The instructional videos were, of course, shot using a new (or mostly new) washing machine, so the technician doesn't have to deal with a couple of decades' worth of rust and solidified crud. His washing machine comes right apart without his having to resort to blow torches and hand grenades.
I don't have any hand grenades, so I had to make do.
First problem: getting the agitator off. Although it's supposed to lift right off the drive block, mine naturally did not, and because I wasn't sure how it came apart I was afraid I'd break it. Finally I tried prying at the top with a screwdriver, and with an anticlimactic pop it came right off.
Unbolted the inner tub and got it off, then had to remove the trunnion for same. Two bolts, but how does it come off when there's this huge aluminum knob at the top of the shaft? Finally--after more research--I realized it was a variant on the regular splined drive block, so I tried to get it off, to no avail. Finally I reasoned that aluminum has a different coefficient of expansion from steel, and a propane torch ought to heat it enough for me to get it off with a little help from the persuader.
This turned out to be so, and the trunnion came right off, leaving me with the problem of how to remove the outer tub.
At the top of the shaft the diameter is greater, because of rust, so I thought I could wire-wheel it; finally I resorted to 150 grit sandpaper, and then was able to get the tub off.
I turned it over, unscrewed the two screws holding in the bearing, and then decided it was time for a rest.
Damn what a pain in the ass this is.
...on the plus side, if I get all done with this and the seals are leaking, it should be easy enough to take it apart again to replace them. I mean, hell, I've done the hard part: learning how.
Anyway, it looks like an explosion in a washer factory in the laundry room right now. I figure that since a man made it I can probably put it back together again.
Still--maybe investing in the service manual would not have been such a bad idea.
So I had a gander at the motor and transmission, and when I turned them, GROONCH the lower bearing just feels like rocks and glass, and there's an insane amount of play in it. Worse luck, it doesn't look as if the part is available from the place I ordered the upper bearing from. Plus side, there's a possibility I can replace it with a standard sealed roller bearing. The whole washing machine is SAE--not a single metric bolt in it, as far as I can tell--which gives me some hope that I can replace the lower bearing and have a smooth-running machine again.
All this is predicated on me finding my snap ring pliers, which--I think--are in the garage. Here's hoping. Otherwise I'll be taking a trip to Harbor Freight to buy a new pair. Argh etc.
I still have to get the upper bearing out without destroying the outer tub, too, but I think I got a start on that. I'm going to use the slide hammer to extract it the rest of the way, but not tonight, since I need to go get another part anyway.
It's a never-ending cavalcade of fun!
Other plus side: the bottom plate of the washer is covered with this tarry goo, the remains of shredded belts and perhaps some grease. I was afraid the grease had come from the transmission (replacement cost: JUST BUY A NEW WASHER) but now I think it came from the lower bearing.
In any case, I am done for the night; I can't do any more. It's not a complicated machine so I am not afraid to leave it until Sunday, when I'll have time to run out for parts etc.