How to Replace Washing Machine Bearings

Hi Iím Matt from eSpares and in this video
Iím going to show you how to fit new drum bearings to a washing machine. The drum bearings
sit at the back behind the drum and allow the whole things to spin nice and smoothly.
So how do you know if you need new drum bearings? Well one customer described it sounding like
a concrete mixer on overdrive; it can make a real racket if the drum bearings have gone.
The other thing is to look for the amount of movement between the drum and the outer
tube. Now the bearings on this machine are fine, you can see there is no real movement
there. But if your bearings have gone, the inner drum will move a lot in relation to
the outer tub. So here we have the front bearing, the rear
bearing and the bearing seal, and they come as a complete set for this Bosch machine.
You may find that for your make and model you do need to buy them separately, but do
buy all three as we want to replace the lot. We also have a tub seal in this set, because
we going to need to remove the whole tub, split it in two and when we put that back
together again itís important that we put a new seal on so that itís nice and water-tight.
Now this is a big job, not for the feint hearted , you are going to need a little bit of space
to work in, but itís going to save you a fortune compared with buying a new machine
or calling out an engineer. Safety first, make sure you are unplugged from the mains.
So letís get on with removing the tub from the machine. Now weíre using a Bosch WFL series machine
for this video, the layout is going to be a little bit different depending on your make
and model, but it should give you a good idea of what you need to do. Iím going to start
by removing the top panel which is just held in place by a couple of screws. Theyíre Torx-head
screws and you can get a full set of Torx keys on the eSpares website. Iím actually
going to us a Torx-bit on an electric driver. So thatís the lid. Remove the soap dispenser.
Thereís just a little catch there that comes away. Then Iíve got three screws here and
one on this end to take the fascia away. Do keep all your screws separate so itís much
easier to remember where they came from when you are putting them back. So now the fascia just comes away and you
can see the control module here. If you do need to disconnect everything, do make sure
you take a few photos beforehand so you remember how to put everything back together again.
I should just have room to rest that on top, so I donít need to disconnect everything. So next the kick plate, or plinth, that should
just come away. Take that drain hose off. And now, you should just have probably four
screws holding the front panel on. Iíve got one here, and here, and then some up at the
top. Start getting those undone. So now Iím just going to remove the seal
from the front panel. This one has a spring and a retaining band. They vary a bit by make
and model, but it should just pull away like so. And then the seal just comes away. Thatís
just going to allow me to get at the door interlock here. There we are. And that should
mean that I can lift the whole of the front panel away. There we go. OK, so now I need to get this detergent tray
out of the way. Remove that cross-member. Then if we just pull it through, should be
able to get at this clip on the detergent hose. Just use some pliers. Pull that away.
And then, I can get that out of the way at the back there. So now I need to remove the counter-balance
weights. Thereís a couple of weights on this one. Thereís this top one thatís held in
place with a couple of bolts, Iím going to use a 13mm socket to take those bolts out.
And then this front, circular weight which is held in place by this band some screws.
Letís just remove those. So weíll uncouple the wires from the element,
but before I do Iím just going to take a photo with my camera phone. Just so Iíve
got a record of where they all go. And then, Iím going to remove the element as well.
Just undo this nut. Donít undo it all the way. Just until itís just past the end of
the bolt like that. And then just tap the whole thing through. There we go, that should
release the seal and the element just slides away. Now, next Iím going to detached the sump
from the tub itself. Use your drain hose to drain as much water out of there as you can.
Do be prepared for a bit of spillage as well. Now, I just need to bring this pressure hose
away from the side of the tub. There we go. And then, just one screw should release the
sump clip. The last thing to do round the front is just
to remove these cables that are still attached to the tub. Now we can go round the back of
the machine. So , now Iíve spun it round I can remove
the back panel.
There we go, thatís the back panel off. Letís just take the belt off. If you just pull it
to one side, and then just roll it over, it will come off. Just watch your fingers in
there. So like with the element, it might be a good
idea just to take a photo of the connector block for the motor. And then, disconnect
those wires. So to remove the motor itself, weíve just got these couple of bolts to undo.
So now the motor should just pull way. Be careful, itís very heavy. There we go, thatís out of the way. So one final thing to remove whilst we are
at the back here is just the pressure chamber. Itís just attached to the tub with a little
plastic clip. Thatís away. So thatís everything that was attached to
the tub now removed. Itís just being held in place by these two springs at the top and
these couple of legs down at the bottom. Iím going to start by removing the bottom legs,
just leave it hanging on the springs. Thatís fine. There is not an awful lot of weight
on there now that the motor and the counter-balance weights have come off. Now the legs are attached in a variety of
different ways. You may find that itís easier to remove the leg at the top here where itís
attached to the tub and leave it attached to the chassis of the machine. On this Bosch
one, itís actually easier to undo at the bottom first. The only thing holding the tub in place now
are these springs on the either side. They hook-in, in a variety of different ways on
different makes and models, but if I just remove the springs, then weíll be able to
life the tub out. There we go, thatís the tub and drum out of the machine. So Iím just
going to pop the door seal off. Just need to get something behind this retaining clip.
