I have grown to absolutely hate my King Cutter brand 6 foot 3 point mount finish mower.
Some of the reasons may very well be operator error. The mower sits outside all year. My "abundant grease" policy for anything that moves is definitely a contributing factor in short bearing life. I've decided I blow the top seal out of the spindle allowing rain water to enter rusting the top bearing. However, with a correct design [like a Woods brand] that wouldn't be a factor. I have the safety belt cover removed so I can blow the accumulated grass off after every mowing. Although the cover would never keep all the rain off the deck it may help reduce the water pooling directly over the spindles. I do install the cover for the mowers winter sleep.
Here is a comparison:
King Cutter, see how the top of the spindle is below the deck allowing rain water to pool on top of the spindle. The K.C. pulleys are a three spoke design allowing rain water to hit the seal itself.
Here is a Woods brand. Note how far the spindle assembly sticks up so rain water can't pond on the seal. The Woods pulley is also solid so rain can't just fall ON the top seal. Woods has to be submerged to allow water in the top. Pressure washing would also allow water in but I never pressure wash the decks - only blow them off with air compressor or leaf blower.
I bought this King Cutter mower 4 +/- years ago at an estate auction. When I bought it the bearings were basically out on one spindle. Of course I didn't know that but no big deal. Only gave $400 for the mower. Got several mowing out of it until it got too bad to continue. Tore into it and noted new bearings and seals were all it needed. Shaft was good.
O,O,O, O'Reillys had bearings and got me seals the next day. The bearings were ball bearings. Cheap but they didn't last long. Seals were off the charts expensive.
A year later the same spindle went bad. Got out the manual that came with the mower this time and studied.
The manual clearly shows taper roller bearings. It had ball bearings in the offending spindle and that's what I put back in.
Now I know why the one spindle doesn't last long. Second time I put in the correct taper roller bearings thinking I'm done with replacing this one for many years.
Lasted a year again. Now I'm losing my mind. Why do I have such short life from this one spindle? The other two have not been touched other than a grease job every mowing without fail.
I just [last week] replaced the bearings in that one spindle again. 4 times in 4 years.
Since all spindles get grease at the same time and they each mow [turn] the same acres and turn the same speed I wonder whats going on.
Studied the spindle as I tore it apart last week. Top seal [what was left of it] was out of its place. I had blown the seal out with liberal amounts of grease. Rain funneled into the spindle, rusting the top bearing chewing it up. Bottom bearing was fine.
I might also throw out there that the Woods brand has a grease weep hole in the spindle casing so grease pressure doesn't build up allowing the seal to be blown out. King Cutter does not.
This time I J. B. Welded the top seal in the housing. [can be seen in the first picture]
I'll see if that helps any - be a year from now before I know.
Look at the framework on the underside of the King Cutter deck so grass can't be thrown out.
This mower leaves big balls of grass where it hits the framework and just drops right there instead of throwing it out the discharge chute. Makes the yard look like total poo. Globs here and globs there. I have lots of weeds and don't fertilize. Not trying to look like a golf course but don't want the yard to look like it was 4 feet tall and got the brush cutter treatment every time. &*()%&(#$$&*()!!
The Woods mower has the framework on the top side where it doesn't effect the throwing of the clippings.
I have no idea how old this mower is. Maybe the newer ones have these two very serious problems corrected? Sure hope so because this mower was made to sell- not to actually use!
When I get time I'm putting new tires on the front of the Farmall with the Woods belly mower and this K.C. will be a backup mower only.
That's enough ranting for now.
Edited by Gtractor, September 06, 2016 - 11:54 AM.