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Spindle replacement: bearings or assembly?

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by Glenn J, Jun 12, 2005.

  1. Glenn J

    Glenn J LawnSite Member
    Messages: 211

    While mowing this evening, one of my belts felt the need to self destruct into about 253 little bits of rubber and cord. :angry: At least I got the front yeard done. Last week, it was the front caster letting go....

    Anyway, I've noticed there's a bit of play in the spindle bearings when I pull the blades off to sharpen them. Now that there's no belt tention on this one spindle, there's really a good amount of play. I've also noticed that the blade blolts get really hot when mowing. I've greased the fittings on the spindles more than enough (for homeowner use) so I'm thinking something is going on in there.

    Should I attempt to rebuild the current spindles? Or just order the ones from J-Thomas @ $50 each? Link: (See #6) http://www.j-thomas.com/Catalog/033.htm

    While $50 is a bit pricey (I figured I might as well swap out all three while I'm in there) it may save time and money in the long run.

  2. fixer67

    fixer67 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,098

    "While $50 is a bit pricey (I figured I might as well swap out all three while I'm in there) it may save time and money in the long run. "

    That is the key right there. By the time you take it apart IF you can get it apart and then just to find the Spindle shaft and/or bearings and/or housing are gone replacing the whole thing does not seem all the pricey. If there is no movement (play) in the other assemblies I see no reason to replace them at this time unless you just want to get it out of the way
  3. easycareacres

    easycareacres LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 367

    ha remove all three try $349.00 each here. You need odd spare so never cuaght out, dam 50 bucks is jack shitt. We charge same price as you buggers but ya mowers down times nothing come on buy spares ya tight arses. :cool2:
  4. Glenn J

    Glenn J LawnSite Member
    Messages: 211

    That's what worried me. I have no idea how old these are and I can only imagine how "fun" getting them apart would be. Metal does odd things when covered with moldy, damp grass. I'd be doing this a lot: :realmad:

    How are the pulleys held on to the spindle? It looks like a a key and a really really small allen head screw?
  5. Glenn J

    Glenn J LawnSite Member
    Messages: 211

    I ordered three spindles last night along with a few extra belts. Since I ordered 3, the price of each went down to $47 each. I'll post an update when they arive later this week. After work, I'll soak down the bolts that hold the spindles to the deck with PB blaster. I've learned that old rusty bolts are easier to deal with if you soak them a few days before attempting a fix. :dizzy:
  6. Glenn J

    Glenn J LawnSite Member
    Messages: 211

    I took on this job yesterday. When standing behind the mower, the pulley to the left was easy to remove. I removed the two allen bolts and the pulley popped right off. That's where the fun ended. The middle and right pulleys were not cooperating. I could not get one of the allen bolts out of the center pulley. On the right pulley, even with all the bolts removed, it wasn't budging. I felt like such a redneck when I pulled out the 4lb sledge..... It worked though. Since I was replacing the spindles, I used the sledge to drive the spindle out of the pulleys. The right one wasn't so bad, the center one was somewhat of a pain. Probably because of that stuck small allen bolt. Another call to J-Thomas to order new pulleys and idler pulleys and I should be good to go by mid next week. I'm going to paint that area (where the belts live) since I have just about everything removed. Once the paint is dry, I'll install the new spindles and wait for the pulleys.
  7. Likestomow

    Likestomow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 997

    While I was in the Air Force motor pool, their moto was:

    Beat it to fit and paint it to match!

    I'm glad to hear that we weren't the only ones with that moto!
  8. Smalltimer1

    Smalltimer1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,223

    It took my breath the other week when a single spindle/bearing assembly for a 30" Murray rear engine rider cost $120.

    Glad it wasn't my mower, I charged the owner $80 to put it in. payup
  9. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,029

    You mean the average labor rate is 80.00 a hour in Raleigh ?
    I'm living in the wrong state !
  10. Smalltimer1

    Smalltimer1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,223

    Included travel time to pick up parts 30 miles round trip.

    Local shops usually run about $58/hr. on labor. I do $18/hr. because I do not have a formal shop/high overhead/employees/etc., but travel time/gas has to be accounted for when I have to track parts down and a pickup/delivery charge, thus the reason for $80, which includes my time. I've become very good friends with the MTD and Murray parts guys recently. :D

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