blade spindle bearings

Discussion in 'eXmark' started by steve122, May 11, 2004.

  1. steve122

    steve122 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 208

    I went to my local dealer over the weekend to buy bearings for the spindles. I've got 6 Lazers, 60" decks and a bunch of bearings that are starting to growl pretty loudly. Not out yet, just dry and loud. Wanted to start changing the bearings. Dealer told me that Exmark no longer sells bearings only, showed me a complete housing and said that was the only way I could get bearings from Exmark. What's the deal? I don't want to spend 81.00 for a pair of bearings. If this is true, can you give me a bearing number I can go to a bearing house with and get my bearings? Would save me having to pull one apart before I go and having them match them up. Also, if I had a bearing number I could look on the internet.
  2. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Messages: 4,258

    Steve 122,

    Your dealer is correct. We no longer service the bearing by itself. What we've found was that most replacement bearings were failing prematurely. Upon inspection of the failed replacement bearings we found several issues.

    The first issue was the manner in which the bearings were pressed in. Often the bearings were pressed in with a hammer and a block of wood. Not only did this damage the seals but in many cases it could damage the bearing itself. We also found bearing alignment problems when using this method. Often when a standard press was used we found that the bearing could be pressed in crooked causing it to bind and require excessive pressure to get the bearing seated which again could cause damage to the seal and bearing. One other issue we saw related to the proper torquing of the top nut to set the clamp load. If the bearing was not seated properly the bearing could reseat itself causing a loss of clamp load which again would lead to a premature failure.

    One other issue we found when the bearings were not properly pressed in was damage to the housing. If the bearing is misaligned you can expand the housing or "squash" the bearing out of round again dramatically shortening the life of the bearing.

    We also looked at several assemblies that had failed after the bearings had been replaced only to find out that the proper bearing was not used. The dimensions of the bearing are quite common and is used by several OEM and aftermarket suppliers. In many cases we found that the bearings used were not Exmark bearings. After some investigation we found that you could take the bearing suppliers part number off of our bearing and order it through a local bearing supplier. When the bearing arrived however the seals, type of grease as well as the grease quantity was inadequate and would again cause a failure.

    We also found that often if a failed bearing ran too long the housing and spacers were damaged then re-used again causing a premature failure.

    At some point we decided that by not servicing the bearing we would be servicing our customers better. It's always been my opinion that a failed bearing is not all that expensive. The down time associated with the failed bearing is much greater. By not servicing the bearing by itself our data would indicate that repeat failures are much less as is the associated downtime.

    The other thing to remember is that ALL no-maintenance spindles have a 3 year warranty. If you machine is less than 3 years old you may be entitled to some warranty coverage.


  3. steve122

    steve122 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 208

    The last thing I thougth about was age for warranty. One mower was 3 this April the other only 2. I will be talknig with my dealer about warranty. Thanks for the reply. I going to be one of the guys who takes the bearing to a supplier and replacing my own. I've been working on my own equipment, farm, cars, trucks, mowers etc. for the last 30 years. I'll take my chances on replaced bearings for the difference in price. $26 for 2 bearings vs $81 for the assembly.
  4. tacraven

    tacraven LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    I have some old exmarks with the greasable spindles. I can rebuild them for $30. I like these. My 36" with the sealed spindles are not lasting as long as they could if thery were greasable. The light pulleys on the newer models are also not as good as the old cast iron ones.
  5. Oldtimer

    Oldtimer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,459

    The only way to get the bearings to last is to purchase them from an eXmark dealer. The grease eXmark specs for the bearings is quite expensive and the bearings are only available through a dealer. You can purchase the exact same bearing with the same part number from any good supply house but you won't get the same grease pack that eXmark uses. They won't last long but you will get a lot of practice changing them.

    Pensacola, Florida
  6. hacker

    hacker LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    J-Thomas carries both replacement spindles and the parts to service the spindles yourself. My Lazer Z is serial 177xxx, so I have the older style spindles. It makes a difference, because the older spindles have a collared bearing, and a smaller spacer. I've ordered the non-collared bearing, and some larger spacers.

    I figure by changing to the non-collared bearings, there's a small long term cost savings.

    It's not clear that the bearings sold by J-Thomas have the same grease formulation that Exmark spindles have. I'll gamble. this time.
  7. razor1

    razor1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,985

    How many hours can you get out of a non-greasable Exmark spindle? It's nice not having to grease them, but I've gotten 3000+ hours out of greasable spindles. I would much rather spend an extra 2 minutes per day and have them last the life of the tractor. As far as people not knowing how to rebuild them or not willing to grease them, isn't that their problem. Must we all pay for their laziness or incompetence.
  8. razor1

    razor1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,985

    I just noticed the date. Wow what an old thread!

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