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How to replace bearings in the Whirlpool Duet WFW9200SQ02 washing machine

So… saw a deal on a used front-load washer (in need of repair – suspected bad bearings), figured I’ve replaced a zillion bearings on cars before, so thought I’d buy the washer and see if I can fix it.

Now technically, you’ll find that all the major Whirlpool parts outlets include these as part of a $400-500 rear tub. Yes, Whirlpool wants you to buy the big honking tub because 1 or 2 $10-20 bearings stopped working. Presumably you’re then supposed to throw your old tub away. If I ever start an “I hate the environment” club, Whirlpool’s the first company I’m asking to join.

 

So bearings are a bit of a pain to find. Well, maybe not that bad. These are the bearing numbers:
6205
6206

(I pulled the numbers from http://www.hometask.com/washerrepair.aspx where you can find bearing numbers for a number of Kenmore & Whirlpool Duet machines). It’s worth noting that you can buy seals or seals+bearings directly through their site as well.

Otherwise, you can find bearings online for anywhere from $3.50 up (depending on the quality of bearing you’re looking for – I doubt I’d opt for anything less than something made in Japan which is a good bit more, or a stainless steel bearing which starts at around $20), or find them at your local bearing shop. Now finding a new seal is a pain, though the site mentioned above carries them.

Installation:

I was going to write up a big massive guide with pictures, but as it turns out, others have already put together impressive YouTube videos. The one I’d recommend using as a guide is embedded below.

Again, to give credit where it’s due, this excellent video was created by Jerrod from http://www.hometask.com/washerrepair.aspx – and again, they sell the seals and bearings for the Whirlpool Duet WFW9200SQ02 as well as other models.

They also have a short version available on YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rd5NKbpVSRM

If you’re interested in getting a general idea as to the process, I’d suggest the short YouTube video. When you’re actually ready to buckle down and start disassembling, watch the long one.

In case you wanted some pictures anyway, I took a few during disassembly before I realized that my pictures were never going to compete with a video. Here they are if you want to see them anyway.

    

A few notes (watch the video first, or you won’t know what I’m referring to):

  • The 4 shocks that connect the tub to the bottom of the cage… In the short version of the video, he mentions that you just twist and they come out. I found that there’s a little clip/lock on opposite sides of each shock (not opposite as in top/bottom, opposite as in the side you can see and the side you can’t) and to release them you’ll have to put a little screwdriver in the slot and pry a little to open each one. Ideally you’d have 3 arms and do both clips while you twist – however since most of us aren’t that fortunate, I twisted as far as I could without snapping it, and while twisting, did 1 clip/lock, did the one on the opposite side, went back to the 1st side, etc. As long as you’re twisting, the clips/locks will catch a little each time, it’ll twist a little further, and eventually the whole thing will twist 90 degrees and come down.
  • the video doesn’t show every possible wire/connector/hose that you disconnect. They’re generally pretty easy to figure out, but make sure everything’s disconnected from the tub before you drop it – the thing’s heavy enough to rip/destroy anything you forgot to detach.
  • for the front drain pump – in the video, it’s a screw that comes out. On my model, there are no screws – just a big rubber “latch” on the front that pops out toward you (you can wiggle the pump assembly out from there).
  • the main nut on the shaft (15/16 “) was very tight on mine. He uses a ratchet with a pipe – I needed an impact gun.
  • he’s not kidding when he says lifting the tub isn’t for the feint-of-heart. I think I pulled 2 or 3 muscles. I’ll either have a helper for reinstallation, or I’ll remove the counter-weights.
  • the shaft was seized to the bearings on mine.Thus, I needed a small sledge hammer to pound the shaft through once the tub was split (a regular hammer didn’t cut it). If you do this, make sure you partly thread the bolt on (to protect the threads), put the socket on the bolt (to protect the bolt head), and hit the socket (preferably an impact socket, but wear gloves & eye protection regardless in case it shatters) with the hammer. If you just smack the shaft directly with the hammer, you’ll destroy the threads.
  • Take Pictures As You Go!!! Very important, and I can’t stress it enough. Particularly with the wiring, if it takes you a few days in total, you might not remember where everything went. Just about every cell phone has a camera nowadays, so even if you don’t have a regular camera, you should have an option. It’s a good idea to label things with tape (or write with a sharpie marker where appropriate) as well. A few extra minutes being careful in this area might save you hours troubleshooting later.
  • keep the screws separate. I like to take a piece of duct tape, and tape screws to whatever panel they came from. I duck-tape clamps to their respective hoses so they don’t get lost. As a side note, for some reason, my rear panel had a mix of fine/coarse threaded screws. By the time I realized it, I’d already pulled 5-6 out and had to guess which went where. Every time you pull a screw it might be worth checking to make sure it’s the same size/type as the other screws you just pulled.

