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  • Sears

    Posted on MrJimPhelps Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums Outside the box Rants Sears

    This topic contains 26 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  MrJimPhelps 3 weeks, 4 days ago.

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    • #1869731 Reply

      MrJimPhelps
      AskWoody_MVP

      Apologies to those of you not in the United States. I certainly don’t mean to exclude you.

      After visiting Lowes yesterday, I no longer have any sympathy for Sears in their current plight.

      Sears recently sold off their Craftsman line of tools and clothing, apparently to raise money to try to stave off bankruptcy. Unfortunately that was about all they had that was of any real value, and now it is gone.

      Yesterday in Lowes, I was amazed to see all of the really cool tools that are in the Craftsman line. Good quality stuff. I don’t recall seeing half of that stuff when I visited Sears in the old days (before they sold off their Craftsman line). I will never understand why Sears didn’t feature these high-quality items in their stores while they owned Craftsman, including their Craftsman work clothes. I had no idea that Sears sold Craftsman work clothes till I went shopping at a Sears store closing and found some Craftsman work pants mixed in with all of the other clothes. They should have made them very visible and emphasized the Craftsman line, stating that Craftsman hand tools had a lifetime warranty. And they should have displayed Craftsman work clothes in the hardware dept, next to the Craftsman tools.

      Kenmore appliances has been the one other thing that Sears has had of value. But now that all appliances are computerized, there isn’t much to set apart Kenmore appliances from other brands. Back in the pre-computerized days, you couldn’t find anything better than a Kenmore washer and dryer. I recently needed a washing machine, so I purchased a refurbished non-computerized Kenmore washing machine. Built like a tank, and even I can fix it if it breaks. (Kenmore washers and dryers rarely broke.)

      Oh well; at least I can still get Craftsman tools and other products at my local Lowes. And hopefully replacement parts for my Craftsman riding lawn mower. Best lawn mower I have ever owned – it just goes and goes; it rarely breaks down. And when it has, it has been very easy (and cheap) to get up and running again.

      Group "L" (Linux Mint)
      with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
      6 users thanked author for this post.
    • #1869816 Reply

      Lars220
      AskWoody Lounger

      I always liked Craftsman and Kenmore also. I had a 32 year old Kenmore clothes washing machine that finally gave up its $300 + transmission, but I am still using its mate, a now 41 year old gas clothes dryer. Just remember to clean the lint duct that eventually clogs up, and probably soon it will need replacement, but yes, the older Kenmore = non computerized, were very well built and reliable. Thanks for the post MrJimPhelps – here is a recent, 01 July 2019 link about the current status of Sears:

      https://www.investopedia.com/news/downfall-of-sears/

      3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #1869877 Reply

        MrJimPhelps
        AskWoody_MVP

        I have a Kenmore electric dryer. It wasn’t drying very well, so I disassembled it and vacuumed out every bit of lint I could find. I changed the belt and put it back together, and it’s been working like new ever since.

        It was easy to disassemble and reassemble. There are plenty of Youtube videos which tell you exactly what to do.

        Group "L" (Linux Mint)
        with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #1869878 Reply

      MrJimPhelps
      AskWoody_MVP

      The one thing that Sears could do to get back in business would be to make and sell the non-computerized washers and dryers that they used to sell. I think they would sell lots and lots of them. All washers and dryers in those days were Kenmore-compatible – Kenmore was the standard that all others followed. They were king of the hill in those days.

      Group "L" (Linux Mint)
      with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #1869886 Reply

      anonymous

      Hello MrPhelps and Lars, It’s that anonymous guy again and I would like to join in.

      We too had / have Kenmore Appliances and Craftsman tools.

      We had a Kenmore 1985 Washer and Dryer and the Dryer is still in commission. We had the washer’s transmission rebuilt years back by a local repairman. It lasted about 3 years and failed again. At that time we had to replace our Kenmore washer after 33 years!

