Whirlpool WTW8120HW Top Load WasherWelcome to another edition of Neli’s DIY Appliance Repair Series, designed to lend a hand to the growing number of do-it-yourselfers like yourself out there who hate the idea of having to pay someone for work you can do yourself.  

The 8120 is the big brother to the 6120. The major difference between the two is the 8120 uses a magnetic clutch, while the 6120 uses the now-conventional splutch system, and has a .5 cu.ft. smaller wash capacity. The 8120 is at 5.3 cu.ft., and the 6120 is at 4.8 cu.ft.  

Look at the two diagrams below and you can see the differences between the drive systems. The 6120 isn’t designed for the heavier loads like the 8120, but if you keep load sizes to a maximum of a half-full basket, you shouldn’t have many issues related to spin and washing performance.  

For the 6120, item #6 is the cam/splutch assembly and engages/disengages spin and agitate. When the cam wears out, the teeth on the slider in the cam assembly wear down and can’t engage with the pulley, causing a loud squeal when it tries to engageUsually, the cycle stops cold and flashes the lid lock light and you’ll have a basket speed fault.   

F7E3 and F7E4 Error Codes

On the 8120, item #9 is the magnetic slider (a.k.a. shifter) and when it wears out, it sticks and won’t engage magnetically but won’t cause the same sounds. Instead, the cycle stops and the error code(s) F7E3 or F7E4 will appear. A bad clutch also throws the same code most of the time.  

If you replace the slider, pay attention to the new style clip on the gear case shaft holding the slider in place. It’s made from spring steel and will bend out of shape if you force it on or off. While you’re removing the clutch or the stator, remember the 7mm machine screws can’t handle much torque and strip easily, so don’t over-tighten them. For this, snug is fine.  

6120 Gearcase



8120 Gearcase

If you see oil dripping from the 6120 gear case, it’s over. Replace it and the cam assembly, too, including the belt. After installation, remember to load calibrate the control. Don’t try to run the machine if calibration won’t take or if you don’t know how. Refer to the tech sheet located on the top deck of the washer. It shows you the steps for calibration and how to enter diagnostics.  

Another error code, the F0E5 is an out-of-balance problem with a few causes other than suspension rods. In fact, suspension rods are at the bottom of the list as far as this error code is concerned. They wear out, but not as much as the wash plate (impeller). More often than weak suspension, the inner collar of the wash plate strips and causes the load to bunch up in the center of the basket. That can cause an unbalanced load that cannot correct itself.  

When the inner collar strips, the wash plate hardly moves because it’s disengaged from the gear case shaft, and the clothes can’t move normally. The result could be an F0E5, and for sure, poor wash performance.  

F0E5 Error Code

In the 6120, if you have a problem with no rotation or motor won’t start, take a close look at item #10 in the 6120 diagram. It points to the motor run capacitor. When they’re bad, you’ll first hear a brief sound that resembles a sparking sound the first time the motor should start, and the machine normally shuts down after. Do a visual check of the capacitor, mounted to the gear case close to the drain pump. If the body of the cap looks distorted or bent, it’s likely the cap shorted.  

The best check is using the capacitance mode on your meter and look for 50 microfarads. If it’s within one or two microfarads, you should be fine. Anything less, replace the cap and calibrate the control. Keep in mind that this applies only to the 6120. If the cap looks distorted and still checks ok, replace it because it’s going to fail soon.  

I hope you found the information here useful. Feel free to leave a comment. We love to hear from our readers! As always, if you need us, set up an appointment here.

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