Spindle teardown and inspect---part of your PM?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Two Seasons, Dec 6, 2007.

  1. Two Seasons

    Two Seasons LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 791

    Do any of you take apart your spindles at the end of the season, run solvent over all the components, inspect the bearings under magnification, check runout, then repack or replace?
  2. Breezmeister

    Breezmeister LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from South Jersey
    Posts: 1,547

    Back in the day, in the 80s when I worked for a LCO I took all the spindles apart that we greased. Didn't go to extremes, just replaced the bearings that had play in them or where loose in the housing, used Liquid Metal to put the loose bearings back in place. But the ones that where sealed, we left alone until they failed or showed signs of wear.
  3. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,937


    And if your using SCAG's, you really should never need to unless you bend a spindle shaft.
  4. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    No seriously. The labor involved makes it cost prohibitive. That and you can simply do a quicky free play test in seconds. The free play test will tell you everything you need to know.

    Take the belts and brakes (if equiped) off and grab the end of the blade. If you can move it up and down more than 1/8" then you need to keep an eye on them. If it has better than 1/4" of play then it's time for replacement.
  5. tomo

    tomo LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 660

    hello, a quality spindle cast iron, billet steel etc which has grease points ,tapered roller bearings ,typically 1 inch or 1 1/4 shaft and adjustable preload only needs greasing . Diameter of the mounting flange is important 8-12 inches . Possibly strip and inspect every 1000hrs . However most checks can be done without full disassembly.

    Alloy housings will have a shorter life span and suffer from problems such as bearings spinning in the housings etc. Alloy is soft and stretches easily Typical is the use of ball bearings which ""are not heavy duty"" and fail more often ,mainly due to there poor load carry capacity . To strip and inspect alloy type housings every season is probaly a good idea but a waste of time/money in reality . Check 4 wear and tear every service is enough IMO.
    Replace -overhaul at service time as required

  6. General Grounds

    General Grounds LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 902

    exactly what richard said
  7. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,207

    In many years of mowing I never had spindle go out in either our Scags or the Snappers........guess the grease certs help you think? My Wright went 600 hours and both went......going to retro the Scag spindles onto the wright.
  8. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,937

    That's a LOT of movement Rich.

    ANY movement at the blade tip is reason for replacement. I've had one on my old Lazer with just the slightest movement when cold. After mowing and heating up, it was tight. It lasted several hundred hours like this, and I sold it like this.

    I had a lot of problems with the older SCAG aluminum/ball bearing spindles. Replaced quite a few. The newer tapered bearing cast iron housings are trouble free.

    I believe TORO currently has the best spindle design out there.
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    If I have to go through the trouble then the bearings get replaced, skip the tests at that point.
    Because I'd almost rather replace the rack and pinion steering gear on a bmw, almost.

    At least 2 hours, if you have done it before, I've had it take 6-8 hours, per spindle.

    Then you're as likely to do more harm than good, since you have to pound the bearings out, basically, at some point.

    It's not worth it.
  10. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    It's not worth it, once you've replaced a few you learn to recognize tell tale signs, no need to check like that.

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