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I bought a set of these from a member of this forum, and included them in a tweaking of the front end on an '81 448. The differences in steering ability are subtle but appreciated. So far no problems with dust or dirt, but I did pack them with some high end bearing grease and notched the upper thrust washers to accommodate the extra thickness. I intend to swap out the original front turf tires for try-ribs in the Spring, so we shall see if the bearings makes a greater difference. I seem to recall a thread about these bearings some time ago. A search under 'poor man's power steering' may produce desired results.
Troll
 

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This mod has been around now for several years. Our own Mad Mackie is the person who brought it to our attention, if I recall correctly. It does work. There is a noticeable difference in the input effort needed to turn the steering wheel. As Gator pointed out, the parts are all available directly from McMaster. No need to go through this guy. Mackie will explain what you have to do to make sure they see grease when you put the gun to the kingpin fitting.
 

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I used the McMaster Carr 5909K49 units on a 446. Not a tremendous difference but what do you want for $15. They seem to stay lubed just fine with a little more attention and quality grease. If your doing front end work anyway there's no reason not to do it.

Al
 

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I did both my 444 and my 446, bought both from McMaster, and they were cheaper than the one on ebay. The 444 stearing seems to work better than the 446, but for the small fee its worth it and it did make a difference on both my machines.
 

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If you use the bearings and washers, with a small round file, make several divets in the ID of two washers. Install them last so they are close to the cast axle. When you pump grease into the zerks, some of this grease will pass thru the divets and into the bearings.
However the best way to lube them is to jack up the tractor front so the spindles will drop down exposing the bearings and push grease into the bearings. Wipe off the excess grease.
Mad Mackie in CT :mrgreen: :mowlawn:
 

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If you decide that you want to install "poor man's power steering" , when you remove the spindles and the stock washers, look for high spots on the washers and the spindle arms. If you find a high spot, then you have spindles that the arm was not correctly welded at 90 degrees to the spindle. I had this problem on my 4018 and I had to work the high spots down with a file. My 448 was like I installed actual power steering, but not so with my 4018. My lathe doesn't have a large enough swing to do the spindles. I still would like to get them turned on a lathe. I sold my big lathe, that was a mistake, but it weighed about 1,400 pounds without the motor!!!
Mad Mackie in CT :mrgreen: :mowlawn:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks everyone for the feedback. Went with the McMaster-Carr bearings and received them yesterday. Very cheap and fast shipping.

Mad Mackie, thanks for the installation tips. Will let you know if I run into any problems during the installation. I think the first set will go on my 4020.

Thanks! :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Tim
 
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