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j44 lower bearing shields, needed, or not?

1693 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  ken222
I am in the process of rebuilding my j44 deck. Upon disassembly i realized i do not have the cup shaped lower dust shields. they were never there to begin with. do any of you run your decks without them? obviously to be 100% "correct" they are required, however i am more concerned with function therefore are they are more of a "nice to have" other than a necessity ? any comments are welcomed . thank you
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The shields were an improvement made to later decks to help keep crap from forcing its way into the bearing area. No....they are not a necessity because thousands of decks were made prior to them being introduced. However, such changes often come about as a result of dealer feedback about the product. So...... it's your choice. You can order a set from Brian on the basis that they might help with bearing life or you can just run without them like many owners do. :thumbsup:


You can also order those parts from Bob at This site highly recommends both dealers.
There are pro's and con's of each design in my opinion. In extreme conditions cutting tall grass/weeds I think the bearing cups eliminate the winding of long trash that finds it's way into the bearings. However in normal conditions I also think that the cup holds more debris that can work it's way into the lower bearing than without. Either way, pay attention to the parts breakdown as the spacer (C25541) or washers (C10942/C28972) are different with/without the cups.

In my experiences commercial mowing with Ingersolls with N46 decks, I stopped using the cups as they tended to collect woundup up stuff which sometimes pushed into the lower bearings causing them to fail more often. The spindle usually needed to be removed and or dissassembled to clear out the wound up stuff where as if the cups were not installed, the crap was easier to just remove for the most part. Just looking at the parts manual and I left out both the bearing shield and the bearing shield spacer on my N46 decks which further reduced the space where the crap could wind onto. JMO!
I also stopped using the shields on the RM48 decks on my 4000 series machines as they were not available for a while when parts got scarce some years back. Again I saw no problems without them installed.
Mad Mackie in CT :mrgreen: :mowlawn:
thank you for all your input, i think i will leave it as is for now. according to the previous owner he changed the bearings 6 years ago and the deck was still fine to use, quiet and all that. however i wanted to rebuild it anyways because i enjoy working on the tractor
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