 

My original bearings were… well… in bad shape. It’s clear why the previous owners couldn’t stand the noise from the unit anymore:

These are the inner bearings, and they’re obviously toast. Things got so bad that some of the bearings wore through the cage and fell out (there was a mess of rusted metal shavings left behind). What’s left of this bearing ws seized to the shaft, so I had to use a grinder/dremel to cut away until I was close enough to the shaft to snap it off.

You can see the seal behind the bearings (black, covered in rust) – upon removal, it actually looks to be in great shape, but obviously it didn’t do it’s job.

The outer bearings were in surprisingly good shape, but they’ll be replaced anyway.

Thoughts:

on The Process:
-Despite the many things that need to be disconnected/labelled, it’s a pretty quick process.
-Once I got to the shaft/bolt/bearings… let’s just say it took about 80% of the time I spent.
-While you could use a hex screwdriver for everything, the 7mm socket on a ratchet is probably a better idea where possible (easier on the wrists, and less chance of stripping). You WILL need the hex screw for a couple items though, so don’t go thinking you can do it all with the socket.
-Bearing replacement reminds me very much of bearing replacement on cars (the process, and the headaches I ran into). If you’ve ever swapped brake drum bearings, this should be comfortable territory for you.

on Whirlpool…
-Very disappointing that they don’t sell the bearings & seal separately.  Clearly a conscious effort on their part to rake customers for cash.
-Based on reviews I’ve seen around the web, bearing failures are very common. From the sounds of it, the bearings/seals that Whirlpool uses aren’t that great to begin with, and if you use non-HE detergent, it’ll suds up and quickly get in behind the seal and start wrecking the bearings. You HAVE to use the HE stuff.
-Another common issue on these washing machines (usually noticed when draining) is that either they won’t drain, or you’ll get a nasty noise from the pump.  There’s a “catch” by the pump (filter) which has usually picked up coins/socks/etc. I found a penny and a foam bra insert left by the previous owners in my washer. If you’re doing the bearings you’ll be pulling off the pump anyway, so you may as well open the catch and clean anything out of it.
-I wouldn’t buy another Whirlpool unless it were being sold used for cheap (in need of repair). Unless of course they change their ways (for starters, have the bearings as a serviceable item which they sell parts for).

on The Video (linked further up)…
-A fantastic video, and a big thanks to Jerrod from HomeTask for putting it out there to help people around the globe repair their own machines.
-Again, make sure everything’s disconnected from the tub before you drop it. The video isn’t quite as thorough when it comes to all the connectors.
-If the video helps you, by all means consider buying the seal (and possibly bearings) from his site. If for whatever reason that won’t work for you (need a specific method of international shipping that isn’t listed on the HomeTask site for example), it’s possible to find kits on eBay, though I suspect the quality of Jerrod’s seals is probably better than the average eBay kit (and cheaper too).
-As a reminder, the seals/bearings on the HomeTask site are located at http://www.hometask.com/washerrepair.aspx .

 

Finally, I’m not in any way associated with the HomeTask site. The video’s simply awesome, and I think HomeTask deserves some positive word-of-mouth for putting it up. If you find other videos that you believe are super-helpful in repairing/maintaining/etc a Whirlpool Duet WFW9200SQ02 Washer, have some tips of your own, or found additional places for bearings/seals/etc for these washing machines, feel free to post it in the comments below.

 

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92 Comments on "How to replace bearings in the Whirlpool Duet WFW9200SQ02 washing machine"

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Alejandro Riera

Hi. Do you know the bearing models (numbers) for a Whirlpool Duet front load washer model WFW9600TW01?
The noyse at high speeds is annoying.
Thanks in advance.

