How to Replace the Seal & Bearings on a Kenmore Washing Machine

Kenmore top load washing machines have a combined tub seal and bearing that keep the tub agitating freely without leaking water over your laundry room floor.
Should the seal and bearing fail, your washer can develop a rumbling sound. Because the bearings and seal are located in the bottom of the tub, water can seep into the space between the bearing and seal, damaging the seal, bearing or both. Remove and replace the Kenmore’s seal and bearing to extend the life of your washing machine.

Step 1

Pull the Kenmore washing machine's electrical plug from the wall outlet.

Step 2

Pop the two plastic end caps off each end of the control panel to expose the screws holding the control panel to the top of the washer. Remove the screws from each end of the panel and rotate the panel up and off the top of the washer to expose the spring clips and the wire harness.

Step 3

Unplug the wire harness connecting the control panel to the washer cabinet. Insert a heavy-duty slotted screwdriver into the spring clips located at both sides of the washer. Push down and forward on the clips with the screwdriver to release them from the washer cabinet.

Step 4

Grasp both sides of the washing machine cabinet. Tilt the cabinet toward you and slide it off the washing machine base.

Step 5

Twist the fabric softener dispenser off the Kenmore’s agitator. Pry the agitator cap off the agitator with the slotted screwdriver.

Step 6

Connect a 7/16-inch socket to a socket extender and socket wrench. Grasp the agitator with one hand while removing the 7/16-inch agitator bolt with the socket wrench. Lift the agitator out of the tub and off the drive shaft to expose the tub nut.

Step 7

Thread a spanner wrench over the drive shaft and onto the tub nut. Strike the spanner wrench with a hammer, turning it counter-clockwise and exposing the drive block.

Step 8

Remove the plastic tub ring from the top of the washtub by pressing down on the ring and popping the eight clips off the tub exterior. Lift the inner tub out of the washer, taking care to not damage the fill spout attached to the back of the washer cabinet.

Step 9

Remove the drive block by striking the bottom of it with the side of a hammer. Slide the drive block off the agitator drive shaft.

Step 10

Release the three suspension springs from the tub brackets attached to the bottom of the outer tub with a pair of pliers. Remove the counterbalance spring from the rear of the washtub. Remove the screws that hold the three tub brackets, and pull them from the outer tub.

Step 11

Pull the water pressure switch tube from the bracket attached to the side of the outer washtub. Place a towel beneath the washer. Squeeze the two ends of the clamp holding the drain tube to the bottom of the outer washtub with pliers. Wiggle the drain off the connector on the washtub.

Step 12

Spray lubricant onto the drive shaft. Grasp the outer washtub and pull it off the drive shaft.

Step 13

Lay the outer tub on its side and pop the old tub seal and bearing housing out of the bottom center of the tub. Pop the new tub seal and bearing housing in its place.

Step 14

Pull the Kenmore’s original metal collar from the agitator shaft. Slip the replacement collar onto the shaft. Slide the exterior tub back on the shaft.

Step 15

Reconnect the hoses to the exterior of the wash tub. Reassemble the rest of the washing machine by reversing the disassembly steps.

Things You Will Need

  • Phillips screwdrivers
  • Heavy-duty slotted screwdriver
  • 7/16-inch socket
  • Socket extender
  • Socket wrench
  • Spanning wrench
  • Hammer
  • Pliers
  • Towel
  • Spray lubricant
  • Tub bearing kit

About the Author

Cecilia Harsch has been writing professionally since 2009. She writes mainly home improvement, health and travel articles for various online publications. She has several years of experience in the home-improvement industry, focusing on gardening, and a background in group exercise instruction. Harsch received her Certified Nurses Assistant license in 2004. She attended Tarrant County College and studied English composition.