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post #1 of 37 Old 05-17-2019, 09:51 AM Thread Starter
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Broken Spindle

So, yesterday I am cutting my yard, didn't hit anything and was in grass on flat terrain when all of a sudden a horrible rattling sound started coming from under the mower deck. I immediately shut it down, pulled the mower deck out and had a look only to find one of the spindles had a lot of play in it, shaft was no longer tight and was really moving around.
The mower is a 2013 Craftsman LT2000 model 247.288852 and I am wanting to know if the whole spindle would need to be replaced or can the bearings be replaced.

I haven't removed the spindle from the deck yet, but I do not see any damage to the shaft or aluminum housing so I am thinking the bearings failed. Thanks for any input.

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post #2 of 37 Old 05-17-2019, 01:52 PM
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Re: Broken Spindle

If the area that holds the bearing has not been wallowed out, then a new bearing would be all you need. The problem I usually run into is that the mandrel has been worn out so that it will no longer hold the bearing. If not too bad though, I have used JB Weld to fill in around the outside of the bearing and have has pretty good success. Of course, you probably want to replace both bearings.
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post #3 of 37 Old 05-18-2019, 09:02 AM
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Re: Broken Spindle

I'd take it apart and inspect it. Don't bother trying to remove the aluminum housing, leave that bolted to the deck. You can replace the bearings with it bolted in place.
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post #4 of 37 Old 05-18-2019, 09:33 AM
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Re: Broken Spindle

Just curious, are those spindle bearings geaseable? I have a retired Craftsman 46" deck out in the shed, but can't recall ever greasing it as I think it has those "life time" bearings...yeah, sure....

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post #5 of 37 Old 05-18-2019, 12:25 PM
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Re: Broken Spindle

On some of the spindles, they do have a grease zerk. But the bearing are sealed. The grease is just on top to act as a cooling agent. Nothing more.
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post #6 of 37 Old 05-18-2019, 01:19 PM
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Re: Broken Spindle

Now while you may think that it is a Craftsman mower, it was built by MTD. You can go to Parts Tree to see the breakdown of parts for this machine:

https://www.partstree.com/parts/mtd/...tor-2013-sears

The spindle breakdown shows sealed(?) ball bearings (MTD 941-0919B) that one can get for $15.63 each or buy the entire spindle for $87.18

IMO, you could do with better pricing by going the aftermarket route where the complete spindle is less than $40 and the bearings for $5. That's all up to you and your mileage can vary.

Spindles:
https://www.amazon.com/s?k=918-04822B&ref=nb_sb_noss
Bearings:
https://www.amazon.com/s?k=MTD+941-0919B&ref=nb_sb_noss
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post #7 of 37 Old 05-25-2019, 04:03 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Broken Spindle

Thanks for all the help. I just got back from a vacation at the beach and havenít looked at the spindle yet but I am pretty sure that the bearings are what failed. There isnít a grease fitting on this particular spindle by the way, but I would probably just replace the whole thing and be done with it because I donít know how to replace bearings, or, I guess itís time to watch some YouTube vids on the subject. Lol.


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post #8 of 37 Old 06-04-2019, 08:45 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Broken Spindle

I found a replacement spindle complete with pulley,(which I donít need), for about 34 bucks, but one thing I notice is it has a grease fitting whereas the original doesnít have a grease fitting. So, has the design changed to include the grease fitting for better longevity or something?


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post #9 of 37 Old 06-04-2019, 09:08 PM
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Re: Broken Spindle

Spindles are not made by whatever manufacturer of tractor you buy. One manufacturer of spindles may install a grease fitting and another may not. As long as it fits correctly and works correctly, does one really care?
The thing is that the original spindle had sealed bearings and a grease zerk was deemed unnecessary because it had sealed bearings. Is the addition of a grease zerk going to help the longevity of the spindle if it is constructed the same way? I guess that is for you to find out.
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post #10 of 37 Old 06-05-2019, 06:21 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Broken Spindle

Okay, yeah says itís MTD so I was wondering why they added the zerk. Thanks.


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post #11 of 37 Old 06-05-2019, 11:53 AM
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Re: Broken Spindle

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Originally Posted by HobieMarty View Post
Okay, yeah says itís MTD so I was wondering why they added the zerk. Thanks.


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The zerk is just too use the grease inside the spindle as a heat sink, the bearing will run little bit cooler.

You will probably have to use a Impact wrench and take the pulley off to get the old spindle housing off and usually the self tapping bolts holding the aluminum spindle will twist off, so get the pulley off before you twist off the bolts. The new replacement spindle may not have any mounting hardware bolts. While you have the deck off check the other spindles for noise, they usually all go at the same time. The bearings are normally not very hard to replace with the spindle still on the mower and bearing are dirt cheap on flea bay. I greased the bearings if they are not worn out by using a vacinnating needle on my grease gun or a schringe filled with grease and just injecting EP2 wheel bearing grease under the edge of the plastic lip seal or the seal is eaasily popped out of the bearing on some clean out the old grease/crud and easily re-installed the seal.

