Rebuilding spindles. 61" deck 725k

tmar04

Member
Messages
37
How do I tell if spindles need rebuilding? Deck sounds pretty noisy on my 'new to me' 725k. Prev owner not very maintenance minded. Any real trick to rebuilding them? I am 75 yr old man with average skills. Need any special tools or is it just 'wrenching '?
 

MBDiagMan

Well-Known Member
Messages
140
If the deck is noisy, remove the cover and pull the tension off the spring loaded idler and get the belt loose, but no need to remove it yet. Turn all the spindle pulleys, idlers and the gear box pulley by hand and see if they feel smooth. Also grab each blade at one end and shake up and down to make sure it is not badly loose.

Anything that does not turn smoothly, or has a lot of slack needs to be taken care of. Bad idler pulleys need replacing. Bad spindles will need bearings. I have never rebuilt the early four bolt spindles, but I think they are the same as the later six bolt ones. To replace bearings simply:

Remove the blade
Remove the bolt on top of the spindle
Use a punch or round piece of steel and a hammer and drive the shaft down out of the pulley
Once free of the pulley, the shaft will probably fall out the bottom
Now use your punch to remove the bearings
Reverse order for assembly

It's not difficult if you're comfortable with such tools. Grasshopper parts are inexpensive as commercial mower parts go. The bearings are about $9 each and there are six of them. The sheaves are about $13 or so each.

If the deck is noisy, have you been keeping the spindles greased? If not, as an experiment, see if greasing them will make them any quieter. My mower was generally well cared for, but the previous owner had not greased the spindles and some of the fittings would not take grease, so I could not see if grease would have helped them although I would have rebuilt them anyway.

Hope this helps,
Larry
 

tmar04

Member
Messages
37
If the deck is noisy, remove the cover and pull the tension off the spring loaded idler and get the belt loose, but no need to remove it yet. Turn all the spindle pulleys, idlers and the gear box pulley by hand and see if they feel smooth. Also grab each blade at one end and shake up and down to make sure it is not badly loose.

Anything that does not turn smoothly, or has a lot of slack needs to be taken care of. Bad idler pulleys need replacing. Bad spindles will need bearings. I have never rebuilt the early four bolt spindles, but I think they are the same as the later six bolt ones. To replace bearings simply:

Remove the blade
Remove the bolt on top of the spindle
Use a punch or round piece of steel and a hammer and drive the shaft down out of the pulley
Once free of the pulley, the shaft will probably fall out the bottom
Now use your punch to remove the bearings
Reverse order for assembly

It's not difficult if you're comfortable with such tools. Grasshopper parts are inexpensive as commercial mower parts go. The bearings are about $9 each and there are six of them. The sheaves are about $13 or so each.

If the deck is noisy, have you been keeping the spindles greased? If not, as an experiment, see if greasing them will make them any quieter. My mower was generally well cared for, but the previous owner had not greased the spindles and some of the fittings would not take grease, so I could not see if grease would have helped them although I would have rebuilt them anyway.

Hope this helps,
Larry
Larry, thank u for taking time from your holiday weekend to answer my question re: spindle rebuild. Just offhand, do u have part # for bearings? My deck no is 9552s, 61 in 725k mower. I can't seem to locate right bearing in my search. Enjoy your weekend.
Terry
 

MBDiagMan

Well-Known Member
Messages
140
9552 sounds like a 52" deck. Regardless, google grasshopper mower parts and you will find a link to a place called mower parts or something like that in Fort Smith, Arkansas. They have blowup diagrams of all model decks and you can find the part numbers there.

Although that outfit is a good source of information, I bought the parts for less at my local grasshopper dealer.

Hope this helps.
Larry
 

MBDiagMan

Well-Known Member
Messages
140
Try this:

The Mower Shop, Inc. - Home Page[HR][/HR]

TM,

After looking more at that diagram I noticed that it shows four bolt spindles. You need to raise your deck cover and see if you have four bolt or six bolt spindles. It will be worth your time to do some study on that site to ensure that you get the right part numbers.