      We are so upset and dismayed at the new GE washer space saver style. The new computerized washer is for the birds. I have a list as long as your arm of complaints, but to make is short, one does not have the control over the wash as it was with the analog dial. The OLD washer had a smoother spin than the NEW washer. Wow, what quality. Wash cycles are 3 times as long as the older washer which one could adjust themselves. How can this be “environmentally friendly” if it uses 70 minutes and water to wash instead of 23 minutes? Yeah I know it supposed to use “less water and electricity but still a 70 minute wash? This smaller washer also cost 3x as much as a normal washer. Is this the phrase, “less is more” comes in? We have also investigated a new Dish Washer. They can take up to 90 minutes to wash! Our present one takes less than 30 minutes for a heavy soiled wash.

      If the new GE fails we may look around again to find a quality rebuilt Kenmore, but I do have my doubts. With the Kenmore, every part was obtainable, EXCEPT the transmission. Since we already had it rebuilt once, we reluctantly moved away to a new washer and now regret it.

      MrPhelps, like you I too have recently replaced the sensors of our Kenmore Dryer and all is well with it. Also I believe the Kenmore washer were made by Whirlpool for Sears. And yes they were top notch.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #1870043 Reply

        MrJimPhelps
        AskWoody_MVP

        I’ll bet you could get an aftermarket transmission, or perhaps a used one. There are so many Kenmore washers out there, there have to be lots of spare parts of every type.

        Of course, you could always buy an identical refurbished machine and then use the other one for parts. That’s what I’m doing. We have an Amana that is basically a Kenmore with “Amana” on it. The Amana controls started acting up, so I bought a refurb Kenmore. I keep the Amana in the shed and strip parts off of it. I’ve already stripped the water pump from it – it was a perfect match for the Kenmore water pump, which had started leaking.

        Group "L" (Linux Mint)
        with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #1870136 Reply

          anonymous

          Hi MrPhelps, Thanks but its like “shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted”. Yes I knew about the videos and had watched some for “other issues” with the washer. While I am good a repairs and sometimes do a better job than some repair people, I decided to get another washer mainly because, this was previously agreed upon. I did find a NOS (new old-stock) transmission on eBay. It cost a mint, but the older I get the more I PREFER to rebuild and stick with what works – even if it costs a lot more. This has now been reinforced with the purchase of our new GE washer. Everyone here now agrees that “newer is not always better”.

          Thank you for this information and if you run across any other concerning Kenmore Washer/Dryers, please post. We feel in a -few- years this GE washer will probably fail. At that time I may be in the market for a used/refurbished Kenmore like you did. There also may be others out there nearing this situation and it will help them.

          The internet searches have proved very successful for me. We have a 55 year old Freezer that is still running thanks to finding a NOS defrost timer online.

      • #1870047 Reply

        MrJimPhelps
        AskWoody_MVP

        Rebuild kit for a Kenmore washing machine transmission. I believe the guy said it was $16!

        Group "L" (Linux Mint)
        with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #1870067 Reply

        MrJimPhelps
        AskWoody_MVP

        Another how-to video for rebuilding your washing machine transmission:

        Group "L" (Linux Mint)
        with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
    • #1869947 Reply

      JohnW
      AskWoody Plus

      I predict that analog appliances (and cars, etc.) will make a big comeback if we ever get a major solar CME event like this today!

      Solar Storm of 1859 (the Carrington Event)

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_storm_of_1859

      What is the Carrington Event?

      Carrington Event

      Were this event to occur today, the induced current would destroy, perhaps permanently, the American power grid system, shutting down power for years. Water, communications, food delivery, emergency systems, Internet, all supplied power by the grid would cease to function. Some scientists predict even smaller electronic systems, such as those in cars, cell phones, and basically anything with a computer would be damaged or destroyed by the induced current. No developed country would be spared.

      • #1870229 Reply

        access-mdb
        AskWoody MVP

        Um, but there won’t be any power – so how can they be built or run?
        Still the rich will be OK – they will just have to sell some bitcoin…oh
        Some stocks and shares…oh

        I have to say there nothing like those Kenmore washing machines etc on this side of the pond. It’s pretty much all automatic and rarely lasts more than a few years (built in obsolescence)

        • #1870410 Reply

          JohnW
          AskWoody Plus

          Well, the essentials like the power grid would likely be the first to be restored. But those electronic devices based on silicon chip technology would likely be fried (since a static charge can blow them, imagine what a high energy solar flare that was powerful enough to power telegraph lines without batteries would do to those little microchips).

