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Bolens 42" Tube Frame Spindle Bearing Replacement


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#1 29 Chev ONLINE  

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Posted April 24, 2017 - 05:29 PM

With the weather warming up I decided I had better dig out the mower deck for the 1050.  I had decided last fall that the spindle bearings were in need of replacement and I was supposed to do that over the winter but like some of my plans that never happened.  So today I got the deck over to the shop and started taking things apart.  The spindle bearing on my deck are the tapered roller (cup and cone) set up and I have replaced them about three times in the last 17 years but this time I am going to try replacing them with the ball bearing equivalents to see if they last any better and also to see if the deck takes less power to drive - my thanks to Classic Bolens who gave me some information last year about making the switch and it looks like it should be a fairly straight forward swap.  I have attached a short video that shows the side play in the spindle bearings once the belt was removed. 

Attached Thumbnails

  • 1 Tube Frame 42 Inch Deck.jpg
  • 2 Tube Frame 42 Inch Deck.jpg
  • 3 Tube Frame 42 Inch Deck.jpg

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#2 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted April 24, 2017 - 05:36 PM

I think you will be happy with the switch , I never was a fan of the roller bearings myself and they stole alot of power from the deck, the ball bearings are quieter too.


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#3 29 Chev ONLINE  

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Posted April 24, 2017 - 05:44 PM

Thought I would do a post on taking the deck apart as the belt cover can sometimes lead people to think that you have to remove the PTO yoke from the gear box input shaft which is not required.  The first step is to remove the attaching rails which are held on with bolts.  With them out of the road you can loosen the two rear lower bolts that mount the gear box to the deck and then remove the two bolts from underneath that mount the gearbox to the deck.  Once this has been done you can remove the bolts that hold the belt cover on and lift the front of the gearbox by the input shaft - this will give you enough clearance to slide the belt cover up over the belts and pulleys and towards the front of the deck.

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • 4 Attaching Rails Removed.jpg
  • 5 Attaching Rails Removed.jpg
  • 6 Rear Gearbox Mouning Bolts Loosened.jpg
  • 7 Two Gearbox Bolts On Bottom Of Deck Removed.jpg
  • 8 Gearbox Lifted At Front To Allow Cover Removal.jpg
  • 9 Cover Slid Ahead Over Belt Pulleys.jpg
  • 10 Cover Slid Ahead Over Belt Pulleys.jpg
  • 11 Cover Slid Ahead Over Belt Pulleys.jpg
  • 12 Cover Removed.jpg
  • 13 Cover Removed.jpg

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#4 29 Chev ONLINE  

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Posted April 24, 2017 - 06:02 PM

The next step I did was to unhook the end of the tensioner spring from the bolt - to do this I use a tool similar to a bale hook made out of 1/8" diameter wire.  You can hook the wire onto the end of the spring, pull it towards you and remove the spring from the bolt - with the spring removed you can undo the remaining bolts on the gear box and remove it from the deck. At the same time you can remove the bolt that the tensioner frame pivots on and remove the tensioner frame and belt out of the road.  Once this is done the deck can be flipped over and the blades and drive hubs, and square keys removed from the spindle shafts.  This will reveal the snap rings that are on the spindle shafts and they can be removed one at a time from the shaft with a pair of snap ring pliers.  Once the snap rings have been removed the shafts can be slid out of the bearings - a gentle tapping with a short piece of 2 x 4 will sometimes get the shafts to move if they are stuck in the bearings.  With the shafts and bearing cones removed you can then use a punch to remove the bearing cups in the retainer housings - make sure the punch is catching on the bearing cup lip through the opening.  You can remove the retainers from the deck but I find the deck works well to hold the retainers while you drive the cups out so I leave them in place until after the cups are removed.  Drive the three upper cups out, flip the deck over and then drive the three lower cups out.  Now you can remove the bearing retainers and clean them up.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 1 Tool Made From One Eight Diameter Rod To Unhook Spring.jpg
  • 2 Tool Hooked Under End Of Spring.jpg
  • 3 Spring Unhooked.jpg
  • 4 Spring Unhooked.jpg
  • 5 Gearbox Removed And Pivot Bolt Removed From Tensioner Frame.jpg
  • 6 Deck Flipped Over To Remove Blades.jpg
  • 7 Blade Bolts Removed.jpg
  • 8 Blade Drive Hubs Removed.jpg
  • 9 Snap Rings Removed.jpg
  • 10 Spindle Shaft Slid Out.jpg
  • 11 Bearing Cups In Bearing Housing.jpg
  • 12 Punch On Bearing Cup Lip.jpg
  • 13 Bearing Cups Removed.jpg
  • 14 Bearing Housing Ready To Be UNbolted.jpg

