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View Full Version : Blade spindles - Non-greasable???


TPLawnPro
09-26-2008, 07:39 PM
I have had my Wright Stander 36" - RH for about two years. As of today, it has 85 hours on the hour meter. I have been noticing lately that the blade spindles are really starting to grind loudly; this is apparently due to the breakdown of grease and lubrication inside the 'sealed' blade spindle housing. Why Wright Mfg. does not have zerk fittings installed for the blade spindles instead, which is essential to keeping the blade spindles maintained with grease, perplexes me. What is the deal? - I am about to purchase another commercial stand-up mower, but I want one that isn't going to prevent me from performing routine maintenance, which could otherwise prove beneficial; furthermore, preventing pre-mature mechanical failure. :nono:

So, in the meantime, the grinding is getting louder and louder, and now vibration is increasing - obviously as a result. What's next? Will the belt pulleys, that are attached to the blade spindles, just eventually overheat, and then burn up and shred the blade belts? What should I expect since I am not able to lube the spindle housing? What was Wright Mfg. thinking when they implemented a maintenance free design with regard to the blade spindles? :dizzy:

Other than this bothersome and developing problem, the machine has been excellent. :weightlifter:

punt66
09-26-2008, 07:47 PM
have you removed the belt and spun the blades individually to see if they are all that way?

razor1
09-26-2008, 07:58 PM
Exmark does this too.

Did you call Wright directly?

TPLawnPro
09-26-2008, 08:00 PM
Nope, I sure haven't. I suppose that I'll give that a shot. Regardless, it is sounding rough.

TPLawnPro
09-26-2008, 08:03 PM
Exmark does this too.

Did you call Wright directly?

No, not yet. I am going to take the mower in next week to my local Wright dealer to see what needs to be done - perhaps under warranty. I believe Wright Mfg.'s warranty on these machines is three years.

Also, since this is Wright Mfg.'s sponsored forum, I was hoping to get some feedback here too.

razor1
09-26-2008, 08:17 PM
Also, since this is Wright Mfg.'s sponsored forum, I was hoping to get some feedback here too.

That would be nice.

From what I've heard they're a pretty reputable company. Good luck.

TPLawnPro
09-26-2008, 09:59 PM
I have heard that SCAG's blade spindles and housing share the same exact footprint as Wright's blade spindles and housing, with the exception that SCAG's blade spindles are routine-serviceable via grease zerks, and they are also every bit as durable as Wright's.

I will need to investigate this further to find out just how much truth there is to this claim. It certainly might be worth looking into though, because as I understand it, SCAG builds quite the bullet-proof machine too.

TPLawnPro
09-26-2008, 10:33 PM
SCAG Blade Spindle Assembly. Check This Out.

http://www.scag.com/spindles.html

http://www.scag.com/images/spindle-with-callouts.jpg

razor1
09-27-2008, 10:27 AM
I've used greaseable spindles before and never had to replace them, even after thousands of hours. Non-greaseable spindles are nice until you have to replace them which is inevitable, it's a good way to sell parts though.

Exmark recently told me they "beefed" up their spindle design for '09, and they may last 5 to 10 yrs.....will see.

I'm with you, make the dang things greaseable and will stop complaining.

Hope that Scag idea works for you.

TPLawnPro
09-27-2008, 06:26 PM
I've used greaseable spindles before and never had to replace them, even after thousands of hours. Non-greaseable spindles are nice until you have to replace them which is inevitable, it's a good way to sell parts though.

Exmark recently told me they "beefed" up their spindle design for '09, and they may last 5 to 10 yrs.....will see.

I'm with you, make the dang things greaseable and will stop complaining.

Hope that Scag idea works for you.

Thanks for your input Razor. I'm not sure whether we will get any feedback from Wright Mfg. pertaining to this issue, which seems to be the theme of things with Wright? I have not heard of too many LCO's having problems with their Wright mowers, but the ones that do have trouble and need assistance from Wright always seem to report hitting a wall based on Wright's apparent lack of complacency regarding their customer support.

Maybe Wright builds such a great product - minus the maintenance free blade spindles - that they choose to omit the necessity for polite and genuinely decent customer support? Wright Mfg. better step it up because it looks like Toro is aggressively pursuing some of their market-share; you know what I'm saying?

WrightCommercial
09-29-2008, 09:29 AM
Good Morning TP LawnPro,

I apologize for not being able to respond faster. I monitor this site Monday through Friday so if ever you don't hear back over the weekend, please know I will respond first thing Monday morning. In response to the issue you are having with your spindles. I will have my service department contact you directly so that we can get a full understanding of what is happening. Please contact me directly at jillianj@wrightmfg.com or 301-360-9810 with your contact information.

Thank you,

Jillian Jensen
Sales & Marketing Administrator
Wright Manufacturing, Inc.

TPLawnPro
09-29-2008, 12:50 PM
Now that's solid feedback! :usflag:

pugs
09-29-2008, 04:09 PM
A tech from CGC(Bobcat/Bunton) told us that they have gone to sealed bearings because probably 90% of customers never bother to grease their spindles when they are greasable. Sealed bearings will last longer than greasable ones that are not being greased. Probably the same reason for wrights decision.

I think Wright uses a very similar spindle to what Ferris uses in their walkbehinds. Although I think the ferris housing is aluminum while the wright is cast iron. A local dealer near us was using some aftermarket Ferris ones as replacements I believe because I have seen a number of non Wright spindles in wright machines that have grease fittings on them and arent cast iron housings....

Also do you wash the machine regularly? Our CGC rep also told us that if customers wash them alot...mainly homeowners....that if you wash them while they are hot they will actually draw water into the bearings as they cool down and cause them to fail early. If you are going to wash the machine do it after the spindles have cooled down and also make sure after washing to get all the water away from the spindles by turning the blades on for a minute just to sling the water out.

