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Discussion Starter #1
Where do you folks buy mower deck gauge wheels? I am wondering if it is worth saving a few bucks and get aftermarket? Any ideas one what ones are of good quality and fit?
Dan
 

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Dan, I just had the right front gauge wheel wear out on my X485. I replaced it with one from my Deere dealer. What I am familiar with on ebay is you have to buy a set. Dealer I was able to replace the one that failed. Cost comparison ... I cannot comment. Dealer had it in stock and was an immediate transaction; no waiting for shipping ... Gabby
 

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One also has to keep in mind that sometimes you get what you pay for. I tried some aftermarket belts years ago that did not hold up like the ones from Deere. I know some things are high from Deere, but their suppliers are held to standards that exceed the cheap stuff off epay.
 

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I wouldn't assume that the Deere replacement parts are always more expensive than aftermarket. I just rebuilt a 46 deck for my son's 212 and replaced all four gauge wheels. It turned out that the best deal for the rear gauge wheels and shoulder bolts was from JDparts. The rear wheels are 6"x1.25" plastic wheels. The more rounded 5" front gauge wheels were called out as some sort of "kit" required from JD that seemed to include some extra bushings and several styles of shoulder bolts for around $30 each ($60 pair). I sourced them on Ebay for $20 for the pair of wheels and included shoulder bolts. Quality and longevity shouldn't be an issue if the deck and wheels are leveled and adjusted correctly.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the input guys. I am more willing to take a chance on an easily replaceable item than a critical item. The belts i do get from deere. That deck looks nice in the picture, thanks for showing us. If i understand you, then you tried the aftermarket for the front? Did they fit without any adjusting okay?
Dan
 

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I wouldn't assume that the Deere replacement parts are always more expensive than aftermarket. I just rebuilt a 46 deck for my son's 212 and replaced all four gauge wheels. It turned out that the best deal for the rear gauge wheels and shoulder bolts was from JDparts. The rear wheels are 6"x1.25" plastic wheels. The more rounded 5" front gauge wheels were called out as some sort of "kit" required from JD that seemed to include some extra bushings and several styles of shoulder bolts for around $30 each ($60 pair). I sourced them on Ebay for $20 for the pair of wheels and included shoulder bolts. Quality and longevity shouldn't be an issue if the deck and wheels are leveled and adjusted correctly.
What is the setup on your discharge chute? Very nice work all around.
 

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This is a case of getting what you pay for. The originals, or for that matter, the originals from any brand of (quality) lawn mower that you can think of, are by far the better value. I have NO idea of why these wheels are so expensive for what they are (even the cheap ones...), but it probably has something to do with it being something that even the most non-mechanically minded, non-doityourselfer would take on, and the fact that you mower is (almost) no good without it (unless you live on a golf course), I think it's partly just "what the market will bear".

That said... The dealer ones, dollars per mile of mowing, are gonna be the least expensive option.

What do I do? Well, I havn't "worn out" a set on any John Deere's as of yet, but I have kept the lawn cut since I've had a lawn to cut. I've never had a front wheel "wear out" that came new on a tractor, although I have broken a few. (I do NOT live on a golf course.....). I can wear out a cheap one in a year or two. Versus ten plus years on an original that (if not broken), might show some wear but be just fine for use? So my regular lawn mowing mower, a 46 inch mower under a 318- That one got the big rear wheels replaced with "front wheels", as there's just too much turning on not perfect ground. It's not all the time by any means, but they tend to "hook" now and then. I put dealer wheels there to see if it'd work better (and it does) knowing I wouldn't be out much if it failed, as I could put them on the front. And (eventually) I will put dealer wheels on front, which for now show a lot of wear, but still function just fine.

I also have a 50 inch mower from a parts tractor that is bent, twisted, broken, torn, welded, bolted and just mangled in every possible way. The first round of rebuilding has rotted through, and the patches over, around and through that are just poor. It's twisted in unrecoverable ways, and overall, it's so thin that there is no new round of rebuilding in it. I brush hog with that one a couple times a year. Even with limited use, it doesn't have many years left in it. I bought cheap wheels for that one without hesitation.
 

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That's a great idea Jake, thanks for sharing. I've been chewing up my non-golf course lawn too, with tight turns so those curved front gauge wheels might reduce that.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I ordered in several different kinds of wheels to compare. The larger 6 inch rear on some decks are priced reasonable at deere. The other rounded 5 inch style seem to cost about double from deere. I could notice virtually no difference in the 5 inch design or the hardware, unless the resin to make them is different and i cannot test that. I ordered aftermarket that said made in USA for a set of 4, about 35 dollars. I also ordered a set of greasable from deere to inspect.
 
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