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rbozic

New Mower Spindle Bearings Factory Greased?

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rbozic
My brother bought a new Simplicity mower. After mowing with it for 3 hours, he decided to re-lubricate all gease fittings just for fun. He told me that the dealer had done the usual prep by greasing the axles. However, there was no evidence of grease on any of the spindle bearing fittings. If the dealer did forget to grease these, did excessive wear occur in 3 hours of mowing? Does the factory put any grease on the spindle bearings? If excessive wear did occur, what should he do?

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SmilinSam
I'm under the impression that for a number of years now the spindle bearings have been greaseless sealed bearings rated for 500 hours. These are what I get when I buy replacement bearings.

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SimpleMan
The bearings used in the spindles are sealed. Any grease that you do pump into the spindles just fills the spinde...none of the grease actually goes into the bearings. I would be very careful of how much grease you pump into the spindles. Also, the dealer may of greased the spindles, but also wiped everything clean. At any rate, following the owner's manual would be your best bet. Whatever you do...don't over grease the spindles. Hope this helps SimpleMan

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BillC
The Sovereign style mower decks use a Fafnir/Torrington ball bearing no. P204RR6 which was developed for John Deere for a garden tractor mower spindle. The bearing has metal side shields with a rubber seal contacting the inner race. You can force grease through these bearings by greasing the spindle housings. I remove all of the hardware including dust/dirt shields before I grease the spindles and force grease into the spindles until I see grease coming out of the bearing.

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Al
Hi, The mower bearings are sealed. On the very early tractors, the bearings were sealed on one side only and then a grease fitting was in the arbor tube. So many people overgreased them and pushed the seals out of the bearings. This let in the dirt in and the grease go out on the ground that bearing life was so short and warranty claims so high that the switch was made to sealed bearings and no grease fittings which lasted much longer than OVERGREASED open bearings. The one side sealed bearings that weren't overgreased outlast the sealed bearings significantly. They didn't need that much grease and when you keep pumping it in pretty soon somethings got to give. The new arbors with the grease fittings get a gob of grease about the size of a golf ball at the factory. We tell people not to give them over 2 or 3 pumps a season. When these came out I accused the marketing people of a sham. They responded that it did improve bearing life. Since then we have found this to be true. Not because of grease getting in the bearings. Water gets in the arbor housings and sets on the upper seal of the lower bearing. The grease in these housings keeps the water from working past the seal, resulting in longer bearing life. If these are overgreased the two halves of the housing will be forced apart and the inner seals of the bearings will be forced into the balls and cage of the bearings chewing them up and metal shavings will be in the bearings. Having been involved in some electric clutch failures and thinking that these bearings were undergreased, I got involded with a bearing company and 2 clutch companies and I discovered that overgreasing can be nearly as detrimental as not enough grease in bearings. In this case I learned that me pulling the seals in these clutch bearings and addiing grease was NOT a fix and insufficient grease wasn't etiher. It was a staking problem and my little bit of knowledge was a dangerous thing. Good luck, Al Eden

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