Level of DifficultyEasy
Time to do repair1- 2 hours
Age of Appliance1 - 4 years
The high pitch squeel was the result of a failing drum bearing. It was particularly evident when first turning on the dryer, but became softer as the dryer heated up. In order to replace the drum bearing, I removed the top panel and front door panel.
The top panel was easily taken off by removing 2-screws from the back edge of the panel, and sliding it back to release it from the front panel seam.
The front panel is more involved, but still relatively easy for your average "do-it-yourselfer". I removed the front door panel by first removing the control panel (4-screws; 2 on top and 2 from the back of the panel). I removed 2 cable assemblies from the control panel via connecters (different sizes so didn't need to mark) and 2-wires attached to the large control panel mode selector (I marked these 2-wires). I set aside the control panel. I removed the front door panel by taking off 6-screws (2 on top, 2 on the bottom, and the remaining 2 on the inside of the panel on either side of the drum). After removing these 6-screws, I carefully pulled the front door panel away from the front of the dryer, carefully releasing 4-alignment latches (2 on either side). The front door panel was still electrically attached to the machine so I had to disconnect a couple more wires. I carefully disconnected 2-wires from the door light assembly and 3 more wires from the door switch (I marked the 3-wires on the door switch). I set aside the front door panel.
From the back of the dryer, I removed the small motor access panel on the bottom left corner. This panel also provides access to the drum belt. I released the drum belt from the motor drive wheel by releasing spring tension at the tensioner. The belt can easily be disconnected from the motor drive wheel and tensioner assemblies.
Removal of the drum was now possible. With the front door panel removed, the front of the drum is maintained in place via a small plastic stop on the top crossmember. I removed this stop prior to removing the drum. With one hand, carefully grabbing the belt that is was loosely draped across the back of the drum, and the other hand holding the front lip of the drum, I provided a quick and forceful upward motion to the back of the drum in order to dislodge the drum shaft from the bearing housing assembly. Once this was accomplished, I simple pulled the drum out of the dryer housing via the front of the machine.
The drum bearing repair kit ordered came with the replacement ball bearing, bearing housing, drum shaft, high-temperature grease, and attaching hardware.
I replaced the drum shaft on the drum via the 4-screws accessed on the drum rear panel.
I removed the old bearing/bearing housing via the 2-screws holding it in place. I wasn't too concerned about loosing the small ball bearing as the kit provided me a new one. I generously applied some high-temperature grease to coat the interior lining of the new bearing housing. I also placed a dab on the back seat where the new ball bearing sits. This helped hold the bearing in place while reattaching it. I reinstalled the bearing housing to finish replacing the repair parts.
Reassembly of the drum is in the reverse order. I paid particular attention to making sure the new drum shaft properly seated with the new drum bearing housing.
After reinstalling the drum and while the front door panel was still off the dryer, it was easy to inspect the blower housing. I found the squirrel cage had broken loose from the molded nut that attaches it to the motor shaft. That would explain the heat problem; the heat was not being exhausted through the duct.
THE SQUIRREL CAGE IS REVERSE THREADED. I was unable to remove the nut from the motor shaft as the design encompasses a metal bushing molded into a plastic nut shaped form. The plastic would not hold up to the force I was applying trying to loosen the squirrel cage. So I ended up removing the entire motor and blower housing assembly from the base