          So as soon as power was available, those old analog/mechanical Kenmores and such should become priceless!

          Just as there is a 100% certainty that a big earthquake will hit southern CA someday, experts say we are overdue for another big CME blast from the sun. We just narrowly missed one in 2012 that was equal to the power of the Carrington event. It blasted into the Earth’s orbit, but fortunately we were not there at that time. Our infrastructure and governments are really not prepared, and have never been tested by such an event.

          National Space Weather Strategy and Action Plan Released

          https://www.swpc.noaa.gov/news/national-space-weather-strategy-and-action-plan-released-0

          Executive Order on Coordinating National Resilience to Electromagnetic Pulses

          https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/executive-order-coordinating-national-resilience-electromagnetic-pulses/

          • #1871474 Reply

            jabeattyauditor
            AskWoody Lounger

            Well, the essentials like the power grid would likely be the first to be restored.

            How do you “restore” all the melted-down nuclear facilities?

            • #1871579 Reply

              JohnW
              AskWoody Plus

              I’m not assuming that the nukes will melt down. Since I’m not an expert in the subject, some further reading could shed some informed light on that issue. Probably any transformers connected the power grid will take the biggest hit and melt down, and that could take years to fix.

              Maybe with a couple days warning, the power companies could perform a preemptive shut down of the power grid before the storm, by opening breakers, taking assets offline, shutting down reactors, etc., which might lessen the impact to “wired” tech.

              I’m just speculating here, as I don’t believe that the detailed research study on vulnerability and impact has been completed yet. Those responsibilities were outlined in the recent Executive Order.

              But I did read where experts said the best possible recovery case could take from 4-10 years.

    • #1870334 Reply

      willygirl
      AskWoody Plus

      Oh well; at least I can still get Craftsman tools and other products at my local Lowes. And hopefully replacement parts for my Craftsman riding lawn mower. Best lawn mower I have ever owned – it just goes and goes; it rarely breaks down. And when it has, it has been very easy (and cheap) to get up and running again.

      We have an older Craftsman riding lawn mower and recently bought replacement parts on eBay with great results. New blades and a main part I can’t remember at the moment. That machine keeps running smooth and now with the new fix it’s like new. Great post Mr. Phelps, we miss Sears and I agree they should have had better advertising of all their fine products like the clothing line. Kenmore washers and dryers are the best.

      Win7 SP1 Home 64-bit

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #1871128 Reply

        anonymous

        Hello Willygirl, we have conversed in the past. Let me tell you and others a story of a friend of mine with their riding mower. It does not matter what brand or even riding type if it has a gravity feed gas tank to carburetor.

        Our friend was telling us when they mow after about an hour, it dies. Humm, could it be heat? If it sat a bit, it would then start. Hummm, could it be heat?

        They took it into the lawn mower repair shop and they said it was the carburetor and replaced the carburetor. Next mowing it dies after an hour. Hummmmmm could it be heat?

        I told them to do this the next time it dies. IMMEDIATELY when it dies, get off go to the back and remove the gas cap, count to 3 (for fun), put it back on and try to start the mower. Voila, it started!

        What was happening is the gas cap vent is partially plugged and not allowing enough air into the tank to compensate for the gas used. Eventually it would not flow enough and die. Removing the cap allowed air into the tank and reestablished atmospheric pressure inside and it was fixed, until the next hour session.

        Note: there was a few mentioning on the web that their mower (Sears) could have a wrong fuel filter. It was said some filters had too small a micron filtering and would restrict flow. They recommended a 75 micron for gravity feed. Not sure I totally buy into that since it ran an hour. But I mention it anyway.

        Another situation for some mowers could be the Fuel shut off valve. One said, “It turns out that there is a gas solenoid cut off switch that was over heating and failing. Once replace, problem gone. Solenoid screws into bottom of carburetor and easy to replace.”

