Can the Neutral Drain Mechanism in the tranny have repercussions on the spin cycle?

by Dennis
(New Mexico)

Neutral Drain

Neutral Drain

Whirlpool LSQ7030LQ0 about 6-7 years old. My work so far reveals this: Agitates but will not spin; I hear the motor go through its motions thus probably not the lid switch; motor/tranny coupling ok; I can turn the basket in both directions with some resistance but not much; opened the tranny & gears appear to be okay. I did find that the spring-loaded plastic arm on the neutral drain mechanism had fallen of its mount and into the oil. Put it back in place but not sure if orientation to metal arm is right. Assembled it as I thought it might go but still did not spin. Need a picture of what the neutral drain mech. looks like assembled. Is this neutral drain mech related to the spin cycle? All else seems okay--rinse water comes in and pump empties washer but basket will not spin.






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Answer

Hi Dennis,

Yes the natural drain does have an effect on spin cycle.

What the neutral does is allow the motor to run in the spin direction without spinning but still pump out. This allows the water to pump out before the washer starts to spin. The only way the neutral drain can be tripped is for the motor to come to a complete stop. So the timer causes the motor to come to a complete stop after two minutes (enough time for the washer to drain) into the spin cycle to trip the neutral drain so that when the motor starts back up it starts to spin.

I don’t have a picture of how it goes but the neutral drain assembly isn’t expensive and it should come with instructions that tell you how it goes. I do have a picture that I may be able to scan in at work and post on here if you need it.

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Thank you,
Shawn/administrator

Comments for Can the Neutral Drain Mechanism in the tranny have repercussions on the spin cycle?

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Feb 21, 2011
Found Picture
by: Shawn/admin

I posted a picture I found I hope it is useful. Let me know if you need anymore help.

Thank you
Shawn

Feb 21, 2011
Neutral Drain Picture
by: Dennis

Shawn,
You are a genius. The picture is great. In my situation, the trip lever had fallen off its mount for some reason. I put it back in place where I thought it went but was unsure of the positioning of the spring and rack retainer, as well as the relationship between the trip lever and the latch. Looks like the trip lever sits inside the tip of the latch. Likely that I will buy the neutral drain kit although mine looks like its in reasonably good shape--question remains as to why it fell off in the first place? Secondly, I will need to get back into that tranny case to see if I in fact put things back as they go. Will keep you posted as I thought I had done just what the picture shows but it still did not spin. I'll find out today hopefully. Thank you again. I will definitely contribute a few bucks to this website once I get this thing fixed.

Feb 21, 2011
Neutral Drain vs Timer
by: Dennis

Shawn,

Back to the drawing board! I ran a cycle one more time before getting back into the tranny. At no point in the process does the motor stop for two minutes. Maybe the neutral drain is not re-setting because it does not have enuf time? Do I need a timer, perhaps?

Help me understand the process: I assume it is supposed to spin two times--once to get the soapy water out and once to get the rinse water out. Is this correct? It drains appropriately when the motor runs in the spin direction w/o actually spinning. In any event, the motor only stopped for less than 15 seconds before it was to start spinning. Maybe I have the neutral drain set up correctly and the timer is not allowing it enuf time to re-set. What does re-set mean (if I'm using the right terms)? I assume the neutral drain is a mechanism that locks and unlocks to get the plastic gear to turn the metal pinion. When the metal pinion turns it drives the clutch which in turn connects to the tub. When the neutral drain is disengaged, the plastic gear cannot turn the pinion, thus the clutch cannot turn the tub. Am I correct here? What is it that happens in the neutral drain mech when the motor stops for two minutes and why two minutes? What if I manually stopped the timer for two minutes at the approprate point in the process? Would this allow the neutral drain mech to do its thing?
Bear with me, I'm trying to understand the timer and tranny connection now. I appreciate your help. Thank you in advance.

Feb 21, 2011
RE
by: Shawn

I am sorry I don’t have time right now to fully answer you but the washer doesn’t stop for two minutes it simply comes to a complete stop after 2 minutes. I will come back later and give a better answer, I just wanted to clear that up first.

Feb 21, 2011
Neutral Drain
by: Shawn/admin

Yes the washer has two spin cycles.

Lets see if I can explain the neutral drain system a little better in the simplest possible way.

