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Bolens 50060s gearbox problems


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#1 Zekkjacen OFFLINE  

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Posted September 25, 2016 - 02:52 PM

So I was going along minding my own business and mowing the grass when suddenly *ERRRRck* Belts squealed for a split second and the engine stalled dead.  “Uh-oh” I says. “You ain’t kidding” says my mower.  :biting_nails:  Blades moved freely from the belt, and I knew in the pit of my stomach what the problem was.  Fired it back up and drove it to the house. 

 

Disconnected the mower, jacked the tractor up and pulled the deck out.  Drive shaft to the gear box was locked solid.    Started to disassemble.

 

Once the gearbox was free from the deck (I removed with drive sheave on by removing the brackets holding box), I removed the set-screws on the sheave and suspended the box by the pulley, placing it on 2 4x4 wood blocks (soft wood to protect the cast sheave).  I wacked on it with a lead hammer until flush. Then, using a piece of ½” copper pipe, I drove the shaft from the pulley.   I removed the keyway using a cold chisel and tapping it out.

 

I did similar with removing the U-joint from the drive shaft.

 

Upon opening the box, (you’ll never believe this) it’s basically empty.  No oil.  Apparently I hadn’t checked it for awhile…   :wallbanging:

 

The gears all looked just fine. The bearing up against the oil plug blew apart. -  #11 780132

I didn’t wait on parts and I suppose I should have, but I contacted O’Reilley’s Auto  and they hooked me up with a National Bearing tapered bearing and cup set.  The bearing is a Timken (world’s finest) L44643.  The set from National is A-14.  This bearing is pressed on against gear 778181 27-tooth.  There is a spring clip on the shaft that acts as a stop. Just leave it on there.  I do not have a bearing splitter, but rather, I used my 2 4x4” blocks again along with the copper pipe and lead hammer until the bearing was off.

 

I cleaned all of the over-heated, varnished gear-oil off of everything.  Also the inside walls of the gearbox was rusty and I cleaned it all up pretty good.

 

The oil-seal on this shaft assembly shot. I replaced this as well.  Original part: National – 471689.  Replacement  part: National – 471689.  Also purchased at O’Reilley’s. They ordered this in and it came the next morning.  The bearing/ cup assembly was in stock. (apparently common for axles? ).  Oil-seal I took a punch and knocked it from the inside à out.

 

I replaced the oil-cap.  I removed this to better access the cup from the failed bearing.  Cap replaced with Dorman: 555-034-B

 

I took a wire-wheel to most everything I could and wire-brushed everything else.  This included 17- 780136 shim plate.

Upon re-assembly I used some synthetic RTV and smeared a thin coat all around the contacts for the plate.  Put it all back together (and filled with oil!!)

 

I did not replace the other Timken Bearings.  I did check them and had 2 other people (many more years experience than myself) confirm these bearings were just fine.  If I had better tools and better replacement (TIMKEN!) bearings, I probably would have done everything… Just because.

 

Since I wired everything down… I painted.

 

I also took the opportunity to clean my deck while the paint was drying… and I sharpened my blades… and touched up other paint on the deck  :D

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Edited by Zekkjacen, September 25, 2016 - 02:56 PM.

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#2 Zekkjacen OFFLINE  

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Posted September 25, 2016 - 03:05 PM

The funny part of this was, I'd just driven to 2hrs 1-way the evening before to trade a guy toward a 2-stage snowblower for this thing.  I was just talking about how great this thing was and that my wife just didn't understand that it was worth the money to fix it up.   :bs:

 

Also I just purchased parts for this thing.  A set of spare mandrels and a set of wheels from a GTX model. 


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#3 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted September 25, 2016 - 06:11 PM

Glad you were able to save it!


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#4 chieffan ONLINE  

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Posted September 25, 2016 - 07:14 PM

I did about the same thing on a tiller but wasn't so lucky.  By the time it started to skip the damage was done.  Took the brass gear out.  Now have a good parts machine I don't need.  Glad you saved the gear box.



#5 tbgtx20 OFFLINE  

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Posted September 26, 2016 - 07:40 AM

Hoping to do the same myself. Especially cleaning the entire deck and repaint all of the rusted components.

#6 sodisr OFFLINE  

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Posted September 26, 2016 - 10:39 AM

Couldn't help but chuckle when you said,,,   Timkin  ( the best ) ..  I thought that to awhile back when I needed a front spindle for my truck,, Ordered a Timkin spindle and on the box it said,,  MADE in CHINA  ...    I was a little disapointed to say the least...


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#7 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted September 26, 2016 - 12:19 PM

Couldn't help but chuckle when you said,,,   Timkin  ( the best ) ..  I thought that to awhile back when I needed a front spindle for my truck,, Ordered a Timkin spindle and on the box it said,,  MADE in CHINA  ...    I was a little disapointed to say the least...

 

Timken is a global based company with manufacturing facilities all across the globe , some parts are made in US some overseas just depends on where they decide to do the run. I regularly get seals in from Timken fresh stock that are still made in the US but majority are made overseas. I cant imagine our ridiculous EPA regulations are helping our cause in  USA manufacturing......


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#8 29 Chev ONLINE  

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Posted September 26, 2016 - 06:34 PM

Made in China parts may or may not mean the product is inferior to what was manufactured in the U.S.A. (or other countries for that matter) it simply indicates where the product was made.  Some companies looked at China being a less expensive alternative compared to where they were manufacturing their product and decided to close up factories in North America and simply source their product from an existing manufacturer in China with little regard to the quality of the product they were getting - the old adage you get what you pay for still holds true even in China.  Other companies, to remain competitive, looked at China as a necessary evil to remain in business and chose to build new manufacturing facilities using the most modern equipment and training the workers to manufacture product to exacting specifications and implementing a very high standard of quality control.  A lot of people view items such as wheel bearings used on modern vehicles as being inferior because they are made in China - I would suggest that the reason these bearings fail is the same as most bearing failures - lack of lubrication.  The inability to pack them with grease periodically the way the rear wheel drive vehicles of the 60's and 70's were designed to be during the life of the vehicle results to them failing after they have exhausted the bit of grease put in the bearing at the factory.  Add to this contamination entering the bearing during its life cycle from items such as dirt and salt and eventually the bearing will get hot and self destruct.

 

Unfortunately in todays world it appears the consumer wants throw away products rather than products designed to last a lifetime if maintained properly and most manufacturers have responded to their wants with products that are not the best that could be built but rather a product that will sell and survive the warranty period (they hope).  Most bearing and seal companies such as Timken, BCA, SKF and CR are making quality products as they want to remain in business and survive and prosper in todays economy to provide research and development for the products of tomorrow.  At the same time they must also remain competitive and provide products that consumers want and demand at a price that keeps them competitive - a very thin line to walk and maintain a healthy bottom line.  


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#9 Zekkjacen OFFLINE  

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Posted September 26, 2016 - 09:52 PM

Couldn't help but chuckle when you said,,, Timkin ( the best ) .. I thought that to awhile back when I needed a front spindle for my truck,, Ordered a Timkin spindle and on the box it said,, MADE in CHINA ... I was a little disapointed to say the least...


Say it ain't so!!


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#10 Zekkjacen OFFLINE  

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Posted September 26, 2016 - 09:55 PM

I'm from the Canton area. Family and friends have worked and retired from Timken. Around here you might get shot for saying Timken isn't the best ;)


The road goes ever on, out from the door where it began...




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