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Rebuilding Sears Mower Spindles

mower spindle bearing rebuild

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37 replies to this topic

#1 Utah Smitty OFFLINE  

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Posted May 18, 2012 - 12:53 PM

I have a 42" mower on my GT18. The lower bearing on the center spindle disintegrated and I'm in the process of rebuilding it. I got the bearings, and even the seals for it, but am not sure how to put it back together. I searched for information here on GTT on how to reinstall the bearings, seals etc. on the mower, but haven't found any information.

It looks like the bearings are pressed onto the shaft. As I see it, this would require that the lower seal be put on the shaft where the blade flange is, then the lower bearing cone pressed into place on the shaft. The shaft would then be placed in the spindle housing (which already has the new bearing cups installed), but I'm not sure how you would drive the lower seal in, or ensure that it was seated properly. I also wouldn't want to press the shaft in with the bearing seated in the cup as this would stress the rollers, etc.

I also can see that the upper bearing needs to be pressed down on the shaft once the shaft is in the housing, then the seal is installed, then the pulley. How do you know if it's seated properly?

Does anyone have the procedure for this? I have a manual for the mower, but it doesn't help--just the exploded parts view.

Thanks in advance,

Utah Smitty

                       

#2 MH81 OFFLINE  

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Posted May 18, 2012 - 02:29 PM

Ive gone with aftermarket quills so far, when this cam up. Wish I could help you Smitty.

best I can do is :bump: the thread.
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#3 Utah Smitty OFFLINE  

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Posted May 18, 2012 - 03:59 PM

I haven't seen aftermarket quills for this particular spindle. This one has a steel outer housing, and the shaft inside has a shallow channel on one end where the blade attaches, the other end has a keyway for the pulley and a nut, but that's it. The bearings are pressed in somehow.

#4 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted May 18, 2012 - 05:28 PM

A few pics and some model #'s might help the rest of us see what is going on!

#5 Utah Smitty OFFLINE  

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Posted May 18, 2012 - 11:03 PM

Okay... I've forgotten how to post pictures to the forum.. Couldn't find how when I searched... can anyone help me?

#6 caseguy OFFLINE  

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Posted May 18, 2012 - 11:41 PM

If you click here it will take you to the tutorial for uploading pics. Also, in the lower right hand corner of the reply box is a tab that says "more reply options". Click that and then scroll down to where the tab says "browse". that will allow you to select the pics from your files. When you've selected the pic you want, click the "attach this file" tab. When the box showing that your file has been attached appears, click "add to post". That's all there is to it. One thing to remember is that wherever your cursor is blinking when you click add to post is where the pic will be. Hope that this helps.

As far as the bearings and seals go, I'm not very familiar with your particular tractor (even though my Dad has one), however most mower spindles have what's called an interference fit between the shaft and the inner races of the bearings. That means that they are a tight fit, but that they can be driven on fairly easily. Just be sure to drive them by the inner race so as not to damage the bearings. I also believe that you can install the bearing and seal in the lower end of the housing and then carefully drive the shaft into the seal and bearing. The top bearing can then be installed followed by the top seal and the pulley. As to knowing when it's seated properly, there's usually a lip inside of the housing, sometimes it's a snap ring or a machined "ledge" where the bearing is supposed to rest. In the applications I've experienced, you can't "accidentally" drive the bearing in too far because of the ledge or snap ring. I hope that you can get some pics up. I'd like to see one of the inside bore of the housing just to confirm what I've told you.
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#7 Utah Smitty OFFLINE  

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Posted May 19, 2012 - 12:42 AM

2012-05-18_18-24-32_287.jpg

This spindle is a little different than the others I've seen--mostly from Cub Cadets. This spindle didn't have a seal on the lower bearing, just the cup-shaped dirt deflector--probably the reason the bearing failed.

Sears 42 Mower Ctr Spindle.jpg

If you put the seal on the shaft, then drive the lower bearing on, pressing only against the center portion, then you still have to figure out how to get the seal and bearing into the outer housing as you don't want to push the shaft in too much, or the bottom of the cup will rub against the seal when it's turning.