And that spring comes off, and then the seal itself should just pull away.
There we go. Now I can flip the drum over, and then we can get at the bearings.
Ok, so letís remove the pulley wheel. Itís just bolted through on to the main spindle,
itís just a 13mm socket. And on this one I can feel the drum dropping
through as I undo that bolt. If your bearings are completely seized, donít
know if you can see there how thatís dropped through, if your bearings have completely
seized, what you might need to do is just knock that through, just so that thatís loosened
up. Now Iíve rested the whole thing on these
couple of bits of wood, hopefully you can see, so the weightís just not on these outside
bits of plastic that could snap off. What we now need to do is to separate out
the two halves of the tub. You can see thereís torx head screws here, holding that together.
But on this one weíve also got these plastic tabs going all the way round. Hopefully yours
wonít have the plastic tabs and it just has the screws, because itís a lot easier to
do. But if you do thereís absolutely no way youíre going to hold in all of those tabs
at the same time to separate it out. So the instructions that come with the new
seal just recommend that you just snap them off. You can either do them with a pair of
pliers or sharp snips. Iím actually going to use a sharp chisel and knock them off.
Ok so Iím now just going to pop the whole thing now on its side. You can see that itís
already coming apart. You just pull away the front part of the tub
and put that to one side. And the inner drum should just slide out. There we go.
You can see the spindle there is attached to the main part of the drum by this part,
sometimes called a spider. That shows you why you should run a service wash once a month
with a lime scale and detergent remover. Itís quite grim.
So in the rear part of the tub, here we can see the bearings in here, and thatís what
weíre going to need to remove first. So here you can see the bearing seal. The
large front bearing sits just behind that, and the smaller rear bearing someway set back
from that. Thatís how itís arranged. So weíre going to start by punching out the
old smaller rear bearing. Iíve got the whole tub sat on a couple of pieces of wood, just
to give me a bit of clearance so I can punch that through.
And then Iím just going to put the chisel through and gently tap that bearing through.
Just keep moving round, so we knock it out evenly. The main thing is that we donít damage
the casing that the bearing sits in. There we go.
Ok so same again for the front bearing, just going to punch that through. Now Iíve got
the whole tub just resting on the table like this, thatís going to be fine. If yours has
got plastic location lugs just make sure that you donít snap those off. Put the whole thing
up on some woods to give them some protection. So again, just start tapping and working your
way round. Donít worry about the seal, thatíll just come off as the bearing comes out.
There we go. So thatís the front bearing out, and the seal. Now next step; letís give
this a really good clean. So thatís looking much better. Weíve used
a lime scale cleaner to get all of that gunk off the back and then really cleaned inside
the housing here with a soft cloth. Itís really important that weíve got no gunk in
there thatís going to get inside the bearings and damage them
So weíre going to knock the bearing down as far as this race, or lip, here. Itís just
going to rest up against there. As weíre knocking the bearing in itís really important
that we only hit against the very edge of the bearing case here, and not against the
centre part. Thatís just going to damage it and weíll be back where we started.
Iím just going to use this bolt just to start tapping. Keep working your way round evenly. Iím just
using a large, flat chisel just to get it those last few millimetres. Again make sure
that youíre only hitting against the very edge of the bearing. Youíll know when youíve
gone far enough; youíll feel it as it comes up against the race.
So now thatís in I can just pop the seal in to place. This one just comes as a single
part seal. And Iím just going to tap that in, just until itís flush up with the bottom
of the tub. So for the outer bearing, again make sure
that this is really, really clean, and then just drop it in to place and gently start
tapping that outside edge. Remember to keep working your way round evenly.
There we go, bearings and seal are in place; letís put the tub back together.
So Iíve cleaned up the top of the drum and the spindle. Itís really important that the
spindle is clean and thereís no damage. If it is damaged then on some machines you can
replace the spider, on this one itís actually riveted to the drum so youíd need to replace
the whole drum. Letís got the top on and drop the pulley
back on and tighten that up. So letís put the tub back together. Before
we do weíre going to need to put in a brand new seal. You need to find the join in the
seal, itís very often marked, and put that at the top of the tub. And just feed it into
the groove all the way round. So the sealís in place and pushed down to
the bottom of the groove all the way round. And then Iím just going to run a bead of
silicone sealant all the way around. So now I can put the front half of the tub
on, just make sure weíve got it lined up. So Iíve turned the tub on to its front again,
and itís now time to put in the tub screws. On some machines the screw holes are numbered
and you need to follow the right sequence. On this one I want to do opposite sides as
I tighten them up, just so that it pulls together nice and evenly. Letís get started.
So thatís my tub all back in one piece. If you wanted to check yours was watertight,
wait for your silicone sealant to dry, just flip it over, fill it up with water so that
the water line is above the line of the seal, and check for leaks.
Iím quite happy with this one, so it just remains for me to put the whole machine back
together. There we go: new bearings on a washing machine.
By no means an easy task, but if youíve got a bit of time and plenty of space, certainly
one that can save you lots of money when you fix it yourself.
Bearings and seals, along with drums and spiders, for all makes and models are available at Thanks for watching.

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