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Discussion Starter #1
I'm painting/repairing the 46 inch deck on my 318, wondering if the 3 bolt spindles have a particular way they should be installed. I noticed one of the notches for the spindle bolts is slightly different than the others ... does it need to be pointing a specific way? Thanks!
 

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I've replaced spindle bearings on a few decks and, to be perfectly honest, never noticed any difference in the slots!
The only thing that comes to mind, is one boss/slot could be a little lower/thinner than the other 2. This could be (??) for the retainer clip for the idler pulley spring. I can't remember now exactly where that attaches, so either your idler pulley and determine where the clip & spring attach or maybe some photos of a deck will show. Other than that one housing, if holes in deck line up with slots, bolt'em on!

A quick question. If you replaced spindle bearings, did you fill cavity between bearings with grease? I know sealed bearings, but grease is to displace air and not to lube bearings. Bob
 

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I noticed that also on my 48 deck when I replaced the main drive/middle spindle bearings. I made note of how it was when removed and installed in same orientation. Not sure I can answer why though.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I've replaced spindle bearings on a few decks and, to be perfectly honest, never noticed any difference in the slots!
The only thing that comes to mind, is one boss/slot could be a little lower/thinner than the other 2. This could be (??) for the retainer clip for the idler pulley spring. I can't remember now exactly where that attaches, so either your idler pulley and determine where the clip & spring attach or maybe some photos of a deck will show. Other than that one housing, if holes in deck line up with slots, bolt'em on!

A quick question. If you replaced spindle bearings, did you fill cavity between bearings with grease? I know sealed bearings, but grease is to displace air and not to lube bearings. Bob
That's pretty much what I'm noticing ... one of them lower than the rest. I agree with your conclusion, seems like if everything else fits it shouldn't matter. I'll probably investigate further when I take it apart at the end of the season for a full repaint on the top.

I didn't replace the bearings, they were functional for now. I will likely do so at the end of the season when I put more time into the deck.

In your experience, is removing the shaft and bearings possible with a workbench and vice, or is it best left to a machine shop? I would just be concerned with a machine shop bending something on the assembly.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I was able to match wear marks for everything but the center spindle ... next time I'll make small sharpie marks to avoid this problem.
 

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I would guess that it has to do with clamping the hub casting to facilitate secondary machining.
 

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Cruisin, A workbench and vice will work for dismantling & assembling IF it's a large vise! Spindle is approx. 5", hubs approx 4", so you'll need a vice with a 10" or 12" opening! If you plan on keeping this tractor or any tractor and doing your own repairs, I'd strongly recommend buying an arbor press from Harbor Freight. These are absolutely perfect for dismantling & assembling deck spindles...and you'll find other uses to justify the expense. They run around $150/$175 depending on sales, coupons, etc. and are worth every penny. Some shops get $50 to press one spindle out! Another tool is an impact wrench. These make pulley nuts a breeze to remove as well as deck blades. It'll be awhile before you get to your bearings, but ask here before you do anything! The wrong process and you've got broken parts! We here to help and WILL help!

Another quick hint is use a center punch or prick punch to mark parts. If you're repainting, that'll cover sharpie marks! Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Cruisin, A workbench and vice will work for dismantling & assembling IF it's a large vise! Spindle is approx. 5", hubs approx 4", so you'll need a vice with a 10" or 12" opening! If you plan on keeping this tractor or any tractor and doing your own repairs, I'd strongly recommend buying an arbor press from Harbor Freight. These are absolutely perfect for dismantling & assembling deck spindles...and you'll find other uses to justify the expense. They run around $150/$175 depending on sales, coupons, etc. and are worth every penny. Some shops get $50 to press one spindle out! Another tool is an impact wrench. These make pulley nuts a breeze to remove as well as deck blades. It'll be awhile before you get to your bearings, but ask here before you do anything! The wrong process and you've got broken parts! We here to help and WILL help!

Another quick hint is use a center punch or prick punch to mark parts. If you're repainting, that'll cover sharpie marks! Bob
Thanks for the advice. Yes, I have found that labor costs make most repairs of this type worth doing DIY. I'll definitely be looking for tips when the time comes, don't want to bend or break anything!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Cruisin, A workbench and vice will work for dismantling & assembling IF it's a large vise! Spindle is approx. 5", hubs approx 4", so you'll need a vice with a 10" or 12" opening! If you plan on keeping this tractor or any tractor and doing your own repairs, I'd strongly recommend buying an arbor press from Harbor Freight. These are absolutely perfect for dismantling & assembling deck spindles...and you'll find other uses to justify the expense. They run around $150/$175 depending on sales, coupons, etc. and are worth every penny. Some shops get $50 to press one spindle out! Another tool is an impact wrench. These make pulley nuts a breeze to remove as well as deck blades. It'll be awhile before you get to your bearings, but ask here before you do anything! The wrong process and you've got broken parts! We here to help and WILL help!

Another quick hint is use a center punch or prick punch to mark parts. If you're repainting, that'll cover sharpie marks! Bob
Long story short, I bought a replacement type 48 inch deck for my 318, came with a parts 46 inch deck which I have repainted as well. The bearings on this are definitely shot from sitting for years. You're saying a large vice ... is it in order to drive the shaft back into the hub without resorting to a hammer? Otherwise it seems like you could hold the hub in the vice and drive the shaft out and then back in with a hammer. I've seen conflicting advice on using a hammer on new bearings.

There's a vintage Craftsman 4.5" vice available locally which had me thinking ...
 

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Cruisin, I don't think a 4.5" vise is large enough. Hammering is DEFINITELY BAD for bearings! This creates small hard-spots on the bearing balls and/or races which will lead to premature failure. Another bad point of hammering is that it supplies a high shock load to the snap ring groove on the bottom of the housing which can easily result in breaking the housing! As I said earlier, an arbor press is definitely the best and easiest way to remove & assemble spindles.

Another quick comment! DO NOT try to remove pulley by pushing shaft! There's a key in the shaft that hits the upper bearing. After removing nut, the pulley must be pulled over the end of the shaft. A split bearing puller/separator is best as this doesn't damage pulley v-groove.

It may sound expensive to get these tools, but they'll pay for themselves by NOT having to replace damaged parts due to improper dismantling! Also, your tractor is fairly old, good, but old and will need other repairs in the years to come you'll find these tools very helpful. Bob
 

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I second Bob's comments. I blew up a spindle housing on a 50" deck myself on the first try by not realizing there was a second snap ring. Learned me a thing or three! I always make an attempt to look at the exploded parts view from the parts catalog before I start taking stuff apart now.

I put off the 20T HF press for years because I was being cheap. The hours/stress/effort wasted on pushing in and out wheel bearings, u-joints, suspension bushings and the like...if you've got the space, the press is the only way to go. Pays for itself the first use, I promise you that.

-Aaron-
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the info. If I wasn't military and moving every few years, I would absolutely purchase a hydraulic press ... I bet I can find one in the area that I can use, though. I hadn't thought about the loads on the snap ring when removing the shaft.

This is the only HF arbor press I could find, looks too small: https://www.harborfreight.com/1-ton-arbor-press-3552.html Perhaps I just need to find a friend with a floor mount hydraulic press I can borrow.

Thanks again! For what these parts cost from Deere, I definitely don't want to damage them in the rebuild.
 

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Cruisin, I was in the Air Force and we had an auto shop on Base. I spun a bearing on my Old's, had it bored & crank ground off Base but did the final assembly in auto shop. They had everything I needed as far as equipment. Being in the service, I agree that buying a press would be foolish, so check on Base facilities. Bob
 

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Thanks for your service!

They had shut down our base shop, but they're trying to bring it back this summer. The virus isn't helping plans, I'm sure. I have used the base auto shop at other locations, and they're an invaluable help!
 
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