TPLawnPro
09-29-2008, 06:04 PM
Great hearing from you Pugs!

Yes, I sometimes do clean under the mowing deck. Thanks for the tip. I will be sure to crank up the blades whenever I do. So much for having "Sealed" bearings if water makes its way into the spindle housing.

Thanks.

heybruck34
09-29-2008, 06:39 PM
J-thomas shows the same part # for the Wright Stander and Scag W/B spindle. The other nice part about the Scag spindle is the bolt goes completely through the spindle and the nut anchors it on top of the pulley. A much better design IMHO. No worries about stripping threads due to dirt or grime getting into the hole, very easy to tighten with the impact.

If I can figure out the pully diameter it might be worth changing to the Scag spindles once the warranty expires.

pugs
09-30-2008, 11:01 AM
J-thomas shows the same part # for the Wright Stander and Scag W/B spindle. The other nice part about the Scag spindle is the bolt goes completely through the spindle and the nut anchors it on top of the pulley. A much better design IMHO. No worries about stripping threads due to dirt or grime getting into the hole, very easy to tighten with the impact.

If I can figure out the pully diameter it might be worth changing to the Scag spindles once the warranty expires.

The bolt goes completely through a Wright spindle for a Stander as well. Sentars and Z's and maybe the Sports/RH's they dont go all the way through but I know they do on the small and large frame Standers.

Yah, I dunno how much truth there is to the hot spindles sucking in water....I did have a homeowner customer around the same time that was getting alot of spindle noise with only like 50 hours on his Bobcat ZT219 52" machine. They had bearings for it on backorder at the time and finally broke down and sent me new spindles instead and his machine has been going strong since I told him to wash it cold instead of right after he gets done mowing.

130perweek
10-21-2008, 06:24 PM
Did you try the Scag housing on your Stander? I just put in a thread pertaining to this and then I saw this one. I'm curious why they didn't put a zerk on their housings - seems silly to me, but great for them. I'm getting banged $120 for EACH housing every time I have to replace. I had to replace 2 already this year. They need longer-life bearings in there and a zerk. Pick one Wright and let's get it going!!


edit** I don't know what it is with my comp, but I'm not seeing some of these posts until I post up a reply.

TPLawnPro
10-21-2008, 11:59 PM
Actually, no. Wright Mfg. covered the spindles under my warranty. Wright replaced the spindles with a newer updated version that blocks out moisture better than the original spindle. I have only put about 10 hours on the new ones. Still though, the new spindles do not have the grease zirks. So, hopefully these will hold up given their updated construction.

Wright Mfg. was great to jump on the spindle issue, but I have discovered that some Wright dealers are reluctant to perform warranty work on Wright mowers - if they are a dealer that did not sell you the mower. This is because, according to the dealers, most manufacturers don't pay their dealers squat for warranty repairs. I was fortunate enough to find a new local dealer here that would perform the repairs.

WrightCommercial
10-22-2008, 01:20 PM
Greetings to all on this thread,

First, let’s discuss the issue regarding Wright Dealers and warranty work. Yes, technically, every Wright Dealer should perform warranty work, regardless of whether the unit was purchased with them or not. However, these are decisions that each dealer can make for themselves. This is, unfortunately, not something that Wright Manufacturing can regulate given that these are business decisions that affect the dealer's bottom-line. What we do recommend is contacting your dealer beforehand should you require repair or warranty work, especially if the unit was not purchased at that dealer. We do, in fact, have some of the best dealers in the country selling and servicing our products; however, again, these are all decisions that affect their businesses directly and therefore need to be handled by them.

Please feel free to forward any dealer complaints to us by logging onto our website at www.wrightmfg.com. Click on the “Contact Us” located at the top of the page. The default email address will be Sales but you can simply switch that to Service. Don’t worry, though, if your email ends up going to the Sales Department. They will forward onto us.

Additionally, the WMI Service Department has undergone several changes in the past year and it is our goal to provide excellent customer service to all. If a complaint comes directly to WMI, we will either handle it directly and inform the distributor for that territory, or we will ask the distributor to handle directly with their dealer. It is necessary for WMI to inform all distributors of dealer problems to ensure ever-evolving, always improving customer service! Problems are ordinarily addressed immediately.

As far as the Spindle issue is concerned: TPLawnPro, please contact us at 301-360-9810 and ask for the Service Department. We will ensure you are all taken care of! We now have a new spindle which is assembled in-house. This spindle is currently being used in production on the ZK, MMZ, WSE, and WSES/RH’s. To date, zero failures! However, there have been three instances of impact issues. Yes, it is still a sealed bearing; however, this spindle is well sealed, has grease barriers, a larger shaft, and better bearings. It is our opinion that this one is a real winner! Our engineers have studied this spindle for superior design, implemented it, and then performed EXTREME testing. (Submerged in water, running 45 mins on, 10 mins off, for months at a time). Final design did not have any sign of internal moisture and they are still working fine on a test mower. We do not discount that a greaseable, tapered bearing works great, if they are regularly greased and adjusted.

Please feel free to contact the Service Department through our website should anyone have further questions or concerns.

Warm regards,

Service Department
Wright Manufacturing, Inc.

130perweek
10-22-2008, 06:14 PM
Wright, Thank you for that quick response. My mower is 7 years old now, so there's no such thing as warranty work.

I bought my Stander 36 at this place called Bissett Nursery. They are very friendly and informative in there, and they know their business, but if you need any sort of repair, warranty or not, they will make you wait. We had an electrical issue and it took 3 business days to get it repaired - not too bad I guess?? Seemed like an eternity for me.

I'll be looking for another of these mowers shortly.....