All Mixed Up

20 Jan

Corinne was in the kitchen yesterday making some of her mom’s famous “Snow Bread”, using the dough hook on her beloved KitchenAid stand mixer. It sounded like the machine was struggling a bit, but that happens when mixing dough because it has a lot of resistance. She also claimed it was getting a little hot (I felt the machine and it was beyond what I would call a little hot..)

At one point, the dough hook got stuck, making an awful grinding noise. She turned the mixer off and pulled the dough out to finish kneading it by hand. However, upon turning the mixer back on to make sure it was OK, we discovered it was not. The mixer was working, but it was making a noise that was not pretty.

As she finished up prepping the dough for its first rise, I began researching repair and replacement parts online.

I found a very helpful video that described exactly what part was likely to bad, and how to disassemble the machine, replace the part and reassemble it. It turns out that there is one gear in the drivetrain that is nylon, while the rest are metal. This nylon gear acts as a “fuse” of sorts by purposely being the weak point between the motor and the blades. While it is a bit of a pain to have to replace this, I’m sure it is about $100 cheaper than the motor it is intended to protect. It seemed like this was the likely cause of this noise and, while I was tempted to simply order the part, it seemed wise to confirm the damage and make sure there was no further carnage.

Follow along as we tear her down!

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Removing a roll pin on the lower shaft using a punch and a brass hammer. Seems low tech but this is exactly how it’s installed at the factory!

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Now that the outer planetary gear ring is exposed the 5 screws holding that in can be removed.

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The rear electrical cover is removed as well to free up the cord strain relief.

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After 4 screws below are removed, the motor housing can be lifted off, revealing the grease-covered drivetrain. (Luckily the video warned of this or it would have been quite shocking!)

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And here’s a view of the damaged gear.

A few more screws and one more roll pin and it’s out. I’ll wait ’til the replacement comes in to pull that out.
In the meantime, all the hardware I removed is neatly labeled so I know where it goes when it’s time to put it all back together.

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The replacement part can be found for as low as $4, I’ll probably order 2 just in case another stiff dough wreaks havoc again in the future…

Doing this ourselves is probably saving about a hundred dollars or so, if we could find a local place to do the repair. The mixer weighs about 35 pounds, so if we had to ship it to be repaired you could tack on another fifty bucks, probably.
We may replace the grease as well because of the shredded gear fragments and the fact that grease is known to break down under high heat conditions. Stay tuned for the follow up!!

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One Response to “All Mixed Up”

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  1. Kitchen Aid – Aid | Titus Road - January 6, 2014

    […] This post is a follow-up to the post “All Mixed Up” […]

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