How to Replace the Gear Case in a Top-Load Washer



This step-by-step washer repair guide explains how to replace the gear case in a common style of top-load washer. The gear case drives the impeller and spin basket in the washer, and shifts the drive system between the agitation and spin modes. If the gear case doesn't drive the impeller or spin basket properly, replace it with the manufacturer-approved replacement part.

Use the steps in this guide to replace the gear case in Kenmore, Whirlpool, Maytag and Amana top-load washers.

Repair difficulty:
Time required:

Less than 60 min.

Parts Required

  • Gear case

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

Tools Required

  • Channel lock pliers
  • Socket set and ratchet
  • Towels
  • Work gloves
  • Tape
  • Slot screwdriver
  • Phillips screwdriver

Before you begin

Wear work gloves to protect your hands.

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


 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.

Replacing the Gearcase in a Top-Load Washing Machine

Step 1: Shut off the electricity and water

Unplug the power cord from the wall outlet. Turn off the water supply valves for the washer.

Step 2: Disconnect the hoses

Move the washer several feet away from the wall

Label the hot and cold hoses.

Using channel lock pliers loosen and remove both hoses. Expect some water to pour out.

Pull the drain hose out of the standpipe behind the washer. Expect some water to pour out.

 Tip: Wipe up water spills with a towel to prevent slipping.

Step 3: Tape the lid closed

Tape the lid shut so it doesn't flop open and damage the control console or hit your arms as you work.

Step 4: Remove screws from the back

Remove the screws that hold the top hinge bracket on the back of the washer.

Remove the screw from the wire cover and pull it off of the washer.

Step 5: Lift the top panel

Lift the top panel and prop it against the wall behind the washer.

Step 6: Remove the tub ring

Pull the bottom of the tub ring to release it from the locking tabs on the side of the outer plastic wash tub—use a slot screwdriver if necessary. Pull the tub ring out of the washer.

Step 7: Remove the impeller

Insert a slot screwdriver into the notch in the base of the plastic cap and pry the cap off the impeller.

Use a socket or wrench to remove the bolt that secures the impeller to the drive motor shaft. Grasp the impeller firmly and pull it out of the washer.

Step 8: Remove the spin basket

Insert a slot screwdriver on the closed end of the retainer clip and pull outward to remove it.

Pull straight up on the spin basket to remove it from the washer tub.

Step 9: Carefully lay the washer on its front panel

Lay cardboard or towels in front of the washer to protect the finish.

Carefully tilt the washer forward and lay it on its front.  

Step 10: Remove the plastic motor cover

Remove the bolts that hold the plastic cover over the motor and drive components.

Pull the plastic cover off the washer and set it aside.

Step 11: Disconnect the wire harness

Release the locking tabs on the wire harness connection and pull the wire harness out of the connector on the shifter.

Disconnect the motor wire harness.

Pull the wire harness connector off of the capacitor.

Release the wire harness retaining clips from the gear case housing.

Pull the wire harness out of the way.

Step 12: Remove the gear case

Remove the bolts from the gearcase housing.

Pull the gear case out of the washer.

Step 13: Install the new gear case

Transfer the motor, splutch, shifter, capacitor and belt to the new gearcase. 

Push the new gear case into the bottom of the washer tub.

Install the mounting bolts into the gear case and tighten them securely.

Reconnect the wiring connectors for the motor, capacitor and shifter.

Push the harness retainer clips into their original locations.

Remount the plastic motor cover using the two mounting bolts and tighten firmly.

Step 14: Reinstall the spin basket

Set the washer upright.

Position the spin basket on the top of the shaft in the bottom of the tub and work the spin basket onto the shaft until it's completely seated on the shaft.

Position the retainer clip into the slotted area of the basket hub and slide it in until it locks into place.

Push the impeller on top of the drive motor shaft until it's fully seated.

Insert the bolt and tighten it firmly.

Snap the cap back onto the top of the impeller.

Step 15: Reinstall the tub ring

Position the tub ring on the top of the outer tub and push it down.

Push on the sections over the locking tabs so that the tabs snap into the locked position.

Lower the top panel on the washer until it locks down in place firmly.

Remove the tape holding the lid closed.

Step 16: Reinstall the screws

Insert the screws into the top of the hinges on the back of the control console and tighten firmly.

Place the tabs on the right side of the wire cover in the slots and then line up the holes on the left side and insert the mounting screw. Tighten the mounting screw to secure the wire cover in place.

Step 17: Reinstall the fill hoses

Thread the fill hoses onto the correct connections on the back of the washer. Tighten the connections firmly using channel lock pliers; don't overtighten, which could crack the plastic on the inlet valve.

Step 18: Restore the water and power

Turn on the water supply valves. Plug the washer into the electrical outlet. Return the washer to its original location.

Step 19: Calibrate the washer

With the washer shut off, the basket empty (no water or clothes) and the lid closed, enter the diagnostic mode:

Turn the control dial 1 complete rotation (360 degrees) counterclockwise.

Quickly (within about 6 seconds) turn the control dial 3 clicks clockwise, one click back, and one more click clockwise.

All the green status lights blink when you successfully activate the diagnostic mode. 

If the status lights don’t blink, turn the control dial one complete rotation counter-clockwise to reset the control and then try again, this time turning the knob faster.

In the diagnostic mode, select the Calibration Cycle by turning the control dial 4 clicks clockwise. When the Rinse light turns on, press Start to begin the Calibration Cycle, which runs for 2 to 3 minutes.

When the Calibration Cycle ends, the lid unlocks, and the washer shuts off.