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Author Topic: Jenn-Air Refrigerator, Freezer Drawer won't Close  (Read 7754 times)

Offline TechnicianBrian

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Jenn-Air Refrigerator, Freezer Drawer won't Close
« on: August 18, 2008, 06:54:39 AM »

Model #JFC2089HTW, the freezer drawer on this unit would not completely close on the upper right side resulting in a noticeable air leak, frost building up around the opening and poor cooling in the freezer. Because I have seen this problem many times one these units, I knew where to go to solve this alignment dilemma.

Building a Better Drawer
The Jenn-Air bottom mount refrigerator (also sold as Maytag, Kitchen aid, Amana, and Dacor) has a freezer section drawer that utilizes a rack and pinion type gear setup to ensure proper drawer alignment. Because of the size of these drawers, it is difficult to build in enough rigidity into the drawer itself to ensure it doesn't flex with an added weight load, while keeping it light and still allowing the drawer to be removed. So what the engineers did, was to design a very lightweight frame that utilizes this gear system to ensure if the drawer is closed by pushing on the left side, the right side will follow and both sides of the drawer front should contact the cabinet together and seal. The setup works very well, but many customers have found a way to get the pinion gear to skip a few teeth on the rack, resulting in a now miss-aligned drawer.

Keeping everything Aligned
The key to alignment of the drawer is the pinion gear which has a set of half-teeth molded on opposite sides of the gear (see photo) which fit over a corresponding crescent molded into the rack. This crescent is located at the end of the rack gear and serves as a home position for the drawer. If the drawer becomes out of alignment, the full teeth will begin to roll over the crescent alignment point and begin to damage the plastic (again see photo) but you may not notice any extra resistance when opening the drawer.

Making things Right
I find the easiest way to fix this problem is to remove the drawer itself which provides easy access to the drawer frame. Then with a little outward pressure applied to the rails, the pinions gears along with there mating shaft can be removed allowing both rails to move independently of each other. Once the gears are out, pull the rails to the stops then with the same outward pressure, reinstall the pinion gears and shaft ensuring both gears have the half teeth sitting in the home position over the crescent of the rack. Return the drawer to the frame and everything should operation properly again. You may notice, depending and the make and model, that the drawer cannot be removed from the rail because it is held in place by a screw, or worse, a rivet. If there is a screw in place, remove it and proceed as before, but if you have a rivet, leave it alone and just use a long screwdriver to assist with the flexing of the rails. It will still work, you just won't be able to sit down to do it.