How to remove a washing machine pulley bolt

How to remove a washing machine pulley bolt

During repairs, quite often it becomes necessary to unscrew the bolt of the washing machine pulley. For example, in the process of replacing bearings and oil seals. The wheel is fixed to the drum bushing and connected to the SMA electric motor through a drive belt.

Usually there are no problems with removing the pulley bolt. However, in some cases the task is complicated by the presence of wear, rust or a broken sprocket. Let's figure out how to dismantle the “drum wheel” of washing machines of different brands.

Unscrewing the bolts of different machines

So, if the “star” of the screw fixing the pulley is not deformed, then the work ahead will be dust-free. You need to take a wrench that matches the size of the bolt, put the tool on the head and unscrew the fasteners from right to left. An important clarification - you need to support the “wheel” so that it does not rotate during the process.

For different brands of cars, the pulley mounting bolts are different. For example, Samsung washing machines have a regular bolt with a hex head. You can unscrew it with an open-end wrench of the appropriate size.

The pulley of the Indesit and Candy washing machines is secured with a bolt, which will require a star wrench to remove. It is in this case that it is easiest to rip off the edges. Therefore, twist carefully. If, nevertheless, the head is torn off, you will have to resort to an emergency method of removing the screw.

The bolt head may become rusty - this happens when moisture gets on the bushing. Inexperienced craftsmen in such a situation try to put more effort and apply pressure on the key in order to cope with the fasteners. As a result of such actions, the “star” often breaks, which complicates the work. In this case, you will also have to resort to an emergency dismantling method.

Can't unscrew the screw

Dealing with a damaged sprocket is much more difficult - the key simply will have nothing to catch on. If the head is rusty, treat it liberally with WD-40 before picking up the key . Next, wait 15-20 minutes for the product to take effect.

Then you need to “arm yourself” with a hammer and chisel. Carefully try to make a notch on the head of the bolt. It is enough to knock out a “notch” 1-1.5 millimetres deep.

Next, insert the chisel into the notch. Using a hammer, try to move the bolt head out of place. It doesn't matter which way you turn the screw; the important thing is that it starts to move.

If you can’t work with a chisel, you can try cutting off part of the bolt head. After this, the head can be hooked with an adjustable wrench. This option is quite labor-intensive.

Some craftsmen recommend heating the deformed bolt with a gas burner before twisting. Not the entire element, but its cap. However, the effectiveness of this method is low - it helps very rarely. Therefore, it is best to work carefully with a hammer and chisel.

The bolt is gone, but the pulley still cannot be removed

Sometimes during repairs you may find that the pulley is tightly stuck to the bushing, and neither a hammer nor a chisel can help remove it. The reason for this may be either rust formed inside or the loss of shape of the drum wheel itself. In this case, even after removing the bolt, the structure cannot be disassembled. How to proceed?

To remove the pulley from the shaft you will need:

  • Treat the joint with WD-40 cleaner,
  • Wait 15 minutes,
  • Ask someone to hold the drum,
  • Grab the pulley with both hands and begin to loosen the wheel.

It is unlikely that you will be able to remove the element on the first try. You will have to spray the joint area with WD-40 aerosol several times. After each spraying, wait 10-15 minutes. As a result, the pulley should come off the bushing.

Even if it is not possible to dismantle the pulley, all that remains is to knock out the part. It is important not to use metal tools, otherwise the risk of completely damaging the bushing will increase and only aggravate the situation with a broken shaft. A shovel handle or similar wooden block is ideal.

The handle must be sharpened on one side. The ground end is placed in the middle of the pulley. Then take a hammer and start knocking on the wood. The blows must be sharp and strong. Eventually the bushing will pop out, but such work will require a lot of patience and time.

It is important to prepare the pulley seat before reinstalling it. It is necessary to treat the shaft with WD-40, clean and lubricate the bushing threads. If the bolt has been deformed, the fastener must be replaced. Otherwise, after a year or two, you will again have to solve the difficult problem of unscrewing the damaged head.