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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I previously wrote about some K46 deck problems here viewtopic.php?f=7&t=2425\

After having made all repairs from the previous incident, I mowed again tonight without issues.
After mowing I made a thorough inspection of the tractor and deck.

I believe I have a bearing going bad on the center spindle. (Not surprising for a 30+ year old deck.)

A full 5 minutes after shutting off the engine, the center pulley on the deck was still "three seconds hot" which I define as too hot to touch for more than three seconds. The mule pulleys, belt, and the clutch pulley were warm, but not hot like this.

Note: When I refurbished the deck a month ago, I noticed that the center spindle spun just a little less freely than the outboard spindles and made just a little more sound (not an actual grinding, just sound)

I can research the tech library for the 'how to do' but I am interested in your collective sage advice on what to do.

At a minimum (and without actually digging into it yet) I think I should replace all six bearings and any other parts showing wear. But should I take it further and replace additional components? And if so, what?

John
 

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If the center bearings are going then the others probably aren't far behind so you might as well change them all at the same time. Assuming the pulleys are in good condition there isn't much else to deal with. It shouldn't take more than a couple of hours to do the job if you follow the tips for removing deck pulleys. After doing it the first time the next deck will only take an hour.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Any suggestions for 'off the shelf' substitutes for your custom pry bars?

After I get the pulley off, and unbolt the spindlle housng from the deck, are they any tips for disassembling that entire unit if it is 'stuck' together?

John
 

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STANLEY tools make a flat steel pry bar that is used to pull nails at both ends. Most hardware stores will have them. The one end is almost a 90 degree bend..

If you intend to tap on the spindles, then put the nut back on until it is flush with the top of the spindle shaft to protect the threads from damage. You must keep upward pressure on the pulley while striking the spindle shaft with a hammer or with an air chisel. Once the pulleys are removed, then the Woodruff keys can be pulled out. Put the nuts back on the shafts flush again after removing any burrs on the shafts near the keyways. Tap the shafts down until the nut hits the bearing. Remove the nut and use a large diameter flat punch to tap the spindles all the way through until they are out of the mandrels.

There is a spacer between the upper and lower bearing and if you press on the side of the spacer, it will move to one side far enough for you to get a tapered punch perched on the edge of the lower bearing so that you can pound it out. Once that bearing is out of the mandrel, then the spacer will fall out too. You can flip the deck over and drive out the top bearings. If you wish to remove the mandrels, then remove the four bolts. Sometimes the mandrels will come away from the deck easily and other times you have to lay a short piece of 2 x 4 across it and smack it hard with a 2 LB sledge hammer.

Don't forget to check the belt idler pulley and to clean up the pivot point of the idler. Coat it with anti-seize compound liberally.
 

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k0jdd said:
Any suggestions for 'off the shelf' substitutes for your custom pry bars?
The ones I made were roughly fashioned after some that I saw at an Ingersoll dealer who taught me the "trick". I don't recall the brand but I know they were too expensive for my infrequent use--they came in set of bars in a 4 ft long case. I really haven't seen any similar ones available commercially but a local welder should be able to make a set like mine for less than anything you might find for sale. The key features are that the head is 90 degrees and the flat part is thin enough to slip under the pulley to the spindle but no longer or there won't be enough room to insert it.
 

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All the right recommendations.

The Case and Ingersoll decks don't really even have a mechanical 'purr' when they are set up properly. They should be so quiet you can almost here the air going over the blades ... I call is whisper quiet. Lots of owners don't realize the mechanical noise is not right ...

Any roughness or side play in the pulley bearings will leave behind noise, even if they happily run another few years. Eventually they may fail and take out a belt when they do.

One more thing I hear frequently and recommend ... triple check that you put the spacer back in before seating the second bearing! It is a real bummer to have to take it back apart, especially with a spindle that required the bearings to be lightly driven in.

If the bearings are stiff going in to the housing bore, then I use a large socket which just catches the outer diameter of the outer race as a bearing driver ... rarely takes anything more that a couple well placed gentle taps to seat them in the housing.

As noted ... anti-seize liberally ...

Brian
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Gonna PB Blaster it today and work on it tomorrow.
(BTW I had a dream last night that it all came apart by hand when I removed the locknut. :sidelaugh: But of course it was only a dream. :facepalm: )

One follow-up and one anticipatory question.

