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John Deere LA165 Front Axle Beam


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#1 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted May 31, 2010 - 08:28 PM

My SIL needed me to come look at his front steering on his 2yr old JD165 lawn tractor. He said the front wheels were splayed outward from another, so not knowing the tractor, I figured a ball joint popped loose. Not the case. The main axle beam on the left side was bent toward the rear & twisted! Never seen cast iron bend like this, usually breaks 1st. Has it cast into the beam "cast iron", like a proud announcement, but the H-beam configuration is so thin it has no strength. The metal is LESS than 1/8" thick. He never evben hit anything. After he came through and up a small ditch....less than 4" deep and 18" across, he immediately seen the wheels had splayed out. The cheap MTD stamped box axles are stronger than that. Anyway, I got online with my local JD dealer & they have one in stock for $49.75 and he's gonna pick it up after his work shift tomorrow. I may just repair it there, or might take my trailer & bring it home. Sure as I try to fix it there, I'll need a tool I won't have with me.

Edited by olcowhand, May 31, 2010 - 09:52 PM.


#2 tractormike OFFLINE  

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Posted May 31, 2010 - 08:59 PM

That's interesting Daniel. I've never seen cast iron bend before either! Seen lots of it break before but never bend. It must be mixed with elastic filler material !!!!!

#3 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted May 31, 2010 - 09:54 PM

I'll take some pics when I fetch it. Decided for sure to bring it home to repair.

#4 mjodrey OFFLINE  

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Posted June 01, 2010 - 05:42 AM

That's interesting Daniel. I've never seen cast iron bend before either! Seen lots of it break before but never bend. It must be mixed with elastic filler material !!!!!

:ditto:

#5 hydriv OFFLINE  

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Posted June 01, 2010 - 06:48 AM

As a diehard Case guy, I am loathe to admit that anything could go wrong with my favorite tractor but bent front axles do happen. Like many tractors, Case uses an L-shaped spindle/king pin that places the true centerline of the axle a couple of inches lower than the cast iron axle. This design acts like a lever on the cast iron axle whenever the front tire strikes a substantial object. The result is that the axle gets twisted rearward at the bottom of it and forward at the top which changes the steering geometry and sometimes is bad enough that the front tire makes contact with the deck during turns.

Thankfully, these axles can be heated to cherry red, straightened and then cooled very slowly. Whenever I go and look at a Case I'm thinking of buying, this is one item on my list of things to check out. What Dan described is certainly extreme so it is instantly noticable. While many of you may have not encountered something as extreme as the bent axle on Dan's SIL's tractor, I'd be willing to bet that other brands of tractors that use cast iron front axles do get bent/twisted SLIGHTLY but that damage goes unnoticed. I have brought bent/twisted axles to the attention of sellers I've encountered and most of them are surprised to find this out. Often, they bought the tractor that way and just thought that the hard steering was normal.

#6 mjodrey OFFLINE  

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Posted June 01, 2010 - 07:55 AM

I suspect you are correct hydriv,I've just never noticed one .

#7 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted June 02, 2010 - 04:36 PM

Pulled the axle off this afternoon before feeding silage. Turns out the axle was cracked next to the center pivot. Looks to have been busted for some time, as the back side had worn down from the frame channel it rides in supporting it. Finally cracked & weakened enough to allow the severe twist that almost laid the tire to the ground in a hard left turn. When he went to dealer, they ran his purchase numbers & it had 18 days warranty left. Guess they didn't care to work on it, as they just gave him the axle over the counter. No biggy to put in anyway, and they'd have had his tractor at least 2 weeks. He'll be mowing tomorrow night when I drop it off. I'll snap a pic later...storms heading in at the moment.

#8 tractormike OFFLINE  

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Posted June 03, 2010 - 09:40 PM

Well at least you got the part under warranty, beats having to pay for it. Must not be the first one that broke seeing they had one on hand.




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