July 1, 2013

How to replace the direct-drive motor on a front-load washer

By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace the direct-drive motor on a front-load washer

This washer repair guide explains how to install a new drive motor in a direct-drive front load washer. This type of washer doesn't have a drive belt; the drive motor attaches directly to the spin basket shaft. If the drive motor fails, the washer basket won't spin. The control panel usually displays an error code if the drive motor fails. Follow the steps in this washer repair guide to replace the drive motor with a manufacturer-approved replacement part.

If you're not sure if your washer has a direct-drive motor, check out the explanation in our washer FAQs.

This repair procedure covers direct-drive, front-load washers made by Kenmore and LG. You also can use the same basic procedure to replace the direct-drive motor in Whirlpool, Maytag and Amana front-load washers.

Quick links
Tools required
Phillips screwdriver
Socket wrench set
Thread-locking fluid
Work gloves
Repair difficulty
Time required
60 minutes or less
Repair difficulty
Time required
60 minutes or less

Instructions

  1. 01.

    Shut off the electricity

    Unplug the power cord from the wall outlet.

    Wear work gloves to protect your hands.

    Have someone help you move the washer away from the wall.

  2. 02.

    Remove the back panel

    Remove the 4 screws from the back panel.

    Lift up to release the back panel and pull it off.

    Remove the screws from the washer rear panel.

    Remove the screws from the washer rear panel.

    Remove the washer back panel.

    Remove the washer back panel.

  3. 03.

    Remove the rotor

    Remove the 17mm bolt on the back of the motor and pull the rotor off of the motor.

    Tip: Hold the rotor still and strike the ratchet with a sharp blow to loosen the rotor bolt.
    Remove the bolt from the motor.

    Remove the bolt from the motor.

    Remove the rotor from the motor.

    Remove the rotor from the motor.

  4. 04.

    Release the wire harness from the tub

    Use a Phillips screwdriver to remove the screws from the wire harness bracket and retainers on the back of the washer tub.

    Remove the screw that holds the green ground wire on the back of the tub.

    Release the wire harness from the tub.

    Release the wire harness from the tub.

  5. 05.

    Remove the stator

    Remove the 6 bolts that secure the stator—the part of the motor that doesn't move—to the tub.

    Release the stator and unplug the wire harness connections.

    Remove the motor.

    Remove the bolts that hold the stator to the tub.

    Remove the bolts that hold the stator to the tub.

    Unplug the stator wire harness connections.

    Unplug the stator wire harness connections.

    Remove the wires from the tachometer.

    Remove the wires from the tachometer.

  6. 06.

    Install the new motor

    Connect the wires to the motor and the tachometer.

    Position the new stator on the back of the tub.

    Replace the 6 bolts and tighten them firmly.

  7. 07.

    Reattach the wire harness

    Reinstall the wire harness bracket and retainers that secure the wires to the back of the tub.

    Attach the green ground wire to the tub.

  8. 08.

    Reinstall the rotor

    Push the rotor back onto the shaft.

    Apply thread locking fluid to the bolt.

    Reinstall the bolt and tighten it firmly. 

    Tip: Open the washer door and have someone hold the spin basket still from the front of the washer while you firmly tighten the rotor bolt.
  9. 09.

    Reinstall the rear panel

    Position the rear panel on the back of the washer and secure it with the mounting screws. Tighten the screws firmly.

  10. 10.

    Restore the power

    Plug the washer into the electrical outlet. Return the washer to its original location.

Warning: Undertaking repairs to appliances can be hazardous. Use the proper tools and safety equipment noted in the guide and follow all instructions. Do not proceed until you are confident that you understand all of the steps and are capable of completing the repair. Some repairs should only be performed by a qualified technician.

Symptoms common to all washers

Choose a symptom to see related washer repairs.

Main causes: worn agitator dogs, bad clutch, broken motor coupler, shifter assembly failure, broken door lock, suspension component failure
Main causes: no water supply, bad water valves, water-level pressure switch failure, control system failure, bad door lock or lid switch
Main causes: clogged drain hose, house drain clogged, bad drain pump, water-level pressure switch failure, bad control board or timer
Main causes: leaky water inlet valve, faulty water-level pressure switch, bad electronic control board
Main causes: water heater failure, bad water temperature switch, faulty control board, bad water valve, faulty water temperature sensor
Main causes: bad lid switch or door lock, bad timer or electronic control board, wiring failure, bad water inlet valve assembly
Main causes: unbalanced load, loose spanner nut, worn drive block, broken shock absorber or suspension spring, debris in drain pump
Main causes: lack of electrical power, wiring failure, bad power cord, electronic control board failure, bad user interface board
Main causes: broken lid switch or lid lock, bad pressure switch, broken shifter assembly, faulty control system

Repair guides for front-load washers

How to replace the door boot on a front-load washer

If your washer leaks from under the door panel, replace the rubber door boot if it's torn.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 60 minutes or less
How to replace the machine control board in a front-load washer

If the machine control board is completely dead or won't activate the washer components properly, replace it by following these instructions.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 45 minutes or less
How to replace a motor control board on a front-load washer

The motor control board makes sure the motor spins in the right direction and at the right speed. You can install a new motor control board—just follow these 6 steps.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less

Articles and videos common to all washers

Use the advice and tips in these articles and videos to get the most out of your washer.

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