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Disconnect power first. The older style GE washer has a metal wash basket as well as a metal outer tank. This style of a washer also has a access panel on the back of the washer. Get top up by pressing on 2 clips located about 6 inches in from each side between top and cabinet. Putty knife or flat blade screwdriver works well here. From the top you can access the lid switch, tub gasket, fill valve, fill hose, removal of inner basket. To access the motor, motor relay, pump, pump hoses, belt, clutch the back access panel will have to be removed, some back panels are made of cardboard. This washer is a reversing type of washer, for example the motor runs one way to wash, stops, and reverses and the motor runs on the other direction to drain and pump. The timer is responsible to make the washer stop and reverse the motor. There is a clutch assembly built on top of the motor to drive the transmission and pump.
In most cases a new transmission will be required. You can rebuild the Trans for oil on the floor, but I find it best just to replace the transmission with a rebuilt one = less problems and faster repair. I have a parts breakdown of the old style transmission here. How to access the washer information.
Unplug washer. Remove agitator from washer by pulling straight up on it, some agitators have a bolt under the cap, remove cap and look for a bolt first. Remove the agitator bearing from transmission hub. Get top up by pressing on 2 clips located about 6 in in from side between top and cabinet. Putty knife or flat blade screwdriver works well here. Take the filter flow tube off. Lift top. Remove three bolts holding basket to hub, and use a 12 POINT 1/2" socket to remove the bolts. Lift basket out of washer. Remove the two clamps holding the black boot to the tub and to the transmission. There are six bolts holding the transmission in the washer. Remove the bolts and lift transmission out of the machine.
To replace bottom seal - Turn trans. upside down in a bucket, put in vice, etc. Remove the nut holding the drive pulley on. Take drive pulley off. You can now pry the oil seal out of the trans. bottom and replace. If you wish to put the proper amount of oil in the trans. you will need to remove the bottom cover. Unless you have lost a great deal of oil, I would bypass this. I would estimate the oil loss and put in a lesser amount through the opening where you will be putting the new seal. When replacing the pulley, do not turn the nut holding pulley on. Hold nut stationary and turn pulley in the direction that nut will tighten. This will keep you from separating the hub, torque spring, and drive collar in the transmission. If you see evidence of water in the transmission, my recommendation would be to purchase a rebuilt transmission and repair in that manner. You may wish to do this regardless of the condition of the trans. You will receive a one year warranty with the rebuilt trans. I have a parts breakdown here for the transmission if you need it.
Usually you have to only add a little oil to replace what was lost...not much...really!!
Most leaks on this style of washer are found to be from the drain pump assembly. There is a breather hole in the side of the pump, when the pump wears out, water will leak out the breather hole...replace the pump. The pump is held in place with 3 screws. The power must be removed as well as all the hoses and 3 screws to the pump to replace it. Next places to look are, is there water marks on the back panel of the washer, if yes the tub gasket may be out of place, worn out or the top panel can be rusted and allowing the washer to leak. Another common problem is the boot that goes between the outer tank and the transmission can develop a leak or the outer tank can rust in this area and create a leak. The boot is under the inner tank. The fill valve is also another common leak problem area. How to access the washer.
Often a article of clothing gets caught in the pump, you will remove the power and have to remove the rear access panel to see the pump and pump coupler. Try to turn the pump coupler by hand, if it does not turn freely, you may have something caught in the pump. Remove the hoses and look to remove the object. Sometimes large articles of clothing can jump over the inner basket wall and get caught between the tanks as well. If you need to test the motor with a ohm/volt meter, this might help you. How to access the washer.
There are 2 things that must be checked. One is the condition of the transmission shaft and also the drive block inside the agitator. They are made of metal and if the spline on the outside of the transmission shaft or the spline inside the agitator drive block wears out, the washer motor will run but it may not agitate properly. Some agitators are bolted down to the transmission shaft and some are just pushed onto the shaft, remove the agitator cap and remove bolt, then just pull straight up "hard" to remove the agitator. The drive block inside the agitator can usually be changed with out having to buy a whole new agitator, take the agitator into a repair shop as there are special tools required to replace the drive block. How to remove the agitator information.
Often the start relay for the motor sticks and makes the motor get too hot. This can cause the motor to over-heat and shut off on the built in safety sensor inside the motor. You may need to use a amp probe to test the motor properly, check model plate for proper amps. If this is let go too long the motor windings can also be damaged ( they may look black instead of a nice copper color). The wires on the relay are also bad for burning off the wire terminals. Next thing to check might be the lid switch assembly. The wires at the motor should be checked to make sure they have not burned off or you can test the motor continuity with an ohm meter. See two new motor wiring pictures.....here...and...here. The relay wires often burn off as well.
First thing to always check is the lid switch, it should make a "click" noise if you depress it. The lid has a small tab that hits the pad to activate the lid switch. Split your problem in 1/2. The washer is a reversing machine, remove power and back panel. Turn the belt by hand one way to agitate and turn the belt the other direction to spin. If the washer will do this by hand then possible that it is ok mechanically....the problem may be electrical. If the washer wont spin or agitate by turning the belt with your hand, then you may have a mechanical problem...transmission, clutch, belt, drive block...etc. How to access the washer.
This is often a worn knob, but sometimes the other part of the clutch knob ( built into the timer ) may also need some attention. To remove the knob, there is a small clip behind the knob that must be removed.
One common problem area is the clutch assembly. The clutch is built on top of the motor, the motor drives the clutch and the clutch assembly drives the rest of the washer. The clutch gets very noisy when parts inside are worn out. The shoes lining that drives the inner drum of the clutch wear off and you will get a metal on metal sound. Clutches often can be rebuilt, but sometimes they are too worn and replacing the whole clutch is the best repair. Please use this link here for clutch replace and repair info. The belt and pump may be the next items to check for noises. How to access the washer. Clutch repair help.