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Mowing deck arbors in 2023


OrangeMetalGuy

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OrangeMetalGuy

I am starting on fixing up my 2nd 48" while the primary deck is having some rusty metal replaced.

On this one, the right side arbor bearings are good (quiet, some smooth resistance when hand turning, no wobble or up/down play).  However the pulley keyway is of course wallowed out.  So I want to replace the arbor shaft, key, pulley, and self-locking nut.  Are these parts still available from Simplicity dealers?  Also (it's been quite a while since I messed with a deck) can I pound the arbor shaft out and install the new one without removing the existing bearings? 

On the center arbor those bearings are shot.  Loose, noisy etc. so I will need to replace them.  If all of the other components are ok I can just replace the bearings, correct?

Thanks folks! 

 

 

PXL_20230210_141913062.jpg

PXL_20230210_141900433.jpg

Edited by OrangeMetalGuy
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I recently restored my 48" deck (1693419).  Found all the parts I needed at partstree.com.  If I recall correctly, they did have the shafts, but as an option, you can have a machine shop weld up the keyway slot and cut another on the other side of the shaft. Pullies can also be reslotted. 

On mine. The shaft and bearings came out of the arbor housing quite easily (tap tap tap) and then the bearings can be pulled from the shaft.  The bearings are ON THE SHAFT, not IN the housing.

The bearings were not that expensive, so I replaced all of mine even though some were not that bad.  Easier to do it now than tear it apart again later.

Edited by wwbragg
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If not available you should be able to locate NOS somewhere such as eBay or an old dealer. I have outer shafts I could sell but not a center one at this time. 

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OrangeMetalGuy

When I consider all the work involved and then still to result in a mix of old & new parts, I am wondering if I'm better off just buying the factory arbor assembly ($249 at Jack's).

That would be a literal bolt-in (6 bolts), correct?

 

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2 hours ago, OrangeMetalGuy said:

When I consider all the work involved and then still to result in a mix of old & new parts, I am wondering if I'm better off just buying the factory arbor assembly ($249 at Jack's).

That would be a literal bolt-in (6 bolts), correct?

 

It will probably be the "new style" arbor with splined shafts. The old style "complete" arbors have been out of production for many years. It will have spacer rings to make it sit at the correct height for the deck and for the blades to line up. The older style arbors are typically much easier to rebuild. I would stick to the original if it were me. 

 

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1 hour ago, Chris727 said:

It will probably be the "new style" arbor with splined shafts.

See this "Arbor Replacement Kit" Install Instructions for more info:

https://simpletractors.com/files/file/344-1685083-arbor-replacement-kit-center/

Based on your first pic, I believe you have a "deep pocket" deck as mentioned in the above Install Instructions.

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  • 3 weeks later...
OrangeMetalGuy

Check me, it's been a while. The upper bearing needs to be pushed out from underneath and the lower bearing needs to be pushed out from above, correct? 

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2 hours ago, OrangeMetalGuy said:

Check me, it's been a while. The upper bearing needs to be pushed out from underneath and the lower bearing needs to be pushed out from above, correct? 

Yes, that is correct. 

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OrangeMetalGuy

Man I am having a devil of a time getting that nut off the top of the center arbor.  I removed the pulley (3 bolts) but that nut is a real bear.  Been soaking it with PB  Blaster and tapping with a hammer as I spray it, but it is awful.  Propping one foot underneath against the center blade and using a 1-1/8" combination wrench on the nut.  Basically the wrench ends up holding the nut and my foot moves the blade.  I can barely get half a turn on the nut before having to pause for a while.

Any secrets to getting that thing off?  Also what is everyone using (other than a foot) to hold the blade in place so it won't turn?  I considered a piece of 3" pvc drain pipe slid over one side of the blade, to catch the next arbor over.

Edited by OrangeMetalGuy
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15 minutes ago, OrangeMetalGuy said:

Also what is everyone using (other than a foot) to hold the blade in place so it won't turn?

I use a short piece of 2x4 placed across the deck shell so that the blade hits it when the nut is turned.  (This is my standard operating procedure for the newer decks with the single bolt holding the blade on)


As to the nut, I’ve used a 1/2” drive six point socket and breaker bar.  Or an impact gun if the breaker bar doesn’t do it. 

 

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OrangeMetalGuy

Well, more leverage isn't doing it.  That nut just will not turn any further.  It's about 1/16" away from being fully tightened (in other words, the bottom of the nut is about 1/16" up from the bottom).  I haven't even gotten it to where any of the threads are above the top of the spindle.

Will a nut splitter open one of those spindle nuts?  I really don't want to mess up the threads on the spindle itself.

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OrangeMetalGuy

Update:  got it.  Ground off one flat side close to the threads.  The heat must've loosened it, came off pretty easily.

 So then I removed everything on top of the pulley.  If I put another nut on, to protect the threads and also use a 2x4 for cushioning, I should be able to bang the shaft down and out through the pulley, correct?

 

 

PXL_20230313_174731679.jpg

Edited by OrangeMetalGuy
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NO!  Soak the bearing/shaft with Aerokriol and use a wheel puller to remove the pulley from above.  Then remove the deck bolts (more Aerokroil)  - - - grind them off if necessary.  Replace the bolts with stainless.  Disassemble the arbor and replace bearings if necessary.  That shaft looks pretty gnarly.  You might be able to clean it up or consider replacing it.

 

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OrangeMetalGuy

Ok so I can't remove the shaft by itself then pound the bearings out, without removing the arbor assembly from the deck?  I haven't taken one of these apart in at least 10 years.  I don't recall removing the arbor assembly, but maybe I did and just can't remember doing it.

Edited by OrangeMetalGuy
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Once you get the pully off, things will go quite easily.  I would use a three-jaw puller and put a socket over the end of the arbor shaft to prevent the puller drive bolt from drifting on the head of the arbor shaft.  Spray the shaft where it goes into the pully with the Aerokroil or PB Blaster (Aerokroil is much better).  Put some tension on the puller and tap tap tap on the puller center bolt with a block of wood.  apply more tension and maybe a little heat on the pully's bearing.  Tap tap tap.  More tension. Keep it up.  It will pop loose.  

The shaft looks a little funky so you may have to polish it up to get the pully to slide off.

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OrangeMetalGuy

Thanks.  I have it soaking in Blaster overnight.  Might grab some emery cloth to polish the shaft as you've suggested. 

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5 hours ago, wwbragg said:

I would use a three-jaw puller

In my experience a 3 jaw puller damages pulleys unless you use a bearing separator.  

Maybe not a cast one, but it'll definitely damage a steel pulley which the small arbor drive belt  appears to be. 

 

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I concur with @PhanDad and @oldsarge above.  @PhanDad is the tractor whisperer.  I have ruined more than one pully buy applying too much tension too fast.  A little pressure, a little heat, tap tap tap.  Try not to bend the pulley but at the same time, remember, it is replaceable. I had to cut one off with the angle grinder cut off disc.

Edited by wwbragg
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OrangeMetalGuy

There's no set screw on that pulley, as far as I can tell.  Parts manual shows a key.

I'll use a puller with slow persuasion.  Been soaking with PB Blaster and it appears to soak right down between the pulley and shaft so maybe I'll get lucky.

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