Best too have the deck off and up on sawhorses. Once you go through one re-building spindles it's more work friendly next time around and putting the deck back on will be more sweat than replacing the spindle bearings. A impact wrench is your friend when working on deck spindles.

You can re-search such on you-tube.
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post #12 of 37 Old 06-05-2019, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Broken Spindle

Thanks so much for the advice. I have the deck off of the mower right now, it comes off fairly easy with 3 mounting points and then disconnect the pto cable, easy peasy. I have yet to really inspect the spindle, but I can tell you that the shaft is wobbly instead of tight.
When I was mowing and heard the noise, I immediately shut it down, so maybe I got lucky and the mandrel didnít get wallowed out. If this is the case then I may just replace the bearings.


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post #13 of 37 Old 06-05-2019, 06:05 PM
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Re: Broken Spindle

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Originally Posted by HobieMarty View Post
Thanks so much for the advice. I have the deck off of the mower right now, it comes off fairly easy with 3 mounting points and then disconnect the pto cable, easy peasy. I have yet to really inspect the spindle, but I can tell you that the shaft is wobbly instead of tight.
When I was mowing and heard the noise, I immediately shut it down, so maybe I got lucky and the mandrel didnít get wallowed out. If this is the case then I may just replace the bearings.


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When going after the bearings you can leave the blade on the shaft usually, remove the top pulley nut and tap the shaft out the bottom and the bearings will usually stay inside the housing. Look and make sure that there are no snap rings to remove (look at the parts IPL for such also) and if no snap rings tap out the lower bearing using a drift punch or large screwdriver.
Since it's a bad bearing do not be concerned about placement of the punch but go from side to side so as to not get the bearing hung sideways in the housing and have a clean place for the bearing to fall because their will be a steel spacer collar between the bearings and it will usually fall out with the bearing, then go after the top bearing in the same manner. The bearings are usually not a real tight fit on the shaft or in the housing, just good and snug fit. (unless they have spun on the shaft and or in the spindle housing.
You can usually see a number on the bearings and both are usually same size and can be usually bought at a Napa or auto store, will cost little more than flea bay but usually Napa will be a better bearing. You can also take your bearing number or a part number from the IPL and get a sack full from flea bat dirt cheap. (and the flea bay seem to last ok for me)
If any of the other spindles need bearings (sound noisy or dry) only do one spindle at a time, because if you lose track of any re-assembly you can then look at the one that's still intact for guidance. (A MTD/Craftsman IPL is not always exactly correct and or a Bubba has been into them before and added or throwed away some sper washers, etc. Watch the top pulley assembly, sometimes it has a up/down and maybe a spacer washer underneath. Also look at your top pulley at the shaft hole, sometimes they are stripped at the shaft and the pulley needs replaced.
Watch as you start torqueing the top and bottom nut and if the shaft don't keep turning freely, stop and figure out why.

You can probably also review such on you tube.
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post #14 of 37 Old 06-05-2019, 09:54 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Broken Spindle

Thank you Forest Gump, very helpful info. I was able to remove the pulleys with a breaker bar and socket on the nut and a big wrench on the blade nut and got the pulley nuts off, kept the blades on the shaft also. Then knocked everything out. The bearing that failed was completely apart which explains the wobble. My deck is a 46Ē so I have two spindles and went ahead and removed the other bearings as well because they didnít sound all that smooth when I tested them. I have ordered four new bearings and should have them in a few days. It was all pretty easy to do, there are the bearings and spacers and thatís it. I will of course make sure everything is clean inside the mandrel, clean up the spacers and shafts really well and sharpen the blades while I have them off the deck. I have the manual for my mower downloaded onto my phone and it has all the diagrams and part numbers which made it so easy to order the right parts and shows the orientation of the bearings and spacers. Thanks again for all the knowledge and help, I truly appreciate it.


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post #15 of 37 Old 06-06-2019, 02:45 AM
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Re: Broken Spindle

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Originally Posted by HobieMarty View Post
I will of course make sure everything is clean inside the mandrel, clean up the spacers and shafts really well and sharpen the blades while I have them off the deck. I have the manual for my mower downloaded onto my phone and it has all the diagrams and part numbers which made it so easy to order the right parts and shows the orientation of the bearings and spacers.
Make CERTAIN you know which spacer goes where, in what order. I put my 42 all back together only to find it wouldn't run smoothly. Found out the spacers on mine are about a 1/8" different (or less) and that's enough to make it bind if in the wrong order.

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