A couple of questions from a "rookie"

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by jbhofc, Sep 19, 2007.

  1. jbhofc

    jbhofc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    First I'd like to say what an interesting site this is and how much I have to learn. I have "chimed" in for the first time a couple threads below on the Stihl headphones, but that is not my reason this time:

    I wanted to ask a couple of questions regarding mowers.
    I purchased my neighbors (he just passed away) 1991 Woods mower.
    I know from other forums that these are not thought too highly of, but,
    if there is a "cherry" one out there this is it. It has 450 hours, 60" deck,older grasshopper looking, very well taken care of.
    My questions are, even after greasing spindles (blades) and mowing a hour or so, the pulley get pretty hot--not too hot to touch, but surprisingly hot.--is this common? Two of the spindles are replacements and very new looking--they get hot as well. -since all three are hot ,(equally) hot, I am wondering if this is acceptable?
    Second question, I already looked into replacing bearings on third spindle-not loose or noisy, just thought about making all three similar in age/hours.--but the only bearings I could find were "sealed" -might be great for dirt and dust, but I feel like non-sealed and properly greased bearings would be better.
    Third question, is there a high rpm grease that is recommeded for my blade spindles?
    I trust you fellas have been through this crap and wondered your opinions.
    Many thanks, Mark
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    1. You want to check that belt tension some kind of way, make sure it's not too tight, that could be causing the heat but some is normal. Few belts run cool at 3,000 rpm or whatever, again check for tension... And while you're fooling with the belt tensioner why not see about loosening it up completely so you can check first the belt and then all bearings for wear (or play).
    Check all that out real good, a badly worn bearing will heat up everything, also check the belt travel path and make sure it's not binding or rubbing someplace, there might be a spindle brake pad (or 3) as well, check these for proper function and once all that is checked out you should be gtg.

    2. No, replace one at a time, as they wear.
    Not sure about your machine but one set on mine takes 8 hours to do first time around, 2 hours if you've done it a few times before. Either way the only way I would replace a second or even third bearing is if they were dang near failing AND I had extra cash or time (because they're like $50 a set). As a rule the only preventive maintenance I do is simple stuff like grease, spark plugs, bushings, grommets, oil and filter changes, stuff like that.
    I do replace most dollar items once / year but even that takes time, to find out WHICH dollar stuff needs it, so as a rule we ALWAYS run it until it breaks first... Once I learn about a specific part that likes to break more than anything else, THAT part gets replaced once / year so I usually have no mid-season problems (spark plugs are one example, these I replace once / year and I'm through fooling with that, also I run double platinums to make extra sure).

    3. You can try synthetic lube, but if you're having to grease your spindles then they're open bearings, right?
    Yes, so if the only replacements you have found are sealed I dare say you're doing something wrong, or you got the wrong part.
    It just doesn't sound right, there might be an application where a cross is possible, but why take a chance?
    Always replace worn parts with the same thing, don't take chances with new fangled parts except as a very last resort.

    As for me, I use Mag-1 grease I buy at Northern for just under a buck a tube, I go through an easy dozen a year.
    Grease every single day, always grease those zerks, some go longer between but not open bearings, daily!
    Usually it's the bushings that need the synth, most bearings are fine with regular stuff.
    Because synth runs around $5+ a tube...
    But I do use synth on 1-2 zerks that lube up brass bushings, all bearings get regular stuff.
  3. jpiwowar

    jpiwowar LawnSite Member
    Messages: 43

    Those old flat front decks had cast iron spindles, which run hotter than the newer ones. Grasshopper made the woods machine up until the mid 90's. so when you need parts like bearings, you can get them from a Grasshopper dealer. The bearings for that deck are not sealed. They have a seal on one side and open on the inside.

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