Alejandro

Hubert Shaw

On my whirlpool duet front load the bearing casing is stuck and won’t come out. I’ve tried beating them out and can’t get them to budge. This is both the inner and outer bearing casing. They seem to be rusted on. Any suggestions on getting them out so I can put new one’s on.

Muhammad A. Chattha
Brian

Yeah u can get both set if bearings for around $10 and then get a tub seal on eBay for less then $20 most tub seals will work for almost all front loading washers. Also, if u order the wrong tub seal or can’t find one and don’t want to pay the high dollar from the combo packs. I suggest keep the old tub seal in and get a high temp or wet type silicone gasket seal and just run silcone right over the old gasket to create a water tight seal, out the silicon in the grooves, bolt back together and then silcone again where the two halves if the tub meet. It will last for years.

Derek

Looking for some help here. I have a Whirlpool Duet model WFW9150WW01. I have taken it apart, replaced the bearings, everything went great. However the seal covering the bearings was so far gone I hadn’t realized there even used to be a seal there! Anyway, I have looked lots of places and ordered a few seals, none of which fit- they’re all too big. It seems there are a few different part numbers for the outer rear tub. Any ideas how I can find the proper seal that covers the bearings in the back of the outer tub?

Jeff

Karl,

I had the same thumping sound. In my case, I loosened the spindle nut a little. The sound went way. As a quick check, I removed the belt from the pulley and turned the basket. I had a little friction. When I loosened the nut, the basket spun more freely. As a result, the sound went away. I am told another option is that the spindle shaft could have some ridges from a rusted bearing. If that is your problem, I was told that you need to smooth out the ridges so that bearing fits better/balances better. Mine runs factory quiet now. Thankfully, I did not have take the tub apart again. Good luck.

Jeff

Karl

I just replaced the bearings and seal-bought from Amazon. The bearings would barely turn and the supporting tub structure was very rough and pitted I did not see damage to the spider. Now the jet engine noise is gone but when the washer is ramping up or down in spin there is a knocking/thumping coming from the rear of the tub. I tightened the pulley fully. I also replaced the shocks and springs and the machine is level. Any help here?

steve

Thanks for posting this! I just followed the video and the additional written comments. Worked perfect. Inner bearing was shot. Purchased the 2 bearings and seal from the above link. $79 total. Running like new. I’m pretty much beginner at this type repair so details were invaluable. Took around 3 hrs to get outside to garage, take apart, wash the outer and inner tubs(filthy!), and reassemble.

Anonymous

Hi Steve –
Just wondering how old you washer is & if you have any ‘mechanical’ background. I’m still too ‘chicken’ to undertake this endeavor by myself.
– Sheri

Christian

I just got off of the phone with Whirlpool, they are going to send me a new outer drum/bearing assembly free of charge; it has a 10 year warranty. They tried to give me the runaround about having a certified tech come out and make the diagnosis but this was already done by my homeowner’s policy carrier. My washer is 9 years, 6months old…Give them a call if you have any issues or better yet use the online chat service. Will fix and sell my duets.

Sheri

Any contacts or group members in central VA to replace bearings?
Thanks

Bailey

OK…replaced the bearings on Friday and really cleaned the outer / inner drums while torn apart. The spider arm on mine was in good shape, just needed a good cleaning. Put the washer back together and ran it once to insure the problem was fixed. NO JOY!! Any other suggestions!

Whirlpool Duet

Anonymous

Trying to detach the basket from the rear tub.

Almost out. But something in there will not let it go.

Have pounded with a maul. Some metal rings and balls have fallen out.

Should I just prop it up again and pound with a bigger sledge and protect threads and surfaces too?

John

When hanging the drum back into the washer there are two holes on the tub to hook the springs onto. I neglected to take a picture or mark them when I disassembled them. Which of the holes should the springs hook into, the ones towards the front of the machine or the ones towards the back?