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#5 Newpaws493 OFFLINE  

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Posted April 24, 2017 - 06:48 PM

funny., my decks didn't come with a stand, :ah_shoot:      :poke:    but seriously, Thanks for sharing :thumbs:


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#6 29 Chev ONLINE  

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Posted April 24, 2017 - 06:51 PM

funny., my decks didn't come with a stand, :ah_shoot:      :poke:    but seriously, Thanks for sharing :thumbs:

Mine didn't either but with a little bit of water, metal and a few other ingredients you can grow one .


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#7 glgrumpy ONLINE  

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Posted April 24, 2017 - 07:13 PM

Don't get bearing type swap. Tapereds need the races and you adjust the nuts on shafts to draw them in tight to get proper run tension against the races. The races have edges in the tubes you put them in to press against and stay in place.

 

SO, ball bearings don't need the pressure to keep them in place on seats, yet how do they stay in place and not have shaft just slip out of them then?  Does one need new shafts with say snap-ring slots and washers to keep the shaft in??  There may be same step in the housing to set bearing too, but not understanding how shaft stays then is my question. What am I missing?  Also, would think bearings would need a sleeve of correct length to keep pressures on the centers to hold them???? That way one could tighten up the shaft nut and maybe other end is just metal stop and would not put wrong pressure on bearings or worse NO pressure on them to hold in place???  Clear as Mudd?  In other words, not seeing how one can just change design w/out different style supports or other parts.



#8 29 Chev ONLINE  

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Posted April 24, 2017 - 07:36 PM

Don't get bearing type swap. Tapereds need the races and you adjust the nuts on shafts to draw them in tight to get proper run tension against the races. The races have edges in the tubes you put them in to press against and stay in place.

 

SO, ball bearings don't need the pressure to keep them in place on seats, yet how do they stay in place and not have shaft just slip out of them then?  Does one need new shafts with say snap-ring slots and washers to keep the shaft in??  There may be same step in the housing to set bearing too, but not understanding how shaft stays then is my question. What am I missing?  Also, would think bearings would need a sleeve of correct length to keep pressures on the centers to hold them???? That way one could tighten up the shaft nut and maybe other end is just metal stop and would not put wrong pressure on bearings or worse NO pressure on them to hold in place???  Clear as Mudd?  In other words, not seeing how one can just change design w/out different style supports or other parts.

The cup and cone set up uses a spacer in between the upper and lower bearings to set the bearing preload.  The ball style bearings are the same O.D., I.D and width and will press into the hubs the way the cups did. Will have to use the spacers from the cup and cone set up with the ball bearing set up as well - the surface contact area of the ball bearings will be a lot less than the cup and cone set up so the deck should require less power to turn the blades.  The ball bearings may wear out faster because there is less surface area - time will tell.  I can always go back to the tapered roller style if this does not work out.


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#9 Bruce Dorsi ONLINE  

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Posted April 24, 2017 - 10:02 PM

While a ball bearing or a tapered roller bearing can carry an axial (radial) load, I think the cup & cone have a greater ability to withstand thrust (side) loads.

 

I believe ball bearings were adapted to lower manufacturing costs.


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#10 29 Chev ONLINE  

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Posted April 25, 2017 - 08:20 AM

While a ball bearing or a tapered roller bearing can carry an axial (radial) load, I think the cup & cone have a greater ability to withstand thrust (side) loads.

