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Front Axle Spindles - How Much Play Is Acceptable?


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#1 Tennblue59 OFFLINE  

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Posted June 18, 2012 - 12:19 AM

Got the 72 square fender 110 home yesterday and started playing around with it. One of the issues is the play in the front end. I can turn the steering wheel almost a 1/4 turn without the front wheels moving.

I am going to adjust the steering box and the steering yoke and see how much play that takes out. Also know I need to replace a couple of the tie rod ends because they have a lot of play in them. I have a shop manual for a ROUND FENDER 110/112, and the "pieces" look the same, so I should be able to use those instructions to rebuild/adjust the steering components, correct?

My first question is about the spindles - they have some up and down play in them where they go through the axle, and allow the spindle to rock some. When I pull them out, the bushing doesn't show visible wear, and the spindle doesn't have wear tracks in it. How much "play" is normal in this fitting? I couldnt find any wear limits in the manual..... I see that there are bronze/brass bushings in the axle, would these wear before the spindles - so I could replace the bushings without replacing the spindles? Or is there a better way to fix this?

Second question is about the front axle - same thing, there is wobble and play in the king pin fitting. Have not taken it apart yet, but wondering if some play is "acceptable" in this joint, or if it needs to be a snug fit? According to the diagram, there are replacable bushings in there as well....

Anyone replaced these before? I see I need a reamer to finish fit them... And wondering how hard the old ones would be to get out....

My gut tells me that these joints need to be tighter and that some of my slop is coming from these points. Suggestions?

#2 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted June 18, 2012 - 04:50 AM

I don't have a 110 but bought a well worn 314 last year with very loose steering. I think the axle pivot bushing should be replaced or adjusted, again I am not familiar with a 110. There really should not be any slack in that. Sometimes you can adjust the slack out by tightening the bolt. I replaced the bushings in mine. As far as the axle/spindle bushings go there is always a bit of slack in those . If you actually measure the spindles and bushings you can determine the extent of the wear. Typically I have seen worse wear at the spindle/wheel bearing end of the spindle. In my 314 I replaced the wheel bearings,axle pivot bushing, tie rod ends, all the other small bushings in the linkage and adjusted out as much slack as possible from the steering gear. If the 110 has the Ross type steering gear it is adjustable to remove a lot of the slack. The result was very good steering with no noticeable slack. You are on the right track. Unfortunately this can get expensive. I spent over 100$ on parts, but in the end the steering was put right.
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#3 Tennblue59 OFFLINE  

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Posted June 18, 2012 - 08:36 AM

Thanks Brian I knew I had talked to someone who had been down this road before, but couldn't remember who it was...

I went to JDParts last night and made a "worst case" list of parts I would need. But at least is all available.. I'm gonna go mike out the bushings and see if they are round or oblong and how much play there is.

Will also pull the axle and see if I can evaluate/fix that spot. I'll work from the steering wheel down and see how much is left when I get to the spindles - may not even need to mess with them if fixing everything else helps enough. Was just wondering about them since they don't show typical signs of extreme wear...

I even thought about reaming the existing bushings in place, turning the spindle shaft down and sleeving it to fit better. Guess I wil see how all the other repairs do first.

#4 HowardsMF155 OFFLINE  

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Posted June 18, 2012 - 08:56 AM

Well, it isn't a John Deere, but I rebuilt a Massey front axle (JD MUST be built as good as a Massey,right? :bounce: ) The spindle bushings and axle pivot bushings were replaceable sleeves. The wheel bearings vere replaceable also. I found all bushings and bearings at my local bearing supply store. Bushings were about $2.00 each (6 per axle) and the bearings were about 7$ each(4 per axle) .

Good luck

#5 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted June 18, 2012 - 04:05 PM

Mine was kinda scary to drive with all that slack in the wheel. I'd say it was almost a quarter turn. A lot of that was in the steering gear itself. As you fix each worn part you can see where the next bad spot is.

#6 Tennblue59 OFFLINE  

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Posted June 18, 2012 - 11:37 PM

I adjusted the steering gear today - took a lot of play out of there. Also disassembled the steering yoke - there are an adjustable pair of cones in that fitting that should take out some more slack. While I had the yoke off, I painted it and started prepping the underside (after I pressure washed everything...) for painting while it is apart. So didn't get to put the yoke back in and see how much that helped.

I also measured the shaft in the axle where the spindles mount - the spindles only show a little wear, but the bushings in the axle are egg shaped - mostly on the top. Bottom isnt that bad.

I also noticed that the tabs on the spindles (and the fittings on the yoke) were bent out of plane. According to the service manual this is "often a result of the wheels impacting something at speed". :p Added a little heat and a big hammer and straightened the yoke out. Will probobly use the hydraulic press to straighten the spindle tabs. While I have them out and am on a roll, I may weld in braces in the curve like those on the heavy duty spindles.

I took the front axle off - remember there was play in that joint. The bushings were fine, but the king pin bolt was worn on one side. So I think a new bolt will solve that problem.

