Fix Your Overloaded Stand Mixer



OMG, my computer is being so slow today I'm going to stab myself in the eye with a fork! I've got about 14 tabs open on my Google Chrome including: Keratin Trea..., Food photog...., How to Fix a..., The Inventive..., Molten Choc..., The Ultimate..., Greenslove:..., Easy Spicy Ga... and Blogger of course. The How to Fix a... is referring to How to Fix a Kitchenaid Stand Mixer That Won't Spin, a handy little YouTube video I came across last week showing you how to take apart and replace a broken gear in your Kitchenaid, saving you hundreds of dollars, of course. I got way overzealous and got out my figurative toolbelt before realizing I didn't have the replacement part. After a few phonecalls I finally ordered the thing on Amazon for about $10, and I finally have the pictures and instructions to share with you! I'm so excited for this!

This is super easy and can save you hundreds of dollars from either a. buying a whole new stand mixer or b. sending the stand mixer away to get fixed by someone else when you are completely capable of doing it yourself. So, let's get to business. If your stand mixer is broken from any other reason than overloading, this isn't for you. When your mixer gets overloaded a specific little gear inside (called a worm gear) fails and needs to get replaced. When you turn it on you should still hear the motor run, but nothing should happen.

You're also going to need a new worm gear, which you'll have to order online. I got mine from Amazon for about $10. If you have Amazon Prime it will ship for free and be at your door in 2 days (love it!). You'll have to make sure you're ordering the right part for your model. Just go to this website and type in your model number (usually on the bottom of the mixer) and find the worm gear. Then type that number into Amazon and order the gear. Sounds slightly complicated, but I assure you it's all faster and easier than the alternative.

In case you were wondering, my stand mixer failed on a particularly dry batch of homemade fondant. I accidentally added too few marshmallows and turned the mixer up to high speed. Other things that might overload a stand mixer: kneading tough batches of bread for long periods of time, thick sticky cookie doughs, and homemade marshmallow. Here's how to fix your mixer.

How to Fix an Overloaded Classic Kitchenaid Stand Mixer

1. Order the correct worm gear.

  • Ok, so this is the easy part, but also the most important. Here's the website you'll want to use. Flip the mixer over and look on the underside for the model number...it's usually a long number/letter combination. After you locate your model it'll come up with a few diagrams of the mixer. Go through each until you locate the "worm gear". Click on it and either order it from the website or copy and paste the part# into amazon. 
  • I have a classic Kitchenaid that most people have and this is the gear I ordered. Get this one if your appliance# starts in 3K45, 3K5, 4K45, 4K5, 4KPD16, 4KSM150, 4KSM50, 4KSM90, 5K45, 5K5, 5KPM5, 5KSM150, 5KSM156, 5KSM45, 5KSM5, 7K45, 7K5, 8KSM90, 9KSM150, 9KSM5, BEA30, K45, K5, KDM5, KSM90, KP50, KPM5, KSM100, KSM103, KSM111, KSM120, KSM150, KSM15, KSM155, KSM158, KSM160, KSM45, KSM5, KSM50, KSM75, KSM90, KSM95, or KSMC50.

2. Gather your tools.
  • Don't worry, this requires mostly basic household tools. Here's a list of what you'll need:
    • Phillip's head screwdriver
    • Flathead screwdriver
    • Pin punch (although I jimmy-rigged one from a tool bit for most of the process)
    • Hammer
    • Putty knife, butter knife, or spoon
    • Lots of paper towels
    • A few rags you don't care about
    • A paper plate or regular plate to put dirty equipment on
    • Your new worm gear
3. Take apart the mixer.
  • Yup, you got it. We're going to take this baby apart, appliance repairman style. You can do this, what's a little screwing and messy hands (that sounded really bad!)? I promise, although it seems like a lot of work it's really just a handful of screws to take out, a pin or two to punch out of a hole, and a whole lot of icky black grease. It'll probably take you an hour to replace the gear, and five minutes to put it back together. This video on YouTube explains it perfectly for you, and shows you exactly how to do it so you know if you're going the wrong way. I also included my own directions and pictures, just 'cause. 
    • First step is to take the back casing off the mixer. It's held on by a tiny screw. Don't lose it!  


    • Now use your flathead screwdriver as a wedge to knock off the ring around the rotating part of the mixer. Position your screwdriver like you see in the photo and use some pressure to pry the ring down. It's totally easy. 



    • Now there's a tiny little pin you're going to have to punch out to remove the spinning mechanism-thingy. So just take the pin punch (yes, I have a ghetto jimmy-rigged pin punch thing) and hammer that pin out. 



    • Now you can pry off the spinning mechanism. Use the flathead screwdriver as a wedge and just pry that sucker off. Eventually you can get enough leverage to pull it the rest of the way down. Stick it somewhere that can get messy.



    • Now you're going to unscrew those five screws in the picture and put them somewhere safe. We're getting ready to take the top off this baby.