Anonymous

Why wouldn’t they use marine bearing grease in these as its waterproof and even if the seal failed the bearing would go un effected? Can you grease the bearing like you do a car wheel bearing before installation?

randy
Im glad I found the video on this repair, mine is the duet steam basically the same componants. Never having repaired a front load washer was a little questionable but after having a service company quote me $1080 I decided Im going to do this. I caught it before in did any damage, It started sounding like a jet on take-off on the spin cycle and had a bearing growl while washing so we stopped using it. As suspected the seal failed and the inner bearing was wiped-out. This unit is 3 years old and not heavily used and always had HE detergent. I’d agree with other post on this design and how they control parts or recommend the repair, cash cow for repair companys!!! I see this same stuff everyday work on vehicles, Make it as cheap as possible and design it for fast easy assembly and let the… Read more »
Phil

I just did this repair on my Whirlpool model wfw9050xw00 and it went fairly well, but I now have some squeaking while the machine is running, especially noticeable while it is washing at low speed. I didn’t use any grease on the seal and I’m hoping that I don’t need to take it apart again to apply some, but I will if I have to. I had trouble getting the spindle to go in all the way when reassembling the tub, but when I put the nut back on and gave it a few turns with my torque wrench it inserted all the way. I don’t know if I made the spindle go in too far and it’s pressing against the seal too tightly causing it to squeak, or if I need to grease it. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

Greg

Phil,

I just did my bearing and seal today and I have the same squeak you described in your post. Could you tell me what you did to correct the issue?

Rob

Same here, Phil and Greg. Either of you find a solution/cause? I just replaced the rear tub and I’m getting squeaks at slow speeds. I’m hoping this is just temporary and will diminish. Any updates are appreciated.

Jim

My owners manual shows a one year warranty and nothing about a ten year warranty. Thoughts??? Model WFW8300SW04

Bob

Can you buy the spider and shaft

Mark

Awesome video! It helped make this repair very simple. Thank you for taking the time to create and share this.

wayne Hale

I have a Whirlpool washer model#(wfw94hexw2), during spin cycle it made a friction sound and I could smell something burning. Inside the tub were rubber shavings. The tub is very hard to turn by hand. Hoping someone can help me pinpoint what the problem is.

Karl Uppiano
Karl Uppiano

Where do I get a replacement “spider” if I need one? Is it recommended to change it regardless of whether it’s broken?

Lorin S

Ordered a bearing and seal kit from yellow van handy man website, watched the video and repaired my Whirlpool Duet today (after 6 years of use). Repair was very easy and the video was excellent. Saved $800 dollars – disappointed with whirlpool in only selling the rear assy for $500 +$400 for them to repair it.

Thanks

Lorin S

Andy

Great site with great tips! I just finished replacing my bearings and bearing seal with the kit provided from http://www.yellowvanhandyman.com/washerrepair.aspx. The only thing I would add is that you make sure you spin the tub BEFORE you put it back into the machine. I did not do this and found out that the bearing seal wasn’t tapped in fully and was causing a lot of friction on the tub. This created a burning rubber smell too! I then had to dissassemble the machine completely again…UGH!!! The tub should be able to spin around easily with one hand. If you have to use considerable force and it doesn’t spin freely to a stop then you installed the bearing, or seal improperly.

Anonymous

The video is incredibly educational, but when we got to the out bearing it completely fell apart. the outer casing of the bearing is unremovable. Any suggestions? We have tried tapping with a hammer and screwdriver. Tried dremmel tool to cut through it. Tried a degreaser to loosen. Nothing is helping.

Anonymous

does the $79.99 Kit also include the outer tub seal?

maths

where i i could find a spider arm for a whirlpool duet???

Gregg

I ordered and replaced the bearings in my WFW 9600Duet about a month ago. Everything went very smooth, now the noise is back and when I lift up on the inside of the stainless drum it will move up and down about an inch or more, almost like the shaft is moving freely inside the bearing or the bearing is not fully seated. I have read a lot about the broken spiders on the basket. Could this now be the problem? It was fine when I checked it prior to reassembly.

Daniel LeBlanc

Your video was helpfull, I did the job but I have a issue regarding that the stainless steel tub seems to have some loose vertically only up & down but only the up. When the spin cycle is at low speed you hear a toctoc which I believe is the stainless tub touching the plastic housing and I high speed no sound. What i should check?
Thanks!

