DC and Scag have the best spindle design in the industry IMO. Your right about the seals on sealed bearings. They aren't really designed to have any pressure from the back side. That is strange about Exmark. Any spindle can usually be rebuilt with just bearings,seals, a press and some skill. Its rare when a spindle is too shot to reuse unless its bent. I've rebuilt some of my DC's half a dozen times over the years. I've got a shelf of rebuilts for DC, Wright, Scag, Encore and Toro. One of my winter chores.
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