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Steering Shaft Problem


JeanHS's Avatar
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07-11-15, 08:49 AM   #1  
Steering Shaft Problem

Craftsman Lawn Mower Tractor model917275021
Problem: How to get new steering shaft to fit through the new flange bearing?
Purchased new steering parts but cannot get the new steering shaft to go through the flange bearing for reassembly of steering.

Steering parts diagram: STEERING Diagram & Parts List for Model 917275021 Craftsman-Parts Riding-Mower-Tractor-Parts | SearsPartsDirect

steering shaft part number link: Lawn Tractor Steering Shaft Assembly | Part Number 532145103 | SAME DAY SHIP GUARANTEE from Sears PartsDirect

flange bearing part number link: Flange Bearing | Part Number 104239X | GUARANTEED FIT from Sears PartsDirect

All I found so far during internet search for this problem: One forum post - to sand off some of the paint on the steering shaft and then use Marvel oil to get the steering shaft to slide through the flange.

 
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07-11-15, 03:10 PM   #2  
Does the old shaft fit through the new bearing & does the new shaft fit through the old bearing?

 
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07-11-15, 04:53 PM   #3  
Thanks for your reply Pulpo

Neither the old or new shafts fit through the new bearing but they both fit through the old bearing. However the old bearing is worn and both shafts wobble a bit when placed through it.

 
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07-11-15, 05:36 PM   #4  
I reluctantly suggest heating the brass and slipping in on. It is very difficult and it will be HOT. Does the brass bushing turn in a keeper, or does the steering shaft turn inside the bushing? Is the bushing held in place solidly? If so, heating it may not work.

 
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07-12-15, 03:41 AM   #5  
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a9i7z2SHMR4

Does the shaft pass through the bearing, in the other direction? I had thought of that before I watched the video. Do I have the wrong video?

 
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07-12-15, 04:58 AM   #6  
Hey Pulpo,
If only my for my old Craftsman GT it was that easy to remove the steering shaft but no!...
Had to remove battery and battery tray. then the drag link where it is attached to the sector steering gear, then a flat idler drive pully and then finally the support plate for the steering shaft that is attached on each side to the tractor body. The shaft only comes out by pulling out from the bottom of the tractor. The gear on the end of the steering shaft cannot fit through the holes in the support plate for removal from the top. The steering shaft is held in place by an e clip that is inside the little box of the support plate. Couldn't even reach that e clip without taking off the entire support plate first. So had to jack the tractor up quite high and wiggle out the entire support plate with the shaft from underneath the tractor first. Not the best of designs.

 
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07-12-15, 05:16 AM   #7  
Thanks for the reply Chandler

Well, I worked at it quite a bit yesterday and did manage 'muscle' the new steering shaft through the brass flange into the new steering plate support box. That's about 3 inches of shaft length.
I suspect the paint coating on the shaft is the problem.
I thought about heating it up too but now I think if I do remove some of the paint and oil the shaft I will be able to get it all the way through to the point were the e clip must be attached to hold it in place properly.
If only my GT was like the one in the video Pulpo posted... That is such an improvement in design for steering shaft removal.
My Craftsman GT is 11 years old. It's held up quite well mowing an acre of country lawn all those years. This is the first major repair job for me beside rplacing the mower deck spindles. So hopefully, once I get it reassembled I will be able to steer to the left again. Steering only front and to the right really adds to the mowing time and I suspect would eventually cause wear problems with the front wheel spindles too.
Oh, I forgot... I had to use a block of wood and a bench vise to push the brass flange into the hole in the support plate. It was supposed be installed already but the two parts came separate.

 
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07-12-15, 06:38 AM   #8  
It's strange that a company as well known as Craftsman/Sears would have such a design. I never liked Sears, for other reasons. However, they had a good deal on ink for printers, of all things.

 
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07-12-15, 07:04 AM   #9  
I agree, indeed very strange design

It is strange Pulpo. - This Craftsman GT tractor is strong and the mowing deck is heavy duty but the design leaves much to be desired when it comes to replacing parts. It seems every part is put on in a way that it makes it most difficult to get at to remove. Next lawn mower I will get a robot mower... by the time I can afford to buy a new mower those ought to have come down in price quite a bit

 
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07-21-15, 01:08 PM   #10  
Final Post on this topic from me:
I sanded the steering shaft taking off some of the paint with very fine grade of sandpaper. Wiped the shaft with a fine oil and voila! It went easly through all the required openings.
However getting it and the shaft support back onto the tractor was quite a job.
Had to install both from below and had to remove several bolts from the body frame in order to get the support plate into proper position. Took me about two hours. It was like working a chinese puzzle.
Hopefully this will be it for steering repair on this tractor for another 11 years. But it does steer easily and in both directions again.

 
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