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        • #1871540 Reply

          willygirl
          AskWoody Plus

          Anonymous – Thanks for all the great tips, and if we have any of the issues you mention concerning our mower, I’ll refer to your comments here.

          Win7 SP1 Home 64-bit

    • #1871542 Reply

      bosun1
      AskWoody Lounger

      Normally I’m just one of the non-posting readers but the Sears lawnmower post sucked me in (G).

      Sears.  When I was young, Craftsman tools were a good non-professional tool.  Towards the end of Sears, you had to read the fine print on which Craftsman tools had the lifetime guarantee.  Wife worked in one for a while.  They would do stupid things like get rid of the appliances (washers, driers, stoves, etc) and try to sell mattresses in the space. Store has been long closed.

      My Sears riding mower still goes after all these years.  It is actually a re-badged Murray, parts available on ebay.

      My mower would stop and I would have to loosen the gas cap and let air in.  A paper wasp had filled up the caps air hole with clay..

       

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #1871843 Reply

        anonymous

        Hello Bosun1, Is that for “Boatswain’s mate first class”? Thank you for your comment. It confirms what I was thinking and it is nice to know there is another out there with that issue, now fixed.

        It sounds like a “dirt or mud dobber” was trying to make a nest there. I would had thought that hole would be too small but whatever.

        Thank you again for joining in.

    • #1871841 Reply

      wavy
      AskWoody Plus

      FWIW
      Ace hardware stores are selling their stock of Craftsman tools at a discount.

      🍻

      Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #1872802 Reply

      cptomes
      AskWoody Plus

      FWIW
      Ace hardware stores are selling their stock of Craftsman tools at a discount.

      Ace was selling pre buyout (Sears sold Craftsman tools to Stanley Black and Decker – the DeWalt guys…) Craftsman tools for a few years as a last ditch effort to make money.  When I looked, it was all the cheapest made in China junk.

      Sears retained the rights to make and sell Craftsman tools in Sears stores.  At the same time sbd was coming out with a MUCH improved line of Craftsman tools sold mostly through Lowes.  Lots of confusion in the marketplace.

      Everyone is waiting for the idiot that has driven Sears into the ground to finally cause Sears to completely implode and file for bankruptcy.  Last I knew they are still barely hanging on but it won’t be long.  The tools that “Sears” Craftsman are selling are basically Harbor Freight junk at this point as far as I can tell.  All the Sears stores near me closed so I have no way to go and look.

      I have a big pile of Craftsman tools all bought back when “Made in USA” was on every tool and there was no problem exercising a lifetime warranty.

      This guy has some great posts on the Sears/Craftsman saga.  https://toolguyd.com/

      Hey look! Another Feature Update!

      You mean I shouldn't click Check for Updates?

      Why does it keep saying "Something Happened"?

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    • #1876589 Reply

      anonymous

      I want to thank Mr.Phelps for starting this forum or thread(?) if it is called that. I like WOODY’s and I feel it is a good place to share information even if that information is not computer related.

      I have had good luck finding parts for an old Kenmore and other house appliances we have by looking on the internet. One does need to have the parts manual that came with the purchase (we do) or one must diagnose what is wrong and then; remove the suspect part, test and if found defective, get the part numbers off that part. Once armed with the part numbers and Make/Model of appliance, you can have a VERY positive result in finding the item you need. The part may still be manufactured or may not. If it is still manufactured try to stay with name brand since they are supposedly made to a higher certified specification. If it is no longer made you may be lucky to find a New Old-Stock (NOS) item and might consider going for that even if it costs more since it does appear the older manufactured parts are superior to the new ones … mostly. That is my opinion. We have kept many of our older appliances running with NOS or even used components.

      For example, take a Kenmore Dryer. The dryer may fail to dry properly (too cold) or dry too well (too hot) so look at replacing the thermostat. The original thermostat may be a specific one for your dryer, but today, for inventory reduction, there is a new thermostat that is adjustable. Part Number WP694674 (AP6010610) replaces 660039 and similar. You move the pointer to the letter (A, B, C) which corresponds to a heat rating (160 F) and install it. Don’t forget for safety, there is also a HIGH limit temperature thermostat (250 F) for overheat protection.

