Often worth a quick look. ;-)

Discussion in 'UK DIY' started by T i m, Mar 7, 2010.

  1. T i m

    T i m Guest

    Hi All,

    Yesterday I thought it was probably the final end for our fairly old
    but good Zanussi TD-534 conventionally flued tumble dryer.

    I say final end because it's survived (the dump) on a couple previous
    occasions, the first being the rear bearing [1], then the belt tension
    pulley [2], then the belt itself.

    Since the new belt it's been making some new noises (mostly put down
    to the new belt being tighter or some such) and yesterday the Mrs
    tells me she heard it stop, went to empty it and noted the drum
    wouldn't rotate by hand as it normally does. She also noted the
    clothes weren't quite as dry as normal so turned it on again to finish
    them off. It wouldn't run at all so turned it off and told me.

    Today we lifted it out, took it to bits and I found the motor was
    pretty well seized solid. I removed the motor, took off the blower and
    plastic mounts and then, working on the 'nothing to lose' principal,
    (marked then) split the motor. As suspected, one of the bearings was
    very tight and again with the 'nothing to lose' approach gave it a
    spray with some Teflon cycle lube (but working on the premise that I
    was going to order two new 6001ZZ bearings on Monday). However, after
    working the bad bearing back and forth and a bit more spray it soon
    started to move freely and was soon feeling very smooth again. ;-)

    Anyway, after blowing both bearings out with the compressor and
    re-lubing them with some medium weight oil it's all back together and
    running quieter than it has for ages, plus I now know the bearings are
    cheap, plentiful and easy to change if it turns out I do need to get

    Oh, and it was all done with a small hex driver, a Pozi No2 and the
    Leatherman PSTII. ;-)

    Not rocket science or nuffink, just nice to be able to old-skool 'fix'
    something now and again in this throw-away world.

    Cheers, T i m

    [1] The drum spigot had worked it's way through the rear bearing and
    half it's mounting plate, damaging the spigot in the process. Luckily
    you can buy a replacement spigot so I just drilled out the rivets and
    bolted the new one on with cap headed stainless bolts and nylock nuts.

    [2] The plain metal bush had collapsed on the old plastic belt tension
    pulley so I bored it out in the Myford lathe and fitted two new
    suitably_bored_out oil-lite bushes. New pulleys are available quite
    cheap but I'd have to order it and wait for delivery. That was another
    'give it a go' moment that's been fine for 6 months so far. ;-)
    T i m, Mar 7, 2010
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  2. T i m

    John Guest

    So what would be your preventative maintenance recommendation? A bi-annual
    strip clean and lube?
    John, Mar 7, 2010
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  3. T i m

    T i m Guest

    Funny, I was thinking about that ... the extra 'noise' that appeared
    after the belt change (but I think was a co-incidence) and how with
    hindsight I could have looked closer at it then.

    Dad used to say, "Were there's noise there's wear" but he also used to
    say "Don't fix what's not broken ...".

    For things that are predictable, like the need to change engine oil at
    regular intervals then I guess a bit of routine maintenance is a good
    thing (both because of the fresh oil and in the doing you may spot
    other signs / issues) but I'm not sure how often you would find
    anything if the took the back off yer tumble dryer or washing machine?

    However, now I know the routine with this particular tumble dryer (and
    the 'irreparable washing machine that's now lasted a year after being
    written off) I guess I could give them a check over once in a while.

    Cheers, T i m
    T i m, Mar 8, 2010
  4. T i m

    Tim Watts Guest

    Good man!
    Tim Watts, Mar 8, 2010
  5. T i m

    T i m Guest

    Cheers. ;-)

    The thing is, apart from the small sense of satisfaction one gets when
    you do get a result like that (I guess part of the reason some of us
    frequent uk.d-i-y in the first place) but partly because we didn't
    have to wait 'to get a man round' and I can sorta offset the cost of
    what that would have been against the extra energy we may be using on
    this older unit and worse, the cost (in both production /
    deconstruction energy and straight financial) over a new one.

