Problem installing new blades


Old 05-31-05, 10:16 AM
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Problem installing new blades


I have two Craftsman Lawn Tractors w/ 48" cut and 25HP Kohler engines. My problem:

I bent one of the blades on the newer mower, so I bought new blades for both mowers. This first mower is a year and 1/2 old. When I went to install the new blades, I noticed that the shaft assembly with lower (star) bearing (Im going to call it mandrel) had been ground down to the point that the blade would hardly fit on it. I was able to tighten it down with the impact wrench sufficiently that it is staying in place. Oh, and this mandrel is NOT the one that the bent blade came off of. I called Sears and got a price for the mandrel - just the shaft assembly is $30. They told me for $31 I could get the whole mandrel kit.

Before I placed an order I decided to install new blades on the other mower and check the mandrels on it. This mower is almost two years old so both mowers are still under warranty. I have already replaced the blades on this machine once. It came with their cheaper basic blades, one of which I chipped right away, so I replaced them with Craftsman's heavy-duty blades. These were still in pretty good shape, but the new blades are so much thicker and better (I purchased these from Outdoor Power Parts), I decided to change them anyway. On this mower, TWO of the mandrels are ground down. I got the blades on, but now I'm afraid to run either mower.

Has this been a problem with Craftsman or other riding mowers? Do you know how this happens? I thought maybe I did not tighten the blades enough on the second mower but it has cut great for over a year. That would not explain the first mower though because it still had the blades that came with the mower. I didn't touch those blades until I took them off. I'm hoping this will be covered under warranty but Id like to know what you think.

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

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Old 06-01-05, 12:06 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
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Posts: 16,814
Hello David!

They've been making the spindles like that for years. I haven't seen much of a problem with the start pattern shearing off or grinding down like yours very much. Most times when I see that, they were not tight enough, didn't have the right washers on the bolts, or hit roots or something very hard...hard enough to ruin the shaft.

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