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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking for a vendor for shoulder bolts to use as an axle for the wheels on my mower deck. A 5/8" diameter shoulder about 2-1/2" long would work nicely for the wheels I have. My OEM bolts have worn too much to be usable any more. So far, all I've found are the hex drive head bolts that (I think) are used for machinist jigs.

Thanks,
Paul
 

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Paul, you need to contact Brian at Salem Power for replacements. he is a member here with the user name bhildret. If the bolt are NLA then I suggest just making your own shoulder with a piece of5/8" stainless tube. Just cut it to the desired length and then slide it over a new stainless hex head bolt of the desired length. I just restored my mower deck and that is what I did. It took up a lot of the play that was in there was the old bolt wearing down over time. Just remember that the 5/8" tube or hollow rod or what ever you prefer to call it must have the correct I.D. so that the bolt will fit inside of it.
 

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McMaster Carr has a good selection of shoulder bolts. Most wheels of the type used on decks have 1/2" diameter axle holes and the ones with 5/8" holes can be bushed to 1/2".

If you're using OEM wheels, the dealers here can certainly provide the matching shoulder bolts. I have had bad luck with shoulder bolts sold in hardware stores for lawnmowers--they bend/break pretty easily when used on a tractor deck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
NutCASE said:
Not sure about where you live but near me we have Fastenal and they have a nice supply of these types of fasteners...
The Fastenal by me won't sell less than a box full of them. I'm not using OEM wheels, as I wanted something that I could grease now and then. Plus, I'm using 6-inch wheels on a 44" deck to give me a higher cut. So, the OEM bolt won't work in my instance.

The wheels I want to use have a 3/4" bore. I'll try to find some steel tubing that has the 3/4" O.D. and 1/2" I.D. to work with a 1/2" bolt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
CASE 220/4 said:
ing3018 said:
NutCASE said:
I'm using 6-inch wheels on a 44" deck to give me a higher cut.
Are you using them on the deck with the adjusting level in the highest postion too? How tall is your grass AFTER you are done mowing?
The parts manual shows a 6" or 5" deck wheel for the RM 44 and 48 decks. To use a 6" wheel on my deck, I have to set the inner side of the wheel about 3/16" further out than stock, so that I'm not hitting the deck at the highest setting with a 6" wheel.
Not sure on the final cut height. The old wheels had worn down to about 4-1/4" in diameter. Plus, the shoulder bolt axle had worn from 5/8" to an oblong 1/2". My goal is to get to a final cut height of 4", but I would settle for 3.5". I am located in a sandy soil area, and I find that leaving the grass cut height higher, plus mulching, helps to reduce the summer stress on my lawn. The alternative is to water more heavily than I do now. As it is, I run my main zones 40 minutes each every other day during the summer. Modifying my deck seems like a less costly alternative than running my irrigation pump more.
 

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Hi Troops,
I have added a subalbum in the gallery showing what I have done to prolong deck guide wheel life.
I get longer shoulder bolts and bore a hole in the center using a lathe and then drill another hole at 90 degrees into the center hole. I bore the plastic wheels to 5/8ths" and press in two flanged bronze bushings. I no longer install grease fittings as they get broken off. I use the grease gun adapter shown to grease the axles.
I periodically loosen and turn the shoulder bolts to prevent them from wearing on the weight bearing side.
Bob MacGregor in CT :mowlawn:
 

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I also would like to get my RM48 deck up to a cutting height of 4". I'm thinking about adding an extension to each guide wheel support arm. I think that the RM48 deck leveling system can handle the increase in height from the guide wheels.
Bob MacGregor in CT :mowlawn:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I think the 4000 tractors can handle the extra height. I'm a little concerned that my 3018 won't have enough reserve vertical travel for the deck to avoid hitting the bottom of the tractor now and then. We'll see.
The 6" wheels I got have rollar bearings set up for a 3/4" hub. I'm pretty sure I don't want to run those bearings against a bronze bushing? I think I'll just try boring out a piece of 3/4" round steel stock to 1/2" and slip that over a 1/2" bolt. My new wheels do have a greese nipple on the hub. I thought I would mount them with the nipple facing inwards to help avoid damage.

Paul
 

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I'm not familiar with 200 or 3000 series tractors so I can't help you there.
I did notice on a new Maine built 4218 that they have changed the location of the lift eyes on the RM series decks. They moved them farther aft so as to get more ground clearance with the deck in the raised position. I'm going to look at my early RM48 deck to see if I can duplicate the changes.
Raising the deck cutting height to 4" will probably leave the guide wheels still dragging on the ground when the deck is lifted. I did take 3/4" out of the lift links on my former 1985 448 and that increased the raised ground clearance nicely. After I did this I noticed that I could have taken 1" to 1 1/4" out of the links and had even more ground clearance.
When I get the deck on my 4018 I'm going to get serious about increasing the cutting height to 4" and possibly more. I have a Scag ZTR that does most of the mowing and I can raise it's deck to a 5 1/2" cut. In late summer I mow at 4" to 4 1/2" to slow down the burning of the grass from the sun and heat. :mowlawn:
Bob MacGregor in CT :usa:
 

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My J46 deck has 6" wheels on it. They were shot as were the shoulder bolts. Hate to say it but I needed a tie rod on for my cub and picked up brand new 6" deck wheels and shoulder bolts/nuts for the case deck while I was there. The wheels have a powdered metal bushing in the center. The wheels on my '98 cub deck are still surprisingly tight and I've NEVER lubed them.
 
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