Evidently the older Whirley Pops had better construction than the newer ones with the plastic gears. One of the gears broke in half on my popper and was wondering if anyone had ever bought new gears and where? I bought the popper used so the warranty does not apply. I wrote Whirley Pop but have gotten no response. I have used it by just shaking the whole pan and it works fine. I just don't want to wear a hole in the bottom of the thin aluminum pan though. Any ideas?
Welcome to the world of BYT! I too have a Whirley Pop, but mine is made by Showtime and it has metal gears. I have heard of the problem with the plastic gears and many times that it is due to melting/cracking due to too much heat being used. Basically my rule for popping corn is to only use MEDIUM heat. How that translates to the Wirley Pop is that I don't turn up the burner so that the flame goes outside of the ring that runs around the center of the bottom of the pot.
Another thing is that when you start to feel resistance towards the end of the popping cycle....STOP TURNING and turn off the heat. At this point you can shake the popper.
You should be able to get replacement gears from Whirley Pop as I asked about the plastic gears breaking. They said they have metal gears if you want them, but that was last year. Also all of the information I wrote above about too much heat and stop turning when you feel resistance came from them too. I was hesitant to buy one of their poppers because of the plastic gears, so I contacted them and they gave me that information. However, at around that time is when I found someone selling the Showtime Whirley Pop and it had the metal gears. Naturally I snatched it up.
Probably the best thing to do is try to contact the company again and ask if they still have the metal gears. If they have only the plastic gears, I guess you should be fine if you follow the instructions above.
As a last resort, I have a friend that is into RC cars and he says that he has problems with his differential gears stripping out and he has replaced them with metal ones. The Whirley Pop does use the same kind of bevel gear arrangement as a model car differential does. Who knows, you might be able to fix that Whirley Pop with model car parts! LOL!
At any rate, if you do come across an older Whirley Pop or a Showtime popper with the metal gears, snatch it up!
Hope that helps you out!