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Spindle Bearings- Sealed or Not

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bob, Jan 31, 2002.

  1. bob

    bob LawnSite Platinum Member
    from DE
    Messages: 4,260

    I'm changing the spindle bearings on my Grasshopper. The ones that I go from J. Thomas are sealed on both sides. The factory ones are only sealed on one side, to allow grease to touch the bearings. I already installed the J. Thomas ones. Since there sealed, no grease will be able to reach the bearings. Think they'll last? Or should I put the factory kind ones back in?
  2. You have 2 choices, leave them be and don't pump any grease in there.

    Or take them back out and pry off, or pull the grease seals off, on one side and then they will be greasable.

    However the thing is, the bearing MGF's claim they should last aproximitly 3 years.

    That's why you see sealed bearing in many of the newer mower spinles that are on the market today. Non greasable so less chances of getting debris in them. They also claim that weather you grease them or not they should atleast last 3 yeas or so.

    Another words, I am saying leave them like they are, as it should not make them last longer, and I only have 1 Wb that has greasable bearing, and no problems.
  3. mowerman90

    mowerman90 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,491

    I've had both types over the years and have never had any problems whatsoever with either one of them.
  4. danzig

    danzig LawnSite Member
    Messages: 103

    I change my deck bearings every spring. It costs me a little money but it is less than the cost of the mower being down when i need it. Go ahead and run your grasshopper, it should be ok for the season.
  5. OK for the season?

    I'm going to have a mower go on it's 5th season with no bearing replaced at all.

    Another pair going into their 6th season and non replaced at all.
  6. trophytkr

    trophytkr LawnSite Member
    Messages: 73

    Being a journeyman millwright for 25 years my advice is to use the sealed bearings. They are pregreased with the right amount of lubricant. The seals will keep dirt and moisture out of the bearing preventing contamination. Now there is a difference in sealed bearings and shielded bearings. Sealed bearings have a rubber like seal on them and shielded have metal plates. If it is the kind with the metal plates than I would have to think about removing the metal plates or going and getting the sealed bearings
  7. Jason Pallas

    Jason Pallas LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,335

    Just a note - a lot of "sealed" bearings aren't really sealed. As the previous post indicated, a rubber seal needs to be there (among other things) to ensure a good seal. My experience is that 99% of the aftermarket "sealed" bearings aren't sealed properly. I always pop that inner seal off and just maintain a regular lubricating schedule when re-building spindles. BEST Advice = use a good high temp synthetic grease on the spindles. J Thomas sells a great spindle grease (about $3 a tube).

    As a note, I've installed some of these so called "sealed" bearings w/o grease as reccommended by the manufacturer - and seen them frequently go bad in as quick as a week. Always pop that inner seal and grease away. Good Luck
  8. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,354

    replaced 2 greasables before i began a proper grease schedual.
    replaced 3 sealed ,but they were on cars.
    if i had crews id want the sealed. im solo so prefer the greaseable.got to do maintenance anyway so might as well
    grease . my lazer spindles grease from the top.i like that.:)
  9. turfquip

    turfquip LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 860

    I would also avoid power washing the underside of mower decks on these so called 'sealed' units. When water gets forced past the seals it's the beginning of the end.

    I just replaced two sets of bearings in an Exmark 36 (sealed) for this reason.

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