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Why Grease Mower Deck Spindles?


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#1 artbuc OFFLINE  

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Posted July 10, 2016 - 07:41 PM

Have a howling spindle on my almost brand new Ariens 48" deck. Must be a manufacturing defect. Fortunately I salvaged spindles from my old Gravely deck and will swap out tomorrow. Looking at the old spindles and checking p/n's, I see that both spindle bearings are double sealed. What is the purpose of lubing spindles with sealed bearings? Thanks.

Edited by artbuc, July 10, 2016 - 07:47 PM.

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#2 John Arsenault ONLINE  

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Posted July 10, 2016 - 08:08 PM

Have a howling spindle on my almost brand new Ariens 48" deck. Must be a manufacturing defect. Fortunately I salvaged spindles from my old Gravely deck and will swap out tomorrow. Looking at the old spindles and checking p/n's, I see that both spindle bearings are double sealed. What is the purpose of lubing spindles with sealed bearings? Thanks.

 

 

Haha good catch...pop the seals out if you intent to be a grease nut like me ...leave them in if you are going to leave it in the rain and never maintain the grease fittings. 

 

I think the reason that happens is because things have been cross referenced through out the years and most efficient to make a one fits many. 

 

lubing sealed bearings to me is as useless as tits on a bull...you can pop them out or leave them in ..I bet you will be happy you opened it though as you will see very little grease in there compared to what you can get in there...that has been my experience with that.  



#3 Wm McNett OFFLINE  

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Posted July 10, 2016 - 08:14 PM

When I did mine, the inside seal was removed. Which is what I did with the new bearings.

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#4 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted July 10, 2016 - 08:19 PM

I cut a couple spots out of the inside seal lips to allow the grease into the upper bearing.  By leaving the rest of the seal, it helps retain the grease as the spinning forces grease to the outside where the seal is intact.  On the lower bearing I remove the entire upper seal.  Just my way, which may not be better, but makes sense to me. :smilewink:  


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#5 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted July 11, 2016 - 06:46 AM

When I rebuilt the deck spindles for the 416 Allis, I put a grease zerk in the housing and used bearings with out an inner seal. A few shots once in a while will increase the life of those.


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#6 LilysDad ONLINE  

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Posted July 11, 2016 - 07:06 AM

Have a howling spindle on my almost brand new Ariens 48" deck.

Is this covered by a warrantee?



#7 Tecumseh power OFFLINE  

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Posted July 11, 2016 - 07:24 AM

You grease them because the seal is only on the outer side of the bearing, unless it has been replaced before

#8 toppop52 OFFLINE  

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Posted July 11, 2016 - 08:26 AM

I grease them because I can... :D


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#9 artbuc OFFLINE  

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Posted July 11, 2016 - 10:24 AM

Is this covered by a warrantee?


The deck is older than I remembered. She will be 5 next month. Did the swap this morning and the original 18 year old Gravely spindle is still good. The bearings in the new Ariens spindles are Peer Made in China. Never heard of them but I am guessing they are not exactly top shelf. Top was still good. Bottom was not too bad but apparently bad enough to howl. Both bearings had metal shields on both sides which allowed grease to travel through them. The bottom bearing shield was deformed and it had a chip in the inner race. Looks like it was damaged before or during assembly.

#10 artbuc OFFLINE  

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Posted July 11, 2016 - 12:53 PM

Update: Peer is now a wholly owned sub of SKF focusing on "value" applications. Can get this bearing for $6-7 so it ain't much. Having said that, I still believe failure was due to mechanical damage inflicted before or during assembly. I still have one more complete spare spindle so I will not buy bearing now. When/if I do, they will be Stens which are made by Koyo.
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#11 JP Johnstone. OFFLINE  

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Posted August 09, 2016 - 03:16 PM

I recently bought a Ariens 17.5 hp with the 42 inch deck and cant find anything in the manual as far as lubing the mowing deck. I notice on the pulley wheels center there is an opening is this meant to fit a grease zerk or are these pulleys sealed  with grease. Would appreciate the info.



#12 Billy M OFFLINE  

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Posted August 10, 2016 - 07:52 AM

I recently bought a Ariens 17.5 hp with the 42 inch deck and cant find anything in the manual as far as lubing the mowing deck. I notice on the pulley wheels center there is an opening is this meant to fit a grease zerk or are these pulleys sealed  with grease. Would appreciate the info.

I've seen housings like that before.  I'm betting they were originally designed to be greaseable housings, but now have sealed bearings in them.

 

On a side note, I was helping someone pick out a zero-turn a couple years ago.  I looked at the $12K+ diesel commercial monster ZTs (for fun) and noticed they didn't have zerks on the spindles.  I asked the salesperson why the heck they didn't have zerks on a $12K+ ZT and he simply said "nobody uses them".  I found that hard to believe, but nothing really surprises me any more.


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#13 gksyn OFFLINE  

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Posted August 11, 2016 - 09:14 AM

Here is my 2 cent on a few similar topics in this thread.
Original Post - Seems to me a defect/damage due to improper assembly from factory. It wasn't major, so the damage took a long time to finally either damage the bearing or allow insufficient lubrication in that area. Causing the metal to metal screeching you hear.

other topic - Sealed Bearings are a joke and inferior to greaseable bearings through a zerk fitting.
To the manufacturers, they are cheaper to buy and less complicated. (No zerk fitting = less cost to build)
Easier to sell because now the spindles are "maintenance free!" .... But they aren't. They hold up just long enough to protect the spindles during the time they are covered in warranty.

Side note because I'm on the soap box:
This goes for many other applications like sealed CV joints, etc.
Sealed sounds good because the grease inside is less susceptible to environmental contamination and it can't leak out.
But the whole purpose of grease is to provide oil to lubircate and prevent to spinning pieces of metal from destroying each other.
Grease has a life span and can only do so for so long. Many variables cause grease to degrade at different intervals. Sealed bearings are for the benefit of the manufacturer not the consumer.




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