greasing of spindle bearings

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MSgardener, Jul 3, 2003.

  1. MSgardener

    MSgardener LawnSite Member
    from 9A
    Posts: 13

    I own a Toro 325-D with a 72" cutting deck. I cut just a little over 3 acres of St Augustine grass once every 10 days. My Groundsmaster seems to eat bearings for dinner. How often should I grease the spindle bearings? Every time I use it? Once per month? I should mention the property I cut is on the Mississippi Gulf Coast where we have lots of sun and lots of rain. I also cut the grass on the lowest setting. It has been suggested that I raise the cutting height, that I use synthetic grease. I've been told that I also should not grease too often because it might break the seal. Is there anything else I should be looking for? Thanks for any help and Happy 4th of July
     
  2. parkmaster

    parkmaster LawnSite Member
    Posts: 68

    You should grease the spindles daily and caster wheels daily
    or every 8 hours of operation. Go to TORO's web site and down load an operator's manual. Maintenance spec's are in the operator's manual

    You plant it
    I'll maintain it
     
  3. parkmaster

    parkmaster LawnSite Member
    Posts: 68

    Also raise your cutting height to 2 1/2 inches.
    Greasing your spindles about 4 good pumps should do it from a manual grease gun

    You plant it
    I'll maintain it
     
  4. mowerman90

    mowerman90 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,491

    St Augustine should be mowed at 3.5 to 4.5 inches depending on the time of year. Apparently you're cutting WAY TOO LOW.
     
  5. nelbuts

    nelbuts LawnSite Bronze Member
    from SW, FL
    Posts: 1,053

    Honestly I have no idea. I have had the same set of bearings in my Scag Turf Tiger for five years and I have NEVER greased bearings daily reguardless of the type of mower. The least I have heard of is every 25 hours. Remember too much grease will cause problems too. If they are the cheaper bearings which I think they could be then you cqan pop the seal allowing dirt and water to get into them and cause damage.
     
  6. bob

    bob LawnSite Platinum Member
    from DE
    Posts: 4,254

    Do you balance your blades? Blade that are out of balance will contribute to bearing wear.
     
  7. MSgardener

    MSgardener LawnSite Member
    from 9A
    Posts: 13

    Thanks to everyone for their suggestions.
    Based on responses to this forum and one other, I've decided to raise the deck height by at least 3 inches and go to the daily greasing "after" each use. A service rep for a Toro distributor called me back today and said given the St Aug grass and the heat of southern Mississippi, I should grease after each use. I'm still a little concered about overgreasing and breaking a seal which I have done before. Nelbuts, I have no idea about the quality of the bearings. I purchase them fom a Toro dealer and "assume" they are of good quality. Bob, I never gave any thought to the balancing of the blades which I do NOT do but will consider doing so in the future.
     
  8. MSgardener

    MSgardener LawnSite Member
    from 9A
    Posts: 13

    Thanks to everyone for their suggestions.
    Based on responses to this forum and one other, I've decided to raise the deck height by at least 3 inches and go to the daily greasing "after" each use. A service rep for a Toro distributor called me back today and said given the St Aug grass and the heat of southern Mississippi, I should grease after each use. I'm still a little concered about overgreasing and breaking a seal which I have done before. Nelbuts, I have no idea about the quality of the bearings. I purchase them fom a Toro dealer and "assume" they are of good quality. Bob, I never gave any thought to the balancing of the blades which I do NOT do but will consider doing so in the future.
    One last question, do any of you favor synthetic grease over oil grease. I know Exmark is a big believer in the synthetic. Again, many thanks for your ideas. Hapy 4th of July.
     
  9. If you're replacing those bearings yourself there's a pitfall you need to watch out for.

    To keep the tapered roller bearings separated the proper amount there is a cylinder that goes in between the two bearings.
    There is also a thin split ring that belongs in there too.
    It often gets lost.
    It's a custom thickness specifically for that spindle assembly so they vary in thickness a little.
    But if that ring is omitted all together, the bearings get too tight and overheat.
    I've checked Toro parts, but they don't even give a part number for it.
    https://lookup2.toro.com/partdex/index.cfm?xCaller=Toro

    If you don't have that ring you might substitute a machine bushing (available at TSC etc.) After assembly check that the bearings have the slight bit of play. (you should just be able to detect a very slight click when you wiggle the blade tip in and out.)

    If I can be of help let me know.

    Dave
     
  10. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,937

    That, or from cutting SO low, you've bent your spindle SHAFTS, and putting bearings in is like taking a shower and putting old underware back on.

    Why not price out complete spindle assemblies? J-Thomas? Don't know weather they sell them or not, since your mower isn't a "popular" unit these days.

    Synthetic HD Amsoil Chassis grease is what I use. But I don't have high speed spindles to lube anymore, if I did, Id be using something designed for High SPeed wheel bearins with disc brakes. It works good under high temps, and won't seperate and settle out.

    Heck 3 hrs every 10 days, you ought to go about half a season before needing to grease!

    Good Luck!
     

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