    Plus there is the fact that we 'know' this one, it fits in the space
    (finding a external venting machine with a left side exit isn't that
    easy these days) and it's supposed to be auto-sensing (not sure how
    well that's working though).

    Now I fully know how simple it is and how little there is left to
    replace then I can't see it being a problem again for a while
    <touching wood>. ;-)

    Cheers again.

    T i m
    T i m, Mar 8, 2010
  6. T i m

    T i m Guest

    Awww :-(
    That's a bit of lateral thinking. ;-)
    Ours has wipe able filters
    First time I've touched out cap was yesterday when I released it from
    the mounting to remove the motor rather than pulling the wires off.
    Nice. I was going to make a bearing but the spigot had worn through
    the bearing and half way through it's mounting plate before the new
    noises told us something was wrong. However, I think the whole
    assembly was around 20 quid delivered so not too bad (and certainly
    quicker and easier than re-fabricating it all).
    We generally run the vacuum round anything (suitable) we take apart,
    just because it makes it cleaner and easier to work on.
    I bet. Similar with Mums washing machine. It's a very old Hotpoint
    with basically a start and stop button and it's sorta infused itself
    with their house after all the years (in fact I think it's actually
    holding one end of the sink up). The last time I had to look at it for
    her it was (just) a belt. The Mrs was on her way back from somewhere
    and she picked up a new one from a local shop and I'd got it fitted
    before Mum had got round to making us both a cuppa.

    My only question to Mum before I started looking at it was "does it
    still wash ok". She said "yes" and that was all I needed to hear. ;-)

    Cheers, T i m
    T i m, Mar 8, 2010
  7. Yeah, I like old dryers for that reason... simple engineering and very
    little to go wrong in them. No way would I want a modern one with any
    kind of computer control and electronic readout! :)

    Ours has to be 1970s and still going nicely. It's worth taking them to
    bits once every couple of years I think just to clean them out; I found a
    good build-up of crud in ours and it was taking twice as long to dry
    stuff as it needed to (I suspect a lot of folk get rid of old dryers for
    this reason, thinking that there's something wrong with them)


    Jules Richardson, Mar 8, 2010
  8. I found my wedding ring that had been missing for two years when I took
    our dryer apart. Oops.
    Piers Finlayson, Mar 8, 2010
  9. T i m

    T i m Guest

    I did have to buy a long nut-runner because the back panel is held on
    with 2 x posi and 4 x hex headed self tappers, two down the bottom of
    long tubes?
    Agreed. Whilst I like 'electronics' I don't really want any in my
    white goods or motor vehicles.
    I'm sure you are right [1]. With ours there does seem to be a faster
    general build-up of internal dust but I guess that's to be expected
    after so many years of doing it's thing. When the front lip of the
    drum finally wears away (I've replaced the felt 'bearing') I think
    that really will be it.

    Cheers, T i m

    [1] With ours it's usually down to the flap / grille on the external
    wall vent that gets blocked.

    p.s. I can't remember the number of (especially) Dyson cleaners I've
    saved from going to or salvaged from the tip that simply needed a good
    clean out. How can someone chuck away something of that sorta value
    (~£200) for the sake of a clean?
    T i m, Mar 8, 2010
  10. T i m

    S Viemeister Guest

    Especially since Dysons are so easy to take apart and clean out.
    S Viemeister, Mar 8, 2010
  11. T i m

    T i m Guest


    Step daughter was round and mentioned she needed a bigger cleaner. I
    looked on Freecycle and someone was offering two, one being a Dyson,
    neither were working. I emailed her and got a reply back with minutes
    so popped round there and collected the Dyson straight away (and gave
    her a bottle of wine I'd been previously given). ;-)

    When I got back stepdaughter was still there and found and removed the
    blockage while she watched.

    She didn't take it there and then so it gave me time to strip it right
    down and wash all the (non electrical <g>) parts in the bath and she
    picked it up next time looking like new (with new filters).

