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wheel motor play

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by EMJ, Dec 9, 2007.

  1. EMJ

    EMJ LawnSite Member
    Messages: 200

    Should there be any play in the wheel motor? I can move my wheel ever so slightly. Is that normal? I have one that has a leaky seal, but they both have the same amount of play.
  2. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,842

    I know one thing when you see the first sign of leak get it in and have the bearing replaced and new seal kit. If the mating surface on the shaft that runs in the bearing gets damaged then you almost better off getting a new wheel motor. Those outer bearings on some wheel motors are simple needle and no way to put extra grease in them. I wonder sometimes if we shouldn't just have new bearing put in before they leak? I got one in off Scag that started to leak and cost will be $100 to put in bearing and reseal.....that doesn't count cost of removal or installation.
  3. EMJ

    EMJ LawnSite Member
    Messages: 200

    OK the local mechanic said it is a waste of time to rebuild a wheel motor or hydro pump. That being said is it alright to replace the motors and not the pump as long as everything is flushed. If so what do you use to flush out the system. He also told me that a wheel motor has hard metal parts and that a pump is soft metal. I understand that as, a wheel motor will take out a pump, but a pump is unlikly to take out a motor. He seemed to agree with that. What are your thoughts?
  4. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,842

    I don't know about a flush....don't think I would use anything except oil. Concerning rebuild of wheel motor.......the thing that fails is normally the outside needle bearing. That bearing is isolated from the oil circulating part of the motor by a very good seal. So it is unlikely debris gets past it in the system. The problem can be that if you don't catch the failure quick enough the mating rotating part in the bearing will get damaged and then even a new seal won't stop leaking. It is a turkey shoot regarding repairing them....just as a side note there are many many shops that only repair wheel motors of various sizes as their business.
  5. DiyDave

    DiyDave LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,695

    EMJ- having owned a POS gravely for 10 years, believe me I know about hydraulic motors. Let's see the first one went because the experimental laminated locknut that held the hub on was either not tight enough from the factory, or it broke into 5 pieces all on its own. New motor and hub was about $ 1100-1200 or so, then I had a shaft just snap with no warning, but by then I had a shelf unit, and had had it rebuilt for about $350 or so. The last one started leaking, and I had it rebuilt, but never needed it, as I sold the mower while I was somewhat ahead. Got a new Dixie, and so far haven't needed to do any repairs!
  6. bigmower1

    bigmower1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 158

    When you take the wheel motor apart, be careful that the plates don't fall out. Take out the bearing and seal. Look at the shaft where the seal was seating. There is probably a kind of ridge or impression on the shaft. Put the bearing in the way you removed the other one, but when you put the new seal in, put it in slightly more if possible and there usually is a slight amount of space behind the old seal to do this, because the new seal will not seal on the old surface. This should do it. If you suspect that there might be any metal dust or pieces in the wheel motor, you should flush it out with kerosene. Put one on the two wheel motor hoses in a bucket of kerosene and the other in an empty bucket. Put the wheel back on and turn it until you empty the bucket (at least two gallons of kerosene). After the kerosene is empty from one bucket, slowly pour the kerosene from the other bucket(the used kerosene) through a funnel with a coffee filter in it. Look to see if there is any debris in the filter, if there is then reverse the wheel direction and do the same thing over. Use the filtered kerosene. Keep doing it until the debris is out. You should always do this especially if a pump goes bad because there will most definetely be metal dust in the wheel motor, and the wheel motor will fail shortly after if you don't.
  7. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,842

    thanks that is good information.....

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