How to Change your Maytag Neptune Front Loader Bearings
It will start with a faint squealing, and the nit will progress into a high-pitched screeching sound. When the bearings fail in your Maytag Neptune, you will know it. Replacing the bearing is usually a task left up to a Maytag repair center. However, if you feel confident taking your washing machine apart and replacing the bearings on your own, it is a chore that a do-it-yourselfer can complete to save on the costs of the repair.
Disconnect the electrical cord from its outlet, turn off the water shut-off valves, and disconnect the water supply lines with pliers. Pull the drain hose out of the standpipe. Pull the machine away from the wall so you can easily access the front and back of the machine.
Remove the screws on the bottom of the front panel with a wrench, and rotate the panel outward to release the top clips from the underside of the machine's top. Locate the screws that secure the access panel onto the back of the machine, and remove them with a screwdriver.
Rotate the pulley that the drum belt rides on, and pull the belt off the pulley as you continually rotate it.
Remove the bolt in the center of the pulley with a 9/16-inch ratchet, and pull the pulley off the shaft.
Place the washer onto the bolt you removed in Step 4, and thread the bolt back into the spinner support shaft. Pound the bolt to drive the spinner shaft out of the bearing. Use a rubber hammer to pound the bolt.
Pry out the bearing seal on the inner and outer bearing assembly on the tub with a seal puller.
Clean off the bearing with a rag and a drill-powered wire bush. Locate the weep holes, and clean them out with the wire brush. The weep holes are located on the housing around the bearing and allow for the insertion of bearing grease.
Spray penetrating oil on the bearings, and wait approximately 10 minutes. This allows time for the oil to work between the bearings and the bearing races.
Remove the snap rings from the bearings with a snap ring tool, and pull the bearings out of the bearing races. To do this, you may have to heat the bearing race with a blowtorch. This will expand the metal and allow the bearing to fall out. You can also hammer the bearing out with the rubber hammer.
Clean out the bearing race housings, and pull out the inner spinner shaft seal with the seal puller. Clean out the bearing race again.
Heat both bearing race housings, and add grease to the bearing races. Pound the bearing races into the housings. If you had shims between the races and housings, put them back in first.
Pack the bearings with grease, and place the bearings inside the races. Place the seals over the bearing, and press them in place.
Place the snap ring over the bearing seals with the snap ring tool.
Drive the spinner support shaft back through the bearings. Secure the pulley onto the end of the shaft with the replacement washer and bolt that came with the bearing kit.
Rotate the pulley, and slide the drum belt back onto the pulley.
Reattach the rear access cover and the front panel to the machine.
Reconnect the waterlines and the power to the machine.
Things You Will Need
- 9/16-inch ratchet and socket
- Rubber hammer
- Seal puller
- Hand drill
- Wire brush
- Snap ring tool
- Packing grease
- Neptune seal kit (seals, bearings, spinner bolt and washer)
- You can arrange a bearing puller with:
- A 1/2" bolt through an approx 21mm socket which pushed against the inner side of the outer bearing, through the bearing and though a 1" long piece of 3" pipe which rested on metal bearing housing, through a 4" (about) pulley which covered the pipe, through a nut to tighten the whole affair up which pulls the bearing out. It took a hard twist with a 15" wrench.
- Use a similar setup to pull the new bearings into the housing. The spinner shaft and inner bearings took a good whack with a 5# hammer.
- Freeze the new bearings in the freezer (deep freezer) for two days before you install them and don't take them out until just before you install each one. This will minimize the OD of the new bearings and make them easier to install.
- 4. Use a 100-watt light bulb to heat up tub races before installing new bearings.
- Use caution when hammering near the outer tub as it is plastic
- Wear safety glasses and gloves when appropriate