@tekochip, you can put a bit of silicone grease, or some similar high temperature lubricant on the felt and it does reduce the wera rate. And be certain to clean up the rubbing area on the drum, since it can develop some roughness that is quite abrasive.
My dryer is built shoddily with an eye towards profit as well. The machine has been running for 16 years now, but about every two years I have to tear the machine down and replace the felt seals and nylon "bearings", which are nothing more than rubbing blocks that the front of the drum rests on. I miss my 1967 Maytag that only needed a dab of grease every now and then.
John, I am sure that the replacement of the metal blower with a plastic one was one of those "DFM " project decisions, and it probably did reduce the cost a few cents. But I never said it was an improvement.
I'm sad to hear that the qualtiy of whirlpool dryers has deteriorated that much. My current 28 year old whirlpool is still running strong. It is almost identical to the one I grew up with that lasted more than 30 years as well. The only maintenance I did on either of them was occasionaly vacuuming off the lint, and replacing the bearings that support the drum every 10 -15 years (they get very noisy but work just fine). The blower cage in both of these gas dryers is metal, not plastic.
William, the situation you describe is much more common when your customer is a manufacturer, instead of a consumer. I'd buy appliances--or any other consumer goods--the same way, too, if I could--and I try to. I've saved several of these MbM columns when they discuss an item I'm likely to have to buy.
I would guess that somehow the portion of the burner control that limits the flame had failed and the flame got a lot bigger and hotter. That could happen if the gas jet orfice was not installed correctly, and fell out, which would allow a much larger flame. It could have been much more exciting. That would be a rare happening.
Ann, when my customers in the automotive industry talk about quality it means meeting their specifications initially and continuing to meet those specifications for some particular length of time. At one plant the demand was for some very limited number of hours of scheduled mantenance per year. What that amount of time wwould allow was a quick check of calibration for two pressure transducers. Afrter a few checks the comment I got was:"now I see why you selected that (expensive) brand of transducers."
I would buy appliances the same way, if real information was available. But to find out anything worth knowing, a lot of effort is required. Made by Monkeys is useful, but it requires a god memory and reading each one carefully.
William, I've heard the same basic sales pitch and it's obviously not true--for me or for you. As a consumer, I get tired of having a company's advertising slogans aimed at me, instead of a sales pitch tailored to my needs and interests. I don't think it's the standard meaning of words that's been corrupted so much as how words are used in the consumer advertising and selling environment and the whole concept of what's being sold and how. Once upon a time, consumer goods were supposed to last longer and consumers were supposed to want that. Some of us still do, as evidenced by the comments on our Made by Monkeys blogs.
willy k., as I stated if you already invested time and energy it making it work, then I hope it serves you well with minimal continued preventive maintenance. I think the takeaway from this discussion is the older is better. No surprise. Our economy is based on excess consumption and waste. Personally, a warranty and extended servce contracts are vacuous promises. I don't buy durable appliances based on future work. Reputation and track record are tenible.
Fifty-six-year-old Pasquale Russo has been doing metalwork for more than 30 years in a tiny southern Italy village. Many craftsmen like him brought with them fabrication skills when they came from the Old World to America.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.