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Rebuilding Sears Mower Spindles

mower spindle bearing rebuild

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37 replies to this topic

#16 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted May 27, 2012 - 07:16 AM

Sorry to hear that. Is there enough ground that it would cause problems?

#17 Utah Smitty OFFLINE  

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Posted May 27, 2012 - 09:15 AM

Sorry to hear that. Is there enough ground that it would cause problems?

Yeah, it was ground right in the seal area. I welded it up and turned it down... it still has some small pits... I'm not sure how best to deal with them. Also, it ended up turning about .003" smaller than original diameter--this bearing is a press fit, so I'm going to have to knurl part of the shaft for that.

Anyway, thanks for your reply.

U.S.

#18 Utah Smitty OFFLINE  

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Posted May 27, 2012 - 06:18 PM

Well, this is the results of my weld job. I have a Lincoln "buzz box" MIG welder that uses flux-cored wire. I preheated the shaft with a butane torch, then turned the heat way up on the welder. The welds had a lot of "holes" in them, and it took me a minute to figure out why... having the heat turned way up it was burning the electrode too fast and there wasn't enough flux to shield the weld.
Anyway, I welded a couple spots... then carefully ground them down to within about 1/16" of the shaft, then chucked them in my hobby lathe (one of the HF models that I've tweaked to allow it to turn about 20 rpm). I couldn't find my left hand bits for anything so I had to set up my toolpost with a RH bit angling out...

I didn't get quite the results I wanted...I ended up taking off about .003" diameter of the shaft--mostly from the side opposite the welds... I'm thinking that even though I was only taking about .005" at a time, the setup flexed when it would hit the welds, and then the bit "bounced" and dug in on the opposite side of the shaft.

After I turned them down I cleaned them a little with a fine-toothed file, then finished with a strip of sandpaper. The surface finish is pretty good, but there's still pits and some shallow lines in it...I know I'll need to knurl part of it in order to get a press fit for the bearing, but, do you think the pits will cause a major problem for the seal???

Thanks in advance,

U.S.

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#19 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted May 27, 2012 - 06:40 PM

These seals typically don't last that long anyway, & if the lip wears off, there's still a plenty of the seal to help hold the grease in, plus you have the steel shield. Greased regularly, these Timken bearings last almost forever. I always placed the lower bearing in the housing, then installed the seal. With a rubber hammer, then drive the shaft through. Use a pipe over the shaft to drive the upper bearing in, then seal & pulley.
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#20 Utah Smitty OFFLINE  

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Posted May 27, 2012 - 06:52 PM

... I always placed the lower bearing in the housing, then installed the seal. With a rubber hammer, then drive the shaft through. Use a pipe over the shaft to drive the upper bearing in, then seal & pulley.


Thanks for the info!!! Is there any set distance I need to drive the shaft on when pushing it through the lower bearing? It seems that the upper part of the flange would rub on the cub if you drove it too far.

#21 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted May 27, 2012 - 07:01 PM

Now you're testing my aging memory! LOL "IF" I am recalling correctly, you put the pulley on just far enough to start the retaining nut onto the threads. Then you use the nut to pull down the pulley to set the correct pre-load onto the bearings. You set them much like wheel bearings on front spindles of a rear wheel drive car or a pickup. You tighten the nut until you feel some restriction on turning the bearings. You want just a "slight" restriction...just enough that you can tell the difference. If it feels too snug, you turn the nut backwards maybe 1/4 turn at a time, smacking the nut end with a rubber hammer to take some of the pressure off the bearings. You need to have the shaft de-burred and smooth, as well as the pulley center cleaned up. Hard to do this with a too-tight shaft.
You definitely do not want any looseness in the bearings which will show as side play. With new bearings, I don't think the pulley can possibly get close to the housing, as it will bottom against the upper bearing first.
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#22 caseguy OFFLINE  

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Posted May 27, 2012 - 07:02 PM

...do you think the pits will cause a major problem for the seal???


Very nice job on the repair Smitty! Those pits look really small to me. If it were me, I would liberally grease that area where the seal will ride. There's never a perfect seal on them anyhow. they're designed to keep the dirt and debris out, not the grease in, so when you grease them in the future, the grease that pushes out of the seal will also help to keep the nasties out.
I have looked at the lathes at HF several times and just can't bring myself to spend the money on one. I actually have a friend who's selling a good quality lathe that's about 75 years old...trouble is, It's huge! One of these days it will come home with me, but not until I have a good place to put it. I have been surfing the local ads, Craigslist, etc... for a decent used milling machine also.
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#23 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted May 27, 2012 - 07:04 PM

Steve, once you get a lathe &/or mill....you won't ever be without one!!!!!!!!

#24 Utah Smitty OFFLINE  

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Posted May 27, 2012 - 07:08 PM

Thanks!! I'm not a very good welder, but I couldn't find another mandrel--this is actually for my mother's GT18--we both own one, but she has 10 acres in the country and needs it for mowing... She bought the tractor on my recommendation... got it with the mower, snow plow, Brinley plow, harrow, and discs for $750... We used the mower twice--I was riding it the second time and it started sounding like a handful of rocks in a washing machine...

