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1961 Simplicity Super Roticul 990023 bearing

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My Dad died from cancer 5 years ago and I just got his tiller from Mom. It probably hadn't run in about 7 years. I checked all the oils, it had no gas in it (good), and it started after about 10 pulls. After tilling for about 20 minutes the engine started bogging down and then quit. I noticed the shaft would move forward and aft about 3 inches so I took the front cover off. Guess what? The ball bearings in the cage fell out. All balls were still in the cage. I was able to get the outer race out, but here is my problem... I took the retaining ring off the shaft hoping to slide the inner race off. Nothing I do can get it off. The diameter off the shaft seems slightly larger in front of where the retaining ring goes then behind it. The race does spin freely where it is. I have the 5 page operating manual and can't see where there is anything holding it on. Someone has modified the parts manual on this site to a few extra parts in that area--don't know why, mine is as the manual originally shows. I have thought about sanding that part off the shaft enough to get the inner race off, but I am wondering if that and the retaining ring is what keeps that shaft from sliding aft through the new bearing (or is it just the retaining ring?). Does anyone have any experience with this and/or any suggestions? Thank you

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