Replace Frigidaire FWT445GES2 Washing Machine Door Lock Assembly

My washing machine door would buzz sometimes, presumably due to vibrations from the solenoid coil. But worse, the door started popping open sometimes during the wash cycle. This machine has been running since the mid 90’s. I’d prefer to keep it running rather than landfill it and replace it with a more complicated modern machine that probably wouldn’t last nearly as long.

My friend noticed that the strike plate on the door, the one with plastic barbs that fit into the holes on the door lock assembly, had one of the barbs broken off. That might account for the door popping open.

Unfortunately, it’s not nearly as simple as ordering a new strike plate. No, we couldn’t have that. It turns out the whole door lock assembly has been redesigned and the strike plate has been redesigned to match. The new strike plate will not fit into the old holes. The whole barb has been rotated 90 degrees. If you replace the strike plate with the new incompatible one and close the dryer door, you’ll not be able to open the dryer door, until you force it at which point plastic in the door lock assembly will crack (my experience).

The old parts are very difficult to find, and if you do, cost upwards of $250. It’s best to go with the new door lock assembly and the new matching strike plate.

Old door lock assembly part number: 131269400
Superseded by new door lock assembly part number: 131763202
New door strike plate part number: 131763310

The new door lock part can be gotten for $25 shipped, even though some appliance parts sites list it as much as $130. The new strike plate is $7. With a little effort and under $40, I hope to get another 10 years out of this machine.

The new part numbers are advertised as compatible with the FWT445GE2, and technically they are, but only if (1) the entire wiring harness is replaced, or (2) you are willing to make a couple wires with spade connectors crimped on and follow the instructions down below.

This video on YouTube is instrumental to learning how to open the rubber lining, get to the door lock and redo the connections to the new door lock. However, it assumes the replacement part is identical with the original. It is not!

How to replace the Door Lock Assembly

The new assembly fits perfectly where the old assembly was. However, the connector pins are very different. The old assembly has 6 wires: two female spade connectors to the solenoid, a female connector with two pins, and two female spade connectors that go to a microswitch. The new assembly has 8 male spade connector pins.

After some Internet research, I found a diagram from a 2012 post that maps the old wires coming from the washing machine to the connector pins on the new lock. It turns out that each of the 6 wires has a unique color coded insulation so you can tell them apart, and each goes to a specific pin on the new lock. Here is the image, in case it becomes even more difficult to find:

Image copied from post below copied from parts pros copied from…

The two-pin connector from the washer has the “red and white” wires. Rather than cut that connector off, I made some extensions as suggested in this post:

https://www.applianceblog.com/mainforums/threads/417-39012890-need-help-with-wiring.57225/#post-285344

I went to the auto parts store and bought some 16-18 gauge spade pins. Two male and two female are needed. Then I took two 4-inch lengths of wire, put a male one one end of each and female on the other end of each. The two male ends plug into the two-pin connector from the washer. I wrapped that connector and the pins in electrical tape so they wouldn’t pull out. Then the other two ends connect to the spade terminals on the red part of the door lock assembly.

The other four wires plug in where noted on the image above. It’s a bit tight to get in there, but I was able to connect those four pins without making more extensions for them. We have white & blue/white that go to a 120V coil, and black & black/red that go to a switch. The coil and switch are shown in a little diagram embossed on the gray part of the door lock. The remaining two pins apparently go to another switch that remains unused.

Next, screw the door lock in place. Then apply little dabs of contact adhesive and position the rubber lining back in place over the metal lip.

Result: the door closes fine, the washer works just like before and the door remains closed and locked.

Note: I was dismayed to find the new lock made an even louder buzzing sound than the old one when it is first closed. The buzzing stops when the door is pressed firmly closed. So my advice is not to try to replace the door lock merely because it is buzzing; that will not work. Replace it if the strike plate needs to be replaced, or if the door lock otherwise does not work.

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