talk to a lot of folks with broken dryer belts, and the
Whirlpool/Kenmore 29 inch (wide) dryer is by far the
most common machine out there these days. This one’s
quickly identified by its lint filter, which pulls up
through the top of the cabinet. These are also sold
under the Kitchenaid, Roper, Maytag, and Estate brand
(Note: belt replacement on the 27” wide version of these
dryers is quite a bit different. I hope to go over that
in a later article, but I do have a very inexpensive
‘basic service manual’ available for immediate
download that covers it, too)
get yours apart for a clean/lube (recommended at least
every 2 years), belt replacement, or just for fun
<grin>, first remove the two screws under the lint
filter (careful here - don’t drop them down the lint
filter housing, where they get into the fan!)
insert a putty knife in the gap between cabinet top and
cab in front, and push back to release the retainer
clips on each side. The top will lift, and you can swing
it up and back, out of your way. Often you don't need
the putty knife, but can just pull forward on the
cabinet top and the clips will unhook.
yours has a separate bottom panel, remove it by either
pulling on its top edge or using a putty knife to push
the retainers, and swing it down. Then it'll lift off
its bottom hooks.
the belt off the motor pulley and idler (note how the
belt runs through the hole under the idler pulley
and the idler hooks into the base). Unhook the
door springs and set them aside. Keep an eye on the
door - it'll want to fall down on your head at
Loosen the two 5/16" screws that the bottom of the front
panel rests on. Then remove two screws from the
inside that hold the front panel on, tip it
forward, mark the door switch wire locations with a
magic marker, and pull them off. Then lift the
front panel off and set it aside. (Note: if yours is a
newer model with a one piece front panel, just remove
the two screws and lift the panel off its bottom clips.
the front panel's off, the drum will lift up and come
right out the front.
Vacuum it out well and oil the rear drum rollers or
replace them if their bearings are really worn and
noisy, and also oil the idler pulley bearing (use a good
grade of oil, sewing machine oil, ‘3 in 1’, etc - no
WD-40, please!) - and put her back together.
routing of the belt around the idler pulley can be
tricky on these the first time you do it, because it’s
hard to picture. Loop the belt around the drum with the
grooved side against the drum. Then, with the drum in
place, install the idler into its slots in the dryer
base. Slip a loop of the belt through the rectangular
hole under the idler and roll the loop onto the motor
pulley. It helps to have a helper holding the drum, but
after you do this once or twice, you can hold the drum
with your left knee while reaching back and doing this.
job’s a lot easier on older models with the separate
bottom panel, because the panel holds the drum up for
you. But I’m told these kinds of contortions are
actually healthy, stretching out muscles that otherwise
get little use. And who knows, Ringling Brothers may one
day have an opening for this kind of work, so it pays to
be prepared <grin>.
Anyway, double-check that there's good strong airflow
out the back before reconnecting the vent, then connect
it and run it on 'fluff' with no heat, and go outside
and double-check that the airflow outside is also good
and strong. It's easy to kink the vent duct when you
push it back, and this step will make sure all's well in
the airflow department.
4392065 is a nice money-saving repair kit for these
machines, and includes not only a new belt, but also an
idler, both drum rollers, and the necessary hardware.
This kit is the most economical way to purchase these
parts, and I'm really glad to see Whirlpool put the kits
together. Costs much less than buying these parts
individually, like we did before these were available.