Diagnosing the Ills of a KA K5SS
I'm in the middle of what I think is a straight-forward repair job on my elderly KitchenAid stand mixer (K5SS), but I think I'm at the point where I'd profit from the collective wisdom of other KA users on this forum. About a week ago, I was about to put my unit to work on its weekly bread dough, and I had just put the dough in the mixer bowl – turned the machine on and as soon as the hook hit the dough, the hook stopped – motor kept running, no strange noises, but the torque was not there. Over the years I've heard a lot about the nylon gear that's intended to act as a fail-safe to protect the rest of the mixer – so I immediately stopped it, and proceeded to research how to get inside to check on the gear in question.
The more research I did, the more I was convinced that the behavior of the mixer indicated that it must surely be the nylon (plastic) worm gear that had stripped thereby causing an almost full loss of torque, while the motor was not affected. After a few more hours, I had found enough good instruction on the web that I felt comfortable in starting to dismantle the mixer. Without getting graphic -or going off-course- it took me a full 3 days, and at least 3 trips to the hardware store before I was into the guts of that baby, and could see the internal gears.
Here's the deal – now that I'm able to see all the inner workings, I frankly don't see any damage on that worm gear, or any other gear in there! And the more I looked at that gear, the more it looked like a steel gray metal, not the yellow material in all the photos and videos. Is there a chance that my K5SS actually has a metal worm gear? Or did the old original worm gears come in a metallic color? And is it possible that this gear has been damaged and that I may not be able to determine that fact?
I know some of you have done this same job and had similar experiences – if the worm gear is damaged enough to lose torque on the hook, would I be able to see that clearly on the gear? And if it's not the worm gear causing the problem, what might it be?
Thanks for reading and I hope to hear from a few of you – I appreciate your assistance.