The spider was completely disintegrated
Molly H. • New York, NY • February 10, 2015
Appliance: Frigidaire FRG(V0) / Front Load Washer FWT449GFS1
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The biggest challenge was replacing the inner tub assembly (with spider and shaft) without full access to the top of the washer, only to the back. Due to space limitations, the matching stacking gas dryer could not be removed: it could only be elevated (using wood blocks) about 4 inches above the top of the washer. Removing the washer's hoses, motor, control panel, and rear weight, and releasing the shock absorbers, was fairly easy. But supporting the outer tub assembly, with its front-end weight, and then raising it high enough to release the two springs from their brackets required a bit of ingenuity. We placed an extra-large exercise ball, uninflated, underneath the tub assembly. Then, using a small, electrical pump (designed for inhalation therapy), we slowly inflated the ball, thus lifting and supporting the tub assembly high enough to enable us to unhook the springs from their brackets (which we had previously unscrewed by reaching under the temporarily raised dryer). Then we let some air out of the exercise ball and dragged the outer tub assembly to a work area, placing it on an old wire apple crate. Unfortunately, we could not seem to locate our 3/8-inch socket wrench with its extension, so removing the 18 (?) screws around the circumference of the outer tub assembly proved a tedious and knuckle-scraping chore. However, once we separated the front and rear parts of the outer tub, our tasks proceeded in lockstep with the excellent repair video. We installed the new gasket. The new inner tub assembly fit neatly into place. (We used AGS White Lithium Grease on the shaft.) The original bearings were in perfect condition. Screwing the outer tub assembly together went a little faster than unscrewing it. We used the same method -- inflating the exercise ball under the outer tub assembly -- as before, to re-hook the springs to the upper brackets. Fast-forwarding to the finish ... we tested the washer using the Pre-Soak cycle. Not a clatter or a bang: the machine sounded, and moved, like a giant Swiss clock. This is a machine that had lain dormant, unplugged, for 7 years, until I finally screwed up the nerve to order the parts and perform the repair, despite the 6 hours it required.
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