 

I believe ball bearings were adapted to lower manufacturing costs.

I would agree that the tapered roller set up has a greater surface contact area and can probably withstand the loads better - one of the reasons GM finally switched from the ball bearing style front wheel bearings in the mid 50's cars to the tapered roller style that Ford and Chrysler had been using for years.  It will be interesting to see if the ball bearings last as long as I mow a large area of lawn with it and it does not get any special treatment.  It would be nice if there was an easy way to adjust the tapered roller bearing set up to compensate for wear the same way that you can on a car axle.   


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#11 Bruce Dorsi ONLINE  

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Posted April 25, 2017 - 09:24 AM

Many of the mower spindles use bearings with seals or shields on both sides.  ...These are pre-lubed, and are expected to last.

 

On my equipment, I remove the inner seals/shields, and fill the housings with grease.  ....If there was no grease fitting, I add one.


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#12 29 Chev ONLINE  

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Posted April 25, 2017 - 09:31 AM

Many of the mower spindles use bearings with seals or shields on both sides.  ...These are pre-lubed, and are expected to last.

 

On my equipment, I remove the inner seals/shields, and fill the housings with grease.  ....If there was no grease fitting, I add one.

The ball bearings I got have metal shields on both sides so I am planning on removing the seals on one side of them so the grease can get into the bearing easily.  If you remove the seal on a prelubed bearing it is sometimes surprising to see how small the amount of grease is that the manufacturers expect to last the life of the bearing.


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#13 29 Chev ONLINE  

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Posted April 25, 2017 - 04:36 PM

I removed the bearing housings off of the deck and washed the grease out of them in the parts washer.  I then verified that the new bearings were the correct inside and outside diameter and approximately the same height as the cup and cone bearing arrangement.  They looked like they should work so I removed the metal seal out of one side of the bearings using a small flat screwdriver and a pair of side cutters. I measured the spacers that were in between the two bearings on the cup and cone set up and made sure they were all close to the same thickness - they measured .213" to .215".  After that I pressed a lower bearing into one of the housings with the seal side out and then I turned the housing over, installed a shaft in the lower bearing to centre the spacer, set a spacer in place and then set another bearing over the shaft with the seal side up and pressed the bearing into the housing.  I then removed the shaft but found the spacer was not a tight fit between the two bearings.  After making sure both bearings were seated in the housing I removed the upper bearing and installed a shim washer along with the spacer and pressed the bearing back in - the spacer and shim washer were still loose in between the bearings.  I removed the upper bearing again and added a second shim washer and then pressed the upper bearing back in and the two inner bearing rings were now tight on the spacer and shim washers so when the shaft is installed the two bearings should tighten up without putting side pressure on the bearing races.  On one of the housing the upper bearing was a very loose fit so I used a centre punch around the inside of the bore to make the bearing a tight fit. I got the lower bearing caps cleaned up and tried them against the bearings and it looks like I will have to add a shim washer between the cap and the bearing so the cap will clear the outer part of the bearing.     

.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 1 Measuring Thickness Of Spacers.jpg
  • 2 Measuring Thickness Of Spacer.jpg
  • 3 Metal Seals Used With Cup And Cone Set Up.jpg
  • 4 Removing Seal From One SIde Of New Bearing.jpg
  • 5 Seal Out Of Bearing Using Side Cutters.jpg
  • 6 Bearing With Seal Removed.jpg
  • 7 Lower Bearing Pressed Into Bearing Housing.jpg
  • 8 Lower Bearing Pressed Into Bearing Housing.jpg
  • 9 Shaft In Place To Centre Spacer.jpg
  • 10 Upper Bearing Set Over Shaft.jpg
  • 11 Spacer Loose In Between Bearings.jpg
  • 12 Measuring Shim Washer Thickness.jpg
  • 13 Installing Two Shim Washers.jpg
  • 14 Spacer Installed.jpg
  • 15 Centre Punched Housing To Make Bearing Tight.jpg
  • 16 Machinery Bushings I Used.jpg
  • 17 Bearing Number I Used.jpg

