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Hey all I'm tearing down this 46 inch deck, replacing the bearings, powder coating and re-assembling.I thought I'd take some pictures and post the progress along the way. I'm relatively handy with other things, so I thought I would give this a go. This is my first semi-major JD project so advice and answers to questions along the way are appreciated. Here are my questions:

Is there a trick to getting the keys out of the spindles? I've worked on them for a while without much luck.
Is the Larger spindle assembly the middle? I should have paid attention when removing them but didn't.
Where is the best place to buy replacement nuts and bolts? I really don't want to put those rusty ones back on my fresh deck.
Removing the spindles from the assembly- I was considering trying my pulley puller to remove them, I was also considering using a hammer with a punch or something similar, I also considered putting the nut partially on to protect the threads and then hammering it out. Does anyone have any input on this?
One of the spindle pulleys was bent when removing it. Is it garbage at this point or would you try and straighten it?
And oh yes, by the way i'm going to replace the bearing in the idler pulley I've seen people grind down the welds and replace with nuts and bolts. I'll be doing that as well.
Thanks in advance for your comments and answers.
 

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Agrisupply.com and surpluscenter.com are 2 places I have been using for years with good luck. Agrisupply mainly for blades, surplus for all type of hardware and components. Normally use Ace or True Value for bolts, just be sure to get the correct grade of bolt, based on the markings on the bolt head. The keys should just come out. Get between the half moon key in the picture and the shaft with a small chisel and work each side until it loosens. Good luck on the project.
 

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Kevin, before you took the deck apart, did you notice if the center spindle was tilted towards the front of the deck as in the picture of my deck? You could just remount the center spindle to see. If so, now is the time to put some reinforcing plates in.I will probably tackle my tilting spindle problem this winter, but I have not researched what I need to do yet. Will be following this thread closely. Keep the pics of the progress coming.
 

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I rebuilt a 46 deck a couple of months ago. Those wise guys a JD riveted and spot welded those idler pulleys together so that it would be destroyed trying to take it apart and replace the bearing. The two halves of the pulley I tried to take apart were pressed on the bearing also. I burnt a triangular hole in a steel plate to drop the spindle in a remove the spindle pulleys without bending them, worked good.
 

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I use a side cutters to dig the key out.

You could try straightening out the pulley with a vise grips. Looks like its just that one spot???

Yes I've put the nut on and pounded on the spindle. Be careful when you do it though. Screw the nut on as far as you can so it's just barely above the spindle.
 

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All good advise so far. On the key I just tap with a hammer and screwdriver along the keyway and it just walks up out of the rounded spot it is in. You didnt mess up the pulley as bad as I did. Mine was totally unusable so I just bought a good used one.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Agrisupply.com and surpluscenter.com are 2 places I have been using for years with good luck. Agrisupply mainly for blades, surplus for all type of hardware and components. Normally use Ace or True Value for bolts, just be sure to get the correct grade of bolt, based on the markings on the bolt head. The keys should just come out. Get between the half moon key in the picture and the shaft with a small chisel and work each side until it loosens. Good luck on the project.
I tried a screwdriver without much luck, but your chisel idea worked great thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Kevin, before you took the deck apart, did you notice if the center spindle was tilted towards the front of the deck as in the picture of my deck? You could just remount the center spindle to see. If so, now is the time to put some reinforcing plates in.I will probably tackle my tilting spindle problem this winter, but I have not researched what I need to do yet. Will be following this thread closely. Keep the pics of the progress coming.
I didn't notice. Hopefully i don't have that issue.
 

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I use a side cutters to dig the key out.

You could try straightening out the pulley with a vise grips. Looks like its just that one spot???

Yes I've put the nut on and pounded on the spindle. Be careful when you do it though. Screw the nut on as far as you can so it's just barely above the spindle.
I wish i would have read this sooner lol. I put the nut about half way on and started pounding away. I got it part way out before i realized I had pounded the nut a bit sideways, damaging the threads. 1st lesson learned put the nut on almost all the way. I did have a spare nut and I took a micro file to the threads, and slowly turned the new nut on and backed it off, then on and i think the spindle is salvageable. I'm going to put the nut on 90% of the way and report back this weekend. Thanks for the help all. View attachment 105498
Also I just bought a small sand blaster on Amazon, I'll take some pictures of that when i'm sandblasting misc parts like pulleys that are not getting powder coated.
 

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Ha! you did the EXACT same thing I did once! That's why I mentioned to be careful in my previous post. I too was able to salvage the spindle though.

I'm not making fun of you but I couldn't help to chuckle a little when you did the same thing. At least you're able to salvage the spindle:thumb:
 

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From my experience with powder coatings, is that with age of the paint cracking occurs, thus moisture enters & of course paint will lift,to remove the powder coating is no easy task.
I have found out that the John Deere Enamel with their primer, will give you a nice paint job for the average novas painter. Reasonable priced for paint & very durable. Have also used POR 15 for the underside of the deck, very durable also.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ok guys, been out with the worst flu ever, had to get an IV even.... Wash your hands lol. But i'm back at this project. Just need a quick answer on how to remove these pins on the draft arm, and once they're out can i put them back in? Never seen a fastener like this before. Any tricks I should know about? Thanks :)
IMG_20160911_122737.jpg IMG_20160911_123404.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I have the deck completely torn down, and it is in the bed of my truck. I'm taking it to the powder coat shop tomorrow. I made some progress on the spindles today too. I found a steel pipe that is just the right size to hold the housing while I hammer out the spindle. Then when the spindle was about flush I used an extension and hammered that the rest of the way. Lots of WD 40 throughout the process but it finally gave.

IMG_20160911_154143.jpg IMG_20160911_154155.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #18
From my experience with powder coatings, is that with age of the paint cracking occurs, thus moisture enters & of course paint will lift,to remove the powder coating is no easy task.
I have found out that the John Deere Enamel with their primer, will give you a nice paint job for the average novas painter. Reasonable priced for paint & very durable. Have also used POR 15 for the underside of the deck, very durable also.
Are you telling me not to powder coat this? I feel like I should be listening right now lol. Is it because down the road it will be almost impossible to repair/re coat? IE you cant sand blast the powder coat off? Maybe I'll consider that.
 
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