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LeoB

Axle Tube update on B-112

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LeoB
Well, about a month ago or so I had asked some questions regarding my B-112 and a possible broken axle tube. The advice I got was dead on. I had indeed busted the tube, not sure how, but I suppose a tractor pushing 35 years old can have things break sometimes for no other reason than old age. Anyway, I was able to get a new tube, seals, new keys and transmission lube. On a cold early Saturday morning, I towed it with my pickup from the middle of my yard to the driveway. Once there I pushed it into the garage, unheated but out of the wind. The repair seemed like it would easy enough as long as I took my time. Following the procedure in the manual I unbolted the hub and tried to pull it off... no dice, it wasn't moving. Actually, that's not quite true, it did move but only about 1/4 of an inch, then it stopped. I checked the manual... yep I had gotten both bolts loose and out, according to the holy grail, it should just slide right off. Nope! I took the tire off and I got my puller out and set it up . I cranked that thing down and the piece was well and truely stuck. What the .....!!!! I looked at both bolts again, I worked on that thing all morning with no luck at all. I couldn't figure it out. I finally went in at lunch and eating some hot soup and studying the manual again when I noticed in the specs that one of the bolts was a half inch longer than the other. That's not what I pulled out of the tractor. Both bolts were exactly the same length. I finished my lunch and went back out the the garage and looked at those things again and now could see that one had broken off and had done so, so long ago that it had worn itself flat on the bottom making it look almost just like the other one. Now understanding what was going on, I drilled out the hole in the hub and finally got the nub out and the hub finally came off the axle. Now, everything went pretty well to the point of getting the broken tube out of the tranny. The tube had well and truely shattered and so wasn't going to let the cover come off the tranny. I figured that it should be easy enough to cut the tube off close to the case and then slip the cover right off. Easier said than done, my Sawzall would have no part of that plan. I tried a number of blades, each just seemed to polish the cursed tube to a higher sheen. Not to be stopped, I got out the dremel with a fiberglass cut off wheel and 6 blades later, I finally got the tube cut off. The transmission cover slid right off and I was into the guts of the beast. It wasn't much of a problem getting the tube out and reassembling everything... except that the gears wouldn't seat properly. They were too high up on the B shaft. I couldn't figure it out. I checked the drawing in the manual to make sure that the shims were as they needed to be. I took it all apart and reassembled it... no better. I took it all apart a 3rd time and slooowly put it all back together making certain of the order of it all... Still bad and now it's getting dark. Remember, I said I started early on Saturday Morning! Finally exasperated I stood the transmission up on it's side and...VOILA... I found that it had been resting on the shaft for the brakes, pushing it up into the tranny causing everything to stand proud on the other end of the shaft. By now, I'm expert at assembling this thing and lickity split I had it back together and was sliding the cover down the axle shaft. Then another hitch. The seal wouldn't go by the grove in the shaft for the snap ring. Again I tried everything and it just wouldn't go. Finally I decided that it was time to bring out the Micky Mouse technologies. I got some thin celephane tape, wrapped it around the grove and using my now custom manufactured wooden seal press... I ran the seal down the tube as fast as I could and it slipped right by the tape and down into the transmission side cover.... with a little persusion from the mallet of course. It was at this point, flush with success that I decided to call it a day and have a couple of cold beers to celebrate my victory over this beast. Early Sunday morning, snow is starting to blow, but I'm confident and cocky now because the worst of the repair is done, I just have to button it all up, refill fluids, make some adjustments and I'm done. The tranny goes back in with no major problems. I slide the axle through the tube and seat it... great... this is going really good. I pick up the other tire/hub assembly and try to slide it onto the other side of the axle... NO DICE!!! It ain't going... no way, no how. I pull the wheel assembly off and look more closely at it. I should've known, I should've anticipated... I just figured that the other part of the broken shaft had somehow mysteriously disappeared into the void of the universe. It never occured to me that it might be lodged in my differential. The snow is starting to get deep now. I look at the assembley knowing that it has to come apart to get the broken piece out. I continue to stare at it for maybe 10 minutes, finally, that not seeming not to produce any noticable result, I start to work on it. I had to split the differential and then use a piece of wood custom turned on my lathe... as a driver. I set the housing between to other pieces of wood and using a rubber mallet, finally got the last piece of the axle out. That seemed to be the last of the issues and I got the rest of the assembley finished after that. I got the belt properly adjusted and by now we have about 9" of snow. I open the door and with my snowblower turning furiously, attack the gathered snow. Straight down the driveway, just as I hit the street, I hear a hellashish racket from the blower, before I could get it disengaged, I cooked the belt. It turns out the plow operator had coughed a piece of asphault right into the end of my driveway just waiting for me... but that's a different story. No permanent damage... just repairs in the snow. All being said and done, I still really like this tractor. SWMBO came out to the garage while I was working and thought that maybe I should be thinking about buying something newer. It was so tough to be up to my elbows in axle grease, pissed at the tractor yet finding myself defending it as a great piece of equipment. I'm sure that if it could've, I would've heard derisive laughter coming from those cold metal parts. So this long missive is really just my way of saying thanks for your help when I asked for it. Without your assistance, I probably would've given up the beast for lost and be driving some sickly MTD machine around... hanging my head in shame. Hope I didn't bore you too much... but I figure that I can't be alone in these kind of things and those of you that have been through this kind of deal would appreciate, my combination of ineptitude, stupidity and just plain bad luck. Leo

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Kent
Murphy's Law #1: Things break at the worst possible time... Murphy's Law #2: Things are never as easy to fix as they should be (or we think they're going to be)... Thomas's Corollary to Murphy's Law: Murphy was an optimist.... Thanks for sharing your story Leo -- I'm sure many of us can relate to similar experiences!

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MikeES
Great story Leo, not that uncommon. But as you get into more repairs you will have a few that will "fall" into place. At least statistically you should. Most of us haven't hit that the statistical number yet.

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Kent
Reed, you may want to apply the inflation factor -- didn't roma3112 just pay $6200 for a new 2000 model Sovereign? Personally I use the $1249 Sears snowblower attachment for their garden tractors -- I've even had the "opportunity" to point it out a time or two...

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CleanBee
Great reading Leo. I could picture myself in parts. These learning experience not only can be painfully frustrating at times, but they're also a defining factor between man and his machine. After blood, sweat, anger and glory, they become more than just old iron.

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roma3112
Jeez kent you stole my concillitory post to leo LOL 6,200 and i still had to buy tire chains LOL :p You guys wana laugh, i showed a pic of the 2 machines side by side, to the fiance the other night and you know what she said other than the obligatory "thats nice hunney" >>>>> Which one is the new one???[:0] Leo its great that you were abel to fix the tube and save the machine, working at a home improvement place every day at least 20 times i walk by those mtd riders and the cub cadets and i think what piles of sh%# Granted they have their place and not everybody can pay 6k for a new one, but machines like my 3112h and yours were built to last. Like my father says "dont buy junks, buy somthing good and buy it once"

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