How to Change the Thrust Washer Kit for a Whirlpool Washing Machine

The thrust washer on the Whirlpool washing machine is part of the clutch control assembly. It controls the operation of the agitator and the spin functions on the machine and is an inexpensive alternative to roller bearings. The trade-off is that while the part is less expensive, it tends to wear faster. In order to replace the thrust washer on the machine, you have to remove the gear case assembly. It is not as difficult as it may first seem, however. The average do-it-yourselfer can replace the thrust washer on the Whirlpool in less than an hour.

Things You'll Need

  • Pliers
  • Flat-tip screwdriver
  • Socket set
  • Needle-nose pliers


    • 1

      Pull the washing machine away from the wall. Unplug the power cord from the electrical outlet. Turn off the water supply valves and disconnect the hoses from the washing machine.

    • 2

      Disconnect the drain hose from the washer using a pair of pliers to release the hose clamp. Open the washing machine and remove the rinse dispenser from the agitator if one is present.

    • 3

      Remove the cap from the agitator using a flat-tip screwdriver to pry it off. Remove the retaining bolt and washer from inside the agitator with a socket and ratchet. Pull the agitator out of the washing machine.

    • 4

      Tilt the machine backwards and lay it on the floor on its back. Release the pump retaining clamps using a flat-tip screwdriver. Pull the pump from the motor shaft and set it out of the way.

    • 5

      Remove the bolts securing the gear case to the washer frame using a socket and ratchet. Unplug the wiring harness from the motor and pull the gear case and motor out of the machine as one unit. Slide the thrust washer from the agitator shaft.

    • 6

      Slide the new thrust washer onto the shaft. Insert the gear case and motor assembly into the machine and install the retaining bolts using a socket and ratchet. Plug the wiring harness into the motor.

    • 7

      Place the drain pump on the motor shaft and push firmly to seat it into place. Snap the retaining clamps into place to secure the pump. Stand the machine upright. Install the agitator and tighten the retaining bolt with a socket and ratchet.

    • 8

      Place the cap on the agitator and push it firmly to seat it tightly. Install the rinse dispenser on the agitator if there is one. Plug the power cord into the electrical outlet. Connect the water supply hoses to the appliance and turn on the valves.

    • 9

      Connect the drain hose to the washing machine using the pliers to secure the hose clamp. Push the washer into place against the wall.

Tips & Warnings

  • Check the clutch for wear while you have the machine apart and replace it if necessary.
  • Never attempt to service a Whirlpool washer without first unplugging the power cord from the outlet or you risk electrical shock.
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