Doyle
Thanks for taking the time to include this page, videos, and links on your site. It was hugely helpful to me. My Whirlpool WFW9400SW01 sounded like a freight train and your write up led me to the proper place to order the bearings and seal from Yellow Van. I have to admit, when I called to verify the kit, it all sounded a little fly by night, but all items were received as expect, packed perfectly, and made it across the entire country in two days. Ordered Tuesday, delivered Thursday, perfect. I did also order the tub seal. For an extra 22 bucks or so from PartsSelect, I figured it was worth the peace of mind. The video was right on for the steps to disassemble, but like others stated, there is no need to remove the door, even though it is only 2 screws. Probably worth it just to… Read more »
Anonymous

so follow up posting, all is mostly ok, EXCEPT, when a heavy load is washing, during the spin cycle, it makes more noise than it used to before the spider broke. I believe the basket is hitting the tub during this time, but there is no obvious play between the basket and the tub. I didn’t look for specs on how tight the nut should be, I just tightened it pretty well, but I am afraid it may not have been enough. Does anyone have the torque spec for a duet spindle nut? I called WP, but the guys that would know this are on holiday today (Friday).

RG
so I opened the boxes that the parts came in, and in the rear half of the tub box, WP had provided a tube of lithium grease, and document with a picture that showed where to apply the grease. Namely, to the inner ring of the bearing that would contact the spindle, and to the two “lips” of the seal, where it too would contact the spindle. Other than, that, it was a piece of cake. I had taken the time to mark the location of the clamps that hold the tub together on the old one (I even number the clamps just in case), and I placed the clamps in the exact same position on the new tub as the old tub. NO leaks and all is working fine. We have about 8 loads of clothes thru it at this point. I am going to change the water hoses… Read more »
RG

I was able to get whirlpool to send me the tubs and basket because the spider broke. I told WP that the basket banged against the tub when the spider broken and made holes in the tubs on the front and back halves. Now I am ready to reassemble, but should the spindle on the basket lubricated, and if so with what? I really would like to know what the appliance techs use so I don’t do this wrong and get lubricant on my clothes.

Anonymous

Just made the repair, reassembled the unit and after I turn it on the GFI trips just when the drum starts to move. Very frustrated . . . . Any ideas as to what I can do?

macca
Hi, Just did the bearings in my Whirlpool 1485BD after reading all of your comments, thanks! Bearings in mine were 6206ZZ and 6207ZZ ball bearings. These have non contact steel sheilds. I’ve had a little exprience with washing machine manufacturers, and more with bearings, and know that they use the cheapest possible bearing, not the best bearing for the job. They just need it to last 1 year. After looking at failed bearings, quite obvious the reason they failed was due to water in them. I replaced bearings with Japanese made rubber sealed bearings which will seal out water much better, and last longer, and will be available at any bearing shop or distributor, most common type of bearing in the world. Only hurdle i hit was that my tub was not held together with clips, but was glued. I carefully pried it apart, and joined it back together after… Read more »
Jeff
Jeff

Sounds good, Matt. I’ll give it a try.

Jeff
Jeff

I did this repair with good results as far as fixing the bearing noise I had, but now I have a screeching sound like the seal is rubbing on the shaft. Most noticable at low speeds, like during washing. I did not lube the seal lips and I think I should have. What seal lube should I use that will not get washed away over time?

I disassembled the unit again. The seal had black dust on it I could wipe off with my finger – definately wearing the rubber seal lips, darn it.

Debra

Went downstairs to check out the washer and the front drum is falling apart again. What could be causing this, after putting im all new parts. I am just thinging about buying a new washer. What is a better made front loader washer, that is’t poorly designed? Very unhappy with whirpool.

Debra

My son replaced the inner and outter drum and basket, but the washer when spinning out it is loud. What could be wrong with it now? My husband
was wandering if the washer is not level would that cause the problem? Is the washer safe to use now?

bob

I just bought (for cheap) a WPDuet with a diagnosed bad bearings. I watched the video and I just don’t see why it’s necessary to remove the tub? Once I pound out/remove the inner tube, it looks like I’ll have access to removing the bearings? I was thinking that perhaps I should just leave the outer tube in place, and replace the bearings. Am I missing something?

