4235 Timecutter deck spindle bearing replacement

packardv8

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Mower deck spindle bearings are a wear part and will eventually have to be replaced. Some choose to spend the extra for new spindle cartridges, but bearings can be sourced locally and for half the cost.

Our Toro ZT is probably ten years old now and I'd noticed the noise from the mower deck was getting louder. This spring when I pulled the deck to sharpen the blades, there was noticeable axial play in one spindle; time for new bearings.

The 15/16" nut at the top of the pulley was really stuck. It required tightening the blade bolt really tight, a block of wood at the end of the blade and an air impact gun. Once the pulley was off, the four 1/2" head bolts came out easily and the bearings were easy to drive out of the spindle. Of course, quick look proved, as expected, Toro chose to build with Chicom bearings. One mystery never to be solved is the reason there are two short spacers between the bearings instead of one longer spacer.

Anyway, the bearings are probably the most common bearing in the world, a 6203 2RS. If one has the luxury of planning, they can be ordered; the pricing I saw was from $14 for a ten-pack of Chicom to $20 each for a single Timkin. Since I needed mine same day, the local bearing house was $6 each for Axis; supposedly an industrial quality part.

The new bearings tap in easily; remember the spacers go in before the second bearing. Both spindles off, bearings replaced and back together in less than an hour for $25.

Pro tip - order the idler pulleys while you're at it. Guaranteed they need replacing also. Dumb design, same 6203 bearing is captured between two spot-welded halves, so the entire pulley must be replaced instead of just the bearing. My bearing supply house doesn't carry the idler pulleys, but they're a universal part used on many mower decks. I'll order new ones and have to replace mine later in the summer.

jack vines
 
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StarTech

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Another Pro tip don't remove the spindle housings unless necessary as many times the retaining screws will snap off then you need new spindle assemblies.
 

bertsmobile1

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Another pro tip

Always buy bearings from a specialist bearing shop . engineering supply store or mower parts hop either in person or on line and never ever from AMAZON OR EBAY
Bearings are the most counterfeited item on the planet .
If you have never heard of the brand , google it
A reputable bearing brand will have a web site with catelogues & technical data
A junk bearing will have no brand presence on the web .
Finally use your head
the bearing size is just that a dimension, the physical size of the bearing it does not contain information on the materials, fit, number of balls & type of cage .
So a $ 1.50 bearing is probably made for a very low stress application, I like to call them shopping trolly bearings to get it in your head
Fit them if you want to become an expert in changing bearings & repairing damaged decks
 
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