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  #1  
Old 04-23-2005, 02:45 PM
shorty7616 shorty7616 is offline
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Replacing Spindle

I am about to replace my spindle on my Exmark 36". It seems like the nuts on the spindle are on there TIGHT. Any ideas, and tips in general?
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  #2  
Old 04-23-2005, 03:18 PM
Roger Roger is offline
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I have replaced bearings in the spindles on my 36" Exmark Viking -- maybe your machine is the same one. Take the blades off, then the drive pulley. I believe a square headed setscrew is on the bottom side. If it has never been off, getting it off the first time might be a challenge. When remounting, use some anti-siezing material on the shaft.

After the pulley, you will find four bolts, running through the case aluminum spindle housing and the steel deck plate. They are smaller bolts (5/8" head?), which should come off with a rachet, or end wrench. If they have not been off, and they machine is a few seasons old, they may be rusty. Use some penetrating oil to help loosen the nuts. The entire spindle housing will drop out.

I'm not sure which bolts that are troubling for you -- the blade bolts should have been routinely taken off/remounted, so they shouldn't be a problem. If the bolts are the four small one, they may need some "persuasion." If they are damaged, new ones will be needed - a trip to the hardware store.
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  #3  
Old 04-23-2005, 04:37 PM
shorty7616 shorty7616 is offline
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How do you get the pulley off?

And yes the machine is several- 5 - years old. And how much time "should" this take to complete.
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  #4  
Old 04-23-2005, 10:31 PM
Roger Roger is offline
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At five years, getting the pulley off may provide some difficulty. Look closely at your parts book so that you understand the thru-sleeve part of the assembly. It is a tubular part, running top to bottom, with a welded washer on the bottom. The blade bolt runs through this tubular part. I typically use three spacer washers between the bottom of this washer and the blades.

The top part of the tubular part is keyed and is where the pulley is mounted. Therefore, you need to either pull the pulley up off the tube, or drive the tube down through the pulley. As mentioned earlier, there is probably a set screw that engages on the key, screwed through the cast iron pulley hub. Be sure the screw is loose.

I recall the first time I took this apart, I had a hard time getting the pulley off. If you have a puller, I'm sure you can make a jig to mount it to pull the pulley up, off the tube. Access is very good, and this is probably the best, ... if you can use a puller.

If you have no puller then you need some punch-like device to drive the tube down, through the pulley. BE CAREFUL not to damage the top end of the tube. Remember the blade bolt must still pass through when the assembly is remounted. Find something that is just a bit smaller than the inside diameter of the pulley, something that can fit well on the end of the tube. It must fit flush, so as to not damage the end. Perhaps a socket ... maybe from an impact wrench set ... will work. Then use good judgement when striking the device. Again, penetrating oil may help to loosen the connection. After five years, penetrating oil is a must!

Last season, when I replaced bearings, I was able to pull out the spindle assembly, knock out the old bearnings, replace them with new ones, and get both assemblies back installed on the mowing deck, with blades in place ... in about two hours. For me, that was very good. The first time I did the bearing replacement, I spent a long time ... most of the time being spent attempting to get the old bearings out. I took them to a shop, and they couldn't help me either. Once I learned how to do it, and the tools needed, now I can get the old ones out is a matter of a few minutes.

By the way ... developing skills to make quick bearing replacement is not a skill to be given much merit. After all, if one has the technique down, and the time to a minimum, it means one has been there before ... not good!

More questions ...? Let us know how you do.
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  #5  
Old 04-24-2005, 08:30 PM
shorty7616 shorty7616 is offline
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Allright, I got the hex screw out of the pulley, and I got all 4 bolts off of the spindle. But, the spindle still won't fall loose. What else am I missing?
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  #6  
Old 04-24-2005, 08:57 PM
Roger Roger is offline
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You will need to get the pulley off before trying to get the assembly out of the deck. You will probably want to snug up the four bolts, merely to hold the assembly solid. The only way the cast housing will be taken out of the deck is to drop it down -- which means the pulley HAS to come off. There is no other way as far as I can determine.

Reread my notes regarding getting the pulley off. Unscrewing the set screw is necessary, but not sufficient to get the pulley loose from the tubular unit. Do you have a gear puller? Do you have something to use as a punch device, like a heavy duty socket? Have you put penetrating oil on the joint where the pulley hub and the tubular unit meet? Don't expect the pulley to simply come off (or what you mean by "spindle won't fall loose."). Undoubtedly, breaking it loose will take some heavy duty "persuasion."

I don't know how your unit was assembled at the factory, but I think the pulley is NOT mounted with an anti-seize agent. Since I had much trouble getting mine off the first time, when I reassembled the unit, as well as the couple of added times I've taken it off, I use anti-seize compound and the pulley will come loose pretty easily the next time it has to come off. Shame on the factory for not doing this during the initial assembly. They must assume all such repairs will be done by a dealer, or some shop, with appropriate heavy duty tools to get it loose.

I'm sorry I'm not living next door -- I would be happy to bring tools to help. But, in the meantime, we'll have to do virtual help.
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  #7  
Old 04-25-2005, 02:50 PM
shorty7616 shorty7616 is offline
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Right now, it looks like I'm not going to have the time to get it done myself....or anyone else for that matter... for at least 2 weeks.

Will the spindle hold.....The spindle could be bad for "forever" without any real effects?
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  #8  
Old 04-25-2005, 10:13 PM
Roger Roger is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shorty7616
Right now, it looks like I'm not going to have the time to get it done myself....or anyone else for that matter... for at least 2 weeks.

Will the spindle hold.....The spindle could be bad for "forever" without any real effects?
What do you mean by the last statement/question? I don't believe you ever said why you are changing spindles. My assumption has been the bearings are bad. Am I right? If the bearings are shot, the blades will be loose. And, if the bearings are wearing down to metal-on-metal, then you will burn them out, and they will be useless. The "real effects" comes down to a mower out of service, until replacements are made.

If the bearings are shot, they probably will not last many running hours before total collapse. Once they start to fail, total failure isn't very far behind. That is only my opinion -- I've never run mine to that point. When I see they are loose, I don't waste any more time before a change. I don't want to get caught in the middle of a day with my mower out of service. Maybe others on LS here have an opinion -- how long will a bearing run when it starts to get loose, run before total failure....?
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  #9  
Old 04-26-2005, 12:21 AM
shorty7616 shorty7616 is offline
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The spindle is sealed. Its an all or nothing type of a deal as far as I know. Yes the bearings are gone, because the blade moves slightly. But I don't see any reason why I can't wait until next weekend to take it when I am using it about 10-12 hours a week?

If I am completely mistaken, then I will do all in my power to get it done ASAP, but I am COVERED up right now. I called a shop and they said it would be about 3 days before it could be done.

Also, I may only be a few minutes away from having it loose- just driving the pulley off. But who knows how long it will take with it being on there for 5 years. I don't think the re-installation will be hard.
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  #10  
Old 04-26-2005, 05:56 AM
Roger Roger is offline
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If the spindle is sealed (I don't know any that are), then you have a different spindle assembly than I've been discussing. Ignore all my advice, ... sorry, I can't help.

Look closely at your parts book. The assembly drawing in the parts book will give you an idea how the parts are put together.
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