Oregon Replacement Spindles

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by lildevil_66, Nov 10, 2013.

  1. lildevil_66

    lildevil_66 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 54

    I recently had to replace 2 spindles on my Toro Z-Master. I thought I would be able to replace just the bearing and seals but when I dis-assembled the spindles I found the spindle shafts damaged in the area where the bearing rides. A new OEM unit was around $300 and after reading here on LawnSite I decided to go with Oregon replacement spindles. I received the spindles and compared it to my OEM and they looked identical as expected. Since the Oregon was shipped assembled, I could not see what bearing set was used in the Oregon but I knew Timken bearings were used in the originals. I installed the spindles and was happy with their performance. After about 30 hours of use I noticed/heard a slight squeal from the deck. I inspected the deck and found one Oregon spindle had developed a wobble. I grabbed a torque wrench and checked the torque and the pulley nut was still at 125ft/lbs. I removed the blade and pulley and slid the spindle shaft out of the housing. Right away I noticed the bottom spacer had some damage so I pulled the whole spindle out to inspect it. I then found both the top and bottom bearings bad and that the bottom seal was installed incorrectly. Since I had another Oregon Spindle installed I decided to check it as well. It was OK but it too had the seal installed incorrectly. The repair manual to the mower instructs to install the bottom seal with the lips out. Installed in this manner will allow the seal to "pass" grease along with water and debris. I looked at my OEM and the seal was installed lips out.

    I was just wanting to get some feedback from other members on any experiences they have had with Oregon spindles. I was not surprised that the Oregon spindles did not have Timken bearings or CR seals since that is one way to cut cost, but should the assembly of the unit be incorrect? I am adamant on maintenance and keep the spindles greased so when cleaning the Oregon spindles to ready them for new bearings and seals I was surprised to find the bottom seals in both spindles ruptured. I think this is what confirmed my suspension that the seals were installed wrong.

    Hopefully some other members can use this information or maybe the Oregon rep can chime in and give me an explanation of the assembly. In the meantime, I'm going to rebuild both with quality bearings and seals and put them on the shelf for spares. Just remember to check those seals!
     
  2. John Deere 05

    John Deere 05 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 145

    I ran a toro 52 z for years and when I had trouble with a spindle I also bought the complete Oregon replacement spindle. Had good luck with it for a few years then it went out again. I went to the dealer to get parts to rebuild it and they were a bit pricey, the dealer cross referenced john deere bearings and seals that fit and cost a lot less, have since sold mower but the man that bought it has not changed any in 2 years.
     
  3. lildevil_66

    lildevil_66 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 54

    I also rebuilt the original spindles as well as the Oregon spindles with non-OEM bearings and seals. The Toro OEM bearings still had identification numbers which were Timken SET14 (L44643 and L44610) and CR Seals (CR14875) These parts can be found at most auto parts stores or an industrial supplier. The Oregon spindle bearings and seals were damaged and could not be readily identified but the same bearings and seals fit them also. I installed the new bottom seal with the lips out as instructed by the Toro manual. Time will tell on the repair of the Oregon spindles. I may try to install one on the mower as a test of longivity.
     

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