    The DC05 I picked up from Freecycle was "dead and going to the tip"
    had it not been collected by a Freecycler. One trimmed mains lead and
    new 13A plug later ... ;-)

    I only realised the Rover 218SD I bought off a mate for £100 (with 6
    months TAX, 2 new tyres and only £100 because 'there were a load of
    things wrong with it' and he just wanted rid) has been with us since
    2003 and has just clocked up 200,000 miles. That is another example of
    something I didn't particularly want (always been a Ford man) but
    couldn't refuse at the price and because it's been so good (and is
    still doing ~50 mpg) I would consider getting another one should the
    need arise.

    I really think we (as a race) are generally living above the planets
    means so this level of consumerism just can't go on (can it)? Well, I
    guess it must if we want to keep enjoying good second hand stuff

    We had a couple turn up over the weekend with their new car. They got
    £2K off it via the scrappage deal. It still cost them 7 grand or so
    and my Mrs commented how she couldn't consider spending more than the
    2K you get off for any car (let alone the 7)! But then she's happy
    driving about what was my Dads, then our nieces 115,000 mile Astra
    that cost us £350 (we felt generous as it was our niece) loads of
    years ago. ;-)

    Cheers, T i m
    T i m, Mar 8, 2010
  12. No such problem with ours - but I don't like the way the rear panel hooks
    underneath the machine and is secured by bolts underneath as it means
    tipping the whole machine over to get inside the back; next time I have
    it apart I'm going to make a an access panel for the fan so I can get to
    the bits that need cleaning a little more easily.
    Yep. Complexity for the sake of it isn't my thing. Complexity on
    efficiency grounds is a bit more noble, but I often find myself
    questioning whether the complexity saves money (given how hard it can
    make it to fix, or how expensive parts can be).
    I wonder about some careful filing / smoothing of ours next time I have
    it apart (all the internal ducting and the fan are metal, and I don't
    think the edges are very smooth so catch things easily), and maybe some
    of that foam window-insulating stuff to seal the passageways a bit better
    (assuming I can rule out that being a fire hazard)
    Yeah, someone mentioned that on another ng recently and I think it's one
    of the main things that could outright kill a dryer - that and possibly
    the timer going (although as it's a stack of cam-driven switches on ours
    and we don't use half the programmes, I bet I can rearrange things should
    a contact burn out and spares be unobtainable :)
    I hate dyson stuff. Nice when it works, but every dyson I've known gets
    to that point where it needs a strip-down, clean and rebuild a couple of
    times a year, and I just couldn't be bothered (not least because they're
    all so plastic-fantastic and not designed for repeated rebuilding).
    Current house is 90% hardwood floors, and the traditional upright vac
    copes well with the other 10% :)


    Jules Richardson, Mar 8, 2010
  13. T i m

    terry Guest

    Well done indeed. And yes the high cost of labour these days does lead
    to much of the "Chuck it away and get a new one" philosophy! So if one
    can repair something oneself it is good. Not only has your fix reduced
    landfill/scrap etc. it has reduced the need for the industrial
    production of a new machine and the resultant pollution of that whole
    process. We have only bought one 'new' clothes dryer and that was in
    1960, still have it but looking for double ended motor to fix it.
    Currently using a dryer that got for a dozen bottles of beer some 5
    years ago. Also had returned to us a spare dryer that we had lent to a
    lady with four kids; it now needs only a blower belt (About 3 quid?)
    to be restored to full operation.
    terry, Mar 8, 2010
  14. T i m

    John Guest

    Well done indeed. And yes the high cost of labour these days does lead
    to much of the "Chuck it away and get a new one" philosophy! So if one
    can repair something oneself it is good. Not only has your fix reduced
    landfill/scrap etc. it has reduced the need for the industrial
    production of a new machine and the resultant pollution of that whole
    process. .

    I wonder how many kids bikes get replaced when a bit of old fashioned bike
    repair technology would have kept them going?

