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viking spindle bearings & another question

Discussion in 'eXmark' started by BZB_Helpers, Oct 18, 2006.

  1. BZB_Helpers

    BZB_Helpers LawnSite Member
    Posts: 131

    I have an 2003 viking:
    model# VH4815KAC
    serial# 443915

    On the eXmark parts website, it doesnt show the deck spindle bearings being available.

    Yet JThomas shows the spindle bearing being eXmark part#303057, i typed that into the eXmark parts website and got a newer part#303543.
    Is 303543 the correct part# for my mower?

    Also, i called a dealer and the bearings are around $10-$11 each, correct?
    Is there a big difference between an OEM bearing @$10-$11 and a JThomas bearing @$7?

    One last thing, my mower has 16x7.5-8 tires currently on it but i have access to some 16x6.5-8 tires, will the smaller tires fit on the stock rim?
  2. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258


    Thanks for taking the time to write in.

    That bearing part number is actually a number for the old machines that used to have the greaseable assemblies. We no longer sell the bearings for the no-maintenance assemblies.

    I know this has been covered a dozen times on this forum, so I'll give the short story of why we don't sell the bearings. Basically we don't believe replacing the bearings to be a good fix. When pushing out the original bearings, you can very easily damage the housing (seat for the bearing), which can (usually does) result in a very premature failure of the replacement bearing. Second when you figure the cost of our spec bearing, along with the labor to replace it, it's very easily a wash with a new assembly.

    So to answer your question, I have no idea what the difference may be in the two bearings.

    I don't know that we've ever tried that size tire on our rim, so I couldn't say for sure. My guess is that it would work fine.

    I hope this helps. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us again.


  3. BZB_Helpers

    BZB_Helpers LawnSite Member
    Posts: 131

    thanks for the reply.

    Since you dont sell the sealed bearings anymore, and i dont want to buy 3 new spindle assemblies @ $80-$100 a piece, can the older, greasable bearing be installed in the sealed bearing housing and just drill and tap a zerk fitting? or did you guys change the housing altogether?

    Also, what was the part number for the sealed bearings, incase my dealer actually has some NOS(new old stock) ones?

    I've pressed many bearings on and off so im not worried about messing anything up.

    I was asking about the tires because i thought the older vikings came with 16x6.5-8 tires.
  4. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258

    My suggestion would be to buy neither. If you really want to try and just replace the bearings, I'd suggest getting the following bearing from either your dealer or someplace that deals in bearings.

    Fafnir RA100

    This is the base bearing we use, however it does not have the high grease pack that we call for (app 80%), nor is it quite so tightly toleranced. Both of which may actually help the bearing take if your R&R'ing.

    As a service guy I've got to tell you, 'what's cheapest isn't what's always least expensive'. My example is that we don't replace these bearings under warranty, we replace the housing assy. We do this because we know in the long run they'll last longer and because of that be a less expensive replacement.

    Let us know if you have any questions.


  5. BZB_Helpers

    BZB_Helpers LawnSite Member
    Posts: 131

    You also just replace the whole assembly as opposed to rebuilding because its faster for the tech to remove/replace 3 assemblies versus pressing out/in 6 bearings.
    Its like the auto service field, we dont rebuild anything anymore, its cheaper and faster to replace with a reman unit. As we all know, labor is the most expensive part of the job.

    Thanks for the info, i'll call my dealer tomorrow
    Just a question, how much are OEM spindles?
  6. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258

    You are correct with the labor. However, even when we had the 3-year warranty on the spindle assemblies (1st yr parts & labor, 2nd & 3rd year parts only), we still replaced the housing assy even though we weren't paying for the labor in the 2nd and 3rd year.

    The housing with bearing (housing sub-assy) is part number 103-8280 and lists for just under $100 (aluminum is getting pricey...save those cans!).

    Again, let us know if you have any questions.



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