How to Replace the Drive Block on a Top-Load Washer



This step-by-step washer repair guide explains how to replace the drive block on a top-load washer. The drive block is on top of the spin tube and rotates the spin basket during the spin cycle. If the drive block wears out, the basket wobbles and rattles during the spin cycle or won’t spin at all. Before replacing the drive block, make sure the spanner nut under the agitator that holds the spin basket against the drive block isn’t loose. If the spanner nut is tight and the basket still wobbles, replace the drive block with a manufacturer-approved replacement part.

Repair difficulty:
Time required:

Less than 60 min.

Parts Required

  • Drive block

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Tools Required

  • Slot screwdriver
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Socket wrench set and ratchet
  • Spanner wrench
  • Hammer
  • Work gloves

Before you begin

Wear work gloves to protect your hands.


 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.

How to Replace a Direct-Drive Washer Drive Block (Kenmore, Whirlpool and Maytag)

Step 1: Shut off the electricity

Unplug the power cord from the wall outlet.

Step 2: Open the control console

Pull the plastic end caps from the sides of the control console.

Remove the screws at the base of the control console.

Pull the control console slightly forward and then swing it up and back over the top of the back panel. 

 Tip: Some Whirlpool models have the screws on the back of the end caps instead of on the front of the control console. Other models have spring clips under the end caps instead of screws. For those models, remove the rear screws or use a putty knife to release the spring clips.

Step 3: Remove the cabinet

Unplug the wire harness from the lid switch on the washer’s top panel.

Release the clips that secure the cabinet to the washer’s back panel. Using a slot screwdriver, pry the clips forward to release the clips from the slots in the top panel.

Lift the back of the cabinet and slide the cabinet forward to remove it from the washer frame. 

Set the cabinet out of the way.

Step 4: Remove the tub ring

Pull the dispenser hose off of the bottom of the bleach dispenser.

Push down on the top of the tub ring and pull the locking tabs that hold the tub ring in place on the top of the outer tub.

Remove the tub ring from the top of the outer tub.

Step 5: Remove the agitator

If the has a fabric softener dispenser at the top of the agitator, remove the fabric softener dispenser.

Pry the cap off of the top of the agitator.

Remove the 7/16" bolt and washer that secures the agitator to the motor shaft.

Grip the bottom of the agitator and pull the entire agitator assembly up and out of the washer.

 Tip: If your washer model has a plastic spring retainer with a square hole at the top of the spring retainer, insert a 1/2" socket drive extension into the square hole and rotate the spring retainer counter-clockwise to release and remove the spring retainer.

Step 6: Remove the spin basket

Remove the agitator clip from the top of the agitator drive shaft.

Use a spanner wrench to remove the spanner nut, by positioning the spanner wrench with the notches of the wrench engaged in the slots of the spanner nut. Then strike the arm of the spanner wrench to break the spanner nut loose in the counter-clockwise direction and remove the spanner nut.

Carefully lift the spin basket out of the washer.

 Tip: Some washer models do not have an agitator clip on the agitator shaft.

 Warning: The spin basket is awkward to remove and is fairly heavy. Use a helper to remove the spin basket if necessary.

Step 7: Remove the drive block

Tap the bottom of the drive block with a hammer to loosen it and remove the drive block from the basket drive shaft.

Step 8: Install the new drive block

The new drive block has slots that fit over tabs at the top of the basket drive shaft. Position the new drive block properly so the tabs fit into the slots in the basket drive. 

Push the new drive block down and tap it into place with a hammer.

Step 9: Reinstall the spin basket

Lower the spin basket into the washer tub.

Thread the spanner nut onto the top of the new drive block. 

Use the spanner wrench and a hammer to securely tighten the spanner nut.

Reinstall the agitator clip on the top of the agitator drive shaft.

Step 10: Reinstall the agitator

Slide the agitator onto the agitator drive shaft.

Insert the agitator bolt and the washer. Tighten the agitator bolt firmly.

Snap the agitator cap onto the top of the agitator assembly.

Step 11: Reinstall the tub ring

Position the tub ring on the top of the outer tub and line up the locking tabs.

Push down on the top of the tub ring and snap the locking tabs in place.

Reinstall the dispenser hose on the bottom of the bleach dispenser.

Step 12: Reinstall the cabinet

Position the cabinet in front of the washer.

Tilt the back of the cabinet up slightly and keep the front lip of the cabinet on the floor. To position the front lip under the washer frame, push the base of the cabinet forward with your foot to slide the front lip of the cabinet under the front base of the washer. Then lower the back of the cabinet so the holes in the back of the sides of the cabinet engage the alignment tabs at the back of the sides of the washer base. 

Reinstall the spring clips at the top of the cabinet.

Plug the lid switch wire harness back into the receptacle on the top panel of the washer.

Step 13: Reinstall the control console

Flip the control console down and position it properly on the top panel of the washer.

Reinstall the mounting screws at the base of the control console.

Snap the plastic end caps onto the sides of the control console.

Step 14: Restore power

Plug the washer into the electrical outlet.