Larry
 

MBDiagMan

Well-Known Member
Messages
140
Also TM, when you are rebuilding the spindles, and they are four bolt versions, inspect the spindle housings to make sure there are no cracks and that the bearings are not wobbly loose inside them. If you find a bad spindle casting, PM me. I have some four bolt spindles that I salvaged from an old deck. If you need one, I will send one to you for the cost of shipping.

Larry
 

tmar04

Member
Messages
37
[/
Larry, tks so much for the offer on 4 bolt spindles. You are correct , my deck is 52 in.i should have caught that. I raised deck and greased fitting (on top) til grease came out bottom. It did help quite a bit. How in the world do u get to the u joint grease fittings under the footrest area? Surely I won't have to remove deck ! Are those spindle bearings sealed? I have heard both versions. Some say no, others yes and grease fittings just to satisfy the public. If I can get pto greased, I will try it as is and keep eye on spindles. Again, thank u for your time and generous offer. Terry​
 

tmar04

Member
Messages
37
Fitting on end of grease gun about 1/16 too big to fit. Can't get square on zerk. Guess ill take grinder to it and customize a little.
 

MBDiagMan

Well-Known Member
Messages
140
It appears that the 9552 deck used four bolt spindle housings from 1996 through 2002, all the years that they were built.

Block the front of the deck up about a foot and support it firmly before removing blades and attacking spindles. Be safe!
Larry
 

Steve0853

Active Member
Messages
73
Let me add my experience with spindle bearings and housings.

I have a 2002 GH 225 with a 61" deck. My comment is that it doesn't take a whole lot of loose play between the spindle housing and the bearings to cause the bearings to go bad very quickly. I was replacing spindle bearing about every 40 hours on a couple of the spindles.

Then I wiggled the blades AFTER I replaced the bearings one time and realized there was still a lot of play. Next time I replaced the housings and presto, no more problems with bearings going out.

Two additional comments: First, in my bearing replacement incidents, I came to like the sealed bearings better. They lasted longer. Second, greasing the spindles WILL quiet the noise for a little while even if the housings do need replacing. But not for long. The grease will escape out the bottom pretty quickly.

If I were sprucing up a used Grasshopper, I would replace housings and all while I was doing the bearings, etc. (Especially with a generous offer like Larry made). It will probably save you going back under there in a short time.
 

djdicetn

Lawn Addict
Messages
2,193
Let me add my experience with spindle bearings and housings.

I have a 2002 GH 225 with a 61" deck. My comment is that it doesn't take a whole lot of loose play between the spindle housing and the bearings to cause the bearings to go bad very quickly. I was replacing spindle bearing about every 40 hours on a couple of the spindles.

Then I wiggled the blades AFTER I replaced the bearings one time and realized there was still a lot of play. Next time I replaced the housings and presto, no more problems with bearings going out.

Two additional comments: First, in my bearing replacement incidents, I came to like the sealed bearings better. They lasted longer. Second, greasing the spindles WILL quiet the noise for a little while even if the housings do need replacing. But not for long. The grease will escape out the bottom pretty quickly.

If I were sprucing up a used Grasshopper, I would replace housings and all while I was doing the bearings, etc. (Especially with a generous offer like Larry made). It will probably save you going back under there in a short time.
Question for you guys.....if you are better off replacing the housings and bearings after years of service and time to replace, is it that much cheaper to buy the separate components and rebuild them yourself versus buying complete replacement spindles??? Never having replaced bearings in a spindle housing, that's probably what I would first consider unless I could save some significant money doing it myself. Just curious.
 

Steve0853

Active Member
Messages
73
Question for you guys.....if you are better off replacing the housings and bearings after years of service and time to replace, is it that much cheaper to buy the separate components and rebuild them yourself versus buying complete replacement spindles??? Never having replaced bearings in a spindle housing, that's probably what I would first consider unless I could save some significant money doing it myself. Just curious.
I would definitely do the work yourself unless you have no tools, or no good place to do the work, or are physically unable to do the under deck work. Its not a difficult task.

As far as parts, you won't probably won't need to replace the spindles. Unless they are visibly damaged, they will be OK. I bought my bearings at an Agri-Supply place. I am not at home or I could get you the bearing number. They are not Grasshopper specific and were about $3 per bearing. They are all the same size and you will need 6, 2 for each spindle.