Will see how much all this helps bring the steering around (no pun intended...).
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#7 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted June 19, 2012 - 04:07 AM

How are your wheel bearings.? Mine were shot. Replacing them was a nasty little job as they came out hard and I didn't have a press to install the new ones. Made a big difference though.

#8 hdg4400 ONLINE  

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Posted June 19, 2012 - 09:28 AM

Good Luck with the steering. I had a similar problem with my 318, Got the part number for the bushings from jdparts.com, googled it on the internet, and was able to get them fairly cheap. Putting them in ,along with other adjustments, made a big difference.

Harlan

#9 Tennblue59 OFFLINE  

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Posted June 19, 2012 - 10:01 AM

Brian, wheel bearings on one wheel were in good shape- smooth with no burrs or marrs on them. The other side were pocked and will need to be replaced. Strangely enough, both sides were adjusted and not sloppy. I got the races and cup out (hammer and punch) without too much trouble (had to go to hammer #2, a bigger one than I started with :orangecool: but they finally gave in...). Will run to Napa and get the new ones.

Harlan, do you remember where you got the bushings? Deere wants $11 each for them, and I would need 4 to replace all. We don't have a bearing place nearby, so it would be a trip into the big city to find them "locally". Don't mind ordering them - Deere probobly won't have them in stock anyway and will have to order them. Then gotta figure out how to get the OLD ones out. Service manual says to press them out, but there is not much of a lip for the press arm to catch. After looking at the king arm bushing (it's way thicker), the spindle bushings have a lot of wear in them if they started the same thickness.

So it looks like its time for a parts run break. Gonna remount the tires on rims and do some rust control/painting on the underside of the frame while it is up on blocks and stuff is out of the way. Then go work on the Ford for a while....

#10 hdg4400 ONLINE  

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Posted June 19, 2012 - 02:21 PM

I still had E-Mails about the order. I got them from MFG Supply. I bought 2 at $2.85 apiece, and the shipping was $6.99.

As for getting the bushings out, I found a piece of metal conduit that fit in the axle, and carefully moved it around matching the bushing and the conduit, pounding it out a little at a time.

Again, Good Luck.

Harlan
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#11 Tennblue59 OFFLINE  

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Posted July 16, 2012 - 11:22 AM

Thought I would post an update on this.... I got replacement bushings for the spindle/front axle joint off Evil Bay - were not for my specific application but were the correct size and dimension. Ended up being about $6 each with shipping - still better than the $11+ Deere wanted for them.

I measured the id of the axle hole and turned down a shaft to fit my press to push the bushings out.

IMG00538-20120702-1843.jpg
IMG00536-20120702-1836.jpg
IMG00539-20120702-1843.jpg
Old ones came right out and pressed the new ones in. I had to ream one side just a little, otherwise it was a good fit. This took all the play out of this joint.

I also cleaned up the surfaces of the spindle - the bottom of the axle had started cutting some gouges in the spindle arm surface from wear. Milled it down flat and added a thrust washer to take up the slack and create a little bearing surface.

Recall in an earlier post I had said my spindles and steering fulcrum were bent? Here are a few pictures...
IMG00507-20120618-1739.jpg
IMG00530-20120702-1450.jpg

I fixed the fulcrum on the press, but couldn't get the spindles in place to get them straightened out. So went to the "old fashioned" was of doing it. I put a cheater pipe on the spindle shaft, mounted the steering tab in the vice and brought it around......
IMG00531-20120702-1456.jpg
IMG00534-20120702-1459.jpg

I also had some play in 2 of the ball ends on the front steering, so ordered replacements for those - waiting for those to come in to put everything back together.

While the axle was off, went ahead and painted everything up. So, once it all goes back together, I'm hoping this should tighten up the steering a lot. Will let you guys know how it comes out!!!

#12 cookiemonster OFFLINE  

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Posted July 16, 2012 - 11:31 AM

Great job!
Can tell you know what you're doing. I converted my bushing front wheels to bearing (new wheels), and I really like them. Although if you want to stay original, then that's not going to work for you. If anyone wants to know where to find the parts for 6 inch wheels, just let me know.

#13 HowardsMF155 OFFLINE  

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Posted July 16, 2012 - 11:35 AM

Thanks for the update! Good to see your progress!

#14 Tennblue59 OFFLINE  

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Posted July 16, 2012 - 11:51 AM

Thanks.
The WHEELS on the 110 use bearings, not bushings. I had to replace one side which were pitted. Actually DEERE had the best price on these, and my dealer had them in stock (as opposed to going to NAPA or somewhere else).
IMG00535-20120702-1511.jpg They are covered up here to keep junk out of them and to keep me straight on which side they came off of. :orangecool:

My problem was with the bushings that hold the spindle assembly on the axle. They were wallowed out so the wheel had up and down and front to back play in it.

I read about the modification of putting needle bearings on the spindle/front axle assembly to lighten the steering - considered it, but this is going to be our Florida lawn cutter/utility tractor, and I don't think I will need them for what it will be doing....




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