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DeltaBravo

Spindle help needed

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DeltaBravo
I made a turn while mowing and something didn't seem right. What the heck! The wheel is tipped in! It is the left wheel viewed from the seat or the drag link side. The spindle is #171774, spindle assy, LH. The wheel is tipped against the steering arm, which is retained with the square keys. Wheel seems to spin ok, but I haven't taken the bearings out yet. With the grease cap off, the outside bearing looks ok. Play between the spindle bushings and spindles appears ok and the same side to side. Could the spindle really be bent? Tie rod assy looks ok. It's look pretty strong, strong enough not to ever bend. In fact, I had to compare the left and right spindles many times. I'll have to take this apart to check the bearings. What are your opinions on this mess? I'll post pictures tonight.

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DeltaBravo
I agree. I got in last night about 8:30pm and tonight doesn't look any better. And the grass is growing! Here are the pictures.




Is this related or a different problem. This is rubbing between the frame and front axle assembly:


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Ronald Hribar
Should have let all the pictures to load, before I replied. But something does look wrong on bottom of spindle as well. As was suggested, take it apart and find out what is wrong

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Brettw
Maybe it's just the picture, but it looks like an awful lot of toe out too. It would appear as though there are a number of problems with this front end. Can't be just wear, it almost looks like something was hit, and hit hard. These front ends are pretty tough, so to have multiple problems as we seem to be seeing leads me to believe a substantial event took place.

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Burntime
Brett, I think it is almost off the sapindle and torqued the top keyway a little. I think if he pounds it down it may still be ok...only he will know with a couple of raps:D

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Brettw
The drag link to the spindle is one thing. If there is toe out like the picture shows, that means the tie rod or where it attaches must be severely bent. The pivot bolt for the front axle must be badly worn also. Lots of issues with this front end me thinks.

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DeltaBravo
Thanks for the suggestions. Maybe tonight I will have a chance to take it apart. This all started when I went to make a turn but the steering didn't respond like it should. The steering arm had popped up, so I tapped it back down. Completing the turn, the SA popped up again, this time with the tire rim right up against the front axle and tire against the steering arm, as in the pictures. The pictures don't show it, but there is the same rubbing wear between the frame and front axle assy on the other side (RH). Edit: The rubbing wear wasn't there when I bought the tractor, but began after I removed/cleaned/painted/greased and put it back together. I'm thinking maybe a washer would be good between the frame and axle assy even though the factory manual doesn't show a washer. The front axle pivoted freely after assembly.

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dentwizz
The axle/frame interface is from what I have observed, supposed to be able to rub a little. The blocks of the frame serve to limit the flex forces on the pivot. Lubricate and clean regularly and it wont be a concern. There are a collection of replaceable bushings involved in the front end. The Spindle bearings located within the axle itself(the ones that allow the steering action) are very commonly worn on this age of machine and the tie rod ends get the same way. Replace them and the key for the steering arm, then see what you have. At least then when you determine if youneed to straighten anything you will get a true read.

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DeltaBravo
Finally took it apart. Spindle looks good, bearings good. I put it back together to see if knocking the steering gear in place will do the trick. When putting the wheel back on, it appears the inner bearing race is too far inside the wheel. It's almost 1/2" in from the edge. Possibly it moved, getting pressed further inside the wheel. Is there a lip in side the wheel to limit the bearing race depth?

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DeltaBravo
Correction, the bearing race is 3/8" inside the wheel, not 1/2". I tried putting the bearing spacer first on the spindle, so there were two, then seal, inner bearing, outer bearing and collar. Wheel rubs slightly on steering gear, but set screw on collar is impossible to get to, so that kludge won't work. Here's the pic:


The right hand wheel looks like this:


Look at the gap on the LH spindle, but only on the inside. There is a little side to side ply between the bushings and bushing end of the spindle. Lots of grease. Bushings have diamond marks. I replaced these three years ago.


The toe is a bit out and the picture up top exaggerates the amount. The tie rod doesn't appear to be bent. Can someone measure the hole center to center length? Maybe a shorter tie rod was put on this tractor at some point. My reasoning on this is: The wheel is always tipped in at the top, and always rubbing the steering gear. The wheel and wheel center can't be bent because it would wobble, which would tip the wheel out at some point, eliminating the rubbing for a moment. The bearings and races are good, and collar was set so bearings had some hardly noticeable play. The tie rod would not pull the top of the wheel in. Worn bushings could but the amount would have to be over 1/4". The side of a bushing is about 1/16". The front axle could be bent, but that would pull the steering gear and top of spindle over as well, and the front axle is massive. It doesn't appear to be bent, and steering gear and spindle top align nicely. Which leaves the spindle. If it was bent the wheel could tip inward. What holes do you see in this? Are these spindles 90 degrees? Thanks!

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lt-scir
Sorry but your spindle is bent. Take off your rt wheel and brgs. You will see the angle from the vert. spindle to the horizonal spindle is approx. 95 to 100 degrees. YOUR left angle is 85 to 90 degrees. YOU want 95 to 100 degrees. I hope i explaned it right.

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Vassal
Looks like the bent spindle allowed the tire to contact the upper steering arm (see rub marks on tire). Could this have put too much angular load on the tire/wheel and egged out the bearing bore in the wheel?

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DeltaBravo
Yes I believe the spindle is bent. The ends form about a 90 degree angle. After my post I compared right to left and noticed the axle spindle ends are off from vertical, so the spindle in factory form is around 100 degrees. I'm pretty sure the bearing bore is ok. Yes, the bend spindle allowed the wheel to tip in and rub against the steering gear. Ok, who has a good left hand spindle for a Soverign, p/n 171774 or 2171774asm, for sale? UPDATE: On second thought, I'm going to buy a new spindle. Could someone measure a 701x tie rod, hole center to center? I'll measure mine and post.

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DeltaBravo
Problem is dealers just don't have these old parts lying around. I'll try to measure the tie rod tonight. FWIW, the bushings of the tie rod have a little play. There is no binding at the tie rod ends (where the bushings and bolts pass thru), when assembling the tie rod to the spindle ends.

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DeltaBravo
Update: Besides the spindle being bent and needing replacement, the tie rod is bent, causing the tow out condition. The replacement tie rod is pretty much straight, measuring 20 1/2" center to center, not bowed like the existing tie rod. The bowing is symmetrical, like it was factory formed.

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junkpile
I have a 7016S that has a spindle just like that one, only mine is on the right. I got it that way but I just figured someone dropped it off a curb or ran it off the back of the truck. I took a pipe, and some heat and made it better. It may not be perfect but at least it don't rub and it steers OK. I figure that at 5mph, there's not much of a safety issue here. It probably would have gone back without heat but I wouldn't have been able to get it to stay put in the straightened position. The bushings were worn enough on mine where being perfectly straight didn't matter I guess, and besides, it will probably outlast me like that.

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