Then, reach into the agitator and pull out its dust cap. Next, unthread the agitator bolt with a socket wrench. Once the bolt is loose, grab onto the agitator and pull up to disconnect the component from the washer.
  2. Slide your washer forward, and disconnect the fill hoses and the drain hose
  3. At this point you’ll need to carefully rest the appliance on its back. Your washer is heavy, so if you need help tilting it, make sure another person is with you.
  4. Before you reach the clutch, you’ll need to unclip the drain pump and pull it off the motor shaft. Once the pump is free of the motor, tuck the part somewhere safe and out of the way.
  5. Next, disconnect the wires running to the motor, and pull them out of the plastic retaining clip holding them in place.
  6. Using a socket wrench, take out the bolts securing the gear case to the washer’s base. Then, pull the gear case and the motor off your washing machine.
  7. Slide the thrust washer off the gear case shaft, and then use a pair of needle nose pliers to remove the clutch support ring. After that, grab a flat head screwdriver and pry the retainer ring off the shaft. Now you can pull the damaged clutch up and off the gear case shaft.
  8. Before you install the new clutch on the gear case shaft, head back to the base of your washer to take off the brake cam driver. To remove the component, use a flat head screwdriver to pry the C-clip off the cam, and then simply slide the brake cam driver off the drive tube.
  9. Now it’s time for you to grab the new clutch and start installing it. First, place the isolator ring on the bottom of the clutch housing. Then, slide the clutch onto the gear case shaft. Next, reinstall the retainer ring, the support ring, and finally, the thrust washer.
  10. Retrieve the new brake cam, which should have come with the new clutch, and slide it onto the drive tube. Then, secure the part with a C-clip.
  11. Pick up the gear case and motor assembly and carefully insert the shaft into the drive tube. Make sure the clutch spring and brake cam are lined up opposite of each other; otherwise the component won’t sit flush on the base. After the shaft is fully inserted, use the bolts you removed earlier to secure the gear case and motor assembly. Then, reconnect the wire harness, and clip the wires back into the plastic retaining clip
  12. It’s time to reassemble your washing machine. Start by placing the drain pump back on the motor shaft, and then reinstalling the large retaining clips to secure the part. Next, with the help of a friend or family member, stand your washer back up. After the appliance is upright, open the washer lid and put the agitator back on the drive shaft. Then, rethread the bolt to hold the agitator in place. Lastly, insert the dust cap, and replace the agitator cover.
  13. Head to the back of your washer, and reinstall the water inlet hoses and the drain hose. Once all three are attached securely, plug-in your washing machine and turn its water supply back on.

The Direct Drive Motor Coupling

A direct drive coupling is made up of, a rubber isolator that sits in-between two plastic drive forks. The drive coupling links the transmission and the motor, meaning one drive fork is attached to the transmission while the other drive fork is attached to the drive motor shaft. Oftentimes, normal wear and tear will cause one or both of the forks to break, which affects your washer’s ability to spin at a normal speed. If you believe the direct drive motor coupling is to blame for your slow spinning washer, you’ll need to switch out the damaged coupling for a new one.

How to Replace the Direct Drive Motor Coupling in Your Estate Washer

  1. To get started, pull off the control board end caps to reveal the screws that secure the control board to the top of the washer. Once you see, the screws, unthread them with your screwdriver. Then, flip the front of the panel up and over the back of the control board to rest it on the rear of the washer.
  2. With the control board panel out of the way, disconnect the wire harness found underneath it. Next, using a flat head screwdriver, disengage the spring clips holding the rear wall of the washer and washer cabinet together. Once the springs our out, carefully lift the cabinet up and off the washing machine.
  3. The drain pump is blocking your access to the drive motor, so first you’ll need to undo the clips holding the pump in place. After you’ve taken the clips off, pull the pump off the motor shaft and set it down near the side of your appliance.
  4. Disconnect the wire harness running to the direct drive motor. Then, unthread the screws attaching the drive motor to the metal retaining clips. Once the screws are out, pull off the bottom retaining clip, and then while supporting the motor, remove the top retaining clip.
  5. Now that the direct drive motor is completely detached from your washer, you can take the plastic drive forks and the rubber isolator off the motor shaft and the gear case drive shaft.
  6. To install the new direct drive motor coupling, push one plastic drive fork onto the gear case drive shaft, and then slide the rubber isolator on top of it. Next, insert the second drive fork onto the drive motor shaft. After the new parts are in place, reinstall the drive motor by lining up the prongs on the drive fork with the openings in the rubber isolator. Once the two components are connected reattach the top and bottom drive motor retaining clips, and secure them with the screws you removed earlier.
  7. You can now begin reassembling your washing machine. First, reconnect the motor wire harness. Then, reattach the pump motor and secure the part with retaining clips. Next, reinstall your washer cabinet. With the cabinet back on, replace the spring clips that hold the cabinet to the washer. Finally, reattach the wire harness found under the control board, and rotate the control board to the front of the washing machine. To secure the control board panel, rethread the screws you took out earlier, and then snap the plastic ends back on the sides of the control board.
  8. Plug-in your washer, and turn the water back on to finish up your repair.

If your washer is spinning too slowly and your clothes are coming out of your appliance entirely too wet, please contact us today and we can help you figure out what malfunction is plaguing your washing machine.


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