lawn mower quill/spindle

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by HermitJohn, May 22, 2004.

  1. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    Couple years ago I replaced the bearings in the spindle on my ancient 1950's yazoo. Well this morning I noticed a little play, but didnt think whole lot about it. At least not until the casting broke apart. Took shaft out of spindle and found bottom bearing was seized with lot grass wound in around it. Bearing had really wallared out housing and created vibration which destroyed the aluminum casting altogether.

    Ok, new spindle even if it was available for this application would be too pricey. Looking in my scrap pile think I can make a new housing out of some thick wall steel tubing and weld a flange to it so I can bolt it to deck. Have to replace the seized bearing of course.

    This is all fine and good, but I am wondering how to make it so grass cant wind in between blade flange and bearing. Would a little collar welded on outside of housing made to go around blade flange (its round) flush to blade do the job? If not then anybody have better suggestion?
     
  2. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    Maybe a shaft collar? Whats the ID? Have seen a trailer hub and spindle remachined to serve this purpose, complete with automotive type seal.
     

  3. Darren in TN

    Darren in TN Guest

    HermitJohn,
    I just had to replace the bearings in one of the quills on my old Murray. Murray uses a spacer/collar that slips in between the blade and bearing to largely prevent stuff from getting wrapped up in there. Murray's website has owner's manuals (with parts lists and blow-up diagrams) online. If you go there, look up any new model number in their "products- riding mowers" section, and then enter that number in the manual look-up you can take a look at how they put their mow decks together.

    Good luck,
    Darren
     
  4. Think I remember either that post or a similar problem from either you or Cabin Fever, LOL.

    Grab a plastic end cap off of some of the same size thick wall tubing, drill a hole in it (modify it to act like a seal), might use some type of glue/silicone to seal/attach it.
     
  5. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    Unregistered: Yes think I posted back when I replaced bearings. That is another thing, the shaft isnt in greatest shape, but if I can keep crap out of bearing area then it should work once again. The bearings already are "sealed", just the grass ate the seal. I have seen grass, twine, and wire do same on tractor brushhogs (more twine and wire than grass) but you get some warning when gear oil leaks out of gearbox so can usually replace seal before bearing is destroyed.

    Darrin: I downloaded an illustrated parts list for smallest model riding murray that is presently sold (10hp). Didnt see any shaft collar. Just funny wide "mandrel housing" as they called it. Was like an 800mb download so didnt try for list on any other models.

    Mooups: Inside diameter of what? Remachine a trailer hub? I think back when this quill gave problems before, I considered using trailer hub and stub axle shaft, but since stub axle doesnt come out end to attach pulley to, I was thinking more of making bracket to hold hub up off deck enough that pulley could go on shaft just above deck and below hub, with most of shaft below deck and blade attached on end. This is bunch of work to not lot end unless I just had to. Probably not whole lot cheaper if any than just going and buying a new quill assembley for a rider and adapting it. I even priced new quill assemblies. Northern had total assembly, pulley and all, for $33 plus around $8 shipping. Looked like it wouldnt stick down far enough below mower deck and would require I also find different blade to fit it.

    I have no idea why this quill wasnt better designed. Or why it was even made of cast aluminum. The way I intend to make new housing out of steel tubing isnt going to be much if any heavier, yet going to be stronger. I guess I'll try my idea of a shaft collar, and could even make a secondary collar for first collar. Grass would have heck of a time getting into bearing area. Doesnt mean it couldnt . I suppose no shaft collar origninally because they didnt sell this mower to mow tall grass. Average lawn, you arent going to have problem, but when wading into tall tough stem grasses, they tend to wind. Interesting I have used a Kee mower with simular overall design and about same size (best push power mower for rough use I ever used) No collar on its quill, and rarely get grass winding around blade. If I remember, the blade flange onit was much thicker. Dont know why this makes a difference. I have kept my eye out for a used Kee mower (sold for commercial use), but they just dont show up around here. Simple enough mower and, believe it or not, still available new, but new one sells for $800 :eek: with customers choice of engines. Found non-running one on ebay once for $35, but guy selling it asis, whereis in Florida, wouldnt ship, though I told him just junk the motor, take handle and wheels apart and stick it in a big box, would be small and light enough to ship ups.
     