The spindle housings ARE Grasshopper specific and I've forgotten the price, but not prohibitive. And while you're under there, be sure to put some freshly sharpened or new blades and new fiber washers. You'll be surprised at how quiet the deck is.

Don't forget to check the belt pulleys for nicks and bent places. And the belt for unusual wear or missing chunks. That will create a lot of noise and a slightly bent pulley can cause the belt to fail. The belt is Grasshopper specific and in my area it costs about $90. OUCH.

Edited to add: I'm not even sure that you can buy the assembly already put together. However, assembling the spindles, bearings, and housing is very easy. Plus, the spindles by themselves would probably be more costly than all the rest of the parts.
 

MBDiagMan

Well-Known Member
Messages
140
I would definitely do the work yourself unless you have no tools, or no good place to do the work, or are physically unable to do the under deck work. Its not a difficult task.

As far as parts, you won't probably won't need to replace the spindles. Unless they are visibly damaged, they will be OK. I bought my bearings at an Agri-Supply place. I am not at home or I could get you the bearing number. They are not Grasshopper specific and were about $3 per bearing. They are all the same size and you will need 6, 2 for each spindle.

The spindle housings ARE Grasshopper specific and I've forgotten the price, but not prohibitive. And while you're under there, be sure to put some freshly sharpened or new blades and new fiber washers. You'll be surprised at how quiet the deck is.

Don't forget to check the belt pulleys for nicks and bent places. And the belt for unusual wear or missing chunks. That will create a lot of noise and a slightly bent pulley can cause the belt to fail. The belt is Grasshopper specific and in my area it costs about $90. OUCH.

Edited to add: I'm not even sure that you can buy the assembly already put together. However, assembling the spindles, bearings, and housing is very easy. Plus, the spindles by themselves would probably be more costly than all the rest of the parts.
Question for you guys.....if you are better off replacing the housings and bearings after years of service and time to replace, is it that much cheaper to buy the separate components and rebuild them yourself versus buying complete replacement spindles??? Never having replaced bearings in a spindle housing, that's probably what I would first consider unless I could save some significant money doing it myself. Just curious.
Well, if you need new spindle housings, at least in she case of grasshopper, the assembled spindle costs only a little more than housings and bearings, but in my case I got an upgraded version. It is indeed all assembled, but it's very simple to assemble them yourself. If the housings are in good shape there's no need to remove them from the deck. Just drive the shaft out of the pulley, change bearings and fiber washers and slip the shaft up through the new bearings, fiber washers and sleeve.

If the housings are in good shape and holding the bearings snugly, it wouldn't cost much, even from the grasshopper dealer to replace only the bearings and fiber washers. As mentioned, most all bearings are standars sizes and configurations that can be had from your local or online industrial supply.

Larry
 

djdicetn

Lawn Addict
Messages
2,193
Well, if you need new spindle housings, at least in she case of grasshopper, the assembled spindle costs only a little more than housings and bearings, but in my case I got an upgraded version. It is indeed all assembled, but it's very simple to assemble them yourself. If the housings are in good shape there's no need to remove them from the deck. Just drive the shaft out of the pulley, change bearings and fiber washers and slip the shaft up through the new bearings, fiber washers and sleeve.

If the housings are in good shape and holding the bearings snugly, it wouldn't cost much, even from the grasshopper dealer to replace only the bearings and fiber washers. As mentioned, most all bearings are standars sizes and configurations that can be had from your local or online industrial supply.

Larry
Thanks for addressing my sidebar question(sorry for hijacking the thread:0)
The only experience I had was, after 16 years, having a spindle go out on a True Value Lawn Chief lawn tractor. For about the first 15 years of ownership there was a local hardware store that could get me original OEM replacement parts(True Value was bought out by Ace in the mid-90's and the Lawn Chief mowers were discontinued), but even they could not get spindle parts. My father-in-law located a compatible replacement spindle for $100 which was the complete spindle assembly. We just removed the old one and bolted in the new one. My son used that Lawn Chief for another 3 years but the deck hanging system began falling apart and rust began to be a real problem with the tractor and the deck. Still, 19 years of service was definitely my money's worth(and the 16hp B & S Vanguard engine still ran like day one:0)
 

tmar04

Member
Messages
37
It appears that the 9552 deck used four bolt spindle housings from 1996 through 2002, all the years that they were built.