    Similarly - how many good TV's are dumped so that the owner can buy a new
    LCD / Plasma to watch the same programmes as before. Little "real" benefit
    in most cases (however, I can't wait for my rather nice JVC CRT to pack up
    so I can join in)
    John, Mar 8, 2010
  15. T i m

    T i m Guest

    I think something else we had was like that. As you say, not ideal.
    I thought of doing similar but for an oilier (thinking it was the
    tension pulley squeaking). Run a fine tube out to the side somewhere
    and apply some lube via a syringe.
    Indeed, how something expensive (like a car) can be written off
    because of what is often just one 2p diode or resistor (a mate repairs
    car engine management computers). And it's not even a matter of just
    swapping stuff out any more, relays and even car radios are now locked
    to the main computer so often need costly 're-programming). A mate
    recently spent £400 getting a new key for his car!
    Ooh, a bit of gas flowing / performance tuning eh! This dryer has
    left, right and rear vet outlets so the dead-end / unused ports do
    tend to capture some fluff etc. But then that doesn't matter as long
    as the used exit stays clear (and it generally does). It just tends to
    build up a bit of a skin of fine fluff (that won't even vacuum off
    easily) so I don't suppose it would do much harm.
    Yeah. Mind you, with some steel strip and the pop rivet gun and some
    epoxy filler to sort out any sharp edges I bet even that could be
    resolved. And who actually cares what it looks like as long as it
    I bet you could. I think pretty well all our appliances are used on
    the one setting, except the washing machine possibly.
    Yeah, whilst I enjoy the side effects of their popularity (plenty of
    spares etc) I'm no real fan either. Our main cleaner is a Miele Cat n
    Dog as it's way quieter than any Dyson. [1]
    We were thinking of replacing the old and worn carpet in the lounge
    with laminate [2] but I'm still not sure I like it. It always reminds
    me of (respectfully) a waiting room or the Chinese takeaway. I
    thought recently I was going to have to do it as I was told I was
    suffering some form of allergy ... possibly house dust mites or some
    such but that seems to have gone away as weirdly as it came?

    Cheers, T i m

    [1] Bought with the aid of a sound level meter in the local electrical
    shop. They seemed quite keen to entertain this particular 'nutter' as
    well, dragging machines out from the store just to see how they
    compared! ;-)

    [2] I found out they do a narrow Victorian floorboard look type
    laminate that I could put over these narrow Victorian floorboards!
    T i m, Mar 8, 2010
  16. Interesting idea. Ours squeaks just a little bit every once in a while,
    but it's not bad (or frequent) enough for me to want to trace it.
    Urgh, screw that. There's an AM radio in our ancient truck, but I'm not
    sure if it even works :) Actually though, perhaps what's worse than
    complexity is the lack of manufacturing service info for things. I mean,
    I don't mind computers in cars as such - providing I can get full
    schematics, diagnostic info, firmware dumps etc. free of charge so that I
    can fix problems myself. I still prefer simple engineering, but it's
    complexity hand in hand with closed, proprietary systems that really
    Ha ha! Yeah :) Actually I think it was here I posted when I was thinking
    of relocating the dryer to the basement, as I was worried about
    performance running through a long and potentially twisty duct. In the
    end I did move it and it runs about 10' through a 90-degree bend and two
    at 45 degrees, and so far with no ill-effects.
    Heh, that's true... especially with ours in the basement, it doesn't
    matter how it looks so long as it's functional.
    So long as it's not a big glued-together blob, anyway. Part of me thinks
    I should pull the timer module on it and figure out a wiring diagram for
    it *before* it breaks. Not enough hours in the day, though...
    Actually, the spares were part of the problem - I remember my folks had a
    Dyson and a little plastic widget at the end of the hose broke; Dyson
    didn't carry the widget as a spare, but instead wanted to charge me an
    arm and a leg for a whole replacement hose assembly. In the end freecycle
    provided what I needed - but it always bugs me when the manufacturer who
    makes the parts doesn't sell them as spares, but instead tries to palm
    folk off with some larger module (that grates with my frugal side, too!)
    Dyson. [1]

    I really don't know if I can get Miele stuff this side of the Atlantic -
    must check. I keep hearing good things about them (but then maybe they're
    not *that* good, and it's just that everyone else is really bad ;-)
    Ours are all hardwood strips of about 3/4" deep and 1 1/2" wide (which is
    quite narrow compared to most hardwood floors). A couple of the rooms
    could do with sanding and refinishing in a year or two, but the guy who
    lives next to us owns a hardwood flooring company, so I'm sure we can
    come to some arrangement :)

    It's astounding how much dust and debris collects on the stairs, though -
    dust and debris which otherwise would have been trapped by carpets.