  6. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Hermit, for cheap quills go here www.agri-supply.com they are about 1/2 the price of Northern. Example MTD $15.49 .....Murray $13.49 They will send you a catalog if you request.
     
  7. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    Prices ok, but no pics for online catalog and no complete descriptions. The murray you quote for example when I cross referenced it with other site is housing and bearings only, no shaft, no pulley. If you know OEM part number, you are doing ok. Maybe their print catalog is better.

    I have looked at other parts sites and those with pics show most spindles just barley sticking down below mower deck. One on my mower sets blade down 3 inches or so. Only quill that looked anything like this was $90 off some John Deere and who knows, it may not be actual pic, just a representative pic. Think I am going to have to build new housing for my present shaft.
     
  8. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    Ok, get the idea. Been looking and found high dollar cast iron quill for Skag mower. Has tapered bearings and could pass for wheel hub and stub axle except "axle" extends out beyond hub on both ends so you can have a pulley. I can see modifying the stub axle on trailer hub so it extends out. Have to hunt up a shaft seal to replace cap covering bearing.
     
  9. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    There's a knife arrangment on my skidsteer axles that is designed to cut any twine or grasses that would intrude on the bearings. Just a fixed blade that sits a half inch away from the shaft. Don't know if you could rig something like that or not, we are talking much lower RPM's
     
  10. BrushBuster

    BrushBuster Well-Known Member

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    wonder if 1 of those flanges that go over the pipe behind the shower head might work if it were held in place by jb weld or something similar
     
  11. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    Well besides dealing with antics of Chuck the drunk and his schitzophenic brother the last few days, I finally got homemade spindle housing welded together and mowed some. Didnt immediately self destruct and no wobble when I quit mowing so maybe....although there was little roughness when turning blade by hand so bearings may not be aligned perfect, or could be bearings themselves as I found replacement for seized one in some junk, cleaned it, and forced some grease into it.

    Oh I did make simple little collar out of strip of sheet metal, a bit of pvc pipe and a big hose clamp. Seems to work. Wish I'd thought of doing this when I replaced bearings last time.

    Just in case, I found nice heavy duty brand new cast iron spindle on ebay for some mystery mower for relatively cheap (less than half what simular one would cost discounted retail). Looked about right size so shouldnt take too much adapting. On its way. If I end up not needing it, I have another old yazoo (larger) setting around that I could use it on.

    You got to be somewhat sympathetic to these old yazoos. Between 40 and 50 years old.
     
  12. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    I suspect people are weary of me going on about this. But maybe somebody can find my experiments of use sometime. Ok, my little tin and hose clamp solution finally failed in real tall stringy grass. Winding grass just pushed tin up and worked its way into where I didnt want it. No matter how I tightened the hose clamp. The grease seal was on its way to being destroyed by the winding grass.

    On to plan B (yes I even have a plan C). I welded a piece of pipe to the blade itself, so when blade is attached, the pipe goes up around the spindle a couple inches to just below the grease fitting. I chose pipe size to leave just minimal gap.

    Out in real tall thick stringy grass, this seems to work. Grass does wrap but only up around spindle against the deck. It doesnt go down into gap between the spindle and the bit of pipe I welded to the blade. Apparent the force of the wrapping grass is an upward force. Only bad thing I can see about this design is if water got down into the space.

    No need for plan C, but it was to put a second pipe down over the first one, welded onto spindle flange. I'd have to move the grease fitting.
     
  13. "I suspect people are weary of me going on about this."

    I for one enjoy your posts and solutions, brings back memories of the start of this forum and the type of topics posted back then.

    "But maybe somebody can find my experiments of use sometime."

    That's why eveyone got so upset about possible losing the archives, so many things you can't find on the internet, a true treasue trove to homesteaders.
     
  14. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    I finally finished mowing and got to thinking about the larger old yazoo. I'd guess somewhere around 24 inch deck. One I am using is around 19 inch. Couple years ago when bearings went out in smaller yazoo, I took spindle off large one but it was broken, patched, and needed new bearings, etc. Well hunted up those parts from it. Guess what, it had a two and half inch tall cup that went over end of spindle before blade bolted on. Guess I just reinvented the wheel as what I did to small mower is pretty simular. I'd been oblivious to purpose of this cup when I took spindle of large mower apart couple years ago and forgotten all about it.