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Discussion Starter #1
I've got a Snapper 52" hydro walkbehind mower, and about 2 weeks ago, in the middle of mowing I had stopped to empty the grass bags, turned on the PTO and heard a loud scraping sound and saw that the end deck spindle wasn't rotating, so I loaded it back on the trailer, and finished up with a backup mower.

That night, I take off the electric clutch, notice that the clearance was way out of spec (I hadn't adjusted it or even checked it since buying the Snapper 3-4 years ago), adjust the clearance, reinstall it, fire it up, turn on the PTO and hear the same loud scraping sound and end deck spindle doesn't rotate.

So, my diagnosis is failed electric clutch, likely from not being adjusted, so I order another one, which came in today.

So, take off the old electric clutch, install the new one, and now I get to putting on the pto to deck belt (there's a separate deck belt). I get the belt on the pto first, and then it's kind of awkward, with the bags hanging in the way, the deck tilted up, and reaching over (it's on a trailer and I'm standing on the ground), and at this point, while struggling to get the belt on, I notice that the front deck pulley wobbled just a bit.

Take the belt off, and find that the bolt through the spindle had come loose, and the 12-point hex in the spindle & pulley were mostly worn away.

So, most likely (as I didn't really feel like taking everything apart), the original electric clutch was just fine, perhaps better after being adjusted, and the actual problem was the loose bolt..

:tango_face_crying:

Now to get a $50 pulley and swap one of the end spindles with the center one...
 

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I've got a Snapper 52" hydro walkbehind mower, and about 2 weeks ago, in the middle of mowing I had stopped to empty the grass bags, turned on the PTO and heard a loud scraping sound and saw that the end deck spindle wasn't rotating, so I loaded it back on the trailer, and finished up with a backup mower.

That night, I take off the electric clutch, notice that the clearance was way out of spec (I hadn't adjusted it or even checked it since buying the Snapper 3-4 years ago), adjust the clearance, reinstall it, fire it up, turn on the PTO and hear the same loud scraping sound and end deck spindle doesn't rotate.

So, my diagnosis is failed electric clutch, likely from not being adjusted, so I order another one, which came in today.

So, take off the old electric clutch, install the new one, and now I get to putting on the pto to deck belt (there's a separate deck belt). I get the belt on the pto first, and then it's kind of awkward, with the bags hanging in the way, the deck tilted up, and reaching over (it's on a trailer and I'm standing on the ground), and at this point, while struggling to get the belt on, I notice that the front deck pulley wobbled just a bit.

Take the belt off, and find that the bolt through the spindle had come loose, and the 12-point hex in the spindle & pulley were mostly worn away.

So, most likely (as I didn't really feel like taking everything apart), the original electric clutch was just fine, perhaps better after being adjusted, and the actual problem was the loose bolt..

:tango_face_crying:

Now to get a $50 pulley and swap one of the end spindles with the center one...
You sound like me and determined to make it work one way or another.
If the pulley and splines strip you can weld the pulley to the shaft. I think I have only done it once and only seen one or two form other people over the years that were welded or spot or tacked on but it works and can save some money and time.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It works for now, just using the bolt to hold everything together (bolt goes through the spindle, so it clamps both the blade and the pulleys to the spindle).

I'll see if it winds up coming loose again (it shouldn't, as the normal rotation under power would tend to tighten the nut, unless vibrations work it loose), and if so, I'll try swapping the center spindle from one of the sides, as they are all the same, and the rounded off splines are just used on the center spindle, and see about making a sort of "keyed washer", by filing in splines in the washer, then grind a key in the surface of the washer, then grind a matching slot in the face of the pulley I have, so it would be positively engaged even without the bolt. Course, it's like $100 of effort instead of buying a $50 part...

I don't really want to weld the pulley to the spindle, as I'd have to weld inside the pulley, as the spindle is recessed about an inch or so in the pulley. So, when the spindle needs new bearings, I'd have to cut up the pulley a bunch just to get it apart, and then possibly need to buy a spindle as well.
 

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It works for now, just using the bolt to hold everything together (bolt goes through the spindle, so it clamps both the blade and the pulleys to the spindle).

I'll see if it winds up coming loose again (it shouldn't, as the normal rotation under power would tend to tighten the nut, unless vibrations work it loose), and if so, I'll try swapping the center spindle from one of the sides, as they are all the same, and the rounded off splines are just used on the center spindle, and see about making a sort of "keyed washer", by filing in splines in the washer, then grind a key in the surface of the washer, then grind a matching slot in the face of the pulley I have, so it would be positively engaged even without the bolt. Course, it's like $100 of effort instead of buying a $50 part...

I don't really want to weld the pulley to the spindle, as I'd have to weld inside the pulley, as the spindle is recessed about an inch or so in the pulley. So, when the spindle needs new bearings, I'd have to cut up the pulley a bunch just to get it apart, and then possibly need to buy a spindle as well.
I was just thinking for a repair to last until the spindle would be replaced in its entirety. I have never had anything long enough to wear out bearings but if I did I wouldn't mind replacing the whole thing.
Machining a keyway into it would be a good solution to allow multiple reassembles.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I was just thinking for a repair to last until the spindle would be replaced in its entirety. I have never had anything long enough to wear out bearings but if I did I wouldn't mind replacing the whole thing.
Machining a keyway into it would be a good solution to allow multiple reassembles.
I'm fortunate as only the splines that go into the PTO to deck pulley are rounded off.

Here's the worn spindle:
IMG_1452.jpg

A good spindle:
IMG_1453.jpg

PTO Deck Pulley:
IMG_1451.jpg

Since the worn part of the spindle isn't used at all on the end pulleys, I swapped the middle one for an end one, re-filed the splines in the PTO Deck pulley so it goes onto the "new" spindle (the splines do hold it in place a little bit), replaced a couple bearings (one was making noise while spinning, the other fell into a bunch of dirt, and I had replacement bearings), bolted everything together and it seems pretty solid.

I'll see how this works over the remainder of this season, and then decide if it's good or if I want/need to make a better setup for using the existing PTO Deck pulley or just buy a new one.
 

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There's also another route you can try if there's room to do it if you decide to not purchase another pulley assembly. Drill a hole through the pulley's splined area, tap it for a 1/8-3/8" allen screw, or a #8 hardened bolt to lock down between the spline's valleys. Drill both sides of pulley if there's some play to center up onto shaft to not make the belts vibrate from out-of-round running. Use green(breaks free the easiest) Loctite to help not let screws backout until you want them to.

Del
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So far, after a couple hours of runtime, it's working fine. I got new blades with more lift than the OEM ones and swapped them on, and examined the pulley when I did it, and so far it's staying put (as in, not slipping on the splines).
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the suggestion, but I don't think it would help with this specific situation, as if the bolt holding the spindle together stays tight, it's fine as is, and if the bolt gets loose, the belt will tilt the pulley as it rotates,and I think would quickly cause that Loctite product to not hold.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I understand that, except my pulley has the splines mostly rounded off, so the clearance between between the pulley and the shaft is mostly much larger than a bearing/shaft situation, so I don't think it'll be able to hold in the situation when it matters (ie, when the center bolt comes loose).
 
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