How to Replace the Bearing on a Maytag MAH5500BWW
The Maytag MAH5500BWW is a residential, front-loading washing machine from Maytag's Neptune line of appliances. When the tub bearings in the MAH5500BWW washer fail, the machine emits a deafening roar during the spin cycle. Replacing the tub bearings silences the machine so you can do your laundry in relative quiet. The bearing replacement process is an arduous task that requires extensive disassembly. Unless you're particularly handy with tools, you may wish to consult an appliance repair professional.
Unplug the washer from the grounded wall outlet. Find the hot and cold water supply valves on the wall behind the appliance and turn them to the "Off/Closed" position. Unscrew the clamps securing the water supply hoses to the back of the machine. Use pliers to squeeze the pinch clamp on the drain hose and pull the hose off its port.
Open the washer door and remove the two Phillips screws from the door hinges. Pull the door away from the washer cabinet and set it aside. Remove the screws from the retaining strip on the left side of the washer cabinet; pull on the plastic tabs to remove the strip. Pull the top of the front panel forward and lift it up to disengage the retaining tabs on the cabinet. Set the front panel aside; take care to avoid scuffing or scratching the enamel finish.
Open the detergent and fabric softener dispenser on the top of the washer and remove the four Phillips screws. Lift the detergent dispenser housing out of the top of the machine. Disengage the retaining clips at the top of the cabinet; use a flat-head screwdriver to lift the clips. Raise the washer top and tilt it back as far as it will go.
Locate the door latch assembly at the top of the door opening. Remove the Phillips screw securing the cover at the bottom of the assembly. Take out the two Phillips screws inside the assembly; these screws hold the assembly to its housing on the washer cabinet. Pull the door switch assembly forward to remove it from its housing.
Peel the rubber gasket away from the door frame and fold it inside the washer tub. Work carefully to avoid tearing the rubber. Tilt the door frame forward and shift it to the right to disengage the retaining clips. Lift the door frame up and set it aside. Remove the four Phillips screws from the bar at the top of the washer cabinet; fold the bar up and out of the way. Take out an additional four Phillips screws from the frame on the front of the washer cabinet. Pry up the 12 clips around the perimeter of the rubber gasket, using the flat-head screwdriver, and remove the gasket from the front of the washer tub.
Remove four Phillips screws from the frame surrounding the access cover on the back of the washer. Tilt the frame up to release the retaining tabs. Set the removed frame aside and pull the access cover away from the appliance to reveal the large drive pulley.
Slip the flat-head screwdriver under the drive belt and ease it off of the pulley. Hold the edge of the pulley to prevent it from spinning while you remove the bolt at its center; do not hold the pulley by its spokes. Remove the bolt, using a 9/16-inch socket wrench, and slide the pulley off of its shaft.
Place the handle end of a wire brush over the shaft. Pound the handle with a rubber mallet until the tub shaft breaks free of the old bearings. Pull the inner tub out through the front of the washer cabinet. Locate the sump inside the outer tub; cover the sump with a cloth to prevent debris from entering it during the bearing removal process.
Pry out the snap ring holding the rear bearing at the back of the outer tub, using internal snap ring pliers. Lift out the rear bearing. Drive out the front seal and bearing by tapping a brass drift punch with the rubber mallet.
Scrub the front and rear bearing seats with fine-grit sandpaper to remove any rust or grime. Use a small flat-head screwdriver to scrape off any stubborn build-up. Clean the bearing seats until they're smooth but take care to avoid gouging the metal or enlarging the holes. Wipe the bearing seats with a tissue to remove any remaining residue. Smear a thin, even coating of bearing grease on the front and rear bearing seats.
Align the new front bearing with the front bearing seat. Tap the perimeter of the front bearing with the brass drift punch and rubber mallet to drive it into place. Use the same process to drive the rear bearing into the rear bearing seat. Spread a light coating of bearing grease over the snap ring and reinstall it behind the rear bearing, using the snap ring pliers.
Pry the shaft seal from the bottom of the inner tub, using the small flat-head screwdriver. Scrape any grimy build-up from the tub shaft and scrub it with the fine-grit sandpaper until it's clean. Use a tissue to wipe away any residue. Lightly coat the shaft with bearing grease.
Replace the inner tub; slide the shaft on the bottom of the inner tub through the newly installed outer tub bearings.
- Maytag Seal Kit 12002022 Instruction Manual; Maytag Appliance Company
- Appliance Blog: Maytag Neptune Washer Service Manual
- Reverse the removal process to reassemble the remaining washer components. Plug the washer into the grounded wall outlet and open the water supply valves.
- Replacing the bearings in your Maytag MAH5500BWW washer will void its warranty.
Megan Mattingly-Arthur has been writing professionally since 1998. She has contributed to various publications, including "Teen Voices" and "Positive Teens" magazines, as well as a book, "The Young Writer's Guide to Getting Published." Mattingly-Arthur is studying travel and tourism through Penn Foster Career School.