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Killing center spindle bearings yearly...


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#1 Earl OFFLINE  

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Posted July 09, 2015 - 08:38 AM

For the last three years Stanley has killed the bearings in the center deck spindle. I put good quality, sealed bearings in it just like what the original had and about mid way through the season it kills them.

I blow the deck off after every use and try to keep everything dry. I don't over tighten the bearings and the belt tension seems good. Any suggestions on what I could be doing wrong?

#2 WNYTractorTinkerer ONLINE  

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Posted July 09, 2015 - 08:44 AM

Is the drive belt tension too tight?  It will place undue stress on bearings that are not designed to withstand the stress that pulling creates.  As the center pulley also provides the force to drive the other blades it does a lot of work.. 


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#3 Earl OFFLINE  

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Posted July 09, 2015 - 08:57 AM

That tension is set with a spring from the tensioner arm to the deck engagement lever that also pulls the tensioner to start the blades. There's not an adjustment there that I'm aware of but I will check. This is a bare bones "disposable" Murray tractor that's 10 years old so I don't think very much is adjustable.

#4 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted July 09, 2015 - 08:59 AM

Is the spacer between the bearings?  If not, the bearings will die very early with any tension on the shaft nut/bolt at all.


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#5 HDWildBill ONLINE  

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Posted July 09, 2015 - 09:00 AM

It the blade balanced?  What about the shaft, is it round and in good shape?  How about the housing, is it mounted correctly and tight to the deck? 


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#6 Cvans ONLINE  

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Posted July 09, 2015 - 09:47 AM

I'm with Daniel on having the correct spacer in place between the two bearings. Another thing to look for is to make sure the spindle shaft is straight. If it is bent even a little your going to damage the bearings in a short time. If you don't have a lathe roll it across a flat surface to check straightness. Is it one or both bearing going out? File off any burrs from the shaft where the bearing sets. Most of these spindle bearings are a press fit and if there are any dings in the shaft that protrude it can distort the inner race on the bearing and cause a failure. 

Good luck.


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#7 Earl OFFLINE  

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Posted July 09, 2015 - 10:44 AM

I'll be tearing it apart this weekend I hope and I'll get back with what I find in there. I'm not sure about the spacer, I may have gotten it back wrong at some point. I'll check the rest a well. Thanks guys!

Edited by Earl, July 09, 2015 - 12:53 PM.

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#8 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted July 09, 2015 - 12:11 PM

It may be time for a new mandrill.
I'm wondering if its bent or malformed somehow and that's causing you issues.
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#9 Earl OFFLINE  

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Posted July 11, 2015 - 09:42 AM

So out only killed the lower bearing. Crunchy dead kinda kill. Upper bearing is still in great shape. There are no spacers on the shaft, just the shoulders machined into it. I pulled another spindle apart to make sure. I'm going after another bearing and then I'll sand everything and slip out back together.

#10 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted July 11, 2015 - 10:54 AM

Ok, with shoulders you don't need spacers. Are you using high grade bearings or cheaper Chinese made? Huge difference in life span.
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#11 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted July 11, 2015 - 11:31 AM

My old MTD LT was good about loosing a bearing every year. & yes, they were the cheapys!



#12 HDWildBill ONLINE  

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Posted July 11, 2015 - 02:27 PM

Have you checked the blade and made sure it is balanced? 



#13 Earl OFFLINE  

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Posted July 12, 2015 - 08:40 AM

Last time I use the SKF but this time I went with the NAPA brand. The blades are balanced and straight too. This bearing seems to have died because of excessive thrust or being hit and creating divots in the races but I always drive them in with the outside race since the inside is slip fit.

If this doesn't last I'm going to get a new shaft for it (or a new spindle all together).
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