grease out the top of spindle

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DoubleCutter, Oct 6, 2003.

  1. DoubleCutter

    DoubleCutter LawnSite Member
    Posts: 58

    Im noticing grease is starting to come out the top of the spindle, and the poppet valve is working fine, Is this a normal sign, or is it showing me that theirs a bad seal, or alot of slop in my spindles. Mower has 1450 hrs on spindles. Just wondering.
    Bill
     
  2. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    To be honest with you the grease normally seeps out the bottom of a spindle. You can check the spindles by removing the belts and lifting up and down on the end of the blade. If there is more than about 1/8" of play than your bearings may be going out. Spindles will usually howl when the bearings are real bad.
     
  3. Doc Pete

    Doc Pete LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,469

    Sorry, but you really shouldn't have any "noticable" movment in the blade. You may "seem to feel movement" which can be attributed to "clearance" in the bearing that allows for expansion in the bearing itself from heat, but no real "measurable" play.
    If you have 1/8" play, the bearing "or housing" is long gone.
    If you don't believe me just ask the manufacture.
    Pete
     
  4. Rustic Goat

    Rustic Goat LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,194

    If you find spindle to be 'not worn', can think of two things.

    Spindles are REALLY well greased, and when they get hot, grese thins enough to work up, a little bit is normal.

    Remove spindle, clean really well, reassemble, regrease. Could have dirt or old grease blocking free flow of grease or release of pressure when warmed up.
     
  5. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    1/8" of play is what? 1/64" or 1/32" of clearence in the bottom bearing? I've seen them go for years with that much play.
     
  6. Doc Pete

    Doc Pete LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,469

    Rich,
    Yes you can run them, but that doesn't mean there's nothing wrong. If it was my equipment, it would have new bearings or housing. I've seen guy's using mowers I wouldn't give away. And still, play in a bearing is bad regardless of how small, and it would show up as noise, but them again, the guy who accepts 1/8" of slop in the bearing probably wouldn't notice the noise, either.......
    Just my opinion.
     
  7. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Posts: 3,010

    my experience on mowing unit maintainance is mostly limited to my own machine. it seems however that you are indicating a change in the grease leakage has happened.

    in other words it is leaking grease now and it didn't used to.

    that change bears watching. I agree with loosen the belts and give it the yank-pull test. I say they should be tight.

    even after thousands of hours my spindles are tight. all grease that exits seeps out the weep hole.

    GEO
     
  8. DennisF

    DennisF LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 1,381

    I agree with switchless. I'm a retired toolmaker and I can tell you that 1/8 clearance is far too much for a roller bearing. Most bearing manufacturers specify .008-.010 inch clearance on the high side. The only reason for the clearance to begin with is space for the lubricant. If you are loosing grease at the top it is probably a good indication that the spindle has reached the end of its life.
     
  9. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    DennisF wrote:

    I'm a retired toolmaker and I can tell you that 1/8 clearance is far too much for a roller bearing.

    Who said anything about 1/8" of play in the bearing?

    I said:

    "You can check the spindles by removing the belts and lifting up and down on the end of the blade. If there is more than about 1/8" of play than your bearings may be going out."

    Even if there is more than 1/8" of play it doesn't necessarily mean that the bearings are bad. As Pete pointed out the housing may have a problem or there could be a problem with the bolt tightening up correctly.

    You could also have a minute amount of play in both the top and bottom bearings and the 2 combined could allow the end of the blade to move. Does this mean that the bearings are bad? No! It just means that you may want to keep an eye on them. If it gets progressively worse than a through inspection is in order.

    Jeeze!
     
  10. AVRECON

    AVRECON LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 290

    Enough arguing already guys. Bottom line is if the bearing is doing the "wobbling dance", then it's probably time to replace the bearings or the whole assembly. Otherwise keep mowing.
     

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