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#14 29 Chev ONLINE  

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Posted April 25, 2017 - 04:41 PM

I got the lower bearing caps primed and then cleaned up the spindle shafts.  The lower key way on the shafts had a bit of wear on the ones side so I used the mig welder to build the keyway up a little bit on the worn side and then cleaned up the welds with the die grinder and a cutoff blade.  I washed out the holes in the blade drive hubs and the key ways in them are worn a little bit as well but I think I will reuse them - I took some measurements and made a drawing of them so I may make a couple of new ones some time.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 1 Bearing Protector Caps Cleaned Up And Primed.jpg
  • 2 Lower Key Way Worn In Shafts.jpg
  • 3 Side Of Key Way Welded With Mig Welder.jpg
  • 4 Weld Cleaned Up WIth DIe Grinder And Cut Off Blade.jpg
  • 5 Weld Cleaned Up WIth DIe Grinder And Cut Off Blade.jpg
  • 6 Key Way In Drive Hub Worn A Little As Well.jpg

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#15 29 Chev ONLINE  

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Posted April 26, 2017 - 05:24 PM

I was working under "CAT" supervision today so I had to be on my best behaviour.  Got the bearing housings bolted back onto the deck - found it was easier to do this with the deck turned upside down.  Installed the upper keys and belt pulleys on the shafts and snugged up the upper bolts as per the instruction seat that Classic Bolens was kind enough to supply me with (attached is a pdf copy of it - hope he doesn't mind me sharing it) - gives torque specs for the bolts and shows that the snap ring is positioned under the lower bearing rather than under the lower cap on the cup and cone set up.  Once the pulleys were installed on the shafts and I verified that the grease hole was in the proper location (as per the sheet) I slid the shaft into the bearings and installed the snap rings on the bottom so that the shafts would not fall out ( there are no grooves in the shafts for the snap rings so they are free to slide on the shaft).  I wanted to make sure that the bearings would receive grease so I installed two machinery washer on the lower shafts and then put the blade hubs on and installed and tightened the lower bolts - with the lower caps on it would be very hard to tell if the grease was coming out around the lower bearing seal.  I then made sure the shafts turned freely and had no play and then I greased them - after about twenty pumps of the grease gun grease started to come out around the upper and lower bearing seals which made me happy.  I then removed the hubs and one machinery washer (I left one washer on each shaft to give al little bit more clearance for the protector caps), installed the caps, shaft keys, blade hubs, blades and the bottom bolt again and tightened everything up as per the instruction sheet.  Last night I painted the protector caps green with a touch up spray bomb I had made up so they shouldn't rust too badly now.  Before installing the blades I sharpened them and checked them for balance with a small screwdriver shaft in the hole.  Once the blades were installed and the bolts retightened I checked each blade and they now turn freely with no side movement or binding.  

Attached Thumbnails

  • 1 Working Under CAT Supervision Today.jpg
  • 2 Bearing Housing Bolted Back On Deck.jpg
  • 3 Bearing Housing Bolted Back On Deck.jpg
  • 4 Shaft And Snap Ring Installed.jpg
  • 5 Pulley Installed On Shaft And Bolt Tightened.jpg
  • 6 Two Machiney Washers Added To Take Up Spacing Of Bottom Cap.jpg
  • 7 Blade Drive Hub.jpg
  • 8 Lower Bolt Installed And Tightened.jpg
  • 9 No Grease Yet.jpg
  • 10 We Have Grease.jpg
  • 11 Grease Under Pulley On Top Side.jpg
  • 12 Installed One Machiney Bushing Under Snap Ring On Lower Shaft.jpg
  • 13 Shaft KeysLower Caps And Blades Installed.jpg
  • 14 Lower Caps Painted Green.jpg

Attached Files


Edited by 29 Chev, April 27, 2017 - 08:04 AM.

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