      For those with Whirlpool/Kenmore washers, and have a spin balance vibration issue, see these Whirlpool pads some call “bushings”. “Replacing these pads (Part #285744) will nearly always correct this problem.” REFERENCE: http://www.davesrepair.com/DIYhelp/DIY285744.htm

      –WOODY ADMINS LOOK CLOSELY AT THE SITE AND SEE IF IT IS OK TO REFERENCE–

      For people needing a inlet water valve for an ice maker, dishwasher or similar, here is a inlet valve replacement kit mentioned by another person to use, “…part number W7438 as a substitute. So I bought a kit(W7438K-2)to see if it really would fit, and it turns out it does. So if anyone’s interested, the part number for the diaphragm all by itself is W7438. For the rest of the parts seen in the photo below you can order the kit, pn W7438K-1 or K-2. K1 contains one diaphragm and the associated hardware, while K2 contains two of everything. The K2 kit also includes new inlet screens and rubber washers for them that I left out of the photo. There are likely many other valves that this kit will fit as well.” REFERENCE: http://www.automaticwasher.org/cgi-bin/TD/TD-VIEWTHREAD.cgi?45624

      I ordered kit W7438-2 and it did fit for the job I was doing on a dishwasher.

      Another tip is once you replace a component on your appliance, see if you can KEEP the original part you removed. By keeping the original you have a perfect reference to what you need if another is required. The original will be in your hands as you do research on the internet. Believe me, once I had the originals in my hand with the numbers, the replacements popped up. There can also be discrepancies with what you have in hand and what the parts book says.

      I hope this information helps people.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #1876601 Reply

      Mr. Natural
      AskWoody Plus

      I agree completely with Mr. Phelps observation. Sears should have sold whatever they need but keep Craftsman and the appliance line which were always their strong point. The current guy in charge there has been accused of stripping and liquidating Sears for his own benefit.

      Regarding washers and dryers. Whirlpool used to be a good product but not anymore. I bought a new whirlpool washer and dryer about 4 years ago and the washer died after about 3 years. The cost to repair was almost half the cost of a new one.

      I talked to a repair guy about this and he recommended Speed Queen washer and dryers. These are made in the USA old style appliances with none of the fancy settings. All metal parts and transmission. This is what laundromats use because they can handle the abuse.

      My Speed Queen washer is great. Nothing fancy but does the job and will likely last a very long time like the old Kenmore appliances did.

      Red Ruffnsore reporting from the front lines.

      3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #1916758 Reply

        MrJimPhelps
        AskWoody_MVP

        Speed Queen is very expensive. My refurbished Kenmore mechanical washing machine cost me about $250.

        Having said that, I’m sure my wife would love it if I showed up one day with a Speed Queen washer and dryer!

        Group "L" (Linux Mint)
        with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
        • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 4 days ago by  MrJimPhelps.
    • #1876661 Reply

      SueW
      AskWoody Plus

      Here’s some encouraging news (that some of you may already know): https://toolguyd.com/craftsman-hand-tools-usa-factory-news-052019/.  It’s a start . . .

      Win 7 SP1 Home Premium 64-bit; Office 2010; Group B; Former 'Tech Weenie'

      • #1885143 Reply

        MrJimPhelps
        AskWoody_MVP

        If you ask me, I’d say that Lowes and Craftsman have a very strong partnership, and that’s the reason why we won’t see Craftsman tools sold at Home Depot. Lowes wouldn’t be revamping their stores’ entire tool departments (so I’ve heard) if they didn’t have a rock-solid exclusivity agreement.

        I agree that that has to be the true reason that Home Depot won’t be selling Craftsman tools.

        Well, what do you know? Lowes finally got the jump on Home Depot in something!

        Group "L" (Linux Mint)
        with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #1885445 Reply

        anonymous

        Hi SueW and MrPhelps I am glad to see the new factory being built in the USA. I also remember about a year ago Home Depot was advertising if you brought in a Craftsman tool they would replace it with a Husky tool. So maybe Lowes does have a good agreement.

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