Block the front of the deck up about a foot and support it firmly before removing blades and attacking spindles. Be safe!
Larry
Larry, I greased h---- outta the spindles , replaced all blades and both belts and 80% of noise disappeared ! Now, my problems continue. Need to replace kohler engine , and have located one couple yrs newer , and 27 hp v 25 hp however , spec number is different. This newer one had 1 7/16 shaft instead of 1 1/8, no prob on clutch end cause I can locate clutch got 1 7/16 shaft, but will front of crankshaft connect ok to existing power shaft assembly?? Any thoughts?
 

MBDiagMan

Well-Known Member
Messages
140
Larry, I greased h---- outta the spindles , replaced all blades and both belts and 80% of noise disappeared ! Now, my problems continue. Need to replace kohler engine , and have located one couple yrs newer , and 27 hp v 25 hp however , spec number is different. This newer one had 1 7/16 shaft instead of 1 1/8, no prob on clutch end cause I can locate clutch got 1 7/16 shaft, but will front of crankshaft connect ok to existing power shaft assembly?? Any thoughts?
I wish I could help with your question TM, but I've never had one apart to such a level. What is wrong with the engine to require replacement? There is probably someone on the repair forum that can answer hat question though.

Larry
 

tmar04

Member
Messages
37
It appears that the 9552 deck used four bolt spindle housings from 1996 through 2002, all the years that they were built.

Block the front of the deck up about a foot and support it firmly before removing blades and attacking spindles. Be safe!
Larry
Notice u refer to 1948 Cessna . I used to own and fly , 1946 Globe Swift. All metal , elec flaps, retract gear, 2 seater. Lived in Durant okla then. Flew it all over north Texas! Little off subject, but thought I'd mention it. Cheers, terry
 

MBDiagMan

Well-Known Member
Messages
140
Notice u refer to 1948 Cessna . I used to own and fly , 1946 Globe Swift. All metal , elec flaps, retract gear, 2 seater. Lived in Durant okla then. Flew it all over north Texas! Little off subject, but thought I'd mention it. Cheers, terry
Was it called Eaker Field in those days? That's a really nice little airport with a smooth as glass runway. Where all did you fly in those days? I hangar at Bonham Jones Field, a WWII basic flight training base, about 21NM South, SouthEast of Eaker.

My Dad supervised airframe construction of the Globe Swift at Temco in Grand Prairie right after World War II. He probably had his hands on your aircraft at one point. Great little plane, but there are few of them left in the air today. There are a few polished, beautifully restored examples in the Texas Antique Aircraft organization. Their annual fly in is next month and I try not to miss it. It's like a car show for airplanes. The most painstakingly restored, spit and polish aircraft you can imagine go there. My plane is not bad, but it looks like a rag when tied down at that gathering.

Larry
 

tmar04

Member
Messages
37
Was it called Eaker Field in those days? That's a really nice little airport with a smooth as glass runway. Where all did you fly in those days? I hangar at Bonham Jones Field, a WWII basic flight training base, about 21NM South, SouthEast of Eaker.

My Dad supervised airframe construction of the Globe Swift at Temco in Grand Prairie right after World War II. He probably had his hands on your aircraft at one point. Great little plane, but there are few of them left in the air today. There are a few polished, beautifully restored examples in the Texas Antique Aircraft organization. Their annual fly in is next month and I try not to miss it. It's like a car show for airplanes. The most painstakingly restored, spit and polish aircraft you can imagine go there. My plane is not bad, but it looks like a rag when tied down at that gathering.

Larry
Your reply sure brought back memories. I just didn't fly enough to retain profiency. Swift is very unforgiving air craft . One mistake and can be all over. So, I sold mine. Got 3k for it!! All polished, but still had 6 cyl continental . Underpowered!!

I put new blades on and wiggled the spindle while under deck and sure enough, has sme play in 2 of them. If offer stands on those spindle housings u have, tell me how much shipping to 31023? Thanks so much .
Terry
 
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