Sears 42 Mower Spindle Hsg.jpg

The flange is welded to the shaft so you can't push the lower bearing on, then the seal.
Sears 42 Mower Blade Flg.jpg

I could try pushing the center of the bearing with a sleeve over the shaft, but inside the housing (if there's room)... that's about the only way I can see to do it.

I'll post the exploded parts view in another post.
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#8 Utah Smitty OFFLINE  

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Posted May 19, 2012 - 12:59 AM

Sears Mower Parts Exploded.jpg

Sears Mower Parts List.jpg



Okay, here's the exploded view of the mower deck. The parts in question are Items 21 thru 30. Item 21 is the complete spindle assembly with pulleys. Items 23 thru 30 are the individual components.
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#9 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted May 19, 2012 - 04:11 AM

That is a bit tricky! I'm sure you'll get it figured out!

#10 caseguy OFFLINE  

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Posted May 19, 2012 - 10:04 AM

Looks overly complicated to me! Not being familiar with this type of Mandrel, I feel like I'd need to see it in person to get a better handle on it as the exploded view doesn't help much. I can see why it's frustrating you. I'll be at my Dad's in the next couple of days and maybe I can take a look at his deck and spindles. they're probably hanging on the wall because he uses the GT18 mainly for snow plow duty these days. You may be able to buy a comparable semi-sealed bearing (sealed on one side only) for the bottom. That could save you from a future failure. That's not gonna solve the assembly issue though.
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#11 Utah Smitty OFFLINE  

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Posted May 19, 2012 - 11:44 AM

I hadn't thought of getting a sealed bearing for it. That would solve a lot of problems.

However, I've already bought the bearings for this, so I need to use them if possible.

One solution that came to mind was to install the lower and upper cups, then pack the lower bearing with grease and place it in the cup then drive the seal in behind it. Then, if I put a sleeve down inside the housing that's small enough OD to ride on the inner portion of the bearing, but large enough ID to let the shaft slip through it, I could press on the sleeve and force the bearing, and spindle housing, down over the shaft--taking care to leave some clearance between the seal and the bottom of the shaft. Using the same sleeve I could then press the packed top bearing down over the shaft into position on the cup, then drive the seal in over it... I'll have to see what size sleeve I would need to do this--I'd need something with walls as thick as possible so it won't crumple when I use it to push the bearings into place.

Another question:

Does anyone have a specific type of grease they use for the spindle bearings. I know it needs to be extreme pressure--I'm thinking of Lubriplate or Valvoline wheel bearing grease--any suggestions?????

Thanks,

#12 MH81 OFFLINE  

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Posted May 19, 2012 - 12:57 PM

I've always used plain old lithium grease. "Farmer Grease" if you will. If it'll take the abuse on a PTO shaft running a baler, cutditioner, etc... It should handle a mower deck.

As for the exploded view above, gosh I wish I could help. I've just never been into one of those. It's truly an over engineering marvel, isn't it?
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#13 caseguy OFFLINE  

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Posted May 19, 2012 - 09:59 PM

I have always used a general purpose (Moly EP) grease in my spindles. It's the same thing that I use in everything with a grease fitting.
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#14 Utah Smitty OFFLINE  

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Posted May 26, 2012 - 03:10 PM

Well, I had to use a die grinder to get the inner part of the old bearing off the shaft. In the process I ground into the shaft... :o{

Does anyone know of another shaft available or the whole spindle assemybly? The shaft number is a 634A423; Spindle (Mandrel) assy is a 634A922 ir 634A923.

If not, I will have to weld it up then try to turn it back down... this has gotten to be way more of a project than I'd hoped...

#15 caseguy OFFLINE  

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Posted May 26, 2012 - 09:04 PM

Well, I had to use a die grinder to get the inner part of the old bearing off the shaft. In the process I ground into the shaft... :o{

Does anyone know of another shaft available or the whole spindle assemybly? The shaft number is a 634A423; Spindle (Mandrel) assy is a 634A922 ir 634A923. If not, I will have to weld it up then try to turn it back down.


Well, I looked around the web. I found one supplier who still has a few in stock...They want $210 for one! Looks like you'll be doing some welding and turning my friend!

... this has gotten to be way more of a project than I'd hoped...


That happens a lot in this hobby LOL. With any luck, you'll get one that wasn't as much work as you thought it would be next!
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