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Mower deck arbor bearings


Texas Rich

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Texas Rich
Mower deck center shaft bearing was getting very noisy so I've removed the arbor, knocked out the old bearings and I'm ready to set the new ones in place but I've never worked with bearings that had a grease fitting before.
The bearings are these: Simplicity 2108202SM Ball Bearing - Jacks Small Engines and come prepacked with grease along with rubber grease shields.
 
My question - should I remove the inner grease shield from each bearing so that grease applied from the grease nipple can get to the bearing balls? I imagine grease under pressure might work it's way past the seal, but I'm wondering why I'd leave the seal in place. 
 
I can supply a picture of the arbor if necessary, it's just a typical shaft that the mower blade mounts to, with two bearings at either end of a cylinder, and the grease fitting is on the side of the cylinder.
 
Tractor Details:
Model 990655
Sovereign 3314H 14 HP mfd 1970
Mower Deck is 48" model 669
 
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I bought a Sovereign new in 2000. It's 48" mower deck has the original bearings and they get greased after every mowing season. You can force grease into a the sealed bearing without pushing the arbor housings apart. I grease them until the grease starts to come out of the "so-called sealed" bearing. When I have to replace the bearings, I will remove the inner seal.

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Texas Rich

Thanks folks.  I spent some time reading the links and doing some more searching, and I think I'm going to leave the seals on both sides of both bearings and during reassembly use a good grease to hand pack the tube area between the bearings.  And then just add a few squirts using the zerk fitting annually.

My reasoning is that the rubber seals likely serve a purpose on both sides of the bearing to keep grease in close contact with the bearing balls, and that over time I'll probably end up filling the tube when I use the zerk fittings and pushing grease past the seals anyway.  But without a seal on the tube side of each bearing I'd think it's possible that an airgap could occur even after filling with a grease gun, if any grease leaves the tube. 

Maybe a seal will be displaced when i use the zerk fittings, hard to know.

Lot's of speculation here on my part, and in the worst case if I get a failure again I'll have some more 'therapy time' getting my hands full of grease which isn't really a bad thing when you have time ;-)

Thanks for the tips everyone!
 

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21 minutes ago, Texas Rich said:

I spent some time reading the links and doing some more searching, and I think I'm going to leave the seals on both sides of both bearings and during reassembly use a good grease to hand pack the tube area between the bearings.  And then just add a few squirts using the zerk fitting annually.

This is what I do as well.  Depending on your viewpoint, a good blade balancer will increase the longevity of your bearings.  Several of us use some type of magnetic balancer while others use a balancing cone or a nail.  If you have your blades sharpened by a shop, most likely they are balanced with a magnetic balancer.

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Texas Rich
3 hours ago, ShaunE said:

This is what I do as well.  Depending on your viewpoint, a good blade balancer will increase the longevity of your bearings.  Several of us use some type of magnetic balancer while others use a balancing cone or a nail.  If you have your blades sharpened by a shop, most likely they are balanced with a magnetic balancer.

Hmmm - I didn't even know that blade balancing was a thing.  Thanks for mentioning it !!

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10 hours ago, Texas Rich said:

Thanks folks.  I spent some time reading the links and doing some more searching, and I think I'm going to leave the seals on both sides of both bearings and during reassembly use a good grease to hand pack the tube area between the bearings.  And then just add a few squirts using the zerk fitting annually.

This is exactly what I have done when I have acquired a used tractor and deck.   I have never replaced any bearings on the new style decks that I have assembled this way.  The deck I use all the time was bought 20+ years ago (AC 917), with the center arbor completely trashed, rebuilt all arbors and I have never added any grease since then, still going running nice and quiet.

Edited by MikeES
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