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Removing shock absorbers (AEG Lavamat 74600)


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I believe the shock absorbers in my AEG Öko Lavamat 74600 are worn out and need to be replaced as the drum runs unevenly even with light loads. The springs holding the drum from the top both look OK, the drum spins evenly without any load so can't see any other reason for this than the shock absorbers needing replacement. Is there anything else I should look into before ordering new ones?

I've removed the rear metal panel, but it looks like a very tight fit to replace the shock absorbers (there appears to be two from what I can see although I hear some machines use 3 or 4) from there. Does anyone know if it's possible to remove the side panels, or another way to get better access to them? I haven't been able to find any repair manual for this unit.

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  • Root Admin

Hi. My first thought is that it’s normal for drum to run unevenly with light loads if at least one of the items is fairly absorbent. The washing machine can’t balance the load evenly all the way around the drum if there isn’t enough laundry. If one or a few of the items are heavier than the rest then the drum becomes unbalanced and rocks from side to side. 

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Yes, I know what you mean and agree, but the drum has started banging against the sides (with similar loads I've had in the past when all's been well), so there's definitely something going on.

It doesn't seem like the ball-bearings are gone either, so I'd like to take a look at the shock absorbers. But I'm having trouble figuring out how to access them. According to some Youtube videos it might be possible just to open up the front -what do you think?

Is it possible to open the side "walls" of these washing machines?

 

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Hello there. I appreciate that it seems to be something new and therefore likely to be a fault, and it may well prove to be a fault, but before getting involved in messing about trying to fix it it would be better to eliminate the loading theory.

I would think if the shock absorbers were at fault then the drum would do the distribution section (which is the couple of minutes or so it slowly turns the drum in order to settle the laundry before kicking into the actual spin) perfectly okay, but then when it kicks into a fast spin the suspension cannot absorb and control the movement.

Alternatively if the drum is banging and swaying about quite a lot on the distribution section then that would imply that the laundry is out of balance. This is particularly a problem when you have relatively small mixed loads with just one or a couple of absorbent items like genes, towels, sheets and the rest of the load is made up of relatively light items.

During the distribution section the drum turns the laundry just fast enough to cause centrifugal force to stick all of the laundry to the sides of the drum. If one or more heavier items go to one side of the drum and the rest of the drum has lighter items of laundry then the drum becomes out of balance. When it goes into proper spin it's like a fan with a couple of blades missing and even perfectly good suspension cannot prevent the outer drum from hitting the sides.

Another indication of if it is suspension that is the problem would be that I would expect virtually every wash load to be thumping the sides. If it is only a few loads or occasionally it is more likely to be a loading issue. I don't intend to try and disabuse you of the idea that it needs new suspension but just discount the more simpler explanations first 🙂

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All valid arguments there. I suppose there's only one way to find out -remove the shock absorbers and see if they work as intended by trying to pull/push them with my arms. I would expect a fair bit of resistance if they're OK and a more lose action if they're worn out.

How do you suggest I get to the shock absorbers when simply removing the rear panel doesn't seem to do it?

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Just bounce the drum around from the top. You can push it down and from side to side to assess the dampers without taking them off. If they are very loose and the drum doesn't bounce back maybe they need replacing but it should be obvious if they are knackered. Normally just lay machine down and get to it from back and underneath. Some fronts come off but not all. 

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Aha! I can't remember ever having gotten to it from underneath. Is the bottom a metal panel which can be unscrewed and removed?
I've removed the front in the past to do some other small repairs, so that's doable, but your solution sounds easier.

 

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If you lay it on its front or side you should get access from underneath. Just make sure you totally drain all water first or water can run out into parts. There's usually a mug-full or more of water in the machine even after umping out. Best way is to pump it out and then put a big sheet or bath towel in front of pump filer and remove filer to let it just drain out.

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  • 2 weeks later...
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Thanks for all the advice! There was no access from underneath, but the trick was to tilt it slightly to one side (so the motor (hanging fromt its springs) shifted to one side, gaining access to one of the hard-to-reach shock absorbers.
Workspace was quite tight but removing the front panel was essential (in addition to the rear panel) so as to be able to unscrew the large shock-absorber mounting screws. I also had to had to remove the pump and disconnect a few rubber hoses to gain access.

The two shock absorbers were both completely blown! No resistance at all, so it was definitely time for a replacement.
Now the washing machine is running along like brand new, and will hopefully last for a while longer!
Thanks again and have a great weekend 😀

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Thanks for the update. When the old suspension dampers were still on could you tell they were worn? Was the drum held centrally and what did it feel like when you bounced it up and down?

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Warning:  Read this before attempting any diy repairsNo representations or warranties are made (express or implied) as to the reliability, accuracy or completeness of advice. I can't be held liable for any loss arising directly or indirectly from the use of, or any action taken in reliance on, any information on this website, which is given free of charge and in good faith.

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No, I couldn't tell. They looked fine from the outside.
It wasn't until I removed the mounting screws to remove them that I noticed there was absolutely nothing to hold the upper and lower sections of them together. It seemed like whatever was inside to dampen them had totally disintegrated! Basically, if I grabbed the upper part the lower part would fall off!
 

Another thing: while at it I removed the rubber seal so I could fully clean it. I had cleaned it in the past, but there's only so much you can do while it's mounted. Using a dishwashing brush and dishwasher detergent I managed to get it spotless. I also cleaned all other exposed areas, and (when fully dried -no use risking fungus buildup) I reattached it.
Then I used a powerful washing-machine cleaner (bought together with the replacement shock-absorbers) to deep-clean the washing machine. Judning by what came out of the outlet hose I'd say all this cleaning was worth it!

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Thanks for the update. 

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Warning:  Read this before attempting any diy repairsNo representations or warranties are made (express or implied) as to the reliability, accuracy or completeness of advice. I can't be held liable for any loss arising directly or indirectly from the use of, or any action taken in reliance on, any information on this website, which is given free of charge and in good faith.

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