front wheels on Toro mower keep locking up

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  #1  
Old 01-09-15, 07:50 AM
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front wheels on Toro mower keep locking up

I bought a new Toro lawn mower about a year ago and made two stipulations when I started shopping for one. I wanted it to be at least 6 horses so that it has enough grunt to deal with most lawn situations, and for the first time I decided I'd give it a whirl as far as getting a self-propelled version to make life a little easier.

Well the drive side of things didn't last that long as whatever was tensioning the belt went and left it so loose that no amount of pulling back on the drive bar would make the mower self-propel. No big deal - I'm used to pushing a mower around on our large lawn. But recently I've noticed that the front wheels have a tendency to lock up, causing furrows in the lawn, and yesterday it got so bad that I basically did the last half of the lawn balancing the mower on the back two wheels, which was exhausting.

Seems like it's the gear drive on the front axle that's locking up, but I'm not sure how or if I can remove it completely or if there's a quick fix for it. Also, are the front wheels self-supporting via the way they're mounted to the deck, or do they need that axle for support - not sure if it's just there for the self-propelled side of things. I was wondering if I could simply just remove it completely, together with the gear drive.

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  #2  
Old 01-09-15, 08:19 AM
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Is the long part of the front wheel drive shaft straight or bent? It looks bent but I don't know if it's just the photo. If it is bent that could explain why the front wheels are locked up.

Here's a diagram of the front drive and wheel.



You can see that the whee's axle is separate from the drive shaft which powers the wheel via a pinion gear on the end of the shaft engaging teeth on the inside of the wheels rim.
 
  #3  
Old 01-09-15, 08:49 AM
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Hi again,
yeah, I guess I should have been clearer. As you can see from the picture of the bottom, that drive shaft is not an axle per se. What I meant was does that shaft simply serve the purpose of providing drive to the front wheels, or does it serve a dual purpose of giving additional solidity to the wheels, meaning that if I can somehow find a way to take it off will the wheels just start wobbling a bit without the support.

That shaft is a little bent, but I've tried straightening it out with no effect.
 
  #4  
Old 01-09-15, 10:39 AM
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I should have come out and said it. I think that front shaft, the one that looks bent, provides driving power only. It is not the axle for and does not support the wheels.

I would remove the wheel and remove the sprocket/pinion gear #4 and put the wheel back on. Give it a quick test to see if you like it. If you do I'd remove the gearbox #16 and all the little spacers and gunk attached to it's axle to save weight. Then cover the hole in the mower deck left by the gearbox with some sheet metal to cut down on the chance of catching a rock in the face.
 
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