  • Do I use the same removal technique on the top center pulley? I am worried about the pry bars damaging the lower pulley.
    (Or do I pull them both off at the same time with the pry bars on the bottom?)
    [/*:m:2mkl3pk5]
  • Based upon the amount of heat I have observed, I won't be surprised if I have at least one seized bearing.
    Anyone want to bet on that one way or the other? :fingerscrossed: :trink:
    If that's the case there will be wear on the spindle from the bearing race spinning on it. The question is at what point does that spindle become un-salvageable. A few thousandths? More? Less?[/*:m:2mkl3pk5]

I will post a picture once I get it out of there if it's a concern.

And thanks everyone for the tips. I am sure they will save me a lot of time and money. :trink: :trink:

John
 

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Top pulley is cast iron and usually comes off much more easily. A simple puller often can get the job done there for a stubborn one, but as always don't over do it.

The spindle shaft is rarely damaged on the OD ... most replacements are due to bent shafts. Since it was spinning and maybe hot, I bet you've just got old bearings, not a seized one, per se. Regardless, the ID of the spindle isn't very sensitive ... just needs to hold the ID of the bearing ... a little cleanup with a file or emory cloth will put most of them back in order.

Now, it might require cutting the lower bearing off the spindle ... that is common. Just use a high speed cut off tool (dremel, etc) and cut through the outer in 3 places, then carefully cut the inner in 3 places ... before nipping the shaft, knock the inner race apart with a chisel along one of the 3 nearly complete cuts.

Brian
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So far so good. :thumbsup:

After 60 minutes of letting the PB Baster do its' magic, the top center spindle came off with a borrowed puller, very little effort, and no heat. :clap: There was a remarkable lack of rust, even on the woodruff key, which popped out easily with a vice grips. :clap:

The steel pulleys are soaking up the PB blaster now, and I will attack those in the morning with help from my son-in-law. :mrgreen:

Is appears as though the top bearing is the bad one on the center spindle. You can feel a little play if you try to wobble the spindle from the pulley side, but no play at all from the blade side. I am therefore becoming more optimistic that the bearing has not seized and damaged the spindle. :fingerscrossed:

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Progress continues...

The PB Blaster, STANLEY Wonder Bars, and the air hammer worked exactly as described.
The center steel pulley came off in < 30 seconds. :thumbsup:

I did run into a few issues once the nut bottomed out on the upper bearing. The air hammer was threatening to wreak havoc on the spindle threads without the nut screwed on flush, and my hardwood block was not hard enough.... :wtf: So I tapped the spindle from the underside to unseat the upper bearing from the mandrel, and I was able to finish removing the upper bearing with the borrowed puller.

The bottom bearing race was not seized, but I cut it off with a pneumatic die grinder just to save time. :thumbup:

Again, thanks to everyone who has contributed to the book of knowledge about this maintenance procedure. :trink:

JOHN
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
All done, but...

And after 5 min running the deck WOT, with the tractor stationary in neutral, I still think the center pulley gets hotter than seems right. :wtf:

Is this now just my imagination? How hot should the pulleys and belt get? What is normal? :headscratcher:

FWIW there is no sign that the electric clutch is slipping, and the clutch pulley appears to be the coolest of the four.

John
 

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Hi John,
You have been talking about having to remove the pulleys in order to remove the spindle housings and remove the bearings. You are refering to a left had discharge J-N deck on a 200 0r 400 series tractor, correct? Then in you last post you mentioned an electric clutch. Normally there is a manually operated clutch of either shim adjust or ez adjust versions. Has there been an electric clutch conversion installed on your tractor? What is the model and power in it?
Just curious!
Bob MacGregor in CT
 

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Well, I'd bet they'd get hot too after running 5 min WOT stationary. I would expect the center pulley/spingle/mandrel assembly to run hotter than the others due to the fact it has more radial load placed on its bearings. If it isnt making noise and the drive belt tension setting is halfway correct I wouldnt worry too much about it. Not sure what the bearings you put in are rated at temperature-wise but I'd assume if they are under 225F/250F you'd be fine.

What brand of bearings did you put in?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
OEM bearings

Thanks for reply!
 

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I like to use old cast pulleys when you go back together, they have aplace to get a hold of and won,t collaspe on you. I have sold a bunch for that reason . don,t throw away the old decks for this reason. Horton20
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Rockdog said:
I'd assume if they are under 225F/250F you'd be fine.
They don't sizzle if you spit on it immediately after stopping the deck& motor- so that are less that 212F for sure...
 
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