Jump to content

Nominations for Tractor of the Month
Garden Tractors and Parts on eBay



Photo
- - - - -

JD LT155 - Front Axel


  • Please log in to reply
7 replies to this topic

#1 RHJO51 OFFLINE  

RHJO51

    Member

  • Member
  • Member No: 4772
  • 0 Thanks
  • 13 posts

Posted August 19, 2011 - 03:09 PM

Hey Guys, I'm putting together a LT155 tractor and I have a LT150 for parts. I noticed that the front axle on the Lt155 looks to be stamped steel, while the LT150 has a cast iron axle with adjustable tie rods. Looks like either axle could be used on the other. Is there any advantages to using one vs the other? Is the stamped steel axle lighter making it easier to steer? Just wondering which one to use. Let me know what you think. Thanks - Jim

#2 JDBrian OFFLINE  

JDBrian

    Super Moderator

  • Super Moderator
  • Staff
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 2507
  • 9,574 Thanks
  • 14,136 posts
  • Location: Hubley, Nova Scotia - Canada

Posted August 19, 2011 - 05:38 PM

Generally speaking a cast iron axle is much stronger than a stamped steel one and considered superior. If you could post some pictures it would help.

#3 Tmo OFFLINE  

Tmo

    Tractorholic

  • Senior Member
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 2023
  • 356 Thanks
  • 486 posts
  • Location: Missouri

Posted August 19, 2011 - 09:14 PM

Both should require the same amount of effort to steer. In my opinion, the cast iron front axle is over rated for a lawn tractor. The front axles on the LT133, LT155 and LT166 are welded steel. If you were to bend an axle on them, then if it were cast iron and you hit something that hard the cast iron might have cracked or broke. I can see the advantage for cast iron on a garden tractor, but not necessary a lawn tractor. BTW, the LT155 design dates back to 1998 and if the tractor is still going it probably has the original front axle and if it survive that long, then it will continue survive. I had a 1979 JD 111 with a welded front axle and after 30 plus years it still had the original axle.

On the LTs the transaxle will fail long before you bend that front axle.

#4 JDBrian OFFLINE  

JDBrian

    Super Moderator

  • Super Moderator
  • Staff
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 2507
  • 9,574 Thanks
  • 14,136 posts
  • Location: Hubley, Nova Scotia - Canada

Posted August 20, 2011 - 06:38 AM

Both should require the same amount of effort to steer. In my opinion, the cast iron front axle is over rated for a lawn tractor. The front axles on the LT133, LT155 and LT166 are welded steel. If you were to bend an axle on them, then if it were cast iron and you hit something that hard the cast iron might have cracked or broke. I can see the advantage for cast iron on a garden tractor, but not necessary a lawn tractor. BTW, the LT155 design dates back to 1998 and if the tractor is still going it probably has the original front axle and if it survive that long, then it will continue survive. I had a 1979 JD 111 with a welded front axle and after 30 plus years it still had the original axle.

On the LTs the transaxle will fail long before you bend that front axle.


Tmo, not being familiar with the tractors, I pictured the stamped steel axles that you see on the bargain priced box store tractors. I had a 2004 LT160 and I am sure it had a cast axle with 3/4" spindles. I assume the reason that cast iron is used is that it is cheaper to produce than a welded steel axle of the same strength. The transaxles are certainly a week spot on the lower priced Lawn tractors.

#5 Tmo OFFLINE  

Tmo

    Tractorholic

  • Senior Member
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 2023
  • 356 Thanks
  • 486 posts
  • Location: Missouri

Posted August 20, 2011 - 09:58 PM

Brian,
The steel used on these JD LTs are of heavier gauge than the steel used on the box store variety. Very heavy, thick steel and they are welded significantly better. I can't image damaging one of those axles and if you did, and they were cast iron, you would have at least crack the cast iron one. I see no reason for a lawn tractor to have cast iron front axles - today they have become a marketing ploy and they're not on the lesser priced tractors for functionality - they're there so "X" brand can advertise that their tractors have cast iron axles. That's the only reason why they're there. A lawn tractor doesn't need them.

#6 RHJO51 OFFLINE  

RHJO51

    Member

  • Member
  • Member No: 4772
  • 0 Thanks
  • 13 posts

Posted August 21, 2011 - 06:12 AM

That's interesting and good info. I assumed that since the LT150 is newer that there was a reason JD switched to the cast iron axel, but overall there are some other changes that make me think it was largely a cost saving change. The steel axel is fine, I wa just 'wonderin. Thank you! - Jim

#7 Alc OFFLINE  

Alc

    Tractorholic

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 1094
  • 5,458 Thanks
  • 6,625 posts
  • Location: Bangor Pa

Posted August 21, 2011 - 06:25 AM

I wonder if at the time a cast axle was cheaper to make at the time because maybe it had to be hand welded and now with all the computer controlled manufacturing stamped and welded is cheaper ? Hope someone who knows would be able to answer that , Al

#8 JDBrian OFFLINE  

JDBrian

    Super Moderator

  • Super Moderator
  • Staff
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 2507
  • 9,574 Thanks
  • 14,136 posts
  • Location: Hubley, Nova Scotia - Canada

Posted August 21, 2011 - 06:47 AM

Cast must still be cost effective. They (JD) are still using cast iron axles on the larger GT's and utility tractors. The one on the 2wd 700 seriesGT is massive. It has a hole cast into it for the blower drive shaft to pass through. You would probably break or bend the frame before it snapped. I think it would still be cheaper to cast that then to weld it up. Casting is an old technology but has very few steps in the process. This makes it affordable for mass production. Even with CNC controlled robotic assembly there are a lot of steps required to weld up an axle and the cost of the machinery and it's programming/upkeep adds up.
Most of the problems with axles in normal use IMO are to do with wear at the spindle and pivot bearings and not failure of the axle. If you crash into something then that's another story.
  • Alc said thank you




Top