setting dishwasher impeller height w/o gauge Kitchenaid/Hobart

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by AcidWater, Apr 8, 2013.

  1. AcidWater

    AcidWater New Member

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    Got a 1981 Kitchenaid dishwasher when they were still made by Hobart. Model KD-19. Finally wearing down but most parts discontinued !!!

    Shaft seal needs replacing. Manual says I have to shim up the drain impeller using a "touch" and "clear" gauge their part number TL-91043 but the part is discontinued from the best part's place on the net that I have been able to find. They do have the seal kit though. But no shims.

    How can I do this without the guage? It tells me "Limits of the seal height gauge are 0.606" to touch and 0.631" to clear." Not sure what I'm touching & clearing.

    Then there is another gauge TL-91767 used to check the wash pump impeller height.

    So the parts are adding up towards $100 and I can't get them all. Can't get the shims or gauges or some "bearing spacers" that go on top of the lower pump housing.

    So can I adjust this thing to make it work right -- or should I not waste my time and just buy another unit? Probably the closest quality today would cost $800-$1000. This cost $550 in 1981...
  2. Smooky

    Smooky Member

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    I have a KichenAid by Hobart Model KDS-20 . When I bought my house 17 years ago, the lady said it did not work. I just took her word and never messed with it. I got married two years ago. The wife said it would make her life better if we had one that worked. A friend offered to give us one that worked they just didn't like the color. So as they were on there way over with the dish machine I was taking out the old one I had. Turns out there was nothing wrong with it other than the water was turned off. I turned the water on and it worked fine. I put the other one in because I thought it would be more efficient and maybe it would do a better job and parts are still available. The new one is not as quite as the old one. Also the old machine is very heavy, it's built like a tank and still looks brand new. The wife is happy with the plastic GE I installed. The KitchenAid is still sitting in the kitchen, she's not happy about that.
  3. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades

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    3,812
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    Just save and use the old shims, and the spacing should be close. It may not even have or need any, unless you are replacing the impeller with a different one.

    You should be able to use a set of calipers, or make something out of wood that is the correct thickness.

    As long as the impeller is not binding against the Pump housing it should be fine. Make sure the impeller rotates freely. They want you to center the impeller into the middle/center of the pump housing.

    With one that old you may be better off buying a new one. What will break next ?

    The newer ones have better water jetting and wash better than the old school ones. But they don't last as long.


    Good Luck.
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2013
  4. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

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    1,763
    Location:
    New York, NY
    I personally don't believe that the new dishwashers "wash better" than ones from the 80s.

    What they do do is use less water and energy.

    Those are the design imperatives, NOT washing better.

    Just like with clothes washers. I'll put my 20 year old Maytag clothes washer -- that still has a HOT/WARM cycle from when those were not illegal -- up against anything out there today. It probably uses twice as much water as the new machine, but the clothes come out so clean and well-rinsed. Fortunately, in our jurisdiction, there is a vast surplus of water in the aquifer, and likely will be forever, so but for a natural inclination not to waste things, there's no harm to using our beautiful beast.
  5. jacobsond

    jacobsond DIY Junior Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    ND
    I service appliances.1981 dishwasher I would toss it.Old dishwashers are a pain (even new ones are) they dont preform as good as new.Just remember new dishwashers use less water so use less soap. Dont use the pods that is to much soap with the low water level. Now a 1981 dependable care Maytag washer I would keep that.We do bearing and seal jobs on those costing the customer $250 all the time. The machine is better than any top load on the market now with the exception of maybe Speed Queen top load.
  6. AcidWater

    AcidWater New Member

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    "Just save and use the old shims, and the spacing should be close. It may not even have or need any, unless you are replacing the impeller with a different one.

    You should be able to use a set of calipers, or make something out of wood that is the correct thickness. "
    >>>

    Well, the seal kit comes with a new impeller; I presume its because the old one will be worn, so might need more shims anyway?

    I could make a gauge IF I knew where the zero point is supposed to be. Does the gage sit on the top of the seal, or the outer edge of the housing, or what? I don't know where I'm supposed to measure FROM.
  7. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades

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    Houston, TX
  8. wondering

    wondering New Member

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    Acidwater: Go to Automatic Washer.org and ask about your KAid. There is a guy there that is a KAid specialist- Maybe more than one. They can even tell you places to find parts for your dishwasher that you normally can't find(Vintage etc).
  9. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades

    Messages:
    3,812
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    A Sears service center could help also.
  10. AcidWater

    AcidWater New Member

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    Sears useless. Local Hobart dealer has the shims. 3rd party seal kit with new impeller. I'll try the washer site.
  11. AcidWater

    AcidWater New Member

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    Got the parts; Hobart seal kit is number 00-435102- and it has the shim washers but does not have the gauges.

    I do not understand how to take my height measurements for clearance of the drain pump impeller.

    The seal is springy -- do I need to push it all the way down during the measurement? I guess so.

    The tolerences say .606" to touch and .631 to clear. So no lower and no higher?

    My distance is MUCH higher. Like around half an inch higher.

    Measuring from the seal "seat" (which I hope I don't scratch with my metal gauge) to the shelf on the shaft where the washers rest.
  12. AcidWater

    AcidWater New Member

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    Did I install the seal upside down? Seemed to me that the larger diameter side should face downwards.

    But maybe that large diameter seals on the outer diameter, rubber to rubber, against the seal washer in the bottom of the impeller?

    I was thinking it should seal metal to metal, on the inner diameter.

    ???? Somebody tell me before I ruin it by removing it with a screwdriver; its tight & the Hobart part was about $65.
  13. AcidWater

    AcidWater New Member

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    No, I installed the correct (smaller) side up, with the graphite ring up...
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