I pulled the deck and the spindle and the lower bearing was disintegrated...

Mom's been very patient waiting while I fix it, but she's getting discouraged and thinking she shouldn't have got the tractor. I'm Number One Son, and have to take care of mom, so I want to get it running again.

Thanks for your input.
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#25 Utah Smitty OFFLINE  

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Posted May 27, 2012 - 07:11 PM

Steve, once you get a lathe &/or mill....you won't ever be without one!!!!!!!!


Yeah, I bought the HF lathe almost 10 years ago...it's the little 10 inch model. I wasn't into GTs at the time, but did a lot of minor gunsmithing and tinkering. There was a very active forum on the lathes that had all types of neat tips about how to get better performance on them... they're not too bad if you don't exceed their limits. I used it to make some mods to some air rifles I had, and made some pellet swages, etc., than let it set for several years. However, i've used it lately to make some parts for my 81 Yamaha motorcycle, and for this GT...

What I want now is about a 12x36 lathe with quick-change gearbox, taper attachment, etc. Also a small mill-Bridgeport style... There's so many things I could do if I only had them!!!!

Edited by Utah Smitty, May 27, 2012 - 07:20 PM.


#26 Utah Smitty OFFLINE  

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Posted May 27, 2012 - 07:18 PM

Now you're testing my aging memory! LOL "IF" I am recalling correctly, you put the pulley on just far enough to start the retaining nut onto the threads. Then you use the nut to pull down the pulley to set the correct pre-load onto the bearings. You set them much like wheel bearings on front spindles of a rear wheel drive car or a pickup...


Now you're talking language I understand, LOL!!

I remember I worked at a service station/garage between my junior and senior years of high school (I don't want to say how long ago that was, but LBJ was still President!!) I had learned in HS Auto Shop to Set the bearings with a torque wrench, etc., but learned the "quick and dirty" method of tightening the spindle nut until you could detect a slight amount of drag at my job.

Well, when I went back to school, I did a brake job and bearing repack the first week of school. Used the garage method, and caught heck from the teacher... After that I was more discrete about who was looking when I put the front wheels back on, LOL.

#27 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted May 27, 2012 - 07:27 PM

You should have no problem then setting the bearing preload. I have never used a torque wrench, always by feel.

#28 Utah Smitty OFFLINE  

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Posted May 28, 2012 - 12:44 PM

These seals typically don't last that long anyway, & if the lip wears off, there's still a plenty of the seal to help hold the grease in, plus you have the steel shield. Greased regularly, these Timken bearings last almost forever. I always placed the lower bearing in the housing, then installed the seal. With a rubber hammer, then drive the shaft through. Use a pipe over the shaft to drive the upper bearing in, then seal & pulley.


OCH:

When I started to put the mandrel back together, I found there wasn't any place for a lip-type seal to go... The lower bearing sits almost flush with the end of the housing. There is a mandrel "cap" that sits on the shaft and is a very close fit around the outside of the outer housing -- approx. .030" to .040" clearance, but that's it.

The upper bearing is recessed about 1/4" from the top of the housing, but the sheave has a boss that projects down into the housing--apparently to ride against the bearing and adjust it per the procedure you mentioned.

Yet, when I look at the exploded views of the deck assembly, both in the paper manual I have and the online manuals I've found, it shows a "metallic seal" (Item 26, p/n 882R). Of course the Sears parts site says it's no longer available.

The other difference is that the sheave on my mandrel is a heavy, cast iron piece with two sheaves machined into it, while the exploded view shows a pulley that's held on to the sheave with 3 bolts... I checked the deck number-- 917.253582 (917.253580 is the same)... Hmmm

Is it possible that there's an error in the manual, -or- maybe I have a different spindle that replaced the original.

Any enlightenment you (OR ANYONE ELSE) can offer would be appreciated.

#29 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted May 28, 2012 - 03:59 PM

I recently sold all my Sears arbors, so I have nothing to take apart & check. Seems like I remember some having nothing more than a washer that filled the area to serve as a seal of sorts. As to the pulleys, most all the 42" cut decks had solid one piece pulleys, while the 48" cut decks had the bolt on type center pulley.
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#30 Utah Smitty OFFLINE  

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Posted May 28, 2012 - 11:38 PM

I recently sold all my Sears arbors, so I have nothing to take apart & check. Seems like I remember some having nothing more than a washer that filled the area to serve as a seal of sorts. As to the pulleys, most all the 42" cut decks had solid one piece pulleys, while the 48" cut decks had the bolt on type center pulley.


Okay, that explains the exploded view. There was a "metallic seal" on the top bearing, bur any seal on the bottom was destroyed with the bearing. I just pressed the bottom bearing on the shaft, filled the cap with grease, then packed the housing cavity with grease, and the bearings themselves, then pumped grease into it until it came out of the ends. Then, I adjusted per the "touchy feely" method... ;o}

I put the deck on mom's tractor tonight and started it up.. everything worked well and she was very pleased... Number One Son has redeemed himself....

I took pictures of several of the steps I took while doing this project. I'll post them later... I gottat get to bed... 3:30 comes early....





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