Level of DifficultyA Bit Difficult
Time to do repairMore than 2 hours
Age of Appliance1 - 4 years
As the other posting said, it appears our problem was due to constant overloading, as an inspection of the machine with the bottom service panel removed clearly revealed all three milkstool legs broken away from the round center piece. My teen-agers are now aware that I am somewhat displeased about this.
My first action was to order the repair manual. In retrospect, it was only marginally useful as a job aid, but was essential in verifying ID of the part and understanding details of how the machine works. I started by following the manual which said to remove the agitator. The agitiator didn't want to be removed, even after repeated attempts and applications of varying amounts of both physical and vocal persuasion. So, I reconsidered what I really needed to be doing, and dislodging the agitator (and subsequently all of the spline seals) really wasn't necessary. I just needed to get to and replace the crushed milkstool (and leave everything with a seal alone!).
So, Phase 1 - I removed the front panels, and tilted up the top. I then disconnected the power cable to the motor and the inlet/outlet hoses to the pump (more on my haste in this step in a moment...). The wiring harness is held in place on the machine back and milkstool by plastic retainers that release when compressed. I then disconnected the green ground wire, the panel that holds the blue water inlet valve assembly, the black hose on top of the tub and the clear air pressure hose (just pulls straight out of the tub side connector). This allowed the top to be removed and set aside. I then pulled the drain hose through and pulled the plate that holds it in place from the back, then removed all the screws that hold the cabinet to the base, then set the cabinet aside. Next, I disconnected all 7 springs from the base to the tub, and the tub was free. I pulled the tub from the base (not too heavy) and inverted it to get at the motor/pump/milkstool.
Phase 2 - gently removed the idler spring and removed the belt from the pulley. Pulled 10 1/2" self-tapping screws that hold the milkstool to the tub and the motor to the milkstool (these can be discarded as you get new ones with the milkstool). Now pulled 6 screws that hold the brake pads in place, and pulled the brakepads. The manual says to replace the pads whenever pulled, but these didn't look terribly worn, and work just fine after reassembly. The pulley then came off easily, and then subsequently so did the milkstool (with integrated bearing). Reassembly was the reverse of disassembly, and all seemed logical enough until I got to reattaching the hoses to the pump. The manual does not make it clear which one goes where, and I forgot to take a picture of that part of the machine before dismantling. Long story short, I put them on backwards, and you'll probably not be surprised to hear the machine didn't work as anticipated when we turned it on! (wouldn't spin, wouldn't pump out the water and made a nice puddle in the laundry room). Once we ladled out all of the water from the tub and reversed the hoses, everything worked fine. So - words to the wise (1) mark hoses, wires, etc with tape, grease pencil, whatever works for you BEFORE disassembly and (2) take close-up digital pics as you progress.