    I've heard that from people with allergies, actually, that they seem to
    just come and go sometimes. I suppose it's something like you inhale
    something that disagrees with you, and that makes you really prone to
    other airborne things until your body figures it out - until the next
    time, anyway.

    We've got two dogs and three cats here, but thankfully all seem allergy-
    free (unlike the mother-in-law, which can be a blessing ;)
    I like that :) I'm almost surprised that they aren't required to publish
    noise info for cleaners, actually - it's probably fairly high up on the
    list of things that make a difference (although perhaps one that most
    folk don't think about at purchase time)
    Jules Richardson, Mar 8, 2010
  17. Yep - I see bikes being thrown out all the time whenever we venture into
    town. Problem is lots of things now use undocumented or over-complex
    parts - or the owner doesn't have the ability or tools to fix it
    themselves (understandable) but the repair shops that would once have
    done it have all gone.

    How to fix the problems, I don't know... society needs to be less greedy,
    but then manufacturers need to make things more repairable (more thought
    in the design, spares supply, published service info etc.).

    I can't see the point in "low grade" recycling (separating metals from
    plastics etc.) - not when we could be fixing things at a higher level so
    there was much less waste in the system.
    When it comes to computer displays, I much prefer CRTs to LCDs. LCDs just
    give me a headache, no matter how much fiddling I do with the controls.
    Something about the nature of the light output, maybe (LCDs always seem
    either too bright or too low-contrast).

    I've never owned an LCD TV, so can't really comment - but every time I
    see them in the shop, they're *too* sharp, giving everything a jaggy
    look, there's lots of banding between shades of the same colour, and lots
    of blocky artifacts within supposedly "solid" areas. Why anyone would pay
    so much to watch that, I'm not sure; high tech it might be, but that's no
    use if it ends up looking worse than a CRT. I could understand it if all
    I watched were movies where I could control the source somewhat, but for
    watching broadcast stuff it seems a bit pointless.


    Jules Richardson, Mar 8, 2010
  18. T i m

    Gib Bogle Guest

    A friend was getting rid of a motorbike ('86 Kawasaki 'Ninja' 250) that had been
    sitting in his garage for a year not working, and I offered to take it off his
    hands (I'm quite generous like that). I tracked the main problem down to a
    rusty petrol tank, and specks of rust in the deep recesses of the carburettor,
    and after fixing that and cleaning the rust out of the cooling system, assorted
    fibreglass repairs, and a few other minor issues, the bike ran well. I've been
    commuting on it for the past 6 years, and it has been totally reliable.
    Performs better than the Norton Dominator 500 I had many moons ago. I get a
    kick out of keeping something like this on the road, whereas the idea of a new
    bike has very little appeal. My Dad was always fixing things - it must be genetic.
    Gib Bogle, Mar 8, 2010
  19. T i m

    Gib Bogle Guest

    People like us are probably anti-social though - they tell us that the modern
    economy depends on everybody buying lots of stuff. If we didn't keep replacing
    all our stuff, where would the jobs be? It's kind of crazy, isn't it?
    Gib Bogle, Mar 8, 2010
  20. T i m

    Appin Guest

    The message <>
    £200 cost, perhaps. But not £200 value.

    After 5 years (and a "free" five year warranty that really paid for
    itself many times over) the only bits of our Dyson cylinder vac which
    were original were the dust jug and the metal tubes. Everything else
    had been replaced at least once -- including the motor and the cable
    reel. Other parts up to seven times.
    Appin, Mar 8, 2010
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