    • There's two more screws on the underside to remove, and two more on the back end. One of the screws on the back end will have a round washer attached to it, keep in mind. Once  this is done, we'll be able to lift the top off.



    • Get ready to lift off the top! First you'll need to pull the cord out from the back of the mixer like you see in the picture. Then just use your muscles to pull the top from the base. Don't be alarmed at the insane amount of grease! We'll deal with that in a second.





    • Look at all the grease!!! See why you need a lot of paper towels and rags? You have to remove some of it so you can see what you're doing. Use a putty knife/butter knife/spoon and scoop the excess grease from the base of the mixer and put it right into the top. Don't throw it away even though it's icky. 





4. Remove the broken worm gear and replace it.
  • Now that you've got everything taken apart you'll need to get rid of the broken worm gear. This is the part that gets really messy due to all the greased parts you'll be handling. Keep rags and/or paper towels right at hand and wipe down anything you need to see more clearly. Water and soap aren't going to help here, just use the rags and wipe. 
    • First, remove the part holding the worm gear. It's held in place by two little screws. 

    • The worm gear is right there in yellow. If you notice that there's a piece of the gear missing you can probably find it in the grease, like I did. There's another pin to remove (smaller than the previous one). Use your pin punch and hammer again. It gets slippery from the grease and the rotor may try to turn on you. Place it on a non-slip surface like a rag, and hammer hard until it comes out. 


    • Take out the gear holding the worm gear in place. Then remove the worm gear itself. It has two round washers on either end - save them! I was getting impatient at this point, so I didn't take as many pictures. 

    • Put the washers at either end of the new gear and replace it!!! You just did that (yup).



5. Put the Kitchenaid back together.
  • So, I wish I had taken some pictures of this process, but it's pretty self explanatory. Put everything back in reverse order. There are a few points you'll need help at, though. 
    • When you stick the gear that holds the worm gear into place, you'll need to swivel it around to align the holes for the pin. 
    • There are two little "buttons" that hold the entire worm gear piece into place on the mixer - you can use them as a guide.
    • When you replace the top of the mixer, there's a hole that the large metal rod fits into. 
    • There will be a small space between the top of the mixer and the base when you put it on - don't force it down! Stick a pin punch inside the hole of the spinning mechanism (where you punched out the first pin) and spin it around until the gears align (you'll feel this happen) and the top slides down the rest of the way.
    • When replacing the spinning mechanism, the same is true. Rotate the gears until they're aligned. You'll also have to align the holes to get the pin back in. You can use a pin punch or screwdriver to pry the holes together (watch the video if this doesn't make sense). 

6. Marvel in all your handywoman/man glory.



10 Response to Fix Your Overloaded Stand Mixer

March 16, 2012 at 11:21 AM

I live in fear of this happening to my Kitchenaid one day. Thanks for this useful post!

March 16, 2012 at 1:24 PM

OMG! i can't believed you did that....brave rat! lol! love that attitude! mine needs cleaning for sure, lol!

March 16, 2012 at 5:50 PM

Say What!!! I can't believe you did that by watching a video!! Holy Cow.. you have totally impressed me beyond belief!! Seriously... you need to be awarded a prize for that!! Great job. Have a great weekend!! ~ Ramona

PS... I am still drooling over your mortar and pestle. Is it available somewhere I can buy one too?

March 16, 2012 at 5:55 PM

You are WOMAN, hear you roar!!! I'm so impressed!

March 17, 2013 at 6:07 PM

Just what I was looking for (my wife)

March 17, 2013 at 6:07 PM

Just what I was looking for (my wife)

April 4, 2013 at 6:22 PM

Thanks!!

Anonymous
April 11, 2013 at 4:24 AM

Mine died after a couple of months of making pizza dough once a week and using 2 cups of flour. I also have a the heavy duty lift bowl model. Kitchenaid is simply not up to the task of needing pozza doi on a weekly basis. If you want that, get a Bosch or Electrolux. If you dont beleive me go on Amazon or look up youtube and why there are 125k views on a video about how to replace the worm assembly. Ad no, the HD models metal gear also breaks off the exact same way. If you are making butter.. Or cookies.. Or cake.. Go ahead get a kitchenaid (although id get a hand mixer). If you are going to be using this machine for what is should be used for - kneading dooughs, then forget about it.. Yes i also have the memories of growing up with a Kitchenaid in the kitchen and i guess i expected it to be a qaupity product that stood the test of time.. Lol.. I think we've all been conned.

Anna B
July 10, 2013 at 11:21 AM

That's exactly how I busted my stand mixer - too stiff fondant. Will try our instructions and see if I can't do this myself! I was crushed when it broke!

September 6, 2013 at 4:51 PM

I got my mixer in 1967... yes. Had it refurbished a couple of times by a small appliance person, but they're long gone, so I guess it's up to me. My question is whether or not you should get rid of the dirty grease and get some clean stuff? I hate to think what's gotten caught up in mine.

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