Jason

I used the video above as a good reference. I did notice that you didn’t have to take the front door off for any reason, like they did in the video. I replaced everything, got the front and rear outer tub, and a new stainless tub from whirlpool at ZERO cost to me. I’m still getting somewhat of a bad vibration, and i’m gonna guess its the shocks, hopefully that will quiet it down. My biggest problem is that the tub sets toward the back of the machine about an inch further than it needs to be. I’ve messed with the upper springs but still not where it needs to be. Socks and small items get stuck between the tub and the rubber now. Maybe after replacing the shocks, the newer ones will be stiffer and set the tub where it needs to be??

Brett

I have a Whirlpool GHW9200LW that has a broken spider. When I called the Whirlpool hot line, they will replace it because of the lifetime warranty on the steel drum, but they say I need and extra digit for the model number which they are calling the engineering number. I can not find this anywhere on the machine. The sticker on the door frame just shows GHW9200LW. Anyone know where to find it or if I use “0” will I be okay?

Sam

We hust finished installing the bearings on our whirlpool duet. Our spider was in pieces. The tub and bearings were replaced and we reassembled everything. the video was awesome!

BUT, there is still clunking noise when washing. It is MUCH less than before, but still banging.Any ideas on what to do next.

Any helps appreciated
sam

kurt

I just got my bearings and seal. Can’t wait to put it back together. Will write with the results.

Mark

Thanks for all of the good advice. I am rebuilding my duet washer after the spider broke and the drum scored the front tub. I have replaced the front tub, stainless drum / spider combination and both bearings and the seal. I was wondering if I should use some marine silicone sealant to help reinforce the rubber bearing seal? I would appreciate any other suggestions before I get everything back together. e

Greg

This article and video was incredibly helpful to give me the courage to tear apart my Kenmore washer. Got that done and ready to get the parts to get it back together.

Big problem the spider arm disintegrated. Only can get it as part of SS drum. Drum has lifetime warranty but only if Sears tech orders it. He will be the day after Christmas for the price of a service visit…but may also assemble the washer for me, since he is here.

I’m considering getting the bearings replaced before he arrives since I doubt those will be replaced. Anybody have any warning or advice I should consider before getting that started?

Greg

Leah

How hard did you have to pound to get the basket removed from the inner tub. When we took our tub apart, the basket stayed connected to the inner tub. We took a mallet to it, but it’s not budging. We put a penetrating oil on it and let it sit overnight… but still nothing. Is there anything else to remove?

Joe

The outer drum looked damaged where the bearing sets in the area of the shaft exit. There was a couple ribbons of plastic loose and missing around the bearing housing. Will the outer drum need to be replaced or will the seal on the inner side of the outer drum hold. If this is a problem will the outer drum needed to be replaced by whirlpool.
Thanks,
Joe

Marc
Thanks for all the advice Matt. You know that site that you link to above has a discussion group about the whole bearing repair thing. Something interesting was posted recently. A guy got the kit and had an issue, and was questioning why it cost so much for ‘made in china’ bearings. The fellow Jerrod explained quite reasonably that there was some profit, a lot of work went into the videos, etc.., and I certainly think he’s doing a service. But there were two interesting points that came out of it: 1.) They get the seal custom made which costs them quite a bit (surprising I’d have thought you’d be able to buy that somewhere) 2.) The replacement bearings they sell are ‘made in China’. I find this interesting because I’d seen another Duet repair website that claimed the reason why they failed was because the original bearings were cheap… Read more »
Steve

What is the best way to clean up the mess from a blown bearing. The graphit is all over the wheel sindels and the bottom of the machine (as well as the floor).

Thanks

Marc
Hi, I’ve really enjoyed reading your adventures repairing your duet. I really enjoy repairing household appliances rather than just buying them. My last two successful repair projects were a plasma tv and the fuel injection computer for an old German car. So I think I might be able to tackle this one. Even if its not cost effective in terms of time, there’s a satisfaction to knowing that I wasn’t forced into replacing a $1200 washer by a $20 part. I’m in the planning stages right now for my repair job. The washer doesn’t get much use, but recently I started hearing unusual sounds. It’s hard to spin the basket manually in one direction, and in the other it spins freely for a bit but then gets tight at points. Almost certainly the bearings. My washer is just over 9 years old so I’m concerned that the spider might also… Read more »
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