HELP - My Dryer Squeaks - The Sequel (replacing front bearing)

11:07 AM

Readers of this blog know that i've enjoyed a love hate relationship with my dryer.  When it works I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!  When things go wrong - not so much!  The upside of my dryer drama is that since i'm a DIY kind of girl all of these fixes have been  quite an education.

Here's a quick recap of my dryer adventures:

August 2012 the dryer ran normally and dried the clothes but there was a VERY loud squeak.  It started out loud enough that I had to close the laundry room door.  Within a month a loud metal on metal sound could be heard thoughout the house even if all doors were closed.  That turned out to be a worn rear bearing.  Here's how I fixed it.  

May 2013 the dryer stopped spinning.  That turned out to be a broken dryer belt.  Trouble shooting and fixing the belt are on this blog.

When I replaced the belt I noticed that the front bearing was significantly worn.  It seems that one (or more) of the glides had worn out.  (More on glides in a minute).  With the belt replaced, I put the dryer back together so that we could continue to do laundry while waiting for the necessary parts to arrive.

After the belt was replaced the dryer developed a new squeak.  I assumed (correctly) that this new squeak was from the worn front bearing.  I ordered the parts, but continued to use the dryer (with the laundry room door closed) while waiting for them to arrive. 

Disclaimer:  Pretty much everything I know about my dryer i've learned from other blogs, 800 repair lines and the internet, so take the information for what it's worth. 

The first time I the dryer began to squeak and squeal I learned that my dryer has 2 bearings.  (Front and Rear).  The loud metal on metal sound that I heard during my first dryer repair was the rear bearing.  I removed the drum and replaced the bearing at the back of the drum.

The most recent "squeak" was plastic on metal.  Still loud, still annoying, but not fingernails on chalkboard annoying.  More like "oh god-what is that" annoying.   There are more parts with the front bearing, but it's MUCH easier to replace. 

To replace the front bearing I needed:
* front upper bearing

Front upper bearing
* glide kit (2 white, 2 green)

Glide Kit (2 white, 2 green)

* lower drum felt

Lower drum felt

* heat resistant glue

heat resistant glue

These parts (minus the glue) are available on for about $23.00.  For installation assistance, questions, fast shipping and great customer service check out Appliance Parts Pros.

The front bearing holds the dryer drum in place as it spins around.  The glides keep the drum spinning smoothly and prevent wear to the front bearing.  The lower drum felt offers cushion.



Next you'll need to remove the front/top of the dryer.    Don't remove the dryer drum.

You will be working on the front panel of the dryer including the dryer door.

Dryer Front Panel  (removed from dryer) 
Old top bearing (top)
New top bearing (bottom)
The old bearing is located at the top of the dryer panel.  Lay the door flat and tilt the plastic bearing out toward you.  Be careful of the light bulb.  It fits inside a hole in the top of the bearing.

My bearing was significantly worn.

worn bearing

New bearing
Add the slides to the new bearing

The slides fit into tabs on top of the bearing.  The GREEN slides go at the 11 o'clock and 1 o'clock positions.  The WHITE slides go at the 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock positions.

Replace the top bearing.  Make sure the light bulb fits inside the light bulb hole.

 Next, replace the lower drum felt.

Remove the old felt.  (It may or may not be glued in place.)

Old felt (top)
New felt (bottom)
The felt should fit around the lower half of the dryer door.

Dryer felt around lower half of bearing
Lay the felt in place, make sure it's centered.  Then glue it in place with heat resistant glue.  I used a drop or 2 of glue every few inches.
That's it!

Put the dryer front and top back on and dry your clothes!

Back in Business!!!
There are other DIY fixes on this blog.  Check out:

How to reset a washing machine

How to fix a leaky kitchen faucet

How to fix a leaky shower

Dishwasher Reapir - kind of

Troubleshooting the dryer - won't spin

Replacing the dryer belt

These instructions are for my GE dryer.  GE brands include GE, Hotpoint, Kenmore and Sears.

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  1. My dryer has been making a squeeling noise. I found that the front glides are worn away and the bearing has been worn down as well. is there an easy way to replace the front bearing and the glides? Thanks.

    1. Absolutely! This blog post give directions on how I replaced my front bearing and glides. I have a GE dryer. You'll do well to check with Appliance Parts Pros or some other parts place to make sure you get the exact parts you need.

      You should check the rear bearing. It's a pain in the neck to replace, so while you have the dryer taken apart you might as well do it. I did a blog post on replacing the rear bearing.

      Here's the link to replacing the rear bearing.

      Good luck!

  2. I've known of some people who let their squeaking GE dryer go and ended up with more damage then they bargained for. I've seen it more than once that these glides get worn down so badly that the drum begins to rub through the front panel. This is not a repair that you want to ignore. Good post! :)

  3. Well done - thanks for posting. Saved me a lot of time.

  4. Very helpful blog . Can save a great deal of time.

  5. Your approach to this topic is unique and informative. I am writing an article for our school paper and this post has helped me. Thanks.

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  6. Thank you! This was a huge help, solved two problems (squeak and a cracked front bearing that was catching clothes) and saved us from thinking we needed a new dryer!