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Senior Tinkerer
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Discussion Starter #1
Well, it's the time of year when many of us begin to hear those telltale rumbling sounds coming from our mower decks. These are closely followed by the sound of someone's cash register ringing as we buy new bearings. :00000060: :rolleyes:
Having been down this road a few times, I discovered a way that the above noises can often be turned off...at least temporarily. Probably many of you already do this, but I don't get out much! :D
OK, what I have started doing on a bearing that seems dry, but not "too" rough is punch a very small hole in the center of the (top) seal. I do this with an old, small screwdriver that I sharpened on the grinder to a very sharp point. Then, I use a chainsaw bar sprocket luber filled with wheel bearing grease to inject the grease into the bearing. I have the type of bar lube tool that releases the grease as you push it in towards the hole. I keep rotating the race (around the center) as I inject to better distribute the grease.
Since starting this procedure, I have not bought any more new bearings. (I did have a "pool" of bearings that had been replaced with new back when I thought running to the bearing store was a good idea!) :bannana:
This procedure has some other applications, as well. In cases where the hole punched in the seal needs to be closed up, a dab of epoxy will work. :woohoo1:
Well, that's my story. Hope it helps someone. :fing32:
 

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Collector of many tractors
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15,270 Posts
It works.... Also a drop of oil on the idler pulleys every so often helps...

It will soak into the bearings...
 

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Senior MTF Poster
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13,077 Posts
I have a thing that looks like a hypodermic needle on one end and has a grease Zerk on the other. It slips between most seals and the inner race, I save lots of bearings that way. Those that have metal shields, I take my smallest drill bit, drill a hole, insert the needle then plug the hole with silicone sealant. These are almost always made in USA bearings.

The bearings from various far/near East Countries, I pop the seal out before I ever put them in and repack, reinstall seal. Most of these just have enough grease to keep the salt air from rusting them on the way over.

Walt Conner
 

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Senior Tinkerer
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Discussion Starter #4
Kbeitz, That's a good idea about the drop of oil on the idlers. I never had any luck in getting grease in idlers. They have all seemed to be pretty inaccesable. A drop of oil should help. Seems like I remember seeing some idlers that were designed to be split so the bearing could be packed or replaced. Have not seen any like that lately, but I'm wondering if bolts could be installed and then the spot welds drilled out to allow for splitting the pulley?

Walt, that hypodermic greaser should work great. I was thinking that drilling a hole might leave chips where they were not welcome. That is why I used the punch. It does deform the seal some, but does not seem to cause a problem. I have not had good luck removing and reinstalling the metal seals. I always bend them and can't get them to go back in. Your hypodermic greaser should also work good for those tie rod ends that are not designed to be greased. I soldered a zerk to the thread end of a basketball inflation needle to put grease under the tie rod end boots. Seems to help, but I wish I had done it earlier...my 1987 model tie rod ends started coming apart before I wised up! :fing20:
 

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"Seems like I remember seeing some idlers that were designed to be split so the bearing could be packed or replaced. Have not seen any like that lately, but I'm wondering if bolts could be installed and then the spot welds drilled out to allow for splitting the pulley?"

Most idler pulleys are spot welded together. I drill out the spot welds, put in a new bearing and refasten the pulley halves with small screws.

"I was thinking that drilling a hole might leave chips where they were not welcome."

I was concerned about that also but I use a very small drill bit, most of the cuttings at least, come to the outside and I have used some bearings for years with no apparent problem.

"I have not had good luck removing and reinstalling the metal seals. "

I have not either.

I bought the needle grease attachment I mentioned from a farm supply store, Rural King, and expect they are widely available. Cost about $3 - $4 as I remember.

Walt Conner
 

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He he he he...and I thought I was the only one who asked my dentist for an extra syringe......

It's a great trick
 

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"

"I was thinking that drilling a hole might leave chips where they were not welcome."

I was concerned about that also but I use a very small drill bit, most of the cuttings at least, come to the outside and I have used some bearings for years with no apparent problem.



Walt Conner
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Most homes/shops in this modern age has a vacuum of some sort. Use it. Just don't tell the wife you're sucking steel shavings from a drill bit and or carbon when cleaning the piston / head and that type of thing if using hers.

And 3/16 pop rivets work real well for holding two pulley halves together.
 

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I've taken off and soaked idler pulleys in oil before,they fit good in a soup or coffee can,let then sit overnight at the least..if the bearings seals are loose enough to have let the grease out,they'll let oil seep in too..bubbles coming out of them once submerged will confirm this..

Also I've used one of those "bearing packer" things that has two cones that screw tight against the bearings inner and outer races,and has a zerk fitting that forces grease into them,it works pretty good on ball bearings ,AND tapered rolller bearings,as long as the seals are loose enough to let some grease sneak by them..
 
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