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Unfortunately you can't remove the center rod, it's part of the entire transmission. If the washer still drains and it still agitates, then your transmission has failed and the transmission would need to be replaced. This is quite a major job and requires specialty tools to remove the brake and seal kits. The part number is ***** and it costs about $280 just for the part alone. A technician will charge another $200 or so to install the transmission so it's likely time to just replace the washer rather than repair it at 12 years old with that kind of repair cost. Of course that is completely up to you. I'm sorry about the bad news.
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OK then that has nothing to do with the transmission. Does the timer stop or will it count down to the end without doing anything other than it's initial fill?
OK so the unit is counting down which means the lid switch and timer are working properly. You're going to need ot tip the washer backwards and disconnect the belt. Spin the 3 pulleys. The 2 smaller pulleys should spin freely and if not, then you need to replace the part above the pulley (one is the motor and the other is the pump). The large center pulley is the transmission. It should spin with very little resistance going one direction but have a lot more resistance going the other direction. Whatever pulley isn't spinning properly both directions needs to be replaced.
OK well I have already giving you an answer and my time, but you have not rated me for the help I have given you so far and you are asking for more time and help later today.
have a nice day.