During the first cycle the motor turns in the agitation direction, which causes the gears in the gearbox to rotate the agitator back and forth. At the same time the neutral drain is reset.

Now the first spin cycle starts and the motor starts to turn in spin direction. Then the timer causes the motor to come to a complete stop. This happens about 2 minutes into the spin cycle, which should be enough time for most of the water to drain. When the motor comes to a complete stop a latch is released in the neutral drain assembly. When this latch is released the spin pawl will engage. Now when the motor starts back up the washer will spin. The washer only has to be off long enough for the motor to come to a complete stop (15 seconds seems about right).

Then on the next agitation cycle the neutral drain is reset again so that it is ready for the next spin cycle.

The whole purpose of the neutral drain is to allow the water to pump out before the washer spins and since the pump connects directly to the motor this cannot be done without the neutral drain.

You may have something wrong with the neutral drain but this is very rare. The part that I would have suggested you to look at before you tore into the gearbox is the clutch. The clutch is the round part on top of the gearbox and it will commonly fail causing the type of problem you are seeing.

The clutch is simply a friction pad inside a small drum that allows slippage when the motor first starts up. Once there is some momentum going the clutch starts to grab allowing the tub to spin. Often the friction pad will wear out and there will to too much slippage, meaning the gearbox, motor, coupling and neutral drain will be doing their job and spinning the gears but the clutch will be just slipping therefore the spin basket will not turn. There is no clear-cut way to check the clutch you just have to make a judgment call. You should see the friction pad with the spring. It should be somewhat difficult to turn the friction pad by hand. If it turn easily then it is bad.

If you know the clutch is ok then you can try replacing the neutral drain.

I hope this helps!!

Feb 21, 2011
Clutch Pads
by: Dennis

Shawn,

Thank you for the additional information. I misunderstood the two minute thing earlier. I have a better idea of how the neutral drain works though I still don't fully understand how the latch is released nor what holds it in place when it is not in the "release" position.

For starters, I will pull the clutch out and check to see if I can rotate the pads by hand. I did note a minimum of black residue in the clutch hub when I dismantled it before. Maybe its too far gone. If so, its clutch time! If not, we'll talk some more. I'm going to stay out of the gear case for now. Fortunately, these parts (neutral drain, clutch, etc...) are reasonably priced and one can still fix the thing for considerably less than the cost of a new machine.

Feb 21, 2011
Link To Clutch
by: Shawn/admin

I posted a picture link of the clutch above just in case you need it.

Feb 25, 2011
Got it Fixed
by: Dennis

Shawn,

Got it fixed. The clutch was in poor shape and I had put the neutral drain stuff in wrong. Ordered, received and put in both the clutch and the drain kit (along with agitator dogs) and all is well. Thank you much for the help. Ran into a minor problem with Pay Pal trying to make a donation to your website. Will fix this asap. If your business has a mailing address that you feel free to share, please send it to me in the event I need to send you a check. Thank you again.


Feb 27, 2011
RE
by: Shawn/admin

I am very glad to hear you got it going!


I greatly appreciate your offer for a donation but there is no need. However I would like to know, what was the problem with Paypal? Was it on my end or your end? I need to know if there is something I need to fix or was it just a glitch or was it something else.

Feb 27, 2011
PayPal Glitch
by: Dennis

Shawn,

The PayPal glitch was on my end--something to do with a password/card number mismatch or something or other. Nothing on your end that was a problem. Thank you again for all your help. The service you provide is invaluable for us do-it-your-self people. The economy and our common sense tells us that its time we learn to fend for ourselves as best we can and I've done this for years--especially in the automotive repair arena. Now I want to be the Maytag Repair Man when I grow up!!!

Jul 11, 2011
Oil for Gear Box with Neutral Drain ?
by: Anonymous

Does the Gear Box oil have to be the Whirlpool type for the Neutral Drain to work properly or will any 90 wt lube work ?

Jul 12, 2011
RE
by: Shawn/admin

I would use/recommend using the Whirlpool lube but I will not say that any lube will not work.

Oct 07, 2013
Washer not always engaging to spin
by: Anonymous

I have been wrestling with this for about 2 weeks now. I think I have limited it to a nuetral drain kit, clutch or the entire transmission. It has been engaging to spin about half of the time. I have a clutch ordered so will try that fix first. If that does not do it, I wonder if it is worth messing with the nuetral drain kit or just replaced the entire transmission?

Oct 08, 2013
RE
by: Shawn/admin

If you find that the neutral drain is bad I recommend replacing the transmission. The neutral drain can be replaced but it is not an easy task.

Oct 08, 2013
thanks
by: Anonymous

Is there a way to tell IF it is the nuetral drain as so far we have just been guessing. Everyone has different opinions.

Oct 09, 2013
RE
by: Shawn/admin

Well my guess is no but that is just based on the fact that I have seen very little failures with the neutral drain. My guess without actually looking at it would be the clutch.

When the washer goes into spin it first turns the motor in the spin direction but the neutral drain is disconnected so it only pumps out. Then if you lift the lid and let the tub come to a complete stop (the timer would normally do this) when you close the lid you should hear the clanking noise of the neutral drain engaging. If you don’t then you may have an issue with the neutral drain.

If the tub doesn’t spin open the lid and use a screwdriver to press the door switch. Then while the washer is trying to spin turn the tub by hand and see if it seems like it is trying to start but it cant. In other words does it seem like turning it by hand is helping. If so I would say it is the clutch.

Nov 25, 2013
Do it yourselfer
by: Anonymous

I just replaced the clutch in our older Kenmore like others but still have the intermittent spin issue. I can actually get the tub to spin sometimes with the " clank" of the neutral drain by resetting to that cycle and pushing the switch off and on until I hear the clank and see the basketspinniing. This is after I know for a fact that the motor is not running. In other words I feel like the neutral drain is not always engaging the spin gear. For $13 on Amazon its worth a shot. Worse case if this is not it, I mess with it when I see it has not spun until I can afford a $400 washer. BTW clutch was $14. My time though seems priceless anymore. My wife calls me the junk fixer.

Jul 02, 2015
Neutral Mechanism only after rainse
by: Mayolito


I've had cases in which neutral mechanism, only works after rinse time. After the first agitation, the timer stops the motor, 15 secs later starts and goes directly turning the tub, then stops and turn the tub again, However fills and starts to rinse (agitate) and when finish this second agitation time , timer(motor) stops for 15 secs and the neutral works! draining the water after 3 mins aprox, stops, (release of the pawl can be hear) and re start spinning the tub as expected. why only on second agitation time Any Idea.
(Lid switch its ok, clutch its ok).
The first time that neutral mechanism should work, seems that pawl is des engaged but after 1/2 second i can hear the pawl engagement and the tub goes spinning without let the water drain first.
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Jul 19, 2016
Not a function of timing
by: Chris

I just finished fixing one of these which suffered from what is apparently a common problem: the screw called the "shoulder pawl stud" broke off, leaving the threaded portion in tbe gear it screws in to. The primary effect of this is that the washer agitates and pumps but won't spin because the pawl needed to lock the spin gear is no longer attached to anything and the "rack retainer" plate is no longer held stationary on the ring gear. The secondary effect was that the pieces floating around in there caused some other havoc by getting tangled up where they shouldn't be. Fortunately, the "neutral drain kit" came with all the bits necessary to fix it. Good deal!
After assembling and studying the parts for a while, I was somewhat baffled by how the thing works. Turning the input shaft by hand, I could simulate spin and agitate by simply rotating one direction or the other. But it took me a while to figure out the "neutral drain" part. Turns out, it is controlled by motor direction AND speed. The part in the kit called the "latch" is a weight. When the motor spins up quickly, centrifugal force locks the latch to the "spin gear cam", preventing it from moving in position to lock the spin gear to the spin pawl. The gear free wheels, the pump pumps, all is good. If the motor spins up slowly, all that doesn't happen and the spin gear latches up to the spin pawl and it stays that way until it stops. Once the spin gear is engaged, the timer spins the motor up to full speed.
All in all, a pretty interesting system to get 3 different states out of a gear train with no other inputs than the motor drive. I'll bet it took the engineers a fair amount of trial and error to get it to work, but it's surprisingly reliable. Oh, and I would be careful about using too heavy an oil. Those parts need to move freely for it all to work. 80w90 gear oil seemed to work fine for me.

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