Blade spindle problems on riding mower ?

Old 05-20-14, 10:45 PM
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Blade spindle problems on riding mower ?

My 3 bladed riding mower was making a grinding sound when the blades are engaged. I took off the deck and spun each blade by hand. 2 spun freely and quietly, the 3rd one made a grinding sound and took some force to spin it. I removed the spindle from the deck, and now the spindle seems to turn freely with no noise. Should I just put it back in or should I replace the bearings in the spindle. I removed the spindle this morning before coming to work and haven't had a chance to look any closer at it. How difficult is it to change the spindle bearings? Do I need a press?

Old 05-20-14, 10:58 PM
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Very few require use of a press. I don't know what you have, so I can't say.

I'd replace the bearings in all spindles. Each one has turned as much as the other... you will end up having to do this job 3 different times, or all at once. All at once is much easier.
Old 05-21-14, 11:13 AM
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There probably was side load on the spindle from the belt when it was on the deck. With the spindle removed there is no load so it turns freely. I bet if you pull really hard, sideways on the shaft when you try turning it you'll feel the coffee grinder.

If you don't like the idea of removing and installing new bearings you should be able to find new spindles. Basically toss the old assembly and install new. It's easier than replacing the bearings in old spindles but it is more expensive.
Old 05-21-14, 01:57 PM
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I think some of those spindles or quill assemblies are more difficult to take apart than they are to reassemble. I endorse the idea of obtaining the individual bearings at your local auto parts store . . . . once you know the size(s) to buy. I've done both the AMF/Noma type and the MTD type.

On the MTD type, I found myself doing a good job of cleaning the components and then trying to use variations in temperature to allow them to slide back together: I'd first put the shaft in the freezer to get it to shrink as much as possible, while I placed new bearing in the sun to get it to expand as much as possible before attempting the mount. After that, I'd put the bearing and shaft back into the freezer to shrink and put the housing out in the sun to expand . . . . all very scientific !

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