How to Repair a Noisy Whirlpool Washer

Fred's Appliance
February 8, 2021
Washer Repair

Lately, your Whirlpool, Model #WTW4616FW, top load washing machine sounds and performs as if it is haunted. Sometimes the tub is spinning erratically and sometimes hardly at all, but when it does spin, a high-pitched screeching sound can be heard. It sounds like the tub is full of a coven of drowning witches.

If you’ve noticed such things as your washer making noises sporadically during the wash cycle, or the tub starting to sound different than when you first brought the washer home, or perhaps your clothes are wetter at the end of the spin cycle, then your washer has a defective clutch and it should be replaced.

This project requires some patience because you are going to remove nearly every single component in the washer before you can remove and replace the old clutch. It will be an adventure worth remembering.

The following troubleshooting guide applies to many top load washers, but specifically to Whirlpool models.

Tools Needed

  • ½” square drive
  • ½” inch socket
  • ¼” inch socket
  • 9/16″ deep well socket
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Phillips Screwdriver
  • Pliers

Think Safety First

Unplug the washer from its power source.

Wear a pair of gloves as you will encounter some sharp edges and some heavier components.

Turn off the hot and cold water.

How to Access the Clutch

It may seem a bit odd to anyone that in order to access a part that is clearly located at the bottom of the washer that you need to start at the top. So let’s begin.

How to Remove the Washer Cabinet

Remove the hot and cold water hoses from the water inlet valve located to the rear of the washer. Have a towel ready as there may be some water spillage.

Use the pliers to release the retaining clamp from the drain hose. Remove the drain hose and set aside.

Remove the end caps from the control panel. You will notice two slots under each of the end caps. Remove the two Phillips screws and then lift up the control panel.

Disconnect the lid switch wire connector.

Use a flathead screwdriver to release two spring clamps that hold the cabinet in place located on either side of the top of the washer.

Now tilt the cabinet toward you, remove and set aside.

How to Remove the Agitator

Remove the agitator cap and lift out the cover.

Use the ½” square drive to remove the agitator bolt and remove the upper agitator and set aside.

Remove the bushing.

Use the 9/16 deep well socket to loosen and remove the lower agitator bolt.

Remove the lower agitator and set aside.

Remove the spacer and plastic washer from the transmission shaft.

How to Remove the Motor

Release the drain pump retaining clips, remove the drain pump from the motor shaft and set aside.

Disconnect the wire connectors from the motor and use a ¼” socket to remove the motor mounting screws.

Release the bottom and then the top mounting clips. Remove the motor and set aside.

How to Remove the Old Clutch

Lay the washer down on its back on a towel or blanket.

Remove the wire retainer from the transmission housing and use a ½” socket to remove the mounting bolts that secure the transmission. Slide the transmission out.

Remove the thrust washer and the C-clip that secures the clutch to the transmission shaft.

Remove the retainer spring.

Eureka! Now you can finally lift the old clutch from the transmission shaft.

How to Install the New Clutch

Prepare the new clutch by inserting the bushing into the bottom of the clutch housing.

Slide the new clutch on the transmission shaft.

Replace the retainer spring, the C-clip, and the thrust washer.

Reinstalling the Transmission

Slide the transmission shaft back into place.

Use a ¼” socket and replace the transmission mounting bolts.

Snap the wire retainer back into the transmission housing.

Set the washer upright.

Reinstalling the Motor

Pro Tip: Before reinstalling the motor, inspect the coupler for any damage and replace if there are any cracks or worn spots.

Line up the motor with the holes in the isolator and slide into position.

Reposition mounting clips and snap into place.

Replace and tighten motor mounting bolts. Reconnect wire connectors to the motor.

Reinstall the drain pump to the motor and secure with its retaining clips.

Replace the plastic washer and spacer on the shaft.

Reinstalling the Agitators

Slide the lower agitator in place and use the 9/16 socket to secure. Replace the bushing.

Now slide the upper agitator in place with the cam cog assembly.

Replace the retainer spring and tighten the upper agitator in place with the 1/2″ square socket.

Replace the cover and snap on the cap.

Finishing Up

Reinstall the cabinet remembering to use the lower tabs to help align the cabinet to its frame.

Ensure the rear sides of the cabinet align with the rear panel.

Snap the retaining clips in place.

Replace the Phillips screws that hold the control panel in place and snap the end caps in place.

Return the drain hose to its coupler and secure with its retaining clamp.

Reattach the hot and cold water supply hoses to the water inlet valve.

Turn the water on and plug the washer into its power source

Do a load.

Please reach out to us if you have any questions about this or any other appliance repair project you’re working on.

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