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Old 04-10-2010, 08:29 PM   post #1 of 23
thunderbirl
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Default Help with front axle removal 3000 series

Today was supposed to be easy... grease the zerks, change the fluids, etc.

So the first zerk I went after was the one under the center pivot of the front axle - the one that lubes the pivot and the PTO. No way could I get any grease in there. So I said - OK. Bad zerk, I'll replace you. Dang - you're a "press in". So I work and work and work to get it loose and it breaks off! Oh, blankety blank. OK I'll drill it out what's left and tap it. The drill bit breaks off....

OK, so I can remove the axle... I got the PTO pulleys off and unclip the PTO shaft and unbolt the axle carrier - and it will just barely budge forward using screwdrivers under the axle carrier to wedge it forward. I have the front end off the ground. The axle jams up on the carrier every time I move it forward and I have to wiggle it up and down to try to loosen it.

Now the axle just seems jammed against the front cross beam. I'm not getting more motion and I'm tired.

I want to get this all apart, clean out the metal bits, refit a new zerk and reassemble.

Any advice for when I start up again tomorrow??
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Last edited by thunderbirl; 04-10-2010 at 08:54 PM.
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Old 04-10-2010, 10:49 PM   post #2 of 23
pfreiburger
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Default Re: Help with front axle removal 3000 series

Hi Steve,

Looking at the 3225 parts diagram it looks like the carrier should remove from the rear. It looks like there are two bolts to bolt the carrier flange to the axle channel in the frame. Is that correct? I also see what looks like a bolt (or two) to adjust the axle to channel clearance. You removed that (them) right?
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Old 04-11-2010, 01:24 AM   post #3 of 23
thunderbirl
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Default Re: Help with front axle removal 3000 series

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Originally Posted by pfreiburger View Post
Hi Steve,

Looking at the 3225 parts diagram it looks like the carrier should remove from the rear. It looks like there are two bolts to bolt the carrier flange to the axle channel in the frame. Is that correct? I also see what looks like a bolt (or two) to adjust the axle to channel clearance. You removed that (them) right?
Thanks for the thoughts. The Front PTO diagram is oriented with the front of the tractor to the lower left. The Front Axle diagram is oriented with the front to the upper right. The carrier (#14) comes out the front. The bolts (#18) in the PTO diagram are shoulder bolts acting a belt "keepers" while the bolt (#4) in the Front Axle diagram passes below the axle. Bolt #4 in the Front Axle diagram provides some integrity to the lower edge of the channel.

All three of these are out of the way. I don't believe that there are any clearance adjustment bolts shown - and I don't see any. The axle has nice wide flat spots that limit front/back travel.

It seems like the axle is stuck on the axle carrier. I don't seem to be generating any separation between the axle carrier (#14) and the rear bearing (#22) either.

It all seems to be well greased based on the PTO shaft when it came out. This adventure started out just trying to keep it that way! I can imagine that part of the axle carrier might be "exposed" to the work environment behind the axle and could have gotten grunged up so that it isn't going through. On the other hand, the tractor, including that channel, is pretty clean as I power wash it from time to time.
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60" mower, wheel weights, hydraulic front lift, 45" snowthower, Johnny Bucket Jr. with extender and home-made caddy bars, three point hitch, 42" hydraulic rototiller, Agrifab dethatcher, Spyker 179 spreader, Turfvent plug aerator, CountyLine 25 gal Deluxe Trailer Sprayer
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Old 04-11-2010, 08:07 AM   post #4 of 23
thunderbirl
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Default Re: Help with front axle removal 3000 series

Does the axle carrier assembly drive out from the "rear?

I have a lathe and can make a giant drift punch if that's how it's done...
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Steve MacLeod
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60" mower, wheel weights, hydraulic front lift, 45" snowthower, Johnny Bucket Jr. with extender and home-made caddy bars, three point hitch, 42" hydraulic rototiller, Agrifab dethatcher, Spyker 179 spreader, Turfvent plug aerator, CountyLine 25 gal Deluxe Trailer Sprayer
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Old 04-11-2010, 08:23 AM   post #5 of 23
ricster65
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Default Re: Help with front axle removal 3000 series

Just buy a new tractor!! Thats what I would do
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Old 04-11-2010, 08:33 AM   post #6 of 23
Gary in NJ
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Default Re: Help with front axle removal 3000 series

Something must be binding here. Get the axle back into its "stuck" position and pull a tight string around the axle. Where it stops moving is where you are binding.

It could be the fitting for the axle carrier itself. Are you sure you didn't force the broken zerk into the flange, causing it to bind (this is what I'm thinking).

If all is clear and it's just plain old stuck, you could try to heat the axle near the location on the broken zerk, and then alternatively tap the axle on either side of the carrier?
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Old 04-11-2010, 08:57 AM   post #7 of 23
thunderbirl
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Default Re: Help with front axle removal 3000 series

Gary,

"Most" of the zerk body did come out - along with the springy bit and the fitting proper, of course.

I still haven't found the rest of the drill bit....

Do you know if the carrier extends all the way to the rear support and the bearing fits into it? It's not clear (to me) from the diagrams how the carrier, rear bearing and rear support fits together - and I don't want to break anything by just banging.

I've only got a couple hours today, so it looks like this drama will continue for a while..
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Old 04-11-2010, 09:39 AM   post #8 of 23
Gary in NJ
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Default Re: Help with front axle removal 3000 series

I didn't say "bang". I said "tap".

Of course one man's tap could be another man's band (especially an angry man). Put a 2x4 on the axle and hit the wood rather then the axle. This should keep you from destroying expensive parts.

I haven't had the front axle off my 3206, so I can't give you any first hand experience. But from what you've told us (zerk wont take grease, broken bit in same location) I think there is something there that is binding.

I'd drill out any and everything where that zerk goes. BTW, if the axle carrier is dry (or nearly so), that would also explain why it's hard to remove.
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Old 04-11-2010, 10:04 AM   post #9 of 23
thunderbirl
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Default Re: Help with front axle removal 3000 series

The axle moves up and down with no effort at all - in the middle of the carrier. There is lots of grease inside (stuck a q-tip up inside and it came out "blue" - the color of last year's grease. (This year is red!) I know it's not "dry".

I'll try "tapping".

Thanks for the ideas!
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Steve MacLeod
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Cub Cadet 3225
60" mower, wheel weights, hydraulic front lift, 45" snowthower, Johnny Bucket Jr. with extender and home-made caddy bars, three point hitch, 42" hydraulic rototiller, Agrifab dethatcher, Spyker 179 spreader, Turfvent plug aerator, CountyLine 25 gal Deluxe Trailer Sprayer
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Old 04-11-2010, 11:30 AM   post #10 of 23
thunderbirl
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Default Re: Help with front axle removal 3000 series

"Tapping" did nothing.

I pulled out the wedges and let everything relax back to the center, it seems fine - nice and loose with no grinding/binding. If anyone has other ideas related to removing the axle carrier, please let me know.

How about removing the grease seal and bearing and then "TAPPING"!
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Steve MacLeod
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Cub Cadet 3225
60" mower, wheel weights, hydraulic front lift, 45" snowthower, Johnny Bucket Jr. with extender and home-made caddy bars, three point hitch, 42" hydraulic rototiller, Agrifab dethatcher, Spyker 179 spreader, Turfvent plug aerator, CountyLine 25 gal Deluxe Trailer Sprayer
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Old 04-11-2010, 11:01 PM   post #11 of 23
Jim4041
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Default Re: Help with front axle removal 3000 series

Did you remove bolt #4 that you refer to above? This could be binding on the carrier. You might try tapping on the flange attachment to rotate the carrier and loosen it up. The carrier should pull straight out from the axle. I did some light to medium "tapping" on the shaft to help get it started. Just don't damage the splines.
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Old 04-12-2010, 06:14 AM   post #12 of 23
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Default Re: Help with front axle removal 3000 series

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Originally Posted by Jim4041 View Post
Did you remove bolt #4 that you refer to above? This could be binding on the carrier. You might try tapping on the flange attachment to rotate the carrier and loosen it up. The carrier should pull straight out from the axle. I did some light to medium "tapping" on the shaft to help get it started. Just don't damage the splines.
Jim,

Thank you for your suggestions. Bolt #4 connects the front of the "channel" to the rear. It is located "under" axle by about an inch - and it's not in there anymore.

It sounds like you left the PTO shaft in place and tapped the intact assembly out. I've already taken the PTO shaft out. I can put it back in and give it a try. That will put the force on the inside c-clip at the front of the carrier.

Alternatively, I thought about removing the rear bearing and seal from the carrier by "tapping" it out (drift from the front) and then using a drift (from the rear) to remove the carrier. That would put the force at some "edge" inside the carrier - probably near the rear.

I'll look at these options tonight.

I'm really glad to hear that this "should" move out as I've been trying to do.

Thanks again!

p.s. Why did you remove your axle?
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60" mower, wheel weights, hydraulic front lift, 45" snowthower, Johnny Bucket Jr. with extender and home-made caddy bars, three point hitch, 42" hydraulic rototiller, Agrifab dethatcher, Spyker 179 spreader, Turfvent plug aerator, CountyLine 25 gal Deluxe Trailer Sprayer

Last edited by thunderbirl; 04-12-2010 at 06:41 AM.
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Old 04-12-2010, 10:06 PM   post #13 of 23
thunderbirl
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Default Re: Help with front axle removal 3000 series

The good news is that it's apart and ready to go back together...

The bad news is that things got a little messed up getting it apart and I'll need a couple parts...

The way it came apart was this. I reassembled the PTO shaft in the carrier and, from under the tractor, hit the shaft (tap, through firm, to hard whacking) with a big hammer to drive the carrier forward. Part way through this process, the inner clip ring sheared off and I mashed the rear bearing. By then the carrier had moved forward about 1/2 inch into the axle. I found a large impact socket that pretty closely matched the diameter of the carrier and beat it out the rest of the way.

The joint between the carrier and the axle was dry as a bone. No grease at all! No idea why I thought the q-tip came out blue as I found no more evidence there at all. The PTO (inside the carrier) was full of grease (none of which was blue).

I found the broken drill bit tip in the zerk hole in the axle. Although there is a groove in the carrier, there are no grooves in the axle, so there's no place to jam anything in between the carrier and the axle. (i.e., if it doesn't move at first, beat it harder!) The fluid path is one hole in the axle for the zerk to a groove in the carrier and a through-hole in the groove in the bottom of the carrier to pass grease into the PTO shaft area.

There's no obvious scoring anywhere. All the grunge was dirt, not rust or metal. I'm pretty careful about lubricating things. I did a lot of rototilling last year and maybe the dust just clogged it all up?! Would that clog a zerk? (do they make little zerk covers to protect from dust?)

All-in-all I'm pretty lucky, I guess! All I need is a seal, bearing, clip-ring and a zerk! I'll get parts coming and install the zerk tomorrow. Then i can get around to easy part of this job!

Thank you all for the help along the way.

In retrospect, I'll bet this could have been a lot easier if I'd removed the PTO shaft, picked the grunge out the through-hole on the bottom center of the carrier and then sprayed WD-40/Sea Foam/etc down into the groove and let it soak for a day. Maybe even flush it a time or two! Things might slide right apart if you did that.
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60" mower, wheel weights, hydraulic front lift, 45" snowthower, Johnny Bucket Jr. with extender and home-made caddy bars, three point hitch, 42" hydraulic rototiller, Agrifab dethatcher, Spyker 179 spreader, Turfvent plug aerator, CountyLine 25 gal Deluxe Trailer Sprayer
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Old 04-13-2010, 09:31 PM   post #14 of 23
thunderbirl
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Default Re: Help with front axle removal 3000 series

I've installed a new 45 degree zerk that leaves it about horizontal on the bottom of the axle with access from the left. The axle and carrier are all back in and I'm waiting on the new bearings for the PTO shaft.

The big hassle in reassembly is getting the carrier to slip over the splined bolts that hold it to the front of the axle "channel" without knocking the bolts out. It only took me three tries to get that done. I finally jammed them in place with a screwdriver against the axle to make them stay. Too bad they weren't tack welded on the back side!

After getting it all together, I gave the zerk a couple squirts and ended up with grease inside the carrier, so that's looking good! With the front end lifted by the hydraulics, I could move the wheels up and down with a finger before this effort. Now they bounce up and down several times on their own.

The whole approach to lubrication of the axle still seems very odd to me. There are no seals. I went to the manual and there are no instructions about how to lubricate the axle. There is, however, a frequency that I missed completely - DAILY.
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60" mower, wheel weights, hydraulic front lift, 45" snowthower, Johnny Bucket Jr. with extender and home-made caddy bars, three point hitch, 42" hydraulic rototiller, Agrifab dethatcher, Spyker 179 spreader, Turfvent plug aerator, CountyLine 25 gal Deluxe Trailer Sprayer
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Old 04-15-2010, 08:24 PM   post #15 of 23
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Default Re: Help with front axle removal 3000 series

Picked up the new clips, bearings and seal tonight and it's all back together - at least around this issue!

Reassembly of the PTO shaft and drive mechanism was very straight forward and there were no issues at all.

My big lesson on this is that I'll be lubing that axle carrier joint a LOT more frequently than I have in the past.

Many thanks to all who helped with suggestions and messages!
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Steve MacLeod
Near Rochester, NY

Cub Cadet 3225
60" mower, wheel weights, hydraulic front lift, 45" snowthower, Johnny Bucket Jr. with extender and home-made caddy bars, three point hitch, 42" hydraulic rototiller, Agrifab dethatcher, Spyker 179 spreader, Turfvent plug aerator, CountyLine